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Paper-Based Fingerprint Submission

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The three most commonly asked questions and their answers are below:

Help with WAMS IDs

Before you can submit an application to DPI, you must register for a Web Access Management Systems (WAMS) user ID.

How to set up a WAMS account

Already have one or more WAMS accounts?

How to start your WAMS account recovery:

Perform a WAMS account recovery for all emails you have. Enter your email address but do NOT enter your User ID to start your WAMS account recovery. Once in the account recovery process you will be prompted to change your password. After you change your password you will be told in parentheses what your correct User ID is. Please make note of that before you terminate the account recovery session. Once you have recovered all WAMS accounts you have, login to ELO with each of your accounts individually. If you can see your licenses, you are logging in with the correct WAMS account. If you are taken through the Onboarding process again, you are not using the correct WAMS account and should try another account.

If you encounter errors in the WAMS account recovery process, please contact WAMS directly.  DPI is unable to help with WAMS recovery because the system is used by many state agencies and is run by the Department of Administration:

Revalidating Life or Lifetime License

Educators, whose Life or Lifetime license was invalidated in July, have until December 31 to revalidate their license. Upon approval of the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900] application, the Lifetime license will be revalidated just as if the educator completed the application before June 30. Educators will have until December 31 to complete this application for their license to be revalidated.

Background Checks

DPI is required by law to conduct a background check on each applicant for a Wisconsin educator license regardless of whether it is an initial request or a renewal request.

All educators are required to complete a background check to maintain or revalidate a life or lifetime license. There are directions for how to complete the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900].

To find the year in which your most recent background check was submitted, search License Lookup using your name or entity number and check see the “Last Background Check Submitted” field.

Paper fingerprint cards are only available for applicants who currently do not live in the United States.

Request paper fingerprint cards from the Department of Public Instruction via the Contact Us form.

Upon receiving a request for paper fingerprint cards, DPI will send, via U.S. Mail, two fingerprint cards preprinted with the Department's codes. Your fingerprints must be prepared on both of the DPI-supplied cards.

Upon receipt of fingerprint cards from DPI, make arrangements to have your fingerprints prepared by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for details. Remember to bring photo identification with you when having your fingerprints prepared.

Fill out all required fields (details below) on each card in black ink before your fingerprints are taken. Cards will be returned to you if required fields are not correctly completed.

Fingerprint Cards Required Fields

Complete all fields on the FBI cards (blue lines and printing on a white background), which are listed on one side of the card.

  1. NAM - Last Name, First Name, Middle Name
  2. Signature of Person Fingerprinted
  3. AKA - Aliases
  4. DOB - Date of Birth: Month, Day, Year
  5. SEX
  6. RACE
  7. HGT - Height
  8. WGT - Weight
  9. EYES - Eye Color
  10. HAIR - Hair Color
  11. SOC - Social Security Number
  12. The Signature of Official Taking Fingerprints and Date must be completed by the law enforcement official who prepares your prints.

Incomplete or incorrectly completed fingerprint cards will be returned to you, and will delay processing of your application.

Completed cards are forwarded by DPI to the Wisconsin Department of Justice/FBI.

Mailing Instructions

Once the cards are completed, prepared with your fingerprints and signed, mail them to the Department of Public Instruction. Do not fold the fingerprint cards and do not staple them to your application forms.

If you must send fingerprint cards separately from your application materials and fee, mail the cards, in the envelope provided, to:

  • DPI - Educator Licensing
  • P.O. Box 7841
  • Madison, WI 53707-7841