The Department of Education offers a field-based teacher education preparation program.  These field experiences are integrated throughout the program and provide ample opportunity to facilitate working with children in K-12 classrooms. To comply with the National Child Protection Act of 1993, the Department of Education requires a manditory national FBI criminal history background check, “to determine the fitness of an employee, or volunteer, or a person with unsupervised access to children.”  This imperative applies to certain pre-service EDU courses, practicum, school counseling internships, and MAT students.  A second background check must also be completed the semester prior to student teaching. 

Starting the Fingerprint and Background Check Process

There is a two-step process  to obtain a national FBI criminal background check:

  1. Fingerprints
  2. Department of Justice (DOJ) Background Check Paperwork

Fingerprint/Background Check packets are available in the hallway outside 247 Reid Hall.

Fingerprint Card

You may choose to go to the Gallatin County Detention Center, Bozeman Police Department or elsewhere.

The Bozeman Police Department:

Cost: Free

Schedule is limited to Tuesday & Friday afternoons only.

Bozeman Police Department Schedule Here

Gallatin County Detention Center

Cost: $15.54

Schedule: M-F

Detention Center Schedule Here


Prior to your appointment:

  1. Collect fingerprinting card and packet from REID Hall 247. Complete the fingerprint card prior to your appointment. Fingerprints are done electronically.  The Detention Center will fill in the information for you.
  2. Take the following items to your fingerprinting appointment:
  • Driver's license or passport or state ID
  • $15.54 cash or check payable to Gallatin County

Return all the paperwork and fingerprinted card to Reid Hall 247 with a $25.00 check or money order made out to Criminal Records--no cash.

The DOJ processes the fingerprint card and runs a federal and Montana criminal record background check utilizing the Western Identification Network (WIN), as required by the FBI, and includes criminal history information from Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and Montana.  MSU students who will be in K-12 classrooms, and/or volunteer work in the presence of children, are required to disclose if they have been convicted of a crime or under pending indictment for a crime by submitting the National Child Protection Act of 1993/Volunteers for Children Act form.  MSU shall provide students, who are subject to a national fingerprint-based criminal history background, with their rights in consenting to fingerprints and the Privacy Act Statement regarding that consent.  Additionally, students shall submit an MSU Field Experience Consent and Release form.

  1. How to Complete Fingerprint Card Instructions
  2. National Child Protection Act of 1993/Volunteers Children Act (NCPA/VCA) forms
  3. Applicant Rights and Consent to Fingerprint
  4. Privacy Act Statement
  5. MSU Field Experience Consent and Release

Completing the Fingerprint/Background Check Process

Return the following items to 247 Reid Hall:

    • Fingerprinted card
    • Check or money order for $25.00 payable to Criminal Records – THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WILL NOT ACCEPT CASH
    • Completed MSU Field Placement Consent and Release form
    • Completed NCPA/VCA form and Applicant Rights and Consent to Fingerprint

Need Your Determination of Eligibility for Hire/Licensure?

We can disseminate your Determination of Eligibility for Hire/Licensure  to a receiving government entity, Montana public school district, or authorized agency as defined in Federal Law.  We cannot redisseminate out-of-state. Please note, we do not keep your background check results or fingerprints on file.

Please submit the  Request for Dissemination to [email protected]

Requests will be processed in 2-3 weeks. If request form is incorrect, incomplete or contains errors, this will delay processing time.

For questions, contact  the Office of Field Placement & Licensure attn: Lisa Yarnell, [email protected] 

Not in Bozeman?

  1. Pick up a blank fingerprint card at the nearest law enforcement agency.
  2. Complete the blank fingerprint card by using the fingerprintcard instructions..
  3. Take the completed fingerprint card to the nearest law enforcement agency where they will take your     fingerprints.
  4. Mail the following items to the address below:
  • Fingerprinted Card
  • Check or money order for $25.00 payable to Criminal Records – THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WILL NOT ACCEPT CASH
  • Completed MSU Field Placement Consent and Release form: Consent and Release
  • Completed NCPA/VCA and Applicant Rights and Consent to Fingerprint forms:NCPA Form

Attn: Lisa Yarnell License/Certification/Permit Technician
Field Placement & Licensure
247 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880
Bozeman, MT  59717-2880