CNCS provides this state by state guide for informational purposes only and makes reasonable efforts to ensure the quality of the information. You are responsible for determining the suitability of the information and your use of the information in this guide, and for compliance with NSCHC requirements (45 CFR 2540.200 - .207). CNCS makes no express or implied warranty, no representation, nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness, timeliness, or completeness of any information in, or available through, this guide. The information in this guide is presented in good faith and believed to be correct. You assume the risk of relying on the information contained in this guide. Links to non-CNCS websites are provided for informational purposes only.

CNCS is not responsible for the content of non-CNCS websites. CNCS neither endorses the information, content, presentation, or accuracy nor makes any express or implied warranty regarding external websites or any commercial product or service.

If you identify information that is outdated, please notify us at CHC@cns.gov.

Minnesota is an open records state.
Some form of criminal history information is open to the public in “open records” states. In “closed records” states, access to criminal history information is not generally available to the public, but is available to authorized entities (e.g. law enforcement agencies).

Contact Information

Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Phone number: 651-793-2400

State Checks 

General Information on State Checks:

  • While two options for types of state checks are listed below, name-based and fingerprint-based, only one type of state check is required. CNCS does not recommend one of these checks over the other. Either the name-based state check or the fingerprint-based state check is acceptable.
  • Please note that to be in compliance with CNCS requirements, recipients may have to conduct checks in up to two states: the  state of service/work check on individuals in covered positions, as well as a state of residence check (i.e. if the state of residence is different from the state of service/work at the time of application).

Name-Based State Checks

Available from: Department of Public Safety
What is released: Offense, date of offense, court of conviction, date of conviction, sentence, level of conviction, and probation agency or place of confinement. The public information does not include arrest history. 
Cost: $8.00 for charitable nonprofit organizations; $15.00 for all other organizations
How long does it take to obtain results? 24-72 hours 

Additional Information: The Computerized Criminal History System contains records that are available to the public for a period of 15 years. 

Fingerprint-Based State Checks

Available from: Department of Public Safety
What is released: Offense, date of offense, court of conviction, date of conviction, sentence, level of conviction, and probation agency or place of confinement. The public information does not include arrest history. 
Cost: $8.00 for charitable nonprofit organizations; $15.00 for all other organizations; $10 per fingerprint card
How long does it take to obtain results? 24-72 hours
Available to: Individuals 
Additional notes: Serve America Act
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has guidelines for CNCS grantees requesting checks under the Serve America Act. Visit this link for more information, particularly the Serve America Act Information Sheet: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/bca/pages/background-checks.aspx.
Look for the Serve America Act section under “What kinds of background checks are available?”

Checks performed under the Serve America Act require the completion of a Consent Form. Organizations can request FBI checks along with the statewide check by marking the appropriate box on the form.

If your program is in a state other than Minnesota, and the applicant was a Minnesota resident at the time of their application, please use the Serve America Act Consent Form when requesting the state criminal history background check.

Approved Alternative Repositories 

State repositories are institutions that house and maintain the arrest and disposition (or outcome) information for cases handled in that state. Each state has a central repository, and CNCS has designated one in each state that grantees must use. In some cases, generally when a different institution is able to provide information that is equivalent to what is provided by the state repository, CNCS may designate them as an Approved Alternative Repository.
None at this time.

FBI Checks 

State Repository Provides FBI Checks: Yes, CNCS grantees are authorized to request FBI checks through the state repository by the Serve America Act; cost $15.75 for volunteers; $17.00 for employees
Available to: Individuals and organizations 
CNCS FBI Channeler: Organizations that cannot successfully use the state repository for FBI checks may use CNCS’s FBI-approved Channeler, Fieldprint, for FBI checks. 
Cost: The cost for one FBI check through Fieldprint is $27.50.
How long does it take to receive results? The majority of checks conducted electronically take no more than two business days from the date the fingerprints are captured. If an applicant does not live near a Fieldprint livescan location and fingerprints must be taken manually and mailed, it will take longer to receive the results. See the Fieldprint Guide and FAQ (linked below) for more information.
View these links for more information
Fieldprint Guide and FAQs: https://www.nationalservice.gov/FBIGuidance (see document, “Using Fieldprint as an FBI Channeler – A Guide for CNCS Recipients”)
Fieldprint website: http://www.fieldprintcncs.com/ 

NSOPW (National Sex Offender Public Website) Check

A required component of the NSCHC is a nationwide check of NSOPW.gov before an individual begins work or service in a covered position. Please note that a compliant nationwide NSOPW check must include reports from all states, territories, and tribes. If any state, territory, or tribe is unavailable at the time the NSOPW check is conducted, you must either run a nationwide NSOPW check again through NSOPW.gov and ensure that all entities are reporting, or run a separate check for each entity that is not reporting through the state sex offender registry website.

Please note that a check of a single state’s sex offender registry alone is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the nationwide NSOPW check requirement. The information provided in the State Sex Offender Registry Information section is for reference purposes only in the event that a single state sex offender registry check is necessary to supplement an incomplete nationwide NSOPW check.


State Sex Offender Registry Information


Individuals Requesting Criminal History Records (versus Organizations)

This process will take 2 weeks and the form must be notarized. Fingerprints are required for FBI Checks. The cost is $28 ($8 state plus $20 FBI).
2. The applicant must fill out and sign a Serve America Act Consent Form.
3. Request the background check via U.S. Mail. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
4. Enclose a personal check, money order, cashier’s check, certified or business check for the appropriate fee to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
5. Send the documents to: Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Minnesota Justice Information Services-CHA, 1430 Maryland Ave. E., St. Paul, MN 55106
6. You will receive the results within two weeks of the submission date. 
7. Bring sealed results to program to ensure chain of custody.

Revised as of 2/16/2018

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