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If you identify information that is outdated, please notify us at CHC@cns.gov.

Ohio is a closed 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

Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Information Services Division
Phone: 877-224-0043

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: Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Information Services Division
What is released: Ohio is a fingerprint-based state. Name-based checks are not conducted unless a fingerprint check request returns unreadable prints twice. 

Fingerprint-Based State Checks

Available from: Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Information Services Division
What is released: Possible criminal history check results include no convictions found, incomplete record check, transcript of a sealed record, or an active CCH (computerized criminal history) rap sheet. 
Cost: The cost of the check varies depending on which vendor is chosen to perform the WebCheck.  
How long does it take to obtain results? Time varies based on results returned. If no criminal history check results are returned, the results can be sent to you in as little as a few hours. State law allows BCI 30 days to process the state check. 
Available to: Ohio uses a fingerprint scan so organizations cannot run a search. However, an organization can verify results using WebCheck (when the results show no criminal history). See the section below on individuals requesting criminal history record. 
Additional notes
The Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducts background checks in Ohio using WebCheck. This is a web-based program for conducting fingerprint criminal history checks. This system reduces the time requestors have to wait for results. 
A billing account may be set up with Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). Further information is available on their website. http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Business/Services-for-Business/Webcheck
BCI does accept non-electronic fingerprints on a limited basis, but only under certain circumstances (for example, the person being fingerprinted is out of state, poor quality fingerprints that are unable to be captured at a WebCheck location; see the website below for additional reasons for exemption). A Request for Exemption from Electronic Fingerprinting waiver must accompany the fingerprint card(s). 

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 
Available to: Washington State Service Corps suggests that organizations not pay the extra fee for the FBI check through Ohio’s system. 
Ohio uses the code “NCPA/VCA” to process FBI requests, which stands for the Volunteer Children’s Act. This federal legislation is to be used in the absence of state legislation for individuals working with or volunteering to work with children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities. This should be used where state legislation does not exist and the individual may have unsupervised access around the individuals mentioned. This law can be used for either volunteers or paid employees/staff. 
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.
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

Ohio Sex Offender Registry: http://www.drc.ohio.gov/offenders/search 

Individuals Requesting Criminal History Records (versus Organizations)

Option 1: If living in Ohio
1. Find the Closest WebCheck Location. You can find this location through the provided link: WebCheck location. (Each vendor has different ways of distributing fingerprint cards, so be sure to ask how to receive your card.) 
2. Have fingerprints taken. At the provided location, your fingerprints will be taken electronically. Several rules have been mandated that you should be aware of: 
Each fingerprint card must be completed with required information (i.e., social security number, date of birth, etc.). This information may be validated with a driver’s license or other photo I.D. All information should be typed or printed legibly. 
The “Reason Fingerprinted” field must be completed. Please check the appropriate box and specify the proper Ohio Revised Code section number that pertains to the reason fingerprinted if the box you check requires an Ohio Revised Code. 
The applicant should indicate on the fingerprint card that the results will be mailed to your organization. 
3. Pay the $22 criminal background check fee. The fee for a Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) check is $22.00. This can be paid with a money order, certified check, business check or personal check made payable to “Treasurer, State of Ohio.” Please note that cash or starter checks will not be accepted. Multiple fingerprint cards cannot be paid for with one payment, each card needs its own payment.
4. Bring sealed results to program to ensure chain of custody.  
Option 2: If not living in Ohio
Contact BCI at (877) 224-0043 for the required fingerprint cards to be mailed to your address. Then follow the directions listed above in Option 1. 
Revised as of 10/24/2017

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