Worst Case: Criminal Background Check

I faced one of the worst case scenarios for someone who applied for their CRC early -my prints were rejected 3 times. Meaning I had to wait almost 6 months before I finally got my CRC.

In the past, I’ve had fingerprints rejected because they “quality was too low.” Knowing this, when we went to get fingerprinted, I had both of us get printed TWICE so there was no way the FBI could reject us. Chris was fine. I was rejected. I got re-fingerprinted and this time did it with a live scan machine. REJECTED AGAIN. Another live scan: rejected. I had started in January and now it was May.

I still didn’t have my criminal background check while people around me were about to get their NOAs…

What you should know

The govt. doesn’t care. I asked them to email or call me if they were going to reject them again so I could get fingerprinted again. Both times I was rejected, I had to wait 4 weeks for them to send it back to me via snail mail. It wouldn’t take any time to send a quick email that says ” your fingerprints are rejected” but of course they never did this.

I called them and tried to talk about why they were getting rejected or what could be done. They were actually very snippity with me about how it is my fault and my fingerprints are probably just like that (meaning I would never be able to work as a teacher anywhere because my prints would always be rejected). I never did my own fingerprints. The issues are my own fingerprints at this point because I’ve had three different fingerprinting professionals do it. One time I did with a live scan machine.

First options:

  • If you go in thinking you are going to have bad prints (you’ve been rejected in the past) get a few done at that time.
  • Consider finding a live scan machine. This is like a copying machine that prints the prints out rather than ink rolls. These are supposed to have a very low rejection rate. It was very difficult to find a live scan machine. None of the police department or sheriff departments advertised it on their websites. You’ll have to call ahead or just go by word of mouth.
  • Send SO MANY copies of fingerprints
  • Find someone with a “ridge raiser” it should be a stringent, almost stinging chemical that will raise fingerprint ridges
  • Supposedly cayenne pepper will also do this, soak your fingers in this if your prints are rejected (the FBI representative I talked to gave me this tip so its definitely worth the try)
  • Keep photocopies of all rejection letters or anything you get back from the FBI

Other Options – “I’m Desperate” don’t get too desperate

There is another option – “FBI Channelers” DO NOT GO THROUGH THEM.

FBI Channelers will give you almost the exact sheet the FBI will except these sheets cannot be apostilled

You will have paid quite a bit more all for nothing as the sheet is invalid without the apostille affixed to it.

If your prints are rejected this much and/or you are running out of time:

Since the govt. doesn’t care: make them care.

The only way to get the FBI to work a little harder/double check your fingerprints or realize the severity of your rejection is by having someone bigger tell (ask) them to do it. Aka a state representative. Find a congressmen or senator and contact them about working on your behalf. These people are not only there to “represent” your state the best they can, their job also includes acting as a liaison between the federal and state level. Before they can help you you will have to give them permission to act on your behalf. This sheet will ask for case numbers and a description of the issue. Hopefully you kept all the rejection letters and can provide these as well.

My senator’s office represented me. I never spoke directly to him but to his two employees. They didn’t have a clue where to start. Chances are your representative (and by this I mean his or her office) will have never done this before.

Here’s what my senator did and maybe this can help:

  1. Called the FBI – they had to let the FBI know that someone was going to be nagging them a lot.
  2. Provided the FBI with proof that the office would be representing me (faxed to the FBI)
  3. Got a case worker. This was someone who had no last name and no shareable phone number (all hush hush secrecy)
  4. This case worker worked with my representative to decide to have me get fingerprinted one more time. This time with ridge raisers/cayenne pepper
  5. The case worker and representatives tracked my fingerprints directly to the case worker’s private address
  6. She personally processed my prints
  7. The prints were accepted (finally!! after almost 8 rejections and 5 months)
  8. She personally shipped them from her desk that night (you can give these people your FedEx account number) to a friend who would act as a courier to get it apostilled in Washington DC

My representatives offered (its possible) that these people will be able to get your apostle done faster as well.

So there you go. I wouldn’t wish this bureaucratic nightmare on anyone.


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