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Criminal History Background Checks

Service Information

​​Oklahoma statutes (Title 10 O. S. Section 7209A) mandate that a national criminal history records search, based upon submission of fingerprints of all adults living in the home, be run on all public and private child placing agency foster care applicants.  This applies to all foster parent applicants (and anyone over the age of 18, living in the foster parent's home) with Child Welfare, DDSD, OJA, private child placing agencies, and tribal foster parent applicants who will be serving custody children.

Oklahoma statutes (Title 10 O. S. Section 7505-5.3A) mandate the same as above for all  public agency and private adoptive applicants. The mandate applies to adoptive parent  applicants (and anyone over the age of 18 living in the adoptive parents' home) through DHS, private child placing agencies, tribal and private attorneys.

DHS was designated as the lead agency responsible for facilitating this process with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Two types of criminal history background checks are processed: fingerprint-based checks; and name-based checks.

Both types of background check requests include a search of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) driving records and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) sex offender registry files.

Deborah King

Phone:  (405) 522-3857
Fax:       (405) 522-3846

Kelley Building
2409 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111

Mailing Address:
Child Welfare Services
Administrative Services Unit
Fingerprint & Background Check Section
PO Box 25352
Oklahoma City, OK 73125

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Obtain a Fingerprint-Based Background Check

A child welfare worker gives each person in the home age 18 and older:

  • two fingerprint cards;
  • a Request for Background Check form (04AD003E)  and
  • a Fingerprinting Services Authorization form, if required by county procedures.

Fingerprinting is done by:

  • local law enforcement, or
  • a private fingerprinting vendor, or
  • OKDHS county staff (if a trained person is available).

Applicants take two blank fingerprint cards and the Fingerprinting Services Authorization Form to the fingerprinting location of their choice.

The Fingerprinting Services Authorization form allows reimbursement to the fingerprint vendor of up to $15 per person. 

Fingerprinting vendors who charge a fee, but do not accept the Authorization Form, should not be used.  If OKDHS county staff take the fingerprints, an Authorization Form is not needed.

Fingerprinting vendors who will not provide reprints of rejected fingerprints at no charge should not be used. 

Applicants return the completed fingerprint cards to the worker.  The worker reviews the cards for completeness and signatures. 

Incomplete fingerprint cards cannot be processed and will be returned to the worker.

Fingerprint cards and a completed, signed Request for Background Check form (04AD003E) are submitted to the DHS-CWS Fingerprint Processing Section.

Cards for all members of the same household must be submitted together.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) rejects fingerprint cards if the prints are illegible.  

  • The Fingerprint Processing Section will send a Notification Letter with the rejected fingerprint cards to the worker. The worker advises the applicant to be re-fingerprinted and provides a new set of cards.
  • Applicants takes both the rejected and new cards to the same vendor and requests to be re-fingerprinted at no charge. 
  •  Applicants are not given another Fingerprinting Services Authorization form as OKDHS does not pay for reprints.
  • The applicant returns the reprinted set and the rejected set of fingerprint cards to the worker, who submits them to the Fingerprint Processing Section. The Fingerprint Processing Section submits the reprints and the rejected prints to the OSBI. 
  • If the rejected prints cannot be returned to the Fingerprint Processing Section, submit a note with the new prints explaining why the rejected prints are unavailable; this information will be provided to the OSBI.
  • When submitting reprints, a copy of the rejection letter should be attached.  Another Request for Background Check form is not required unless it has been over a year since the last prints were submitted.
  • Applicants are not to be sent to the OSBI to be fingerprinted without a letter from the Fingerprint Processing Section.

Fingerprint cards and Request for Background Check forms are sent in a sealed manila envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL and addressed to:
    OKDHS CWS Fingerprint Processing Section
    P.O. Box 25352, Oklahoma City, OK  73125

Results of the fingerprint-based search include:

  • FBI (National criminal history search)
  • OSBI (State of Oklahoma criminal history search)
  • Sex Offender Registry Search (Records maintained by the Dept. of Corrections)
  • Department of Public Safety Record Search

Applicants applying to be certified as tribally-approved foster parents or adoptive parents through one of the Indian tribes having OKDHS tribal/state agreements for foster care or adoptions are subject to the same national background checks and fingerprinting. 

Tribes have a federal mandate to do such background investigations pursuant to Public Law 101-630 and have a well-established procedure for doing so. 

The Bureau of Indian Affairs assists tribes in complying with these requirements. 

For additional information contact: the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) or call (202) 208-3710.

Tribes using their own internal service must provide a copy of their official search results to the Child Welfare Services (CWS) Tribal Coordinator in State Office. 

Tribes unable to use the above process should follow the same process as child welfare foster care and adoptive applicants.

Instructions for Fingerprinting Cards

Fingerprint Cards must not be highlighted in any way

  1. Cards must be signed and completed by the applicant at the time of fingerprinting -- not before.

  2. Information must be printed legibly in black ink. 

  3. A photo ID will be required at the time of fingerprinting.

  4. It is mandatory the applicant fill in their full name -- Last Name, First Name and Middle Name.

  5. Signature block -- this is a mandatory block and must be signed by the applicant.

  6. Residence of person being fingerprinted -- this is a mandatory block -- the applicant must fill in their address.

  7. The date of birth -- this is a mandatory block and requires the year of birth be written as four digits (For example: 12/10/1959)

  8. The place of birth -- this is a mandatory block and requires the state of birth only.

  9. Social Security No. -- this is a mandatory block and requires the applicant’s Social Security Number.

  10. Citizenship is a mandatory block and requires the country of residence of the applicant.

  11. The blocks for: sex, race, height, weight, eye color and hair color are all mandatory.

  12. Aliases -- this is not a mandatory block, but if the applicant has ever been known by any other names, including a maiden name, this block should be completed.

  13. Employer and address -- this is not a mandatory block, but should be filled in by the applicant.

  14. Armed Forces No. -- this is not a mandatory block, but if the applicant has an Armed Forces Number, this block should be completed.

Most police departments and sheriff offices will fingerprint foster and adoptive family applicants. But since they are not required by law to do so, it is advised the applicant call ahead for details such as availability and cost.

A few OKDHS offices provide fingerprint services; foster care and adoptive workers can let you know if this service is available within the county.

Fingerprints may be scheduled at the Community Intervention Center (CIC) by calling (405) 528-2884 for an appointment. The facility address is:

Community Intervention Center
201 N.E. 50th Street 
Oklahoma City, OK  73105-1811

The CIC is located in the Youth Services for Oklahoma County, Inc. building. The entrance is on the west side of the building and is clearly visible by a blue awning. CIC visitor parking is available. 


Process fingerprint-based backgrounds check requests for:

  • OKDHS foster care and adoptive applicants, at no charge;
  • Indian Child Welfare foster care and adoptive applicants with OKDHS or Tribal custody children, at no charge;
  • private foster care agencies at no charge;
  • private adoption agencies, private attorneys and licensed individuals for adoptive applicants for a fee of $50 per person.

Process Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) name-based background check requests for:

  • OKDHS foster care and adoptive applicants, at no charge;
  • potential employees of the OKDHS shelters (Laura Dester Shelter in Tulsa and Pauline E. Mayer Shelter in Oklahoma City) at no charge;
  • OKDHS Child Welfare volunteers;
  • OKDHS Aging Services in-home care providers;
  • private adoption agencies, private attorneys and licensed individuals on behalf of private adoptive and international adoption applicants, for a fee of $20 per person.


Process OSBI name-based background check requests for:

  • OKDHS Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DDSD)
  • OKDHS Adult and Family Services (AFS),
  • Oklahoma Child Care Services (OCCS);
  • Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA);
  • out-of-state agencies or individuals;
  • private foster care agencies. 

Process the Child Abuse and Neglect Registry Check; inquiries should be directed to Child Protective Services.

Process birth certificate requests; out-of-state birth certificate requests for OKDHS custody children should be directed to Child Welfare Services, Administrative Services Unit (ASU).

"After-hours" is defined as weekends, holidays or after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays pertaining to an emergency kinship placement situation.

Emergency kinship background checks can be obtained through law enforcement for a potential kinship foster home for a child in protective custody.

Local law enforcement is required by law to request a name-based criminal history search in these situations.

The worker must request a "Purpose Code (X)" National Crime Information Center (NCIC) search and submit to law enforcement the applicant's name, race, gender, date of birth and social security number.

Every "after-hours" background check must be followed with the submission of fingerprint cards within 5 working days to the Fingerprint Processing Section following the instructions outlined for obtaining a fingerprint-based background check.

For complete instructions see OKDHS policy 340:75-7-15.

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