Some national background checks to be delayed - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Some national background checks to be delayed

Posted By Grant Dade - bio | email

AUSTIN, TX (Texas DPS) - Certain fingerprint-based criminal history background checks for non-criminal justice purposes processed by the Texas DPS that require a check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be delayed in late April and early May to accommodate background checks of an estimated 484,000 U.S. Census employees being hired by the federal government.

The FBI has said that fingerprints submitted for criminal justice purposes between April 28 and May 3, such as confirming the identity of an arrested person, will not be affected, but other civil background checks for employment and concealed handgun licenses will be affected across the United States.

DPS background checks affected by the federal shutdown include concealed handgun license applicants and employers such as the State Board of Educator Certification, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (for childcare), the Texas Real Estate Commission, the Texas Lottery Commission, the Department of Aging and Disability Service (for State School employment), the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, the Texas Racing Commission, the Texas State Guard, the Texas Board of Nursing, the State Board of Dental Examiners, Private Security Board, Commercial Drivers License holders seeking a Hazardous Materials endorsement and others.

"We will do everything that we can to process the background checks here in Texas in a timely manner as soon as the FBI begins accepting fingerprinting requests again," said Steven C. McCraw, director of the DPS. "We are working with the FBI to ensure that the process works as smoothly as possible."

DPS handles an average of 35,000 federal background checks each week.

DPS will continue to process the state portion of the fingerprint based background checks during this time. Any background check that also requires a national criminal history status will be processed in the state system and then will be queued for submission to the FBI. Once the FBI returns to service, DPS will submit these records to the FBI to complete the national check. Because DPS is following this FBI requested queuing procedure, the Texas checks will be among the first that will be processed by the FBI. However, processing delays should be expected in the days following the shut-down, as the FBI will be processing the backlog of submissions from all 50 states and other federal agencies that accumulated during the period of non-service.

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