How Long Does it Take to Get an Arizona Fingerprint Card?
One question many Arizona fingerprint clearance card applicants ask is How Long Does it Take to Get an Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card?
The process of getting the fingerprint clearance card depends on whether the applicant has a criminal history. Other factors that may affect the timeline include submitting proper and complete documents and following the application’s directions. If all requirements and documents are correct, applicants will receive a fingerprint clearance card in about a month to a month and a half. It will only happen if the applicant doesn’t have a criminal history.
If There’s a Criminal History
However, the DPS must conduct research for applicants with a criminal history to make a final decision. It may take up to two (2) months or more. These results are also dependent upon the terms of the processing time of the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the FBI background check, which can vary.
There is also a Livescan fingerprint collection method. It is a very efficient way of recording the information on most individuals’ fingerprints. It is essential as some people’s fingerprints appear unreadable by the FBI’s automated fingerprint automation system.
In these scenarios, the Arizona agency notifies the person of fingerprint rejection. Fingerprints at a Livescan location can be rescheduled, and collection can be done for free. Of course, there may be additional fees if you did fingerprints at a non-Livescan place.
When Your Fingerprint Clearance Card Application is Approved
Finally, if the Board approves your application (when you have a criminal history and must apply for a good cause exception), the Board transmits a letter to the DPS, which issues the clearance card.
The letter requests the DPS to issue a fingerprint clearance card. Simply put, as soon as it receives the Board’s letter, DPS will issue the card within two (2) weeks.
Two Processes for an Arizona Fingerprint Card
How long it takes to get an Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card?
First, there are two processes.
The first step is you apply to the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). You can either do it via paper or electronically.
You’ll usually get the card within ten days if you submit it via paper and have no criminal history. These are all approximate dates, but around ten days.
If you have a criminal record, but none are precluded offenses, it’s about 30 days. Now, if you submit them electronically with no criminal history, it’s usually only a day or two. And then, if you have a criminal record, sometimes somewhere between 10 to 20 days.
Knowing what types of crimes can prevent you from getting a fingerprint clearance card is essential. And then that will also determine how long it takes for a couple of reasons, and I’ll explain.
One, the Board has a list of what’s called precluded offenses. And if you have a past criminal conviction considered a precluded offense, you cannot get a fingerprint clearance card. It’s just not going to happen. There’s no amount of legal maneuvering that can take place, which can get you the card. It’s the evil crimes and those involving child abuse, that type of thing. No matter what, you’re not going to get the card.
Now, they have another list of convictions where you can apply for a good cause exception with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting.
Timeline in a Fingerprint Clearance Card Application
Let’s break down the timeline.
So, let’s say you submit your application to DPS, and it pops up that you have a crime that’s not precluded, but you have to get a good cause exception. They’ll send you a denial letter, and I guess the ball is in your court. And then you can file what’s called a good cause exception with the Arizona Board of Fingerprinting.
You have to see what you have to gather first. You must get the court documents, and you have to get any police reports if it has happened in the last five years. You have to get two witnesses, kind of letters of support. You must write a personal statement, get everything notarized, and then send it to the Board for the good cause exception.
The Board has 20 days to decide, which is called an expedited review. They can give the fingerprint clearance card, or if they think more needs to be investigated, they’ll forward it to a hearing with an administrative law judge, which can add much time.
So, if you submit the initial application for a good cause exception, the Board will do an expedited review within 20 days. It could add three or four months to the process if they forward it to a hearing.
Any good cause exception would be sent to a hearing because, in our experience, you either have a recent criminal conviction where you’re still on probation or you have pending criminal charges that have not yet been resolved. They haven’t been dismissed, or you haven’t been convicted, or come to a plea agreement with the prosecutor.
So, that’s the process. Let’s say the worst-case scenario. You apply DPS, a crime that has to receive a good cause exception. And let’s say that’s going to take around 30 days. You’ll get the denial letter and all the documents, which will probably take another 30 to 60 days.
Then you’ll have the card within 20 days after submitting the good cause exception if it’s past crimes. If anything’s recent, it will likely be sent to a hearing, which could add another three to four months to the process.
That’s the timeline for how long it takes to get a fingerprint clearance card. It just depends on your criminal past.
Consultation with Chelle Law Fingerprint Card Attorney
Contact Chelle Law today if you want to learn more about how long it takes to get an Arizona Fingerprint Card or would like to set up a consultation.