Record Checks FAQ

Record Checks Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

General Information:
My Own Record:
Education:
National Child Protection Act (NCPA):

General Information:

Why should you get record checks directly from VCIC?

VCIC is the only official source for statewide criminal history information from the State of Vermont.

VCIC records are identity based, which means that when information is added to a subject’s record, an identity verification takes place before the information can be associated with the record. Court records are case or docket based, which means that any information associated with a case or docket number is included with that record without verification of the identity of the persons involved in the case. If there is an error in a Court record because of identity fraud or clerical error, it is likely to be duplicated in the online database of an Internet record checking company, resulting in a false positive or negative hit. The error could be so significant it results in loss of employment, or failure to disclose a serious conviction. This is a serious liability for an employer.

VCIC personnel are trained to maintain a high standard of quality control thus ensuring the record information is the most accurate possible.

Requestors are provided with a valuable risk assessment tool that allows them another method to evaluate the risk that a potential candidate for employment or a volunteer position poses to their organization. This type of risk assessment is a key component of a comprehensive fitness evaluation process.

Criminal conviction searches reduce negligent hiring liability and in some cases insurance costs.

A criminal conviction search can provide an employer with information to use as an assessment tool for determining an employee’s or volunteer’s suitability for a specific job and help safeguard against issues such as:

  • Theft, embezzlement or other pilferage of company assets- including but not limited to computer systems, copyrights, customer lists and trade secrets
  • Employee conflicts
  • Employee positioning for access to potential victims.
  • Assaults and crimes against other employees.
Where can I obtain further information?

Visit the VCIC Record Check internet site and navigate to the area of interest:

  VCIC Record Checks Internet Site

Or contact VCIC at:

Criminal Record Check Section
Vermont Criminal Information Center
103 South Main St
Waterbury VT 05671-2101

(802) 241-5237

 

My Own Record:

What is the difference between a criminal history and a criminal conviction report?

A criminal history report provides all arrest and disposition information. A criminal history will allow you to see pending, acquitted or dismissed charges. Criminal history information is only available to the person of record.
A Criminal conviction report will allow you to see only conviction information that has been submitted by the court. Criminal conviction reports are available to anyone.

How do I obtain a criminal conviction report?

You can obtain a criminal conviction report by:

  • Visiting our on-line Vermont Conviction Record Service - VCCRIS
  • sending request via US Mail
  • appearing in person at our Waterbury office
How can I obtain a notarized/certified conviction letter?

A notarized/certified letters can be obtained by following the instructions on our internet site  or by coming into our office in Waterbury. The online service does not provide a notarized letter.

How long does it take to get a conviction report?

You can get a conviction report from our on line service immediately. However, if you require a notarized/certified letter and you choose to mail in the request the processing time is 5/7 business days. You can also come into our office and obtain the conviction report in about 10 minutes.

Where can I obtain a fingerprint supported record check for myself?

Fingerprints can be obtained by making an appointment at one of the Identification Centers (insert link). You would be required to submit the fingerprints to the FBI directly. VCIC does not provide this service to individuals. More information on this process can be located at www.fbi.gov

How much are criminal conviction reports?

Criminal conviction reports are $30. The fee is payable by cash, bank check or money order if you come into our office. However, if you choose to use our online service the fee is $30 payable by credit card.

How much are criminal history reports?

You can view your criminal history reports at no charge, however if you require a printed copy each copy is $30. The fee is payable by cash, bank check or money order. Criminal history reports are ONLY available by appearing in person at the Vermont Criminal Information Center in Waterbury.

Can I obtain a criminal conviction report on anyone?

Yes, pursuant to Vermont laws anyone can now obtain a Vermont criminal conviction report on anyone else provided they have their name and date of birth.

Education:

What is the difference in FBI record checks and a Vermont conviction record?

A Vermont check is a state wide check for convictions on a particular individual. A FBI record check is a record based on fingerprints taken at the time of arrest for an individual that have been submitted to the FBI. An FBI check will include a check of all states.

If I was fingerprinted for a school can I obtain a copy of that record check for a Visa record check?

No, fingerprints taken for educational purposes cannot be disseminated to anyone other than another educational institution.

Do I need a release form to request a Vermont Criminal Conviction check on an applicant?

No, a release is not required to obtain a Vermont Criminal Conviction report. Pursuant to legislative mandate anyone can request and obtain a Vermont Criminal Conviction report on anyone.

What is an FAC?

An FAC is a Fingerprint Authorization Certificate. The school that you are applying to should provide you with this form prior to being fingerprinted. The Identification Centers will not take your fingerprints if you do not have proper documentation.

What is an Identification Center?

Identification Centers are law enforcement agencies that have been specially trained in taking fingerprints. There are 15 Identification Centers throughout the state. Click here for a list of Identification Centers.

If I have not heard from the school that I have applied to, should I call VCIC to check on the status of my record check?

No. VCIC will contact the school if there is a problem. All applicants should contact the school where they have applied for any updates on their application.

Does VCIC keep my fingerprints?

No. Once an applicant’s fingerprints are processed they are shredded.

Is there a website that has the required forms for educational facilities?

Yes. The following link will take you to the site that has all forms - Education Documents

How much does it cost to have my fingerprints taken?

Most of the Identification Centers charge up to $25.

What is the fee for processing fingerprint supported record checks?

The fee for education/NCPA employment is $19.25. The fee for volunteers is $15.25.

Can I send my fingerprints directly to VCIC for processing?

No. VCIC will not accept any fingerprints submitted by an individual. All fingerprints must come directly from a law enforcement agency.

What is Grandfathering?

Grandfathering refers to employees that were hired prior to July 1998. These employees have not had a fingerprints supported record check done. If a grandfathered employee changes schools he/she can be printed prior to being hired at the new school. After Dec 31, 2010 any school employee can be checked through Vermont.

What is Secondary Dissemination?

Secondary Dissemination is a request from one school to another for a copy of a record check.

Can I as an agency of a school recheck an employee?

Effective Dec 31, 2010 a school can recheck an employee through the Vermont Criminal Conviction Internet Record Service (VCCRIS).

As a school can we accept a fingerprint supported record check from a private employer for a school applicant?

No, all school applicants are required to be fingerprinted and the prints submitted to the FBI by The Vermont Criminal Information Center (VCIC).

National Child Protection Act (NCPA):

What is NCPA?

NCPA is the National Child Protection Act. The 1993 act authorized employers that provide care to children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities the ability to conduct a national record check on employee and volunteers.

How do I qualify?

You must apply in writing to the Vermont Criminal Information Center. The letter of qualification should be on company letterhead and should include how your business or agency meets the definition of a qualified entity.

What is a qualified entity?

A qualified entity is defined as an individual, business, governmental agency, or organization, whether public, private, for-profit, not-for-profit, or voluntary whose employees, contractors, or volunteers provide care or care placement services for vulnerable populations. Providing care for vulnerable populations means the provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, or supervision to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities. The entity's PRIMARY function must be to provide care to vulnerable populations. It is important to note that the employee, volunteer, or contractor to be back grounded does not have to be a caregiver-only that the person be employed by or volunteer with a qualified entity.

My business is in another state can I qualify in Vermont?

No, only Vermont businesses can be considered as a qualified entity.

Is there a fee for the NCPA record check?

Yes. The processing fee for employee record check is $19.25 and for volunteers it is $15.25.

Are there specific forms that are required for record checks?

Yes. The forms are available on our website. Click this link to obtain all the required forms - NCPA Forms

What is an FAC?

An FAC is a Fingerprint Authorization Certificate. This form is required before fingerprints can be taken for NCPA use.

Where do I obtain the FAC?

You can obtain the form from the agency where you are applying to work or volunteer.

How much does it cost to be fingerprinted?

The law enforcement agency that takes you prints may charge up to $25.

Who may request record checks?

Only qualified entities may receive record checks under this provision. A qualified entity is defined as an individual, business, governmental agency, or organization, whether public, private, for-profit, not-for-profit, or voluntary whose employees or volunteers provide care or care placement services for vulnerable populations in Vermont. Providing care for vulnerable populations means the provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, or supervision to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities. The entity's PRIMARY function must be to provide care to vulnerable populations.

For whom may requests for record checks be made?

Criminal conviction searches may be requested on a person who:

  • seeks to be employed by or volunteer with a qualified entity;
  • is currently employed by or volunteers with a qualified entity;
  • seeks to own or operate a qualified entity;
  • currently owns or operates a qualified entity;
  • seeks to have or may have unsupervised access to a child, the elderly or individual with disabilities to whom the qualified entity provides care, treatment, training or supervision;
  • currently has or could have unsupervised access to a child, the elderly or individuals with disabilities to whom the qualified entity provides care, treatment, training or supervision
If I decide to do record checks do I need to request them for all prospective employees and volunteers?

If the qualified entity decides to request criminal conviction searches under this program, the employer may request searches on all employees and volunteers or only on those who meet specific criteria established by the qualified entity. If criminal conviction searches will not be requested on all applicants it is recommended that the qualified entity has a written policy which specifies the circumstances under which searches will be requested. The employer should apply the record check policy uniformly to all prospective employees or volunteers.

What kind of information am I likely to receive from VCIC?

Qualified entities will receive information on all criminal convictions from Vermont District Courts. All serious motor vehicle convictions which occurred after September 1, 1995, will be included in the report. By law, arrests that did not end in conviction and pending charges will not be reported. Reports of juvenile convictions will not be reported unless the juvenile was prosecuted in adult court. Criminal conviction information may also be requested from other states. However, requests to other states will involve utilizing the appropriate procedure for the additional state(s) and may be subject applicable fees. Please note that many states also require the applicant to submit fingerprints as part of their record check process.

What if a prospective employee or volunteer has a criminal record?

First, it is important to verify that the report is not in error. Inform the employee or volunteer of the results of the search and discuss any discrepancies between what was reported by the applicant and what is contained in the report from VCIC. The applicant has the right to appeal the results of the conviction search in writing to VCIC. VCIC will make every effort to resolve record appeals within 72 hours.

It is important to remember that the law does not require a qualified entity to deny an employee or volunteer a position because they have a criminal record. The qualified entity needs to assess the relevancy of the conviction for the type of work that the person will perform. Typically the nature of the conviction, how recently the conviction occurred, the age of the person at the time of the offense, and whether or not there is evidence of a criminal pattern are issues which should be assessed in light of the person’s job duties. It is recommended that each qualified entity have a policy in place which specifies the employer’s policies for the evaluation of criminal conviction information.

If I am a qualified entity, how should I proceed?

If you think you are a qualified entity under this provision you should apply in writing to the VCIC to be officially designated as a qualified entity. Application letters should be on letterhead stationery and should explain how you, your business or your agency meets the definition of a qualified entity as specified above. If you are designated as a qualified entity by VCIC you will receive an authorized agency code which you will need to include on each request form in order for VCIC to waive the established $30 fee for conviction searches. Once the authorized agency code has been assigned to you, you will be authorized to request and receive criminal conviction searches.

Once all of my paperwork is in order, how do I request a record check form VCIC?

Once you have received an authorized agency code, you are ready to begin sending requests for criminal conviction searches to VCIC. 

   Click here to download the Request for Personal Criminal Record Check- Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf)

Typically it takes five to seven working days to process a criminal conviction search via the mail. Criminal conviction information cannot be reported over the telephone or faxed.