Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to fingerprint me at the Sheriff’s Office?

Fingerprinting should take 15 minutes or less once you are called. Background checks that require a photograph along with fingerprints may take longer.

Will I have to go through security at the Sheriff’s Office for my appointment?

It depends on the Sheriff's Office. However, everyone is subject to search upon entering the Sheriff’s Office. This includes your property, such as handbags.

Do I have to schedule an appointment or can I walk-in at the Sheriff’s Office for my background check?

You must make an appointment. Check with your local Sheriff’s Department for the hours of operation for background checks.

Does the Sheriff’s Office conduct background checks at locations other than the department’s headquarters or offices?

Most fingerprinting is done at the Sheriff's Office. However, the Sheriff’s Department may conduct background checks at off-site locations if multiple people at an organization need to be fingerprinted.

Do I have to show identification to be fingerprinted for my background check?

Identification is required to be submitted to and verified by a trained Sheriff’s Office employee before you are fingerprinted. There are no exceptions to this rule. When you register for a background check, the ACCESS system will tell you everything you need to bring with you.

What types of identification are accepted?

Your identification must be valid, not expired, government-issued, and contain your full name and date of birth, as well as a photograph. A driver’s license, state ID card, US Passport, or Military ID are acceptable.

What is an ORI and why is it important?

If your background check is necessary for employment or to volunteer, the results need to be sent directly to that organization in a secure way. Entering the correct ORI, Originating Agency Identifier assigned by FDLE, at the start of a background check application is crucial. Please be sure to use the ORI given to you by the organization.

The ORI I have been given is not in the system. What do I do?

While most ORIs are already in the ACCESS system, ORIs can be easily added within 24 hours. Please call the ACCESS Support Line at (703) 575-2474 to have an ORI added.

How much will my background check cost?

The cost depends on the type of background check. All prices are listed on the website.

Can I pay cash for my background check at the Sheriff’s Office?

No. Payments must be made by credit or debit card online prior to your appointment.

Can I pay by check?

No. Only credit and debit cards may be used to pay for background checks.

What if I don’t have a credit or debit card? Can I still get a background check?

A credit or debit card is necessary to purchase your background check. Many stores sell prepaid debit and credit cards. Make sure that the card you purchase can be used for online purchases.

Can an organization pay for a background check?

Yes, an organization can pay for a background check. They may reimburse the applicant or agree to pay for it with their card. If the organization is paying for it, the applicant should complete the registration online, including verifying their email, and then have the credit card holder call the ACCESS Support Line at (703) 575-2474 to apply payment. An applicant will never have access to the organization’s credit card or financial data.

What will be on my background check?

The information included will depend on the organization receiving the background check. Some groups, such as schools, are legally entitled to receive more information than others. Most background checks contain arrests and disposition (i.e., not guilty, dismissed, etc.) information.

Who sees my results?

Results are sent to an authorized representative of the organization which needs the background check (a school, youth sports team, etc.) or you.

What if my criminal record is expunged or sealed?

There are some exceptions in Florida law, which allow or require the disclosure of certain information even if it has been expunged or sealed. You should consult an attorney or the Court if you have questions about sealed or expunged records.

What if I dispute what’s listed on my report?

You should contact the appropriate agency listed on your background check. Depending on the issue, a court order may be required to alter your results.

Can I reschedule my appointment?

Yes, call the Support Line at (703) 575-2474 for help with rescheduling.

My fingerprints have been rejected by FDLE or there is a problem with my background check. What do I do?

Call the ACCESS Support Line at (703) 575-2474 for help. If your fingerprints have been rejected due to poor quality, you can have them taken again at no additional cost.

Can I get a refund?

Refunds will only be granted if you have NOT been fingerprinted. Once you have been fingerprinted, you are no longer eligible for a refund. If you have any questions, contact the ACCESS support line at (703) 575-2474.

How do I get a refund?

To request a refund, call the ACCESS Support Line at (703) 575-2474.