Background Screening FAQs


Background Screening

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What happens if I do not get background screened prior to January 2015?

Your Florida massage therapist and/or massage establishment license may be suspended if you do not comply with background screening requirements by January 31, 2015.

If you have not obtained your fingerprints because you have made the decision to no longer practice massage therapy in Florida, you may consider relinquishing your license. If you choose this option, please send your original license along with a letter to the Board of Massage Therapy indicating that you want to “voluntarily relinquish” (give up) this license. Mail to:

Board of Massage Therapy
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Bin C-06
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3257

Where do I get the ORI number to submit to the vendor?

The ORI number for the Board of Massage Therapy is EDOH4600Z. However, you must take the Electronic Fingerprinting Form with you to the vendor.

If you apply online, there is a form that you must print out that will have your ORI number prepopulated. In the paper application, you can locate your ORI number in the instructions.

What information must I provide to the LiveScan service provider I choose?

a) If you are an applicant seeking a license for any profession regulated by the Department of Health which requires a criminal background search as a condition of licensure, you must provide accurate demographic information at the time your fingerprints are taken, including your Social Security number. The Department will not be able to process a submission that does not include your Social Security number.

b) You must provide the correct ORI number. If you apply online, there is a form that you can print out that will have your ORI number prepopulated. In the paper application, you can locate your ORI number in the instructions.

c) In addition to compliance with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement transmission requirements, the LiveScan service providers will need the following information in order for the Department to receive the results appropriately. Failure to submit this information may result in the Department’s inability to obtain screening results:

  • Full Name
  • Individual’s Address
  • Social Security Number
    if the SSN is not included, the results will not appear on the Department’s Results website
  • Date of Birth
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Employer Name
  • Employer Address
    address information should be separated by commas: street, city, state, zip

How do I find a LiveScan service provider in order to submit my fingerprints to the Department?

The Department of Health accepts electronic fingerprinting service offered by LiveScan service providers that are approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and listed at their site. You can view the service provider options and contact information on the LiveScan Service Providers List, located under the Livescan Service Providers tab.

Is there a different process for out of state applicants? What about applicants from out of the country?

Out of state and out of the country applicants are still required to submit their fingerprints electronically. There are national Livescan service providers, such as L1 Identity Solutions, Fieldprint, and National Fingerprint, Inc. which can assist out-of-state applicants. You can obtain a hard fingerprint card from the FBIs website  or by contacting your board office. Starting January 1, 2013, the Florida Department of Health retains fingerprints on any applicant who is required to undergo a criminal history screening in the Care Provider Clearinghouse. This Clearinghouse allows for the sharing of criminal history information among specified agencies. One of the requirements for the Clearinghouse is a photograph taken at time of fingerprinting, therefore, if your fingerprints are submitted without a photograph, you may have to undergo additional fingerprinting in the future when applying at a different agency.

What do I need to know if I do not have a Social Security Number?

A Social Security Number is not required for Livescan. You can find a list of providers who provide this service under the Department’s Livescan Service Providers tab on the Livescan Service Providers website. Please note: If you are an applicant located outside of the U.S., you will need to contact a Livescan service provider who has the capability to convert a traditional (hard card) into an electronic fingerprint card. To obtain an electronic copy of the fingerprint card, please visit the FBI’s website.

What kind of assistance can the DOH provide if I have problems with a LiveScan service provider?

As an applicant, you have the choice to select a service provider approved by the FDLE. Since DOH does not approve or regulate LiveScan service providers, you will be fully responsible for the fingerprint submission and for ensuring that the prints have been timely submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The DOH retrieves the fingerprint results from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement electronically. We suggest that you ask the service provider for a receipt showing payment date and other pertinent information in case you need to go back to them for assistance.

I submitted my fingerprint through a Florida Department of Law Enforcement approved service provider, but I have now received a deficiency letter regarding my fingerprints? What should I do?

As of the date of the mailing of the deficiency letter, your electronic fingerprinting results have not been transmitted to the Department. We will not be able to process your application until we have received this information. You should contact your fingerprint service provider to determine if they have submitted the prints to the FDLE for processing. You can view the service provider options and contact information on the LiveScan Service Providers List (As of the date of the mailing of the deficiency letter, your electronic fingerprinting results have not been transmitted to the Department.

We will not be able to process your application until we have received this information. You should contact your fingerprint service provider to determine if they have submitted the prints to the FDLE for processing. You can view the service provider options and contact information on the LiveScan Service Providers List, located under the Livescan Service Providers tab.  Applicants should submit their applications prior to submitting their fingerprints in order to afford themselves an opportunity to resolve any application deficiencies prior to the expiration of the criminal history results.

How much does electronic fingerprinting cost?

The total fee charged by each service provider varies. Please contact the service provider to obtain this information. The fingerprint results are usually received by the Department two to four days after your fingerprints are scanned. You can view the service provider options and contact information on the LiveScan Service Providers List, located under the Livescan Service Providers tab.

What is the difference between a LiveScan and a hard card scanning?

LiveScan device is a term used to describe the scanners used to directly capture fingerprints through a scanning function. Persons being screened place their hands directly on the scanner for reading. Fingerprint scanning using a LiveScan device provides faster results and generally costs less than hard card scanning as there is less handling involved. LiveScan capture also produces a better quality print, so there is a lower rejection rate of illegible prints (no ink smudging, etc). Hard card scanning is a method of submitting a traditional fingerprint card where finger prints are “rolled” in ink onto an FBI fingerprint card.

Please note that hard cards are no longer accepted by the FBI. Cards may be converted to “electronic” by using a machine that scans the cards. There is typically a fee associated with “rolling the prints” as a high degree of skill is required to achieve the necessary quality.

Is it possible to expedite the criminal history background screening process?

Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite the process.

Who is exempt from massage establishment licensure?

Effective July 1, 2014, physicians licensed under Chapters 458, 459 or 460, who employ a licensed massage therapist to perform massage therapy on the physician’s patients at the physician’s place of practice are exempt from having a massage establishment license. However, if the massage therapist performs massage therapy on someone other than a patient of the physician, a massage establishment license is required.

If you meet the requirement of this exemption and no longer wish to maintain your massage establishment license, please return the original license along with a letter to the Board of Massage Therapy (address below) indicating you wish to voluntary relinquish the license. The letter MUST include the establishment’s name, address and license number, as well as the name and signature of the owner of the license.

Board of Massage Therapy
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Bin C-06
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3257

How will the applicant know if they are not clear to be licensed?

If the result of the background report shows arrests and offenses, or incomplete dispositions, they will receive a notice from the Board office requesting additional information. Depending on the types and seriousness of the offenses, the applicant’s file may go before the Board of Massage Therapy for further review. If the Board denies the applicant’s file, the applicant will receive an official Intent to Deny Order and will have right of appeal.

Am I required to have a background screening?

Effective July 1, 2014, all applicants for licensure must undergo a criminal background screening.

Additionally, the following individuals must undergo a criminal background screening prior to January 31, 2015:

  • All massage therapists licensed in this state prior to July 1, 2014;
  • Any person with an ownership interest in a massage establishment licensed in this state prior to July 1, 2014, or
  • If the massage establishment is owned by a corporation that has more than $250,000 of business assets in this state, only the owner, officer or individual directly involved in the management of the establishment will be required to submit to background screening.

If requesting this exemption, the corporation must submit a formal opinion letter from a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) duly licensed in this state affirming the corporation had more than $250,000 of business assets in this state for the previous tax year. In lieu of submitting a formal opinion letter from a CPA, the applicant may submit its Florida Corporate Income/Franchise and Emergency Excise Tax Return (Form F-1120, Effective 01/09) from the previous tax year

Pursuant to s.456.0135, F.S.

What is the difference between a background check used for employment screening and a background screening used for licensing purposes?

For licensure by the Board of Massage Therapy, all criminal offenses are screened and reviewed prior to licensure. For employment background screening, the employer uses a specified list of disqualifying offenses pursuant to Chapter 435 and Section 408.809, Florida Statute. If the employee has one of these specified offenses, he cannot be employed until he receives an exemption.

Do I need my picture taken at time of fingerprinting?

Because the Florida Department of Health retains fingerprints on any applicant who is required to undergo a criminal history screening starting January 1, 2013, those prints are retained in the Care Provider Clearinghouse. This Clearinghouse allows for the sharing of criminal history information among specified agencies. One of the requirements for the Clearinghouse is a photograph taken at time of fingerprinting. If your fingerprints are submitted without a photograph, you may have to undergo additional fingerprinting in the future.

Can I get photographed at my local sheriff’s office?

As of right now, FDLE is not aware of any sheriff’s offices having photo capabilities. An applicant should contact their local sheriff’s office before going for fingerprints, and use the sheriff’s office with the understanding that they will not be in the clearinghouse if no photograph is taken. Fingerprints done without an accompanying photograph may require additional fingerprint screening because your background screening cannot be shared with other agencies. Additionally, when printed by a sheriff’s office, payment must be processed through the Civilian Applicant Payment System (CAPS) by credit card within 30 days of being printed. Applicants will not have the option of paying at the sheriff’s office. CAPS payment can be completed at https://caps.fdle.state.fl.us/caps/app/start

Please understand that the background screening will not be received by the Board office until payment is made.

What happens if I failed to disclose a conviction on my pending application?

If you failed to disclose a criminal conviction on your application for licensure as a massage therapist, you will be required to submit all supporting documentation pertaining to the conviction. You will also be required to appear before the Board of Massage Therapy at the next available meeting.

What happens if I failed to report a conviction to the Board after I became licensed?

Your license may be disciplined for failure to report the offense and for being convicted or having adjudication withheld for a crime relating to the practice.