AELS Background Check



The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education and Arkansas Tech University require background checks.

Act 455 of 2013 established that all educators must clear FBI and Arkansas State Police background checks and submit a release of information from the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry. Background and child maltreatment registry checks must be no less than one (1) year old when a license is issued or renewed.

Prior to any field experience, undergraduate, MTLL-NTL and MAT candidates must have an approved background check. 

When do I need to get an AELS Background check?

  • Before you submit your Stage II application and register for Stage II classes you must have an approved AELS background check.
  • If you leave school and return at a later date to resume education classes you must have an up to date AELS background check approval.
  • When you are ready to apply for your teaching license, you must have an AELS Background check with an approval date less than a year old. 

What does an AELS Background check look at?

  • An electronic set of fingerprints is submitted to the Arkansas Sate Police and FBI for approval.
  • Click Here for a list of Disqualifying Criminal Offenses that would prevent an approval from AELS.
  • A Maltreatment Registry Check Form is submitted to the state Department of Human services, and a finding of clear is required for your approval.

How much does an AELS Background Check Cost?

  • Approximately $40 dollars for your background check that includes your fingerprinting.
  • $11 for your Maltreatment Registry Check request.
  • You may have to pay someone to Notarize your Maltreatment form.

For information on how to complete your background check please look a the step-by-step instructions provided in the next drop down section. 


  1. Complete the Online Background Check Consent Form
    • SELECT Reason: Teacher (licensure renewal, lifetime license)
    • CLICK continue.
    • Employer: IHE with EPP: Arkansas Tech University
    • Fill out all applicant information
    • You must print the form now or save it as a PDF. There is no other way to obtain the form.
    • You must bring your consent form to your fingerprinting appointment.

  2. Complete the Background Check Payment - The following information will be needed when filling out the background check form:
    • Choose a School District/Location: Arkansas Tech University
    • Verification Code: 8800004
    • Reason Fingerprinted: EDUC Teacher (Licensure, Renewal, Lifetime)
    • Print your Receipt to bring to your fingerprinting appointment.

  3. Complete the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry Check - For clearance from the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry, submit the application with payment following the directions on the form.

    • SELECTYou are teacher, a pre-service teacher, work for or attempting to work for a school in Arkansas.
      • Applicant type: Licensed Teacher
      • School District: this should auto-fill with Arkansas Department of Education
      • Email Address: this should auto-fill with the DESE email.
      • School District contact name: Clara Toney
      • District phone number: LEAVE BLANK
      • District Fax: LEAVE BLANK
      • LEA Number: LEAVE BLANK

    • APPLICANT INFORMATION: Enter your own information accurately (this includes your addresses for the past five years).
    • Click the button to have the form sent to your email
    • Print the form you get in your email
    • Notarize the printed Form.
      • If you bring your printed maltreatment registry request to your fingerprinting appointment at Crabaugh 308, it will be notarized free of charge.
      • Notary Services are also available at most banks, and at the UPS store in Russellville after 11 a.m., but may charge you a fee.

    • **UPLOAD** the notarized form online and pay the $11 dollar processing fee.
      • Scan your notarized form and save it as a PDF.
      • CLICK the submissions link in the email sent to you by DCFS Central Registry, this will take you to DCFS's instructions webpage.
      • SCROLL DOWN the instructions page - under "Stage 2" CLICK  the "single request" link.
      • SELECT: "You are a teacher, pre-service teacher, work for or are attempting to work for a school in Arkansas."
      • SELECT "Licensed teacher" as the applicant type and "no" for resubmission (unless you have to resubmit later due to error)
      • Under COMPANY/REQUESTOR  it will auto-fill "Department of Education"
      • Type in CONTACT NAME as Clara Toney, and CONTACT EMAIL as 
      • ENTER your information
      • CLICK the "Choose File" button labeled "Notarized Maltreatment Form" and UPLOAD your notarized form.
      • CLICK "Submit and Pay." (You must pay with a debit or credit card when submitting online. 
      • Note: Allow 1-2 weeks for your Child maltreatment Registry check to clear. If you have questions or problems, contact the Arkansas Department of Human services at (501) 682-0405

  4. Complete the Fingerprinting Process
    • ATU has a LiveScan system for background check located in Crabaugh 308. Schedule your appointment by clicking HERE. We can submit your fingerprints directly to Arkansas State Police/FBI.
    • For a list of other approved Livescan locations click HERE.
    • Note: You MUST bring a copy of your consent form, your payment receipt for your background check, and a valid ID to complete the fingerprinting process. 
  5. Check Employability Please allow 4-5 weeks for the employability status to be determined before contacting Arkansas Department of Education. To verify that your background checks have cleared, use the Arkansas Educator Licensure System (AELS) here. 

    • To access your record, enter the last 4 digits of your social security number and your last name. Leave Case I.D. blank! Click SELECT to the left of your name and look for the Employability Check section. If the status says APPROVED then your background check has cleared.
    • If it says PENDING after 4-5 weeks have passed, you are missing some information. You will need to contact Clara Toney at the Arkansas Department of Education at or (501) 682-4342.

Questions? Contact Mrs. ILona Davidson in the Educator Licensure department:

You must bring the following items to your fingerprinting appointment: 

Bring to your Appointment:
  • Printed copy of your Background Check  Consent Form
  • Background Check Payment Receipt
  • Valid Government Issued I.D. (like a driver's license)

If you do not have the items listed above, please go through the step-by-step instructions list above and make sure you have completed steps 1 and 2 before coming to your appointment.

Click Here to Schedule an Appointment


Note: Appointments for LiveScan fingerprinting are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. with a one hour break for lunch at noon. If none of the availalbe times work for you, email to see if there are alternate times.