MT Background Clearance Information

Montana Background Clearance Information

Note:  While we do our best to give you accurate and up to date information about your state requirements, we are not infallible.  State requirements change frequently.  It is your responsibility, and in your best interest, to double check certification and licensure requirements with your state’s Department of Education.


All background checks submitted to the WGU certification office must be less than two years old to meet WGU requirements. Previously submitted background checks that will be over two years old by the end date of your Demonstration Teaching will need to be renewed by the background clearance deadline set for your cohort.


Students in Montana need to complete two background checks prior to participating in field experiences: one for PCE and DT through a Montana Criminal Records search, and another one through the Montana Office of Public Instruction which school districts will be able to access. The Montana Office of Public Instruction doesn't share background check information with out-of-state institutions.



FBI Background Clearance Information:


If you have lived in states other than Montana after age 18, you will need to get a FBI national background check in addition to a Montana Criminal Records Check. 


1) Order a background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by following these instructions

2) Have the background check results sent to you, and upload your background check results in your student Field Experience portal under PCE Background Clearance and/or DT Background Clearance.

PCE and DT Clearance Information:

You must submit a Montana Criminal Records fingerprint based background check to WGU to qualify for field experiences.  To request a PERSONAL REVIEW background check through Montana Criminal Records, you need to obtain and complete a fingerprint card at a local law enforcement agency. Please follow the instructions below to complete a mail-in fingerprint check:


Mail the completed fingerprint card along with the following items to:


  Montana Criminal Records

  PO Box 201403

  Helena, MT 59620-1403


  1. A cover letter indicating that you are requesting a fingerprint background check.

          Please include:

                A) Your name and any aliases or maiden names

                B) Your date of birth

                C) Your Social Security number

  2. A self-addressed, stamped envelope
  3. $10 processing fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to Montana Criminal Records


An outline of these instructions is also available here.

The results of the check will be returned to you, and you can then upload your background check results in your student Field Experience portal under PCE Background Clearance and/or DT Background Clearance.

Montana Office of Public Instruction Background Clearance Information:

The Montana Office of Public Instruction requires that all applicants for teacher licensure complete a background check through the Montana Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).


Please click here for instructions on how to initiate your fingerprint background check. You will need to complete this through your local law enforcement agency or any other agency offering fingerprinting services and then submit according to the instructions listed. Background checks, when done as part of your teacher certification application, must be for the purpose of licensure or the Montana Office of Public Instruction will not accept the results. An overview of this background check requirement is available at


Again, this background check is not shared with WGU.




WGU students who are currently employed in a school district and completed a recent background check may have the option of submitting their school district clearance to WGU in place of the Montana Criminal Records background check. Please see the School District Background Clearance Article in this handbook for more information.

In certain circumstances, even though you have been cleared for demonstration teaching by WGU, the school district in which you are placed for field experiences may have an additional background check requirement that is not required by WGU. Or, the school district may make a different determination regarding a background clearance. You may be required to provide additional documentation to the school district. If so, you are also required to abide by the school district’s decision of approval or denial of the submitted background clearance information.    


Background questions please contact WGU Background Specialists at  or call 866-889-0132 option 3.


Article Number : 19826, 1355