TN Background Clearance Information

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.


Prior to Preclinical Experience (PCE) and Demonstration Teaching (DT), Tennessee students are required to complete two (2) background clearances: one through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and one through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

School Districts in Tennessee usually require you to complete a combined TBI/FBI background check through their own procedure. If you have completed a fingerprint-based background check through a TN school district, please forward written correspondence from the district stating 1) your name, 2) that you have been fingerprinted for a background check, 3) the date the background check was completed, 4) the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number and 5) that you are authorized to complete field experiences in their district. Documentation must be on school district letterhead. If you cannot obtain this documentation for any reason, you must complete the TBI and FBI procedures described below in addition to any requirement your district has.

Alternatively, WGU students who are actually employed in a school district and completed a recent background check may have the option of submitting a school district verification form to WGU. Please see the 
School District Background Clearance Article in this handbook for more information.

TBI Clearance Information

You must request a TN criminal history check on yourself via Tennessee Open Records Information Services (TORIS) by submitting an online application and paying the $29 fee by credit card at this link. The results of your background check will be emailed to you, and you can then forward that email to WGU at the contact information below.

If you cannot pay via credit card online, then you can obtain the results of your background check by mailing or faxing a request form and a cashier's check or money order for $29.00 to the address below. The results of your background check will be mailed to you, and you will need to forward a copy to WGU.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
Tennessee Criminal History Information Request
901 R.S. Grass Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37216
Fax: (615) 744-4651

For further information, you may call the TBI at (615) 744-4057.  Have the background check results uploaded your background check results in your student Field Experience portal under PCE Background Clearance and/or DT Background Clearance.

FBI Clearance Information


You must complete an FBI national background check in addition to a TN state check. Obtain and submit an FBI background check as described below:

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.

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: 20165, 1419