Certification and fingerprinting processes improved

Improvements coming soon will make the process for educator credentialing and fingerprinting more convenient for educators and create efficiencies and cost-savings for the State.

A national vendor, MorphoTrust USA, will soon handle fingerprint harvesting and processing for the Maine DOE, rather than the current process with Maine State Troopers. Once MorphoTrust USA is fully operational, you will find a link to the vendor on the fingerprint registration site.

Appointments will no longer be limited to Saturdays. Fingerprints will be taken on Livescan machines at convenient fixed locations around the state as well as at certain periodic mobile sites. The fixed locations were selected based on historical volume in the geographic regions of the state. The periodic mobile sites will enable people in lesser-populated areas of the state to have access to this new process in addition to the option to travel to a fixed location. The processing time from fingerprinting to response from the DOE is expected be within a few days to a week for most people.

The Certification Office will also soon launch its new online credentialing system called BRIDGE. This system will allow the public to apply for and renew most types of education credentials online. Many of the processes will remain the same, but the BRIDGE system will provide the added conveniences of online credit card payments, necessary document upload, receiving information directly from Maine institutions of higher education and self-service features including address and name changes.

One of the most important changes will be the elimination of paper credentials. Printing credentials is a huge expense for the Certification Office, so the Department decided to move toward an online verification system, as many other state and national agencies have done. Although credentials will not be printed and mailed as they have been in the past, there will be an option for credential holders to print a version for their own records. As such, it will be vital for employers to understand that the only true credential to be recognized will be through the online verification system and not any type of paper credential presented in an application or interview process. The anticipated go-live date of this system is currently early August, but this is subject to change. The DOE will send more information to Maine’s education community as details are finalized.

Feel free to contact the Certification Office with any questions at 207-624-6603, TTY at Maine Relay 711 or cert.doe@maine.gov.

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