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Clip's from the Clerk - CBI-Approved Electronic Fingerprinting (CABS) Program

BY Trish Gilbert
Saguache County Clerk & Recorder

CBI-Approved Electronic Fingerprinting (CABS) Program

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation Biometric Identification and Records Unit is responsible for processing all legislated fingerprint-based criminal history background checks for employment and licensing purposes.  During Fiscal Year 2017, approximately 200,000 individuals were fingerprinted in the state of Colorado for non-criminal purposes and this number increases annually as legislation continues to mandate background checks for professions and positions of trust.  Senate Bill 17-189 was approved on April 24, 2017 which allows “any third party approved by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take an applicant’s fingerprints for the purpose of obtaining a fingerprint-based criminal history record check.”

The CBI is currently in the process of implementing the Colorado Applicant Background Services (CABS) program in response to Senate Bill 17-189.  It is anticipated that the program will be fully implemented by fall of this year.  The CBI recently awarded two contracts allowing third party vendors to print and submit non-criminal applicant fingerprints for the State.  These vendor services will be located throughout the State, increasing applicants’ ability to obtain fingerprints in a timely manner. These services will also reduce the burden on Law Enforcement agencies as the vendors will electronically transmit the civil fingerprints.  The processing time and rejections will decrease tremendously. 

Numerous states have already gone to this type of statewide vendor-managed fingerprinting program with great success.  The CABS program will be supervised by the CBI, abiding by all National and State security guidelines.  Once the CABS program is in place and fully functioning all agencies working closely with civilian applicants who must provide fingerprints for background checks will direct those applicants to the CABS program, rather than to their local Law Enforcement agency, for fingerprinting services. 

Saguache County has already established a Colorado Non-Criminal Justice (CONCJ) account with the CBI.  Each CONCJ account will be included within the CABS program database matrix of accounts that will be imported into the vendor’s secure enrollment website.  Applicants will first be directed to the vendor’s enrollment website to enroll and schedule an appointment with that vendor.  Information specific to each agency and its applicants, as well as the specific CABS program processes will be forthcoming and will be communicated directly to each agency contact that is currently on file with the CBI Biometric Identification and Records Unit.

The estimated roll-out date for the CABS program is September 24, 2018.  The CBI anticipates incorporating a grace period to allow for an efficient transition from the current process to the CABS program process. 

Beginning July 1, 2021, the State will not accept non-Law Enforcement and non-CABS submissions. 

This program will only change the venue in which fingerprints are currently processed and transmitted to the CBI.  The CABS program will not impact the way the results of the background checks are currently administered.  All background check results will continue to be provided to the respective agency accounts via the CBI’s Secure Document Delivery System (SDDS) as they do today.

What does this have to do with the Clerk’s Office?  Candidates running for County Sheriff and County Coroner are required to take fingerprints for the purpose of obtaining a fingerprint-based criminal history record check.

This is also the case for new Liquor License Applicants.