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Fingerprinting of school bus drivers goes digital

Commissioner David J. Swarts of the Department of Motor Vehicles has announced that the fingerprints of school bus drivers are now being scanned and sent electronically, eliminating the need to ink and roll fingers on cards.

This improves the safety of children by speeding up the background check process.

Electronic fingerprinting complements DMV’s online reporting system for school bus carriers, which replaced an entirely paper-based process. The new system reduces the cost and improves the efficiency of DMV’s oversight of the school bus industry.

Upon being scanned, fingerprints are electronically transmitted directly to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Fingerprints are forwarded to the FBI and both agencies conduct background checks.

Now that the prints are taken and sent electronically, the background-check results are able to be returned electronically to DMV within, on average, two business days.Under state law, new school bus drivers can be on the job conditionally for up to 90 days while the background checks are completed. The quicker turn-around time means that individuals who should not be behind the wheel of a school bus will be identified and removed more quickly.

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