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Can I request the Board to predetermine if my criminal history may disqualify me from obtaining a license?

Yes, pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 93B-8.1 (b6-b8), any individual interested in applying for licensure as a clinical mental health counselor or counselor associate may petition the Board for predetermination regarding whether the individual’s criminal history will likely disqualify the individual from obtaining a license.

When can I make such request?

An individual can submit the petition at any time, including before starting or completing any mandatory education or training requirements.

What documents do I have to submit?

A potential applicant can obtain the Board’s predetermination by submitting the completed Predetermination Application, the necessary documents and fees for criminal background check (“CBC”), legal documentation/explanation, and references. Additional information regarding the necessary requirements is available in the Predetermination Application Form.

Criminal background checks for North Carolina Residents:

Live Scan digital fingerprinting can only be used by North Carolina Residents. Live Scan is digital fingerprinting and transmission of the impression directly to the SBI and FBI for processing.

If you submit your prints via Live Scan, do not submit a fingerprint card or any forms that may have been mailed to you. This could delay the processing of your application!

To submit a live scan application, please access the Live Scan Application located under 'Background Checks' once you're logged in to your Counselor Gateway profile. You will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Access, complete, print and sign your Live Scan Application forms which include (a) Electronic Fingerprint Submission Release of Information and (b) Applicant Information.
  2. Take both of your printed and signed Live Scan Application forms listed above to your Sheriff or Police Department. These law enforcement personnel will obtain and transmit your fingerprints via Live Scan directly to the SBI.
  3. Upload or mail your Electronic Fingerprint Submission Release of Information form, after Live Scan is complete, with your application to: North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors, P.O. Box 77819, Greensboro, North Carolina 27417.

Criminal Background checks for out-of-State residents:

If you reside in another state or country, please print two (2) fingerprint cards, instructions, and Authority to Release Information form and take them to your local law enforcement agency. The agency may use your printed forms or they may provide FD-258 fingerprint cards. Fill out the 2 cards according to the instructions. Fingerprinting must be performed by trained law enforcement personnel. You may contact your local sheriff or police office for assistance and additional details.

Once you have completed the fingerprinting please mail the signed Authority for Release of Information form, the 2 fingerprint cards, and the $38 criminal background check fee (if not paid online) to: North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors, P.O. Box 77819, Greensboro, North Carolina 27417.

If you submit fingerprint cards, DO NOT submit the Live Scan forms. This will delay processing of your application!

If you submit fingerprint cards, DO NOT submit the Live Scan forms. This will delay processing of your application!

No, the results of your CBC cannot be processed until the Electronic Fingerprint Submission Release of Information form is received in the Board’s office.

What is the cost of predetermination?

A predetermination applicant is required to pay for the cost of the criminal history record report. The cost will vary depending on whether the applicant is a North Carolina resident or an out-of-State applicant.

Currently there is no fee for predetermination by the Board.

What will the Board consider when it reviews my predetermination application?

The Board will specifically consider all of the following factors:

  1. The level and seriousness of the crime.
  2. The date of the crime.
  3. The age of the person at the time of the crime.
  4. The circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, if known.
  5. The nexus between the criminal conduct and the prospective duties of the applicant as a licensee.
  6. The prison, jail, probation, parole, rehabilitation, and employment records of the applicant since the date the crime was committed.
  7. The completion of, or active participation in, rehabilitative drug or alcohol treatment.
  8. A Certificate of Relief granted pursuant to G.S. 15A-173.2.
  9. The subsequent commission of a crime by the applicant.
  10. Any affidavits or other written documents, including character references.

When will I be informed of the Board’s decision?

The Board will inform an applicant of its decision within 45 days after the Board receives all the necessary information and criminal background check.

Can I challenge the Board’s predetermination?

No, North Carolina law does not allow an applicant to challenge the Board’s decision because it is not a final agency decision.

If the Board determines that I do not qualify for licensure based on my criminal background, can I still apply for licensure?

Yes. The Board’s predetermination does not preclude an applicant from applying and completing the necessary requirements for licensure. The Board will consider their application and any other evidence of rehabilitation in its regular application process.

If the Board predetermines that I qualify, will this decision be binding when I apply for licensure?

Yes, the Board’s predetermination that a petitioner is eligible for a license will be binding if the petitioner applies for licensure and fulfills all other requirements for the license, and the applicant’s submitted criminal history was correct and remains unchanged at the time of application for a license.