Act 34 Background Checks
Required by Act 34 of 1985 and Act 114 of 2006, as amended, for all
prospective employees of public schools, private schools and their contractors'
employees who will work in direct contact with children. Also required for
"student teacher candidates". This is one of three required background checks or
To be provided by the applicant and reviewed by the school (or higher
education administrator) prior to the applicant working in a position in which
he will have direct contact with children.
Criminal history reports shall be no more than five (5) years old at
the time of employment. See Act 114 of 2006 for further detailed
information on PA background check requirements.
Following are procedures for obtaining the PA
State Police background clearance.
Fee: $10.00 payable to
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Electronic Submission - PATCH
The Pennsylvania State Police established a web-based computer application
called "Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History" or PATCH. Using this system, a
requestor can apply for a criminal background check on an individual basis.
The information provided by the requestor will be checked against the
criminal history database maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police Central
Repository. If the subject's information does not hit on any information in the
database, the requestor will receive the results instantly over the Internet and
the requestor can print out the "No Record" certificate. Eighty percent of the
time, "No Record" certificates are returned immediately through the Internet to
the requestor. If the subject's information hits on something in the database,
the requestor receives an immediate "Request Under Review" response.
A "Request Under Review" response does not necessarily mean that the
individual has a record; it does indicate the information is being manually
reviewed. After review, the status will be updated to "No Record" or "Record".
The requestor should check the PATCH website periodically for an updated status
of their request. For all "No Record" responses, the certificate must be printed
out at the requestor's computer. All "Record" responses will be mailed to the
requestor at the address provided by the requestor. It may take up to two weeks
for the status to be updated from a "Request Under Review" to a "No Record" or
PATCH accepts both Registered and Non-Registered Users.
REGISTERED USERS: Companies, agencies, or offices that routinely have a need
to make criminal record checks. The company, agency, or office logs onto Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History and then completes and submits the registration form.
NON-REGISTERED USERS: Individuals are considered non-registered users. They
will not be accepted as registered users. Companies, agencies, or offices can
also use the system as a non-registered user if they so desire. Non-registered
users log onto Pennsylvania Access to
Criminal History and select "Submit a New Record Check" under credit card
users. The non-registered user can submit up to ten record checks during one
VALIDATING CRIMINAL HISTORY RESULTS: The information on a "No Record" or
"Record" certificate form can be validated by accessing the PATCH Record
Check Status screen and submitting a search request.
Submission of Request on
Paper Via US Mail
Applicants may also use Form
SP4-164, Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Record Check.
- Applicant must secure Form SP4-164 from the schools, Pennsylvania State Police Barracks or from the Pennsylvania State Police web site.
- Send the REQUEST FOR CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK with payment to the following address: Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository-164,1800 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg , PA 17110-9758
For status of the Criminal Record Check, call 1-888-QUERYPA (1-888-783-7972).