Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to DSHS Financial Services Administration's Frequently Asked Questions! Below you may search by topics such as information for bidders and question about our Language Testing and Certification Program, and Background Checks.

When you follow the steps in how to schedule a test online, you will see open test dates and time slots. Then you can pick your test date and time.

Certificates issued by entities other than Washington State DSHS will be considered on a case by case basis. Please consult WAC 388-03-114 for related information.

No. Only authorized entities may submit background check requests to BCCU.  However, the applicant will be able to enter their information online in addition to using a paper copy of the form. If the Applicant has a valid email address, they will have the option to complete an online form and sign it using an electronic signature process.  The applicant will then notify the authorized entity who requested the background check that their form is complete and provide them with their unique identification number tied to their background check information online. The entity will retrieve the applicant’s information using that unique identifying number and submit the complete background check request using the Background Check System (BCS).

Eighteen (18) is the minimum age for being fingerprinted for all DSHS programs and services. IDEMIA (formerly MorphoTrust) Technicians will not print anyone under the age of 18. The Background Check Central Unit (BCCU) will conduct a Name and Date of Birth background check for a minor. Contact the office requesting your fingerprints for further information.

Children's Administration ONLY may request fingerprints for under age applicants without prior approval.  Student ID’s, such as ASB cards, with a photo will be an acceptable form of ID. 

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Since test dates and time slots are extremely limited, you would want to keep your test appointment if at all possible. To reschedule, you need to email (dshsct@dshs.wa.gov) or call (360-664-6111) our office within ten (10) calendar days from the date you created your test appointment. It is your responsibility to follow through with your request within the ten-day (10) time frame. Any oral or written request after the 10-day time frame will not be honored. If more than 10 days have passed since you created your test, then we will need documentation for the emergency situation that is preventing you from attending your test as scheduled. If more than 10 days have passed, and no documentation can be provided, then you will have to pay another test fee to reschedule your test.

Please contact the Office for the Deaf and Hard Hearing in the Department of Social and Health Services for information about becoming an ASL interpreter. Their contact information can also be found in the Government Pages in the phone book.

Yes. DSHS will continue to use a version of the DSHS Background Authorization Form. A complete and signed form will be retained by the entity who submits the background check using the Background Check System. The form will be available for the applicant to complete online or as a paper form to be filled in by hand.

You must bring one of the following NON-EXPIRED Government Issued PICTURE Identification options with you to your fingerprint appointment.

Government Issued PICTURE ID:

  • US Driver's License, or any Federal, State or Local Government issued ID (including a Washington State Learner's Permit).  If the Driver’s License is expired you must have the paper copy, the expired hard copy and an additional form of ID.

  • Any US Armed Services ID (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, etc..)

  • US Passport

  • Foreign Passport (with photo and signature)

  • Federally Recognized Tribal ID

  • British Columbia, Canadian driver’s license (Both enhanced and non‐enhanced versions)

All ID must be current. Expired identification WILL NOT be accepted unless you can prove you are in the process of renewing it.

No applicants under 18 years old can be printed unless prior DSHS Program approval.

Children's Administration ONLY may request fingerprints for under age applicants without prior approval.  Student ID’s, such as ASB cards, with a photo will be an acceptable form of ID. 

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When you schedule your own test online, confirmation is instantaneous. An appointment confirmation letter and appointment reminder letter will be sent to your email address. If you do not receive a confirmation letter within a few minutes of registering for a test, check your junk mail. If you cannot find the email there, please email our office.

Please contact the Office of the Administrator for the Courts for information about becoming a court certified interpreter. Their contact information can also be found in the Government Pages in the phone book.

Yes. Training will be provided for the Background Check System. Training will be coordinated through the DSHS oversight programs.

No.  If you have received a Review Required Notification instructing you to complete a Character, Competency and Suitability (CC&S) review, please follow your oversight program’s policy on conducting and retaining your completed CC&S review. BCCU does not accept or retain any CC&S review documentation.

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Please save or print the email confirmation letter for your reference. If you did not receive your confirmation email within a few minutes of registering for you test, check your junk mail. If you cannot find it there, please email our office.

As a DSHS applicant or client, you qualify based simply on your need to communicate effectively regarding DSHS services.

All entities who currently submit DSHS Background Authorization Forms to the Background Check Central Unit using mail or fax will be required to use the new Background Check System. Additionally, several DSHS program-sponsored web applications will be retired and those programs will submit background checks using the Background Check System.

One DSHS-approved continuing education activities will count toward all your certificates/authorizations.

  • Example:  You have a social services interpreter certificate, medical interpreter certificate, and a translator certificate.  You only need to accumulate 20 credits in a 4 year period, not 60 credits.

In-Person Activities:

  • There is a sign-in/out sheet that is provided to the host of the approved DSHS CE activity for use the day of the activity. This sign-in/out sheet will be used to allot credits to your files. Make sure to write down ALL your alphanumeric certificate/authorization numbers so the activity is added to all your certificates/authorizations.

Online Activities:

  • Send an email to LTC with the certificate that you receive upon completion of the approved DSHS online CE activities. Include the approval number, found under the List of DSHS Approved CE Activities. Make sure to include ALL your alphanumeric certificate/authorization numbers in the body of the email so the activity is added to all your certificates/authorizations.

Why are these certificate numbers so important?

  • Each certification number represents a record in one of the six databases that we work out of. If you have multiple authorizations/certifications, we won't know, because these databases don't "talk" to each other. Without knowing your record number in each database, we don’t have any other way to verify that we are allotting the credits to the correct file. The six databases are:
    • Employee Certified (ex: EC1234. Employees do not need to report CE)
    • Social Service Authorized (ex: SA1234)
    • Social Service Certified (ex: SC1234)
    • Medical Authorized (ex: MA1234)
    • Medical Certified (ex: MC1234)
    • Translator Certified (ex: TC1234)

As the PAA for your account you will be responsible for the following:

  • Provide access for other users (Account Administrator (AA) level or lower)

  • Assign user roles

  • Remove access for other users (AA level or lower)

  • Monitor users

  • Pull Entity/Account level reports

  • Submit checks to BCCU

  • Receive results from BCCU

  • View submitted inquiries

  • View received results

Your written test score will be mailed to you in approximately four (4) weeks. Your oral test score and translator test score will be mailed to you in approximately six (6) weeks.

Usually, services will be provided to help you without any significant delay in service delivery. Please ask your local DSHS office or your medical provider for more information.

No. The BCCU fax line will be disabled when the new system goes live. Any forms received in the mail after the new system goes live will be returned to the sender with instructions on how to process the form using the new Background Check System. More information will be provided before the new Background Check System goes live.