August 6, 2009
Re: Volunteer Background Checks
There is a new process that has been put in place by the New Jersey State Police, Bureau of Investigation (SBI) that modifies the procedure for volunteer youth organizations to obtain background checks on volunteers and employees. Those municipalities that require such checks for youth organizations should be aware of this new method for obtaining such checks, pursuant to P.L. 1999, c. 432 (C. 15A:3A-1).
The nonprofit youth organization (agency) must register with the Volunteer Review Operations (VRO) of the SBI. The agency must provide the following to register:
- Short Form of Standing from the Dept. of Treasury; (Division of Revenue Web Site)
- Federal Tax Exemption with the IRS - Letter of Determination; and
- Agree with and Execute the Memorandum of Understanding.
A municipality must enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the VRO to participate in the program. The form can be downloaded from www.njsp.org/info/pdf/vro_churchgov_app.pdf.
After registering, the VRO program will supply the agency with an organization specific identification number (VRN# 6 digit), a Universal Finger Print Live Scan Form, and detailed instructions for submission. The VRO will process the applicant fingerprint cards, review records**, and respond to the registered agency with a letter reporting a recommendation of approval or denial.
Applicants are now required to use the State contract vendor Sagem Morpho Inc. which provides the electronic fingerprint live scan services for all background checks. Additional details on the program, including Instructions and Universal Applicant Forms may be downloaded from a State Police website: www.njsp.org/about/serv_chrc.html#vro.
Once the applicant is processed, the registered agency will not receive a copy of the applicant's record under this program. The VRO will review and make a determination based on disqualifiers enumerated in law. Applicants can challenge the decision and review the record by contacting the VRO at the phone number below.
Appointments are required for fingerprinting at one of Sagem Morpho’s 18 locations in the state. All fees must be paid at the time of scheduling by credit card or electronic debit card. Sagem Morpho will not accept vouchers and personal checks are not accepted. Municipalities that require volunteer fingerprinting can require applicants to pay the cost themselves and reimburse them if warranted, or obtain a procurement card (N.J.A.C. 5:30-9A) and use the card for these transactions.
If you have further questions regarding obtaining noncriminal justice background checks through the VRO, please call (609) 882-2000, extension 2762. Further information is available at the above website.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.