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Criminal Background Check / Live Scan

As required by the North Carolina Nursing Practice Act, applicants (in-state and out-of-state) for nurse licensure as specified below are required to undergo a fingerprint-based State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history check:

  • Applicant Seeking Licensure by Examination (NCLEX)
  • Applicants Seeking Licensure by Endorsement (Reciprocity)
  • Applicants Seeking Reinstatement of a North Carolina license (expired 6 months or longer)
Prior Criminal Convictions

If you have prior criminal convictions (misdemeanors and/or felonies) regardless of the age of conviction, you must submit the following to the Board of Nursing:

  • Original Certified Court Documents for all Convictions (Misdemeanors or Felonies); and
  • A detailed explanation of the events leading to the arrest and any other pertinent details if the conviction occurred within the last 5 years or if you're reporting a Felony conviction regardless of when it occurred

The Board of Nursing may deny an applicant on the basis of a conviction of a crime only if the board finds that the applicant's criminal conviction history is directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation or the conviction is for a crime that is violent or sexual in nature. The Board of Nursing must specifically consider the following factors by law when denying an applicant for licensure due to a criminal conviction:

  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.
    1. The completion of, or active participation in, rehabilitative drug or alcohol treatment.
    2. A Certificate of Relief granted pursuant to G.S. 15A-173.2.
  7. The subsequent commission of a crime by the applicant.
  8. Any affidavits or other written documents, including character references.

Applicant’s denied licensure in whole or in part because of a criminal conviction have the right to appeal the decision of the Board within 30 days after receipt of the Board’s decision to the superior court located in the county where the applicant resides or where the Board is located pursuant to NC. Gen. Stat §90-171.37B(a) and §150B-43 et al.

In order to complete the criminal history check, please follow these instructions:

Out-of-State Residents

If you reside in another state or country, North Carolina Board of Nursing issued fingerprint cards and instructions will be mailed directly to you the following week after submission of your application for licensure. Fingerprinting must be performed by trained law enforcement personnel. Contact your local Sheriff or Police office for assistance and additional details.

Fee Information: $38.00 


Valid Forms of Payment:

  • Credit or Debit Card; MasterCard or Visa only
  • Certified Check, Cashier's Check, or Money Order

North Carolina Residents (Live Scan)

Live Scan is digital fingerprinting and transmission of the impression directly to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for processing. If you reside in North Carolina, use Live Scan to obtain and transmit your digital fingerprints electronically to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Fee Information: $38.00 


Valid Forms of Payment:

  • Credit or Debit Card; MasterCard or Visa only

How to submit...

  1. Access the Nurse Gateway to complete the Live Scan application
  2. Create a Username and Password to access your information and applications. If you have already created a Username and Password, you will only need to log in to your profile.
  3. Select 'LiveScan Application' in the Background Checks dropdown
  4. Complete application

Next, access, print and sign your Live Scan Application forms which include (1) 'Electronic Fingerprint Submission Release of Information' and (2) 'Applicant Information'

To retrieve your forms: 

  • Select the tile labeled 'CBC' under the 'Criminal Background Checks' tab
  • Select the 'Files' tab to access your prefilled Live Scan Application forms

Call your local Sheriff office in order to confirm they are able to complete the Live Scan process or if they are able to refer you to another location. Take both of your printed and signed Live Scan Application forms to your local Sheriff office. The law enforcement personnel will obtain and transmit your fingerprints via Live Scan directly to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

Mail, email, or fax your Electronic Fingerprint Submission Release of Information form after Live Scan is complete to:

Criminal Background Check
North Carolina Board of Nursing
P.O. Box 2129
Raleigh, NC 27602-2129

: (919) 781-9461
Attn. CBC Coordinator

Criminal Background Check Results...

Results of your Criminal Background Check cannot be processed until the signed and dated Electronic Fingerprint Submission Release of Information form is received in the Board of Nursing office.

The Application Confirmation which serves as your official receipt will be available on your Nurse Gateway profile upon successful completion of the application process. To access, select the appropriate tile under the 'Licenses/Approval to Practice/Certifications' tab on the Home screen, then select the 'Files' tab on the License Information screen.

If your email address is listed with the North Carolina Board of Nursing, you will receive a confirmation via email verifying receipt of your online application.

Upon successful completion of the online application, you may check your application status via Nurse Gateway. Licensure information can be verified on the Board's website. The Board of Nursing’s electronic database serves the primary source of licensure information for nurses in North Carolina.

I am a North Carolina resident

Nurse Gateway

Can I challenge the results of a Criminal History Record Check?

Yes, North Carolina allows an individual to review and challenge the results of a Criminal History Records Check. Contact the Agencies as listed below:

  • North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation: (919) 582-8660
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation: (304) 625-5590
  • Contact the Clerk of Court in the arresting county
Last Changed 27-May-2020

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(919) 781-9461
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North Carolina Board of Nursing