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Question/Answer Information for 1st Time Guide Applicants
- What does the new law require?
It requires all guide license renewals and first-time guide license applicants, (except for whitewater guide applicants and renewals) to submit to a criminal history records check [CHRC] that must include criminal history record information obtained from the Maine Criminal Justice Information System and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This must be done every 5 years when the guide renews their license.
- Are Whitewater Guides included in this requirement?
No, only guides who want to apply for a Recreational, Hunting, Fishing, Sea-Kayaking or Tide-Water are required to go through this process.
- How do I submit to a Criminal History Records Check [CHRC] as a first-time applicant?
If you are applying for the first time you will need to register to have your fingerprints recorded electronically at one of the records check centers around the State. This is done through the company IdentoGO. That information is reviewed within the State and Federal Criminal History Record's databases. You can begin the process by clicking on the following link and selecting "Schedule a New Appointment": https://me.ibtfingerprint.com/
You will then select Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Guide License from the drop-down menu and click Go:
From there you will need to follow all on screen directions.
Will there be any feedback from the Department once I have my fingerprints taken?
No, unless there are criminal records that would prevent you from renewing your license. As of September 2019, a person who has had their fingerprints taken will no longer receive a letter from the Department letting them know their background check is clear and to send their application in. Instead, a person renewing their license should have their fingerprints taken and wait approximately one month before submitting their application. If a person does have a criminal history that would prevent them from renewing their license, the Department will send a letter notifying the applicant as soon as the CHRC information is available. In this case, the applicant will be told they cannot renew their license based on the criminal record but will be provided information on how they can appeal the result and the cost to apply for the license will be refunded.
- When can I send my guide application in?
Wait one month after you have submitted your fingerprints before sending in your application to the Department.
- Where are the fingerprint centers located?
Augusta, Auburn, Bangor, Portland, Presque Isle, Springvale (check Identogo website for most up to date location information).
- How much will it cost?
The rate is set by State Bureau of Investigation [SBI] and is approximately $55.
- How can I make payment?
Only payment via credit card can be made.
- Who records the fingerprints?
The state contracts with a company named IdentoGO who is the primary live scan fingerprint provider for the State of Maine and a certified FBI channeling agent.
- How can I change my appointment?
Go to the website link: https://me.ibtfingerprint.com.
- What if I don't have access to the internet?
Call 1-855-667-7422 to make an appointment.
- How long will the appointment take?
The appointment takes approximately 15 minutes.
- Can I use a paper fingerprint card to submit my fingerprints?
Only out of state residents or individuals physically unable to be digitally printed are able to use this option. For individuals who qualify to use a paper fingerprint card they can go to the IdentoGO website to complete the process.
- If I am a nonresident applicant how will I have my fingerprints taken?
You do not have to go to a fingerprint center in Maine but you must register and pay to get a confirmation number, as a non-resident guide applicant, by going to https://me.ibtfingerprint.com (the Identogo Website). Next, go to the following website to print blank fingerprint cards out: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/standard-fingerprint-form-fd-258-1.pdf/view Then make an appointment with a local police department or a state police agency in your home state, bring the fingerprint cards there to have your fingerprints taken manually. Once you have the fingerprints taken you must mail the fingerprint cards yourself, to the address provided on the IdentoGO website (this is shown at the time of registration). Call 1-855-667-7422 if you have additional questions.
- How will I know if I passed my CHRC?
Persons who do not meet the requirements of the CHRC will receive a letter denying their guide license application with instructions on how they may appeal the decision. Persons who pass the criminal history records check will receive an updated guide license in the mail.
- How long does it take to receive results from the CHRC?
Up to 12 weeks but more likely 2-4 weeks.
- What if my electronic fingerprints are unreadable?
Go to the website for help: https://me.ibtfingerprint.com
- How can I get a copy of my CHRC?
Contact SBI in Augusta at 207-624-7240.
- Do I have to do this more than once?
This must be done every 5 years or upon renewal of the license.
- What results from the CHRC make a person ineligible for a guide license?
A person is ineligible if the guide or an applicant for a guide license has been convicted of committing a crime in Maine or any other jurisdiction that is punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or more.
- Is the CHRC confidential/who sees it?
An individual has the right to access or review his or her State of Maine and federal CHRC response. The results may not be released to another party except as permitted under Title 12, section 10908 which states that the information is confidential and is for official use only and may not be disclosed to any other person or entity. The results of the background check will be processed by a DIFW administrative staff person as well as a DIFW Game Warden assigned to this process.
- How do I appeal the denial or revocation of my application?
A person has 30 days from notice of denial to request an appeal hearing by contacting Maine Warden Service at 207-287-5240.
- If I have already had fingerprints done through another agent (teacher, coast guard, etc.) do I need to have it done again?
- If I have had my CHRC done within the past 6 months for any other reason or for another entity do I need to complete one for my Guide License application?
- Why can’t I use results from another entity so I do not have to go through the fingerprinting and background check process again?
Federal law requires that for CHRI requests related to noncriminal justice purposes, that a new record request must be made whenever a new authorized need arises and fingerprints or other approved forms of positive identification must be submitted.