The FBI Issue

Public Law 92-544 was passed by Congress in 1972 and authorizes the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct criminal background checks. A state may request a criminal background check provided the state has passed legislation, in this case an enabling statute, that fulfills the requirements established by the Department of Justice.

Several states that joined the Compact were surprised to find that after review, the FBI ruled that the states’ enabling statutes did not have the necessary language and specificity required to process requests for criminal background checks. This meant that the several states would have to make the required legislative changes to their enabling statute to satisfy the FBI. Once those legislative changes were made by the states, reviewed and approved by the FBI, the states would then be authorized to obtain FBI compliant criminal background checks.

How does this impact the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission?

This means that only those states that have been cleared by the FBI to perform criminal background checks can act as states of principle license. To date 11 states are cleared to perform FBI criminal background checks. The remainder will not be able to act as states of principle license until the required statutory changes are made. The affected states can however issue a license upon receipt of a letter of qualification from a state of principle license. We anticipate that over time states will make the required changes to allow them to participate fully in the process