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The Georgia Applicant Processing Service (GAPS)

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has awarded 3M Cogent the contract to provide electronic fingerprint submission services for applicants in the State of Georgia.  The new service, Georgia Applicant Processing Services (GAPS), will decrease the need for agencies/businesses to submit hardcopy fingerprint cards.  GAPS will provide the ability for applicants to have fingerprint backgrounds checks processed electronically in a non-criminal justice environment.

GAPS provides fixed office locations throughout the state so that Georgia residents will not have to travel more than 35 to 50 miles to a GAPS office.  See Print Locations.  3M Cogent also offers agencies and businesses in Georgia that wish to print their own employees the option to purchase the same Livescan device used in the GAPS program.  See Purchase Description.  In addition, 3M Cogent plans to have mobile units available for agencies/businesses to contract for the fingerprinting of large groups.  Mobile operations will be at an additional cost to the requesting agency.

Search results of the fingerprint background check, as well as rapsheets, should be available for the agency to retrieve from the GAPS website within 24 to 48 hours after the applicant is fingerprinted and the transaction submitted to GCIC for processing.

Electronic submission of fingerprint images will involve the use of a 3M Cogent Livescan machine.  The Livescan is, essentially, a sophisticated scanner and personal computer that captures fingerprint images and demographic data and submits this information to GBI.  GBI conducts a search of its criminal history records using the fingerprint images.  In some cases, these images are also forwarded to the FBI where a Federal Criminal History Record search is also conducted.  Notifications of the search results are then forwarded from the GBI/FBI to 3M Cogent were these results are then electronically disseminated to the Georgia company or agency that requested the search be completed.

 

The GAPS Background Check Process

The fingerprint-based background check is a multiple-step process:

Agency Use

 

Enrollment

Any Georgia agency or business that holds an ORI or Georgia OAC number may participate in the GAPS program.  As the holder of a ORI/OAC number you are entitled to review the results of applicants state or federal (or both) background checks that were conducted on your behalf.  You must, however, enroll your ORI or OAC in the service.

To enroll, go to the Agency Use tab on the main page of this web site and click Agency Enrollment.  You will be asked to complete an Agency Enrollment form.

Applicant Use

 

Registration

The applicant must register with 3M Cogent prior to going to the fingerprint site.  Fingerprint services will not be provided to applicants that have not registered.  Registration may be completed online or over the phone. 

Online Registration is available 24/7 at www.ga.cogentid.com. 

Telephonic registration is available at 1-888-439-2512 Monday thru Friday, 8AM to 6PM EST. 

During the registration process, demographic data about the applicant will be collected (name, address, SSN, etc.)  There will be no data collection or registration at the fingerprint collection sites.

PLEASE REGISTER YOURSELF ONLINE TO AVOID REGISTRATION AND DATA COLLECTION ERRORS,

Definitions

 

GAPS Applicant Waiver

All applicants are required to review and agree to these terms.

Single Applicant Registration

Use this registration option if you are registering yourself, or are registering one individual for a criminal history background check.

Multiple Applicant Registration

Use this registration option if you are registering multiple applicants that will be paid for by one form of payment, or billed to one approved Agency Billing Agreement.

Payment

The applicant will be required to pay a fee for the fingerprint service and to secure a criminal history record check. 

Credit card or debit card payments are accepted online during registration at www.ga.cogentid.com for applicants that wish to pay electronically. 

Money orders or cashiers checks PAYABLE TO 3M Cogent will be accepted at GAPS service sites for those applicants who do not have the means to pay electronically. 

NO CASH TRANSACTIONS OR PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THE PRINT LOCATIONS.

3M Cogent has established a billing procedure that would allow the applicant’s fee to be billed to an agency that is willing to pay.  Billing may only occur after the willing agency has completed the 3M Cogent’ online Agency Enrollment process.  To establish a billing account visit the Agency Enrollment link and complete both STEPS 1 & 2. 

Definitions

 

Credit Card

Select this option if you wish to pay with a credit card for the criminal history check.  You will be prompted to enter credit card information during the registration process.

Applicant Money Order

Select this option if you will be making payment at the GAPS service site with a guaranteed form of payment; money order or cashiers check only.

Agency

This option is for use by agencies or businesses that have pre-established a Billing Account with 3M Cogent.  During the registration process the use of a Billing Code and Billing Password will allow the transaction to be billed to the Agency Billing Account.  For more information see AGENCY BILLING AGREEMENT or contact 3M Cogent.

Fingerprinting

Once registered and payment type has been determined, the applicant may proceed to the fingerprint site of their choice for fingerprinting.  The location of the fingerprint sites, the days and hours of operation for each site are published on the GAPS website at Print Locations. 

LOCATIONS AND HOURS OF OPERATION FOR FINGERPRINTING SITES MAY CHANGE.  APPLICANTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO REVIEW THE GAPS WEB SITE OFTEN

At the GAPS site the applicants must present a qualified State or Federal photo ID before beginning the transaction.  A list of approved ID types may be found on the 3M Cogent’ website at www.ga.cogentid.com and see WHAT TO BRING.  Applicants will not be processed if they cannot produce acceptable identification.

Receipts for successfully completed submittals are available at the GAPS Website.  You will need your social security number and birth date to access your printable receipt.

Results

Results of your criminal history background check will be made available only to the company or agency that requested the records check.  These results will be accessible from a secure web server and may be viewed and downloaded for thirty (30) days after the results become available.

 

Group Fingerprinting Support

If you have a requirement to fingerprint a large group of applicants (example 300 college education majors, a contractor’s entire staff of 120 employees, 50 bus drivers, etc.) mobile fingerprint units may be available for an additional fee.  Some fingerprint service sites may have the ability to bring portable equipment to your site.  If you are in need of Group Fingerprinting Support, visit www.ga.cogentid.com.  Services sites in your area that have mobile equipment will be listed. 

NOTE: Mobile service requires the visited site to provide broadband internet access and access through any network firewall.  Sites that offer mobile services can provide you instructions, in advance of their visit, that would allow fingerprinting to occur at your site.  You must however, plan ahead.  Requirements and guidelines for hosting a mobile Livescan operation can be found at www.ga.cogentid.com

We encourage you to utilize mobile printing service but you must plan ahead.  Please do not overwhelm the service by sending large groups of applicants to the fixed site locations.  If you must send your large group of applicants to a fixed site, please plan for their arrival to occur over days and weeks, not hours. 

 

Confidentiality (Security) of Applicant Information

On-site access to the Livescan equipment, and the data traveling from the equipment, is comprehensively secured and regulated by both 3M Cogent and the regulations governing the use of that data.

The Computer System - The system will be housed within a secured network that is protected by firewall devices configured explicitly to allow only permissible protocols and traffic.  3M Cogent will ensure that all devices procured under this process continue to adhere to the State of Georgia’s Security requirements.  The proposed systems will be configured to provide a point of defense with controlled access from both inside and outside the network.  The Livescan systems will be configured to support logging and audit capability.  Furthermore, the Livescan solution will support 128 bit encryption.

Inquiries or Questions

All information regarding process, policy and print locations may be found at www.ga.cogentid.com.