Ink Fingerprinting fingerprint clearance card

Difference between Level I and standard fingerprint clearance card

Share This Article

The Fingerprint Clearance Card is a crucial document in Arizona, with its two distinct types offering different clearance levels. These two types, the Level I and Standard Fingerprint Clearance Cards, were established according to a law enacted in 2009 by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Explanation of Level I and Standard Fingerprint Clearance Cards

While both cards verify individuals’ clearance status, they have distinct differences. For instance, the Level I Clearance Card carries stricter requirements than its Standard counterpart. This is particularly significant when seeking employment with specific Arizona employers requiring a Level 1 card.

The introduction of two types of clearance cards approximately eight years ago, has effectively replaced the singular classification system, offering a more nuanced identification process. However, this distinction has raised many questions and possibly even some confusion among the holders and applicants of these cards.

The critical distinction between a Level I Clearance Card and a Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card lies within the scope of clearance provided. The Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card offers a general level of clearance, often sufficient for lower-risk occupations or situations requiring trust.

On the other hand, with its stringent requirements, a Level I Clearance Card offers a broader scope of clearance than its Standard counterpart. This additional scope level is due to its demand for employment in more security-sensitive positions. Therefore, those with a Level I Card undergo a more rigorous vetting process, meaning they are perceived as having a higher level of trustworthiness and reliability.

Level I Fingerprint Clearance Card

To understand the intricacies of the contrasting Fingerprint Clearance Cards, it’s beneficial to delve deeper into the specifications of each. Let’s begin with thoroughly exploring the Level I Fingerprint Clearance Card.

Requirements and Background Check Process for Level I Clearance Card

As you may surmise, obtaining a Level I Clearance Card is a challenging task. This credential is characterized by a comprehensive range of criminal charges that may result in denial, making it more restrictive and challenging to secure than a Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card.

The background check process is generally more exhaustive. Issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Level I Clearance Card necessitates a broader and more detailed inspection of the applicant’s criminal history. Specific offenses could reject the issuance of a Level I Card, while they might still allow obtaining a Standard Card.

Benefits and Limitations of Level I Clearance Card

While more challenging to acquire, a Level I Clearance Card brings several advantages, particularly for those seeking security-sensitive positions. Arizona employers requiring high trust often mandate the Level I Card. This signifies that those possessing this credential are viewed to have a higher level of dependability and reliability.

However, its greater rigorousness also presents limitations. Certain offenses could disqualify its issuance, narrowing the pool of those who can acquire such a card. Despite this, the Level I Clearance Card remains an esteemed certification in Arizona, catering to roles requiring a stricter security clearance.

Understanding the nuances between the Level I and Standard Fingerprint Clearance Cards is critical for prospective applicants. It enables them to align their application with their employment needs and clarify the implications of each card type’s restrictions. Nonetheless, obtaining either card is a testament to the individual’s regard for accountability and security within their professional sphere.

Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card

While the Level I Clearance Card touts additional complexity in its granting process, it’s also necessary to consider the specifications of the Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card. Contrary to the Level I requirement, the Standard version presents a less rigorous approach to the clearance process yet still holds validity in areas demanding a certain degree of accountability.

Requirements and Background Check Process for Standard Clearance Card

The Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card application process offers a milder set of checks and balances. The Arizona Department of Public Safety conducts a slightly less expansive background check. It reviews the applicant’s criminal history but doesn’t necessarily dive as deeply into the range of offenses as the Level I check. While crimes still disqualify an applicant, the array is less extensive than that of Level I.

Benefits and Limitations of Standard Clearance Card

Possessing a Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card endorses individuals, certifying their fitness to work in specific industries and occupations. Its less rigorous process and slightly more lenient rule set make it accessible to a broader audience, promoting a more inclusive employment spectrum.

However, this card bears some limitations. Certain employers, especially those in fields commanding higher levels of security and trust, may not accept the Standard Clearance Card. Instead, They may insist on the more stringent Level I Card, seeking candidates who have passed a more rigorous screening process.

The central point of contrast between the Level I and Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card lies in the intensity of the background checks conducted and the severity of the crimes leading to an application denial. It is certainly not a “one size fits all” scenario.

The choice between the two would remain inextricably linked to the specific requirements of the individual’s prospective professional field.

This contrast underscores the importance of understanding these requirements upfront, empowering individuals to make informed decisions in pursuing either version of the Fingerprint Clearance Card.

Holding either card greatly assists in paving one’s path toward desired career opportunities. Through this, applicants are assured their professional integrity and criminal history stand up to Arizona’s security standards, a valuable consideration for both the individual applicant and prospective employers.

Differences in Application and Purpose

Level I and Standard Fingerprint Clearance Cards serve different purposes and cater to varying employment scenarios. While both Clearance Cards employ fingerprinting to determine an applicant’s appropriateness for specific jobs, they are not created equal.

Employment Opportunities that require Level I or Standard Clearance Card

In Arizona, employers in education, healthcare, child care, and other high-trust occupations often require a Level I clearance Card. This rigorous background check ensures high levels of safety and accountability for vulnerable populations such as children and older people. Hence, it is prevalent in education, healthcare, and child and family service sectors, which mandate clean records.

On the contrary, with a less severe background check, the Standard Clearance Card caters to a broader range of job fields. While it still testifies to the individual’s clean record, the check spans fewer offenses than the Level I card, making it more accessible to a broader group of applicants.

Explanation of when to use each type of Card

Opting for the right Clearance Card depends mainly on the field of work and the employer’s preference. Jobs demanding high levels of trust and responsibility, especially sectors dealing with vulnerable demographics, usually stipulate a Level I Clearance Card. The exhaustive background check offers additional reassurance about the individual’s credibility.

In contrast, the Standard Clearance Card is appropriate for fields with typically less stringent background check requirements. This card could open the doors to numerous opportunities within industries having a moderate degree of accountability.

In sum, while both cards serve the fundamental role of endorsing the individual’s appropriate conduct, the distinction lies in the intensity of their background checks and the employment opportunities they enable. Applicants must carefully evaluate their prospective roles and decide which clearance card suits their needs better.

It’s essential to match the check’s stringency with the job’s demand and comply with the employer’s requirements to successfully navigate this fundamental step toward their desired career path.

The fingerprint clearance process ensures safety, security, and trust between employers and potential hires.

Key Differences in the Background Check Process

Level I and Standard Fingerprint Clearance Cards use a background check system based on the applicant’s fingerprints to ascertain an individual’s suitability for particular jobs.

However, the scope and intensity of background checks vary significantly between the two cards.

Level I Clearance Cards, considered more restrictive, enact a deeper background check system, reviewing a more comprehensive range of offenses that could render an applicant ineligible.

This robust vetting process results from how Level I cards are utilized, which are required predominantly by professions dealing with susceptible populations, such as education, healthcare, and childcare.

Contrarily, the Standard Clearance Card’s background check process is less comprehensive but still thorough enough to ensure the applicant doesn’t have a record of severe criminal offenses.

This card, therefore, caters to a broader range of professions, excluding those requiring higher levels of scrutiny.

Variations in Validity and Renewal Period

Not only do Level I and Standard Clearance Cards differ in their background check procedure, but they also vary in terms of their validity and renewal periods.

The Level I card requires fingerprint re-verification upon renewal, given its use in high-trust professions. This continuous check process confirms the individual’s maintained credibility, ensuring they meet the standards of positions demanding high levels of accountability.

Meanwhile, the Standard Clearance Card only sometimes entails fingerprinting at renewal stages if the individual has applied using a Regular (non-IVP) paper application.

This difference in renewal procedure aligns with the diverse range of professions that the Standard Clearance Card serves, often involving a less stringent safety protocol.

In summary, the choice between a Level I and Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card mainly depends on job requirements and the level of scrutiny needed. The Level I card addresses job scenarios necessitating stringent background checks, while the Standard card suffices for roles demanding a moderate check level.

Understanding the differences and criteria for these two types of fingerprint clearance cards can be instrumental in choosing the right path for your career. With careful assessment and informed decisions, success can certainly be within reach.

Summary of the key points discussed

Level I and Standard cards are two distinct types of fingerprint clearance cards in the landscape. The critical difference invariably lies in the depth of the background checks conducted for each type.

A Level I Clearance Card, being more restrictive, applies a rigorous background check system, reviewing an extensive range of offenses that could cause a denial.

This type of clearance card is essential for professions requiring regular interaction with susceptible populations, such as education, healthcare, and childcare sectors.

On the other hand, the background checks performed for a Standard Clearance Card are less intensive but ensure that the applicant doesn’t possess a severe criminal record.

Standard Clearance Cards, hence, extend to a broader spectrum of professions.

Furthermore, the validity and renewal processes likewise differ. While the Level I card necessitates fingerprint re-verification at renewal stages, the Standard Clearance Card typically entails fingerprinting only if applicants use a Regular (non-IVP) paper application.

Importance of understanding the distinction between Level I and Standard Clearance Cards

Knowing the differences between Level I and Standard Clearance Cards is tremendously valuable for job applicants and employers. It can help applicants analyze their suitability for specific job profiles, considering the card requirements. As for employers, understanding these differences can aid in identifying credible and fitting applicants for the roles at hand.

Understanding the specific distinctions between Level I and Standard Fingerprint Clearance Cards with the Arizona Department of Public Safety is crucial in selecting the best fit for a specific profession. Awareness and understanding are the keys to forging a clear path in the job market.


Decoding the difference between a Level One and a Standard Fingerprint Clearance Card can seem complicated. Still, with Certifix Live Scan’s advanced tools and systems, we make this process smoother for you. We thrive on accuracy, efficiency, and legitimacy, offering services like Mobile Live Scan and Fingerprint Card.

Remember, the kind of clearance card you require will ultimately depend on your specific purpose or the type of application. If you have any questions regarding the difference between these kinds of clearance cards, please drop us a line.

We’re here to make the complex aspects of fingerprints.

Image Credit: arizona.edu

You Might Also Like:

Get your Live Scan Fingerprinting Near You

Live Scan & ink Card Fingerprinting

Schedule an Appointment Now!

We Offer a Nationwide Network of 1200+ Fingerprint Enrollment Centers

Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *