MACHS Fingerprint Portal Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is the MACHS Fingerprint Portal?

A:  The MACHS Fingerprint Portal allows individuals within Missouri to register to be fingerprinted with Cogent, the state vendor for Electronic Fingerprinting Services. Fingerprints taken by Cogent will be electronically submitted to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for background check purposes.

Q:  Why should I go through Cogent to be fingerprinted?

A:  As the state vendor, Cogent can electronically submit your fingerprints to the Missouri State Highway Patrol thus greatly expediting the background check process. In addition, Cogent operates numerous fingerprint services sites across the State of Missouri that provide this service. Click Here to see all Cogent fingerprinting locations. Certain employers or licensing agencies may require their applicants to utilize Cogent's fingerprint services. If you are uncertain please contact your employer or licensing agency.

Q:  How long does it take for a fingerprint background check initiated through MACHS to be completed?

A:  Fingerprint background checks conducted through MACHS are usually completed and returned to the requesting entity within seven to ten business days from the date that the applicant is fingerprinted.

Q:  How much does a fingerprint-based background check through MACHS cost?

A:  The fee schedule for a fingerprint based background check through MACHS is below. Please note that only qualified entities are entitled to request a search through FBI files.

Fee Schedule
Background Check Processing Fee
State of Missouri Search $20.00
FBI Search $12.00
Cogent Fingerprinting Fee $8.30
Notarized Clearance Letters (upon request) $2.00

Q:  What types of payment are accepted through MACHS?

A:  Applicants may pay for their background searches online via debit or credit card. In addition, applicants will have the option to pay for their background check at the time of their fingerprinting appointment via check, money order, or cash (exact change may be required).

Q:  Why does MACHS require a registration number for certain fingerprint search requests?

A:  Entities eligible to receive FBI background check information are provided a registration number to provide to their applicants. The use of this number ensures that the correct type of background check is conducted while at the same time ensuring that the completed response is returned to the correct agency in a timely manner.

Q: What if I am unsure if I need a registration number?

A:  Applicants that are unsure if they need a registration number should contact their employer or licensing agency to verify. Failure to use a registration number may result in an incorrect type of background search being conducted. Additional fees may be accessed if a correction is later needed.

Q:  Do I have to register with MACHS to be fingerprinted by Cogent?

A:  All applicants being fingerprinted by Cogent must have a registration completed in MACHS. For a faster fingerprint session, applicants are encouraged to register with MACHS before walking in. If an applicant walks in without registering with MACHS they may register at the time of fingerprinting although it may result in a longer fingerprint session.

Q:  If I have questions or problems registering with MACHS who do I contact?

A:  If you have questions about the fingerprint process or need assistance registering, please contact Cogent at (877) 862-2425.

Q:  Can I request Notarized Clearance Letters through the MACHS Fingerprint Search Portal?

A:  Yes - Notarized Clearance Letters may be requested during MACHS registration. There is an additional $2.00 fee for this service. For International Adoptions and Visas some countries require notarized clearance letters to be returned in specific formats. MACHS will provide you with the option to select a specific letter format for the country that is requiring the letter.

Q:  What if I need to Cancel my Registration?

A:  Prior to your fingerprint session if you need to cancel your registration for any reason you may do so via the Cogent Main Page by Clicking Here. You will need the TCN associated with your registration. Any fees that you have already paid by credit card will automatically be refunded.

Q:  Will a fingerprint-based inquiry include a search of the sex offender registry?

A:  Yes, searches will include information pertaining to any sex offenders currently registered within the state of Missouri, even if the sex offense occurred out-of-state.

Q:  What should I expect to occur at my fingerprinting appointment?

A:  At your fingerprint appointment you will be required to present one form of valid government issued photo ID. The fingerprint technician will verify your ID and proceed to capture your photo and fingerprints electronically via a live scan device. At the conclusion of your appointment you will be presented with a printed receipt containing your unique Transaction Control Number (TCN). You should keep this receipt for your records. Your completed background check response will be mailed to the requestor within ten business days from the date you were fingerprinted.

Q:  What types of information will be returned on a fingerprint-based background check?

A:  The type of information returned on a fingerprint-based background check will depend on the purpose. Certain qualified entities will be entitled to Missouri open and closed record information as well as FBI data, while other agencies will only be entitled to Missouri open record information. Requests returned directly to the individual will only return Missouri open and closed record information.

Q:  What do I do if I am an out-of-state applicant needing a fingerprint background search?

A:  Out-of-state applicants may mail fingerprint cards to Cogent for processing. Click Here for instructions.

Q:  I need to print/view the receipt associated with my fingerprint registration. How do I do this?

A:  Individuals that have registered with MACHS may view/print their receipt from the Cogent Main page by Clicking Here.