Fingerprint-Based Criminal Record Background Check

Purpose and Scope

This By-law authorizes the Police Department to conduct state and national fingerprint-based criminal history checks for individuals applying for specific licenses in Town to enhance public safety, as authorized by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 6, Section 172B½. To carry out the criminal history checks authorized by this By-law, the Police Department shall be authorized to use state and Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") records, provided, however, that such records shall not be disseminated to unauthorized entities and shall be maintained and disclosed in accordance with all applicable law.

The By-law further authorizes the Select Board, in consultation with the Chief of Police, to promulgate regulations to implement this By-law, which may include, but shall not be limited to, establishment of submission deadlines, procedures for making recommendations to the licensing authority or making a licensing as a result of the criminal history check, procedures for assessing, correcting or amending any such record, criteria for fitness determinations, security of information obtained and penalties for failure to comply with this By-law.

Criminal History Check Authorization

The Police Department shall, as authorized by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 6, Section 172B½, conduct State and Federal Fingerprint Criminal History checks for individuals and entities for the following licenses:

  • Hawking and Peddling or other Door-to-Door Salespeople
  • Dealer of Second-hand Articles
  • Pawn Dealers
  • Hackney Driver, and
  • Ice Cream Truck Vendors
  • Mobile Food Vendors

At the time of fingerprinting, the Police Department shall notify the individual being fingerprinted that the fingerprints will be used to check the individual's criminal history records and obtain the individual's consent. After the applicant completes a consent form and provides his/her fingerprints and the appropriate fee, the Police Department shall transmit the fingerprints it has obtained pursuant to this By-law to the Identification Section of the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS), and/or the FBI or the successors of such agencies as may be necessary for the purpose of conducting fingerprint-based state and national criminal records background checks for the license applicants specified in this By-law.

The Town authorizes the Massachusetts State Police, the DCJIS, and the FBI and their successors, as may be applicable, to conduct fingerprint-based state and national criminal record background checks, including of FBI records, consistent with this By-law. The Town authorizes the Police Department to receive and utilize State and FBI records in connection with such background checks, consistent with this By-law and its implementing regulations. In accordance with its implementing regulations, the Police Department shall communicate the results of fingerprint-based criminal record background checks to the appropriate governmental licensing authority within the Town.

Use of Criminal Records by Licensing Authorities

Licensing authorities of the Town shall utilize the results of fingerprint-based criminal record background checks for the sole purpose of determining the suitability of the subjects of the checks in connection with the license applications specified in this By-law. A Town licensing authority may deny an application for a license on the basis of the results of a fingerprint-based criminal record background check if it determines that the results of the check render the subject unsuitable for the proposed licensed activity. The licensing authority shall consider all applicable laws, regulations, and Town policies bearing on an applicant's suitability in making this determination.

Licensing authorities of the Town are hereby authorized to deny an application for any license specified herein and in the implementing regulations, including renewals and transfers of said licenses, from any person who is determined unfit for the license due to information obtained pursuant to this By-law. Factors that shall be considered in making a determination of fitness shall include, but not be limited to, whether the record subject has been convicted of, or is under pending indictment for a crime, that bears upon the subject's ability or fitness to serve in that capacity, including any felony or a misdemeanor that involved force or threat of force, possession of a controlled substance or sex-related offense.


If the applicant wants to challenge the accuracy or completeness of the record, municipal officials must advise the applicant that the procedures to change, correct, or update the record are set forth in Title 28, CFR 16.34 (2016 amendment)


The fee charged by the Police Department for the purpose of conducting fingerprint-based criminal record background checks shall be one hundred dollars ($100) for each fingerprinting and criminal history check. A portion of the fee, as specified in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 6, Section 172B½ shall be deposited into the Firearms Fingerprint Identity Verification Trust Fund, and the remainder of the fee may be retained by the Town for costs associated with the administration of the fingerprinting system.

First adopted May 9, 2015, Annual Town Meeting / Effective September 18, 2015
Amended Annual Town Meeting May 7, 2016 / Effective Date July 11, 2016