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Part 2 - Starting the Process

Deputy Bob Cooley

First, do yourself a favor start a “background investigation” on yourself. Go to your local motor vehicle administration and obtain a copy of your driving transcript. Hopefully you won’t have any serious violations such as reckless driving, DUI/DWI because violations such as these may have an adverse affect. Look over the record carefully for any incorrect information and if you find anything bring it to the attention of the motor vehicle administration personnel for correction.

Second, send for a credit report from one of the three credit reporting agencies such as Equifax and look at your credit report. Some credit reporting agencies may have included incorrect information on your credit report that could have an impact on your application. I had an experience many years ago where someone with relatively similar personal information as mine had a loan showing up on my credit report. Fortunately the person was paying their loan according to terms, but if it had been delinquent it could have been a problem. It took me almost six months to convince the credit-reporting agency that this loan was not mine.

Third, go to your local and state law enforcement agencies and department of motor vehicle office ask for a criminal history/driving record check for the very same reasons I’ve outlined above. I think you would be surprised how many people come into the courts every month mostly for an incorrect driving transcript because a family member, friend or even a complete stranger has used someone else’s identity and gotten himself or herself into trouble and now you unwittingly have a criminal history or bad driving record.

Fourth, contact your high school and/or college to obtain copies of your school transcripts and diplomas. This may sound easy, but in many cases it will take some time depending on how long you’ve been out of school to receive your transcripts. You may want to check to find out if you can have the copies notarized in the event the agency your applying to requires it. Same goes for any vocational or trade schools you may have attended either before during or after high school or college. Believe me having your transcripts handy will help to speed things along. This also applies to the military because they may ask you for a copy of your discharge papers or other information about your military service they might feel is important.

Fifth, find the copy of your birth certificate and if it’s lost or misplaced you need to obtain one from the registrar of births whether it be from the hospital you were born in or the local or state government agency for your area. Post 9/11 has made this a critical piece of documentation and I actually keep mine in a safety deposit box along with my draft card!

Continue To Part 3: The Application

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