National Racing Compact

Participating Commissions

Participating Jurisdictions

The National Racing License is recognized in 24 jurisdictions:

Compact Members   Participation Jurisdictions*
Arizona   Arkansas
California   Illinois
Delaware   Indiana
Florida   Iowa
Kentucky   Michigan
Louisiana   Minnesota
Maryland   New Mexico
Nebraska   Ontario
New Jersey   Pennsylvania
New York   Ohio
Wyoming   Oklahoma
Virginia   Washington
West Virginia  

* Participates but issues its own state license pending adoption of legislation to join the Compact. May have additional requirements.

Membership vs. Participation, What Does It Mean?

The National Racing Compact was created in response to the FBI's refusal to allow racing commissioners from different jurisdictions to talk about or "share" criminal history record information (CHRI) they had received from the FBI. Racing commissioners wanted the ability to discuss files, which they individually had access to, with other states' commissioners in order to create a multi-state license.

In order to be a member of the NRC, a state must adopt model legislation that authorizes its commissioners to meet with commissioners from other NRC member states and discuss criminal history information that the NRC receives from the FBI.

Thus, any state that is a member of the NRC has access to CHRI generated by an NRC application.

States that are not members, i.e., have not adopted the Compact's model legislation, do not have access to the Compact's copy of the CHRI of its applicants.

Member states have agreed, via the model legislation, to accept anyone licensed by the Compact. Member states are equally represented on the board of the Compact, participate in the development and adoption of the multi-state licensing criteria and have the opportunity to provide input on individual licensing decisions.

Non-member states may elect to participate at various levels.

In many cases, non-member states accept the National License on a reciprocity basis, recognizing the high standards National License holders meet.

At the lowest level, the participating state simply allows the Compact to handle the paperwork associated with applying for a license but makes its own decision about whether to issue a state license to an applicant. For instance, an owner applies for a National License and indicates he also wants to be licensed in a non-member, participating state.

  • The Compact collects the state's license fee and forwards the fee and a copy of the application to the non-member state;
  • If an RCI fingerprint card has been used, the Compact can ask the FBI to send a copy of the CHRI directly to the non-member state;
  • If an NRC fingerprint card has been used, the state is asked to accept the fingerprinting process on a reciprocity basis;
  • The state then makes its own decision on issuing a license.

In this instance, the Compact is merely facilitating the licensing process for the applicant and the state, similar to the use of multi-state application forms recognized by NAPRA and RCI.

The standards for receiving a national license are, by law, comparable to the standards of the strictest member state (and, we believe, comparable to the strictest state overall). Therefore, some non-member, participating states have elected to accept anyone licensed by the Compact without demanding their own copy of the CHRI. The licensee's application information, which has been checked for accuracy against the FBI report, is available to participating states on a secure website. Application information can also be faxed to a commission office on request.

As for the license card itself, states may recognize the National License card or issue their own state's license card.

Clearly, the best arrangement for non-member states is to accept license fee payments from the Compact on behalf of license applicants and to recognize that (1) the Compact has reviewed the applicant's criminal history report, (2) the Compact has determined that the information in the application, checked against the CHRI, is correct, and (3) the applicant has met the high standards of the National License.

Non-member states have the option of asking applicants for additional information or requiring them to complete additional forms. However, this defeats the purpose of the National License program, and we encourage participating states to make arrangements with our office to accommodate any special requests they have.

An important advantage of affiliating with the National Racing Compact is having the benefit of the Compact's digital fingerprint files and electronic submission of prints to the FBI. The process of submitting "hard cards" generally yields a criminal history report in 6-8 weeks. The Compact's electronic fingerprint transfer (EFT) submission process produces a criminal history report in a few hours. This means, in essence, that the Compact is doing instant background checks on applicants. Often, further investigation is necessary, but the instant receipt of an FBI report facilitates licensing and increases the likelihood that undesirable people are excluded before they participate, not after.

The availability of the Compact's digital fingerprint files also means that, in some cases, it is possible to produce a state fingerprint card for non-member states desiring to do state criminal history checks.

In addition to access to CHRI, there are other privileges of membership in the Compact. Each member state has one board member and one alternate who participate in the organization and operation of the Compact. Each member state has equal status in setting licensing standards and operational policies. Non-member states are welcome to attend Compact meetings and participate in the discussion in anticipation of their eventual membership. (NB- At this time, jurisdictions outside the U.S. cannot officially join the Compact; however, we welcome their participation and we expect to develop an "affiliate status" for them.).