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Federal Parent Locator Service

The Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) is a national computer matching system operated by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). The Child Support Services Division (CSSD) uses FPLS to locate non-custodial parents (NCPs) which assists with the process of establishing and enforcing paternity and child support orders.  The FLPS can also identify child support cases in different states which involve the same parties. 

What does the FPLS consist of?

The FPLS contains two databases:

  1. Federal Case Registry (FCR):  Created in 1998, the FCR is a national database which has information on parties involved in child support cases and child support orders.
  2. National Directory of New Hires (NDNH): Created in 1997, this is a central database that stores information regarding employment, unemployment benefits, and wage data for individuals.

The FPLS can also access information from outside locate sources, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

How does the FPLS help CSSD to locate Parents?

The FPLS works specifically to help CSSD and child support programs in other States.

The FPLS performs automatic data matches between the FCR and the NDNH to determine the most up-to-date employment information for NCPs, including quarterly wage information. 

The FPLS then transmits the data to each state which the NCP has a case. Once CSSD receives data from the FPLS regarding an NCP, CSSD is able to take appropriate action to establish, modify, or enforce a child support order.  

The FPLS also does an automatic search to determine all states that have a common interest in the same individual child support case.

CSSD can make a request to the FPLS to search databases of other federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA), to assist in locating NCPs and any assets they have in order to establish, modify, or enforce a child support order.

Can Parents request information from the FPLS?

Parents involved in child support cases cannot make direct requests to the FPLS for information.  Any requests to the FPLS must come from an authorized staff member of CSSD and be transmitted through CSSD’s Parent Locator Service.

What specific type of data about an NCP is stored in the FPLS?

  • Full name
  • Employer’s name and  address
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Home address
  • Salary/wage amount

Under Federal and District law, all employers are required to provide information to CSSD and the FPLS upon request for the purpose of locating NCP’s to establish, enforce, or modify child support orders.

In the District of Columbia, employers must supply data to CSSD regarding all new or rehired employees within 20 days of the date the employee is hired. The information may include:

  • Employee’s name
  • Address of employee
  • Employee’s social security number
  • Employer’s name and address
  • Employer’s identification number from the IRS
  • Employee’s date of birth
  • Employee’s hire date
  • Employee’s salary or wages amount

Security of Information

Federal law requires all states to protect the confidential information maintained by state child support agencies, including CSSD.  The Federal OCSE has developed safeguards for the FPLS that:

  • Ensure the security, accuracy, and completeness of information,
  • Restrict access to confidential information to authorized persons for authorized purposes, and
  • Require states to implement policies and procedures to ensure the integrity, accuracy, and completeness of data in their automated systems and to prevent unauthorized use and disclosure of the data.