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Frequently Asked Que​stions

Can I make an appointment for live scan or just walk in?

Walk-ins are welcome during our normal business hours so no appointment is needed. As a walk-in customer you will be live scanned on a first come first serve basis.

What is Live Scan?

Live Scan devices allow the electronic submission of applicant fingerprint images and related information to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Live Scan technology replaces the process of recording an individual's fingerprint pattern manually through a rolling process using ink and a hard fingerprint card. Fingerprint images are digitized through an electronic process enabling the electronic transfer of the fingerprint image data, in combination with personal descriptor information, to central computers at the DOJ. This electronic transfer of information drastically reduces submission time frames. Previously, days were needed to send hard fingerprint cards via the United States Postal Service.

Live Scan devices are designed so fingerprint techniques and procedures are very similar to inked fingerprinting. A major advantage of electronic fingerprinting is that a scanned fingerprint image can be reviewed and re-scanned if the captured image is unsatisfactory. Live Scan devices have other system capabilities, which further enhance its performance.

​Who Needs Live Scan?

Alarm Agent, Escrow, Acupuncture, Massage Therapist, Optometry, Chiropractic, Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychologist, Speech and Language Pathologist, Security Guard, Record Review- Personal Use Real Estate, Notary, DMV License, Driving School Instructor,  Ambulance Driver, Elderly Care, Social Services Child Care, Employment School or School District, Contractor’s License, Visa Immigration, Nursing License, Vocational Nurse, Certified Nurse Assistant, Pharmacists, Pharmacist Intern, Pharmacy Technician, Physical Therapists  Doctors, Lawyers, Taxi Permit, Locksmith, Repossession, Adoption, Foreign Adoption, Teacher Credential,  Certified Public Accountant, Finance, Insurance, and many more. 

How long does the live scan process take?

Once your paperwork is started, it should take about 10 minutes and you'll be done.

How long does the background check take?


Normally, the background check takes around 24 to 72 hours to complete.  The agency or employer will be notified by the DOJ electronically or by mail once its completed.  

If I have had a live scan before do I need to do it again?

Yes, your prints only go to one agency or employer at a time so you can’t use one set of prints for two different live scans. Agencies or employers are not allowed to share a person’s background check information with one another.  It is against the law for different agencies to share confidential fingerprint results with each other.  So doing a Notary, Real Estate and Nursing license will require 3 different sets of prints with 3 separate live scan forms which means paying 3 separate times.



How may I check the status of my live scan fingerprints?

If a requesting agency does not have results yet and digital Live Scan fingerprints were submitted, you can use the automated telephone system to check on your submission.  The phone number is (916) 227-4557.  You will need the following information: (1) your date of birth; and (2) the 10-digit Automated Transaction Identifier (ATI) number that appears at the bottom of the Department of Justice form requesting Live Scan fingerprint background checks. The ATI number always appears in the following sequence: 1 LETTER; 3 NUMBERS; 3 LETTERS and 3 NUMBERS.

Who provides me with a request for live scan service form? If I don’t have a request form, can you provide one?

The agency requesting the background check will provide you with the live scan forms necessary to complete the live scan. All Live Scan forms must be provided to you by the agency that wants you to get fingerprinted. You may be able to download the form from the internet and you can call the agency or employer for more information if you need assistance.  These forms contain information that is unique to each agency and this information must be provided before arriving to have your prints taken.

What happens if my fingerprints are rejected?

Sometimes, Fingerprints may be rejected for reasons beyond our control. The most common reasons are the applicant's fingerprints have characteristics that are difficult to capture in the live scan process. This would include items such as cracks due from the weather, or working with your hands a lot, genetic lines that are found throughout the fingerprints. If an applicant has fingerprints rejected on this basis, and they were originally scanned by our agency, we will re scan your fingerprints at no additional charge.  Please bring in your rejection letter, and a new live scan form so we can re-do your prints.

Can I request personal criminal history background check results for myself? In other words, I want to do a record review on my own to find out about myself, and obtain fingerprint clearance?

Individuals have the right to request a copy of their own criminal history record from DOJ to review the information for accuracy and completeness.  This live scan is called a Record Review.  You may request a background clearance for yourself based on fingerprints, and other personal information. California Department of Justice only accepts Live Scan fingerprints for personal record review checks. As the state's central repository for criminal history records, the California Department of Justice provides an automated fingerprint submission service for conducting criminal background checks that may be required as a condition of employment, licensing, certification, child placement, or entry into the United States or another country. Criminal history background checks from the FBI may be conducted using ink-rolled fingerprints on paper cards (generally on FBI FD-258 cards).


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