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FAQs

1.  How long does it take for the DOJ, FBI to process the fingerprints, and send results?

Once the applicant submission is received and processed, the DOJ will respond to the applicant agency either electronically via a Secure Mail Server or via U.S. mail.  While most Applicant Agencies SHOULD receive results of background checks electronically from the California DOJ, some must receive reports by U.S. mail in a process that can take a minimum of seven days. As such, please allow a minimum of seven days before making a status inquiry.

Delays

Most of the time, results are released to the applicant agency within three business days. Delays can occur however, and can be caused by a number of things including: poor fingerprint quality, the existence of criminal information in the applicant’s record, the existence of a manual fingerprint card (whether criminal or applicant) in the applicant’s file, birthdates before 1920, and incorrect data on the submission. An agency should NOT assume the applicant has criminal information on their record simply on the basis of a delay notification.

2.  What if I have submitted fingerprints and have not received a response?

Please allow a minimum of thirty days before making a status inquiry. Applicants should check first with the applicant agency that requested the background review since the DOJ sends results directly to the applicant agency. Poor quality fingerprints, records that contain criminal information, erroneous information submitted on the fingerprint transaction, and individuals born before 1920 who have submitted manual fingerprints in the past may delay the reporting of results

The DOJ’s Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) is available for applicants to determine the status of their background check. The IVRS telephone number is 916-227-2300.  You will require your ATI number located at the bottom of your Request for Live Scan form and your date of birth.

The ATI number consists of 1 letter, three number, three letters and three letters – for example:  B123ABC456.

3.  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.  These forms contain information that is unique to each agency and this information must be provided before arriving to have your prints taken.  However, if you have misplaced your live scan form, we still may be able to assist you.  Please contact us for further information.

4.  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 cuts, scars and calluses. 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.

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

Individuals have the right to request a copy of their own criminal history record from the DOJ to review the information for accuracy and completeness. 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).  For information and instructions go to the FBI Criminal Background Check website.

6.  What do I do if I received my California response, but the FBI rejected the applicant submission due to poor quality fingerprints?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may reject fingerprints even if the images were accepted by the DOJ. If this happens, the applicant will need to be reprinted using the original ATI (OATI) submission number. If rejected because of poor quality by the FBI on the second attempt, the applicant agency must request an FBI name check. To do so, please complete and submit the FBI Name Check Request.

NOTE: Both rejections must be for the same applicant type and applicant title. The name check must be received by DOJ within 75 days of the second rejection notice.

7.  I obtained an expungement pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4 for an offense, why is it still on my record?

Section 1203.4 does not obilterate the fact that a defendant has been “finally adjuged guilty of a crime.” It merely frees the convicted felon from certain “penalties and disabilities” of a criminal or like nature.

8.  My employer is asking for a copy of my criminal history record – may I give it to them?

No. California Penal Code section 11142 prohibits you from giving a copy of your criminal record to an unauthorized third party. In addition, California Penal Code section 11125 prohibits an individual or agency from requiring you to provide him/her or the agency with a copy of your criminal record or proof that a record does or does not exist. Violation of either of these sections is a misdemeanor offense.

9.  How do I get arrests or court disposition information removed from my criminal history record?

Arrest and court disposition information can only be modified or deleted by court order or at the direction of the arresting agency/district attorney having jurisdiction over the criminal matter. The Department of Justice is required to record summary arrest, detention, disposition, and personal identification information when submitted by a law enforcement agency or court of this state. The record retention policy of the Department is to maintain criminal history information until the subject of the record reaches 100 years of age.

10.  How long will an offense I committed stay on my record?

The DOJ is required by law to record summary arrest, detention, disposition, and personal identification information when submitted by a law enforcement agency or court of this state. The record retention policy of the Department is to maintain criminal history information until the subject reaches 100 years of age.