Welcome to the State of California


Fingerprint Information

Also see: Fingerprint FAQ

The California Education Code §44340 & §44341 require that all individuals who seek to obtain California credentials, certificates, permits, and waivers issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing receive fingerprint clearance from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through the Commission.

Please Note:
  • Individuals who have received fingerprint clearance through other agencies, employers, other states or government agencies are not exempt from this process and must fingerprint for the Commission.
  • Fingerprint history is not reviewed by the Commission, unless an application and the appropriate fees are received from the applicant.
  • We strongly encourage applicants to review this webpage and the following FAQ's prior to completing your prints and/or emailing the Commission with any fingerprint related questions.

    Fingerprint Topic California Resident Non-Resident
    Process Live Scan (LS) - Automated Process Hard Card - Manual Process
    Standard Timeframe* 3-7 days (DOJ) 10-12 weeks (DOJ)
    Form 41-LS FD-258 (request via email)
    Fees Varies - pay LS Operator $49.00 - submit w/cards
    CTC Contact** Fingerprints@ctc.ca.gov OutofStateFPs@ctc.ca.gov
    ** Use the appropriate email address according to your residence status to obtain proper forms or to contact CTC staff regarding the process that applies to your situation.

Standard Timeframe*

The "Standard Timeframe" noted above refers to DOJ's processing of fingerprint forms once DOJ receives a form 41-LS or FD-258, but may be significantly longer. Please do not email the Commission within 30 days from the end of the above timeframe. When a "Fingerprint Response" is received from DOJ the applicant will either be granted or notified by the Commission of any fingerprint issues.

The Commission does not have control regarding DOJ's processing timeframe. Applicants who used the Live Scan automated process may contact DOJ's Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) at (916) 227-2300. The IVRS is available for applicants to determine the status of their background check. You will need your ATI number from your LS form and your date of birth when checking your status.

Fingerprint Responses from DOJ/FBI

  • Clear - A fingerprint response may include a "Clear" print (no arrests and convictions) that allows the Commission to grant or issue a credential if all other requirements (academic, etc.) are met
  • Delay - Delayed fingerprint results are considered in process at DOJ; as such, no further information is available from the Commission until a completed response is received from DOJ. DOJ does not inform the Commission why prints are delayed - only that they are delayed.
  • Reject - Rejected fingerprint is a notification that an applicant's fingerprints were rejected for data or print quality. The Commission will notify the applicant of the reject notice and provide further instructions.
  • Hit - A DOJ notification of criminal history (arrest and conviction).
Note: The above responses apply to both California residents and non-residents.

Before You Fingerprint - Avoiding Errors

Fingerprint Errors can be caused by the applicant or the fingerprint operator and will delay the issuance of a credential or document that you seek from the Commission. To help reduce errors, the Commission recommends the following:
  • Complete the required fields on your form (see instructions)
  • Type your form or print legibly
  • Use your legal name at all times
  • Your name on your form must match your name on your application.
  • Ensure your SSN and other personal information is correct on your form
  • California residents - ensure your personal information is uploaded correctly by the Live Scan Operator

Invalidated Fingerprints

Failure to follow the above directions may cause your fingerprints to be invalidated and cause the issuance of your application to be delayed.

School Districts/Employers

The Commission is not authorized to release fingerprint information to third parties, this includes employers. Please contact your applicant/holder/employee regarding any fingerprint submissions and/or results.

Dual Form Reporting

A limited number of County Office of Education and school districts offer dual Live Scan fingerprint services. The dual process allows fingerprint information to be forwarded to both the state and county agencies for both licensing and employment purposes. You may wish to contact the county office where you will be seeking employment to determine whether they offer dual Live Scan services and/or whether they prefer applicants to apply via their office.

California Residents (Automated Process)

California residents must use the Live Scan fingerprint process when applying for a document and/or permit issued by the Commission. First time applicants must submit verification that fingerprints were completed by providing a copy of the form 41-LS with their Commission application as proof of service. If completing an application online submit your proof of Live Scan service via email at Fingerprints@ctc.ca.gov. Your fingerprint results will be forwarded electronically to the Commission by DOJ. A current listing of sites offering Live Scan electronic fingerprint services is available on the California Attorney General website.

Live Scan Form Information

Non-Resident-Out-Of-State/Country (Manual Process)

Fingerprint cards may be ordered from the Commission by sending an email that includes your physical mailing address to OutOfStateFPs@ctc.ca.gov. In the subject line of the email, write "Fingerprint Cards."" DOJ will only accept fingerprint cards (FD-258) for teachers whose home address is outside of California. Individuals that move to California before submitting an application with fingerprint cards must use the Live Scan process for fingerprinting. Applicants using fingerprint cards must apply with a paper application (Form 41-4) and attach both fingerprint cards and fingerprint processing fee to the application. Again, the DOJ will not accept the submission of fingerprint cards from California residents.

Fingerprint Card Errors

  • Writing in areas that state "leave blank"
  • Not including all required information
  • Not writing legibly
  • Using white out on forms
  • Use your legal name at all times
  • Your name on your form must match your name on your application.

Updated September 21, 2015