Also see: Fingerprint Information
FAQ - Fingerprints
Do I have to fingerprint in order to obtain a teaching credential or permit?
Yes. All applicants must be fingerprinted for the Commission and cleared through the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
What if I fingerprinted for another agency or school district - are my fingerprints transferable?
No. By law, fingerprint records are specific only to the requester and results cannot be shared with others. Therefore, you must fingerprint for the Commission.
Do I have to fingerprint each time I apply for a credential or permit?
No, as long as your fingerprints are still valid. If you are required to re-fingerprint - you will be notified by the Commission.
How do my fingerprints become invalid?
If your credential(s) expire and you do not hold a valid credential for a period of 18 months - the Commission will notify DOJ and invalidate your fingerprints. You will then be required to fingerprint when you submit a new application.
I previously obtained my Certificate of Clearance from the Commission - do I have to print again?
Not if your fingerprints are still valid - you do not have to reprint.
How do I complete the fingerprint process?
California residents - Must complete the Live Scan process. Please download form 41-LS and follow the 41-LS Instructions. Additional information regarding fingerprints can be found on the Commission webpage or by reading the following FAQ's.Out-of-State applicants - please request fingerprint cards using the following link email address; OutofStateFPs@ctc.ca.gov. The cards will be mailed to you within 3-5 business days and should arrive within two weeks. Please ensure that you provide a current mailing address in your email request.
I live outside of California -- can I submit Live Scan fingerprints?
Does the Commission process my fingerprints?
No. The Commission only receives Fingerprint History from the DOJ/FBI. Any arrest or conviction noted on your fingerprint results - will be forwarded to the Division of Professional Practices (DPP), who may contact you at a later date.
How long does it take to complete the DOJ/FBI fingerprint process?
The Live Scan Process takes approximately 3-7 days once DOJ/FBI receives your 41-LS form. Out-of-state applicants must complete the FD-258 "hard-Card" manual fingerprint process, which takes approximately 10-12 weeks to complete. Your prints may be delayed if any of the data on either the 41-LS or FD-258 is incomplete, incorrect, or entered incorrectly by the applicant or fingerprint operator.
Can my fingerprints be delayed longer than the 3-7 days (California residents) or 10-12 weeks (out-of-state applicants)?
Yes. The Fingerprint Unit will contact you via letter when the unit is notified by DOJ that there is an issue regarding your fingerprints and will provide further instructions, which may also require that you to "re-fingerprint."
How do I avoid errors when I have my fingerprints are taken?
What is DOJ's Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS)?
The IVRS system allows "Live Scan" applicants to determine the status of their background check by calling (916) 227-2300. You will need your ATI number from your 41-LS form and your date of birth when checking your status.
How long should I wait before I contact the Commission regarding my fingerprint results?
California residents/Live Scan applicants - 60 days from date of live scan. Out-of-state residents - 75 days from submission date of your hard cards to the Commission or after the IVRS system confirms that your information was sent to the agency designated to receive your fingerprint results.
What should I do while I wait for my fingerprint results?
Ensure that you mailed a copy of your completed 41-LS form to the Commission and occasionally check the IVRS system noted above. You will be contacted by the Commission if it is alerted by DOJ regarding any fingerprint issues (see Delayed; Rejected fingerprints).
How will I know that I completed the fingerprint process?
Your credential will be granted or you will be contacted by the Commission regarding any pending issues.
What if I was previously arrested and convicted of a crime - will this prevent me from obtaining a credential or permit?
No. You must answer the Personal Fitness Questions (PFQ's) on your application truthfully and provide police reports, court documents and/or other related documents related to all "yes" answers with your application. Please review the following webpage: Completing Your Applicant & Self-Reported Misconduct.
I received a letter that my fingerprints were delayed - what does this mean?
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.
I received a letter that my fingerprints were rejected - what does this mean?
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.
My fingerprints were rejected two times. What do I need to do now?
You will be notified by the Commission regarding the second rejection and the Commission will work directly with DOJ to complete a name search. You will then be notified by the Commission of the DOJ results or your credential will be issued if all other requirements have been met.
Why do I have to fingerprint for both the Commission and my school district?
The Commission requires fingerprinting for licensing purposes and the school district for employment purposes.
Does the Commission verify that my fingerprints were received or accepted by DOJ?
No. The Commission will only contact you when DOJ completes its review of your fingerprint submission.
I checked my application on line and found that the Application Status field indicates "Pending Additional Evaluation." What does this mean?
This means that your application was forwarded to the Division of Professional Practices (DPP) for further evaluation regarding a background issue. If you have not been contacted, you will be contacted shortly by DPP.
Why is my application being delayed when my district tells me my fingerprints are clear?
The level of review by a licensing agency includes FBI and may take longer to process.
Updated May 10, 2017