Live Scan is an inkless electronic fingerprinting captured at a computer (digitizing). Applicant fingerprints are electronically transmitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in order to complete a criminal background check. Live Scan technology replaces the slow and “archaic” fingerprinting process of recording fingerprint patterns through a rolling process using ink and paper. However, in many states actual ink fingerprinting is still required.

Digitized fingerprint images enables Live Scan service providers such as California Live Scan Centers to electronically transmit fingerprints to the DOJ in a matter of just a few seconds; thus eliminating the need of sending hard copies through snail mail. And if the requested, the DOJ will forward Live Scan data to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

It is a government form, identified at the top with “REQUEST FOR LIVE SCAN SERVICE-Applicant Submission” or with the code “BCII 8016”, found at the bottom left-hand corner. This form must be completed prior to being electronically fingerprinted. If you do not have one, contact the agency or person who is requesting you to obtain a Live Scan; clicking here will take you to a few industry specific Live Scan request forms.

Live Scan Fingerprinting is used to reveal criminal history information for identification, employment and licensing purposes by matching fingerprints and other identifying information to existing data files for an individual. This will eventually eliminate/reduce the need of the older process of applying inked fingerprint impressions on to a card.

With Live Scan the fingerprints are electronically scans and transmitted to the California Department of Justice via a specialized computer terminal.

Be sure to bring in all the items listed below, this will help ensure an easy and rapid process when you arrive for your Live Scan Fingerprinting.

  • A completed Request for Live Scan Service Form.
  • A valid government-issued picture ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. An expired ID is considered not valid.
  • Payment for the Live Scan service in the form of exact cash, check (personal or company), money order, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or Discover credit card. Contact us or see the fee schedule for Live Scan Fingerprinting cost.

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) Live Scan Fingerprinting processing time usually comes back within 72 hours. However some delays do occur, for any significant delay the DOJ will contact the requesting agency.

The Live Scan results are either emailed or sent to the requesting agency listed on the Request for Live Scan Service form. Once the process has been completed at one of our California Live Scan Centers, please direct all inquiries to the agency handling your employment or licensing.

Checking your Live Scan results is simple, just call the Department of Justice (DOJ) at (916) 227-4557. Be sure to have your birth date and Automated Transaction Identifier (ATI) number available. The ATI number is at the bottom of the Applicant Live Scan Request form.

Once the call is made, you will be prompted to enter the ATI number; for the letters, enter the corresponding numbers. For your birth date, enter the two digit month, the two digit day, and the four digit year (MM/DD/YYYY).