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Fingerprint Requirement for License Renewal

Regulations (Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations Amended Sections: 1419, 1419.1 and 1419.3) were recently approved requiring the submission of fingerprints upon license renewal if the licensee was not previously fingerprinted by the Board. This requirement applies to RNs licensed prior to August 1, 1990, unless subsequently fingerprinted by the Board. The regulations require that for a license that expires on or after March 1, 2009, an RN not previously fingerprinted by the Board (or for whom a record of fingerprints no longer exists) is required to be fingerprinted by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) in order to renew the license, and must indicate on the renewal application whether the requirement has been met.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question Below to view the answer:

1. Why are registered nurses being required to be fingerprinted?
The mission of the Board is to protect the health and safety of consumers by promoting quality registered nursing care in the State of California. The Board fingerprints licensees as one way of ensuring that registered nurses are safe and competent practitioners.

2. When did the Board start fingerprinting licensees?
The Board began to fingerprint all applicants for licensure around August 1, 1990. For a licensee for whom the Board does not have fingerprints, the Board will require fingerprints for a license that expires on or after March 1, 2009.

3. Am I required to be fingerprinted?
Effective March 1, 2009, if you have never been fingerprinted for the Board or the Board no longer has the fingerprint record.

You are required to be fingerprinted when you:

  • Renew a license that expires on or after March 30, 2009 in the active status;
  • Activate an inactive license;
  • Seek reinstatement, in the active status, of a lapsed license.

You do not have to be fingerprinted if you:

  • Have previously been fingerprinted for the Board (e.g., for initial licensure, reinstatement of license, or condition of probation, etc.) and the Board has your fingerprint record;
  • Are renewing your license in the "inactive status"; or
  • Are actively serving in the military outside the country.

4. Should I contact the Board to determine if my fingerprint records are on file?
No, the fingerprinting records, particularly for licensees fingerprinted prior to 1990, are not readily available.

5. What should I do if I'm not sure if I've been fingerprinted for the Board?
When you renew your license, if you reasonably believe that you have been fingerprinted for the Board, check "YES" on the license renewal application to indicate that you have complied with the fingerprint requirement. The Board will reconcile your renewal application with fingerprinting records and notify you if it does not have your fingerprint records on file.

6. Do I need to wait until my renewal is due to be fingerprinted?
No, you may submit your fingerprints at any time prior to the expiration of your license.

7. How do I go about completing the fingerprint requirement?
There are two methods available for completing the fingerprint requirement.

8. How do I obtain the Live Scan form?
You may obtain a Request for Live Scan Service form from this website here. You may also submit a request in writing to the Board of Registered Nursing, 1747 N. Market Blvd., Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95834.

9. How do I obtain fingerprint cards (hard cards)?
There are two methods to obtain fingerprint cards:

  • 1) Submit a request in writing for the 8" x 8" fingerprint card (FD-258) to the Board of Registered Nursing, 1747 N. Market Blvd., Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95834
  • 2) Submit a request online from the Board's Fingerprint Request page at https://www.dca.ca.gov/webapps/rn/requests.php.

10. I live outside of California -- can I submit Live Scan fingerprints?
You may submit live scan fingerprints as long as the fingerprints were completed through a California Live Scan site. A listing of California Live Scan sites may be found at http://ag.ca.gov/fingerprints/publications/contact.php.

11. Will you accept Live Scan fingerprints that are completed in another state?
No, only Live Scan fingerprints completed in California can be accepted.

12. What is the cost for fingerprinting?
The current processing fee for DOJ and FBI is $49.00. In addition, a print "rolling" fee of $5.00 to $45.00 will be required at the fingerprint site.

13. Where can I go to have Live Scan fingerprints completed?
A listing of California Live Scan sites can be found at http://ag.ca.gov/fingerprints/publications/contact.php.

14. I was fingerprinted by my employer, school, or other state agency. Do I need to be fingerprinted for the California Board?
Yes, by law, fingerprint records are specific only to the requestor and results cannot be shared with others. Therefore, you must submit fingerprints to the Board. Although it may be inconvenient to submit fingerprints to multiple agencies, it protects your interest by ensuring that you know and authorize your records being sent to the requesting entity.

15. I submitted fingerprints as part of a Board disciplinary process. Do I need to submit additional fingerprints?
No, if you submitted fingerprints to the Board as part of a reinstatement petition or a Board probationary requirement you do not need to resubmit fingerprints.

16. I am renewing my RN license in an inactive status; do I have to be fingerprinted to renew inactive?
No, the fingerprint requirement will be waived if the license is renewed in an inactive status. However, a request to have an inactive RN license activated will require fingerprints be submitted if the Board does not have fingerprint records for the licensee on file.

17. My license has been expired for 8 or more years do I need to be fingerprinted when I submit my renewal?
Yes, if your license was issued prior to August 1, 1990.

18. Will my license renewal be placed on hold until a fingerprint clearance is received by the Board?
No, once you have submitted your renewal, appropriate fee, fingerprints (if required), answered the fingerprint compliance question and provided any other information required for renewal, your license will be renewed.

19. I received a letter from the Board stating I failed to answer or comply with the fingerprint requirement. What do I need to do?
You need to submit your fingerprints to the Department of Justice. You may do so by completing the Request for Live Scan Service Form and visiting a Live Scan site of your choice to have the fingerprint submission completed.

20. If I answer "No" or do not respond to the fingerprint question on the renewal application what will happen to my renewal?
If you answer "No" or do not respond to the fingerprint compliance questions a hold will be placed on the license and the renewal will be deemed incomplete and not eligible for renewal. The Board will notify you by mail of the necessary documents to submit for completion of the renewal process. Please note that if you do not complete the renewal process prior to the expiration of your license you will not be able to practice until your license renewal has been completed.

21. I submitted my renewal and answered "No" to the fingerprint question. I now have completed and submitted my fingerprints. What will happen with my renewal?
Once you have complied with the fingerprint requirement and the Board receives verification of your submission, the renewal license will be released and a new pocket license will be issued.

22. What is considered proof of submission?

  • Live Scan - For fingerprints completed using Live Scan method, mail or fax one of the two copies of the Request for Live Scan Service form received back from the live scan site to the Board.
  • Hard Card - For fingerprints submitted via hard card, the submission of the hard card and fee to the Board is considered proof.

23. I am currently serving in the military outside of the country; do I need to provide fingerprints at the time I renew?
The fingerprint requirement is waived for licensees who are actively serving in the military outside the country.

24. What will happen if I do not submit fingerprints to the Board?
Failure to provide the required fingerprint information will render your renewal application incomplete and ineligible for renewal. In addition, failure to submit a full set of fingerprints to the Department of Justice on or before the date required for renewal of your license is grounds for discipline by the Board.

25. What is my fingerprint information going to be used for?
The mission of the Board is to protect the health and safety of California healthcare consumers. Any information received from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if there is any cause to pursue administrative action against the license.

26. Who will have access to my fingerprint information?
The Board of Registered Nursing.

27. I submitted my fingerprints. How do I find out if they were rejected?
Once you submit your fingerprints, the results will be sent to the BRN. The BRN will contact you if your fingerprints were rejected. The BRN will not contact you if your fingerprints were cleared.

28. I was told my fingerprints were rejected. What do I need to do?
You must wait for the BRN to contact you with further instructions. Once the BRN receives the rejection information from DOJ, a letter will be sent to you with further instructions. Do not contact DOJ as they will not be able to assist you.

29. Why are my fingerprints being rejected by DOJ and/or FBI?
The most common reason fingerprints are rejected is for the quality of the print. Due to the nature of the job, nurses wash their hands more often than the average person.

30. I was told that my fingerprints were rejected two times. What do I need to do now?
You do not need to take any further action. After the BRN is notified of the second rejection, the BRN will work directly with DOJ to complete a name search.

31. I was told to submit a name search because my prints were rejected two times. How do I submit a name search?
The BRN must submit the name search on your behalf directly to DOJ. The BRN cannot submit the name search until the second fingerprint rejection notice is received from DOJ. Once the BRN determines it is a second rejection of your prints, a name search will automatically be submitted.

32. I completed Live Scan fingerprints and the operator told me that my prints would be rejected. Can I submit an ink card in lieu of submitting Live Scan?
No, DOJ will not accept ink cards from an individual who resides in or has a California address. Complete the Live Scan process and wait for further direction from the BRN.

33. My fingerprints were rejected. Can I still renew my RN license?
Yes, once you have submitted your fingerprints, whether they are returned to the BRN as clear or rejected, you have complied with the fingerprint requirement and can continue to renew your license.

34. I submitted my renewal and have not received my license. Is the fingerprinting issue holding up my renewal?
There are a variety of reasons your renewal may be held up. Please contact the BRN at (916) 322-3350 and speak with an operator to determine why you have not received your license.

Instructions for Submitting Fingerprints

In order to satisfy the fingerprint requirement you must complete one of the following two methods:

Live Scan Process

If you are in California, you may use the Live Scan service. Open the Request for Live Scan Service form below, complete the sections of the form as indicated and print three copies. Take all three copies of the completed form to a Live Scan site, along with the processing fee. At the Live Scan site your fingerprints will be electronically scanned and transmitted immediately to DOJ for processing. After you have had your fingerprints scanned, be sure to send the second copy to the Board.

Visit http://ag.ca.gov/fingerprints/publications/contact.php to locate Live Scan sites. Most local law enforcement agencies in California have Live Scan equipment. Hours of operation and fees vary, so please contact the Live Scan site directly for information.

  • Open the Request for Live Scan Service form.
    • Complete all areas marked with a Red X.
    • Print 3 copies of completed Live Scan form and take all 3 copies to the Live Scan site with your fee.
    • After your fingerprints are scanned:
      • 1st copy of form is kept by the Live Scan Operator
      • Mail 2nd copy of form must be sent to the Board
      • Retain 3rd form is for your records

Manual Fingerprint Process

To submit a manual fingerprint card, request the 8" x 8" fingerprint card (FD-258) from the Fingerprint Requests page of this website. Refer to the Instructions for Submitting a Fingerprint Card for information on how to complete the card, get your fingerprints taken at a local law enforcement agency, and mail them to the Board along with the fingerprint fee.

Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations
Amended Sections: 1419, 1419.1 and 1419.3

1419. Renewal of License.
(a) A renewal application shall be on the form provided by the board, accompanied by the fee specified in Section 1417(a)(3) and required information and filed with the board at its office in Sacramento.

(b) For a license that expires on or after March 1, 2009, as a condition of renewal, an applicant for renewal not previously fingerprinted by the board, or for whom a record of the submission of fingerprints no longer exists, is required to furnish to Department of Justice, as directed by the board, a full set of fingerprints for the purpose of conducting a criminal history record check and to undergo a state and federal level criminal offender record information search conducted through the Department of Justice. Failure to submit a full set of fingerprints to the Department of Justice on or before the date required for renewal of a license is grounds for discipline by the board. It shall be certified on the renewal form whether the fingerprints have been submitted. This requirement is waived if the licensee is renewed in an inactive status, or is actively serving in the military outside the country.

(c) As a condition of renewal, an applicant for renewal shall disclose on the renewal form whether he or she has been convicted, as defined in Section 2765, of any violation of the law in this or any other state, the United States, or other country, omitting traffic infractions under $1,000 not involving alcohol, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances.

(d) Failure to provide all of the information required by this section renders any application for renewal incomplete and not eligible for renewal.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 2708.1, 2715 and 2761(f), Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 2715, 2761(f) and 2811, Business and Professions Code; and Section 11105(b)(10), Penal Code.

1419.1. Inactive License.
A license may be maintained in an inactive status by paying the renewal fee as it becomes due. The licensee shall not practice nursing during the time the license is inactive.

To activate an inactive license, the licensee must submit a written request and evidence of 30 hours of approved continuing education taken during the two-year period immediately preceding the request for activation. A licensee activating a license pursuant to this section shall furnish a full set of fingerprints as required by and set out in section 1419(b) as a condition of activation.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 2708.1, 2715 and 2761(f), Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 2734 and 2761(f), Business and Professions Code; and Section 11105(b)(10), Penal Code.

1419.3. Reinstatement of Expired License.
In the event a licensee does not renew his/her license as provided in Section 2811 of the code, the license expires. A licensee renewing pursuant to this section shall furnish a full set of fingerprints as required by and set out in section 1419(b) as a condition of renewal.

(a) A licensee may renew a license that has not been expired for more than eight years by paying the renewal and penalty fees as specified in Section 1417 and providing evidence of 30 hours of continuing education taken within the prior two-year period.

(b) A licensee may renew a license that has been expired for more than eight years by paying the renewal and penalty fees specified in Section 1417 and providing evidence that he or she holds a current valid active and clear registered nurse license in another state, a United States territory, or Canada, or by passing the Board’s current examination for licensure.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 2708.1, 2715, 2761(f), and 2811.5, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 2761(f), 2811 and 2811.5, Business and Professions Code; and Section 11105(b)(10), Penal Code.