Fingerprinting is required for all applicants and licensees for the purpose of conducting a criminal history record check. The fingerprints remain on file with the California Department of Justice, who provides reports to the Board of Registered Nursing of any future convictions on an ongoing basis (Authority: Business and Professions Code, Section 144). Two methods are available:
- Live Scan Process: You must use a Live Scan site located in California to use this method. The Board will NOT be able to receive results for fingerprints taken at Live Scan locations that are outside of California.
- If you plan to travel to California for any reason while awaiting licensure, please consider using the Live Scan Process for your fingerprints.
- Manual Fingerprint Process: If you are outside of California and do not plan to travel to California prior to licensure or are unable to access Live Scan in California, you may use the manual fingerprint (hard card) method.
If you are in California, you may obtain the form for Live Scan service from our website, complete the required fields, and take it to a Live Scan site with your processing fee. Before requesting a copy of the Live Scan fingerprint form, you must first submit your application for RN licensure by Examination or Endorsement (applies to initial Examination and Endorsement applicants only).
At the Live Scan site they will scan your fingerprints electronically and transmit them immediately for processing. The Board will NOT be able to receive results for fingerprints taken at Live Scan locations that are outside of California.
Visit the California Office of the Attorney General website for Live Scan locations. 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.
Using Live Scan can help speed up the licensing process as the Board receives fingerprint results from this technology much quicker than through the manual card process. Please refer to our Processing Times page for current timeframes.
To get started:
- If you are an initial Examination or Endorsement applicant, you must FIRST submit your completed application for Examination or Endorsement. There is a link included in your BreEZe online application.
- If you missed that link, you can request a Live Scan form by using the Fingerprint Request form. Once we receive your request and your submitted application is confirmed, you will receive an email containing a link to download the Live Scan form.
- Download the Live Scan form and complete all areas marked with a red “X”.
- The form will print in triplicate; take all three copies to the Live Scan site with your processing fee.
- After your fingerprints have been scanned:
- First copy of the form is kept by the Live Scan operator.
- Retain the second and third copies of the form for your records.
- RNs already licensed in California who are renewing will receive a notice from the BRN on your renewal reminder letting you know that fingerprints are required prior to license renewal. If you have misplaced this notification, you can check the Application Status and Details page to see if fingerprints are required. If fingerprints are required for renewal, please follow the instructions above to request a Live Scan form by using the Fingerprint Request form.
The FD-258 card is the standard fingerprinting card within the US. If you are located in the US, before requesting a card, please check the facility at which you will be fingerprinted to determine whether they will provide an FD-258 card or require you to bring your own. You may also obtain an FD-258 card at your local law enforcement agency, such as a police station or sheriff’s office. You may also request one from the Board by using our Fingerprint Request Form (please allow up to two weeks to receive a hard card in the mail once the hard card request is received and processed, which is approximately 3-5 business days after submission of the request).
For detailed information on completing the manual fingerprinting card, please see Instructions for Completing a Fingerprint Card. The current fingerprint processing fee for DOJ and FBI is $49.00 and is payable by logging in to your BreEZe account and clicking on the drop-down arrow under Choose Application within the Manage your License Information section located in the upper left of your screen and then selecting "Hard Card Fingerprint payment". If you do not have access to your BreEZe account, you can submit a check or money order made out to the "California Board of Registered Nursing".
- NOTE: If you completed an Endorsement application through the BreEZe online system, this fee was included and there is no need to submit an additional fee.
Failure to include the required fee will cause significant delays in the Board submitting hard cards to the DOJ. The DOJ will not process fingerprints without a fee. Processing times at DOJ and FBI can vary and are not under the control of the Board.