Applicant Fingerprint Information

Under the authority of the Nursing Practice Act, all license, registration, and permit applicants and holders must furnish a full set of fingerprints for purposes of conducting federal and state criminal history record checks through the California Department of Justice (DOJ). Licensure, registration, and permits are subject to denial, suspension, or revocation based upon an applicant’s or licensee’s conviction of a crime. The fingerprints remain on file with the DOJ, who provides reports to the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) of any future arrests and/or convictions on an ongoing basis.

There are two methods available to complete this requirement:

  • Live Scan Process: You must first submit your application for RN licensure by Examination or Endorsement via BreEZe. When you submit your application with fee, you will receive a link via email with the BRN Live Scan Form and other applicable information.

    The Live Scan process is the preferred method as results are received faster (typically within a couple weeks). You do not need to be a California resident to complete a Live Scan in California; however, you must complete a Live Scan at a vendor located within California. The BRN 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 the collection of your fingerprints.

    Live Scan locations in California:

  • 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 using an FD-258.

    Applicants must pay the $49 processing fee for hard cards to the BRN directly. If you applied via BreEZe then your payment includes the hard card fingerprint fee ($399 total includes: $350 application fee and $49 fingerprint hard card fee). If you did not apply through BreEZe, please submit the $49 processing fee via your BreEZe account under "Hard Card Fingerprint Payment". All fingerprint fees are non-refundable.

    Once the payment has been submitted, you will need to complete the following steps:

    1. 1) Locate a law enforcement agency (LEA) to complete fingerprint hard cards: Contact your local police or Sheriff's Department to inquire about having your fingerprints rolled.
    2. 2) Complete one fingerprint hard card (FD-258): Applicants must submit one completed hard card to the BRN. All fields must be completed.
    3. 3) Visit the LEA that agreed to complete your fingerprint hard card: Once the LEA has finished rolling your fingerprints, they will return the fingerprint card to you.
    4. 4) Submit hard cards to the BRN: After receiving the hard card back from the LEA, you must submit your hard card to the BRN by mail.

    NOTE: If a hard card is received at the BRN without payment being submitted, the hard card will not be processed and will be destroyed. If submitting by mail, you should include a copy of your application summary (if you applied online in BreEZe) to ensure proper and timely processing of your hard cards. Fingerprint hard cards will not be mailed to the DOJ for processing until the full fee payment has been received by the BRN.

    You may request one FD-258 from the BRN 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). The FD-258 card is the official fingerprint card produced and approved by the FBI. The current version of this card contains the full Privacy Act Statement, as required by the FBI. 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: The BRN will not submit hard cards to the DOJ without receipt of the required $49 fingerprint card fee. Processing times at DOJ and FBI can vary and are not under the control of the BRN.

Once your fingerprint submission has been completed:

Most fingerprint submissions will connect to your BreEZe account automatically after completion at either a Live Scan vendor, or with an FD-258, and no further attention is needed regarding your submission.

However, if you have completed your fingerprint submission for the BRN, and your Application Status and Details Page indicates you are still deficient, your fingerprint results may have not been properly applied to your BreEZe account.

If your fingerprint results are not properly applied to your electronic license file in BreEZe, the license will not be issued. The DOJ, FBI, and the BRN match fingerprint results based on four data sets: first name, last name, date of birth, and social security number. If the information entered by the Live Scan operator does not match the BRN’s license information in the BreEZe system, the fingerprint results will not be properly applied to your electronic licensing file, which is considered an "unmatched record". A common problem is the Live Scan operator may transpose or incorrectly enter the numbers for your date of birth or social security number. Another common problem is if you have a last name that includes hyphens or spaces, and it was not entered as an exact match by the Live Scan vendor.

Fingerprint results typically take up to 72 hours to enter the BreEZe system, if using a California based LiveScan Service. Hard cards (FD-258) can take several weeks to a couple months to enter the BreEZe system. If your results do not match on their own, they may be unmatched in the BreEZe system and require manual intervention by BRN staff. If this occurs, you should upload a copy of your completed Live Scan form in the “Submit Additional Documents” section of your BreEZe account or you may contact the BRN for further assistance.

Types of Results and Timeframes

The BRN receives various types of results from the DOJ and FBI.

  • Clear – A response stating no convictions have occurred or a listing of any conviction sustained.
  • Rejection – The Board will notify you by mail if a rejection of fingerprints is received from DOJ or FBI. This letter will include instructions on how to complete your re-print. You will not be charged an additional DOJ and FBI fee but may be charged the Live Scan vendor's processing fee. The most common reason fingerprints are rejected is for the quality of the print. You must complete the reject request and reprint, if you do not your application will remain deficient, and you will not be licensed.

    If you complete your re-print, and your submission is rejected a second time, the BRN will then work directly with the Department of Justice to complete a name search, and no further action is needed from you. Please note, the DOJ will not complete a name search without a second attempt.

  • Delay – A DOJ or FBI delay can vary from approximately 30 to 90 days before the Board will receive a result. There is nothing can be done to expedite a delay.
  • Invalid – The Board will notify you within 14 days after an invalid fingerprint notification is received from DOJ or FBI.
  • Rap Sheet – The BRN reviews the rap sheets (i.e., criminal record reports) to ensure that the conviction history matches what you provided on your Report of Conviction form, and to determine if the violation is related to the qualifications of a licensee. Please see more information related to reporting convictions here.