The background check process begins when an applicant agency provides an applicant with a BCIA 8016, REQUEST FOR LIVE
SCAN SERVICE form.
The applicant completes the form with his/her personal information and takes the form to a live scan operator where the
applicant must provide the appropriate identification. In California, fingerprinting must be performed by a certified fingerprint
roller or qualified law enforcement personnel.
The live scan operator checks the applicant’s identification, inputs the applicant’s personal descriptor information, captures
the applicant’s fingerprints electronically, and transmits the data to the DOJ. At the conclusion of the session, the applicant
should be provided an applicant transaction identifier (ATI) number, a number used to identify the transaction.
The assignment of an ATI number, generated by the live scan device, does not necessarily mean the fingerprint images and
personal information was submitted to the DOJ.
Although the fingerprint images and personal information are to be transmitted to the DOJ within 24 hours, the actual
transmission of the information to the DOJ is at the control of the live scan operator; and varies in timeliness.
Once the transaction is received by the DOJ, the fingerprint images are used to automatically search against all other
fingerprint images in the fingerprint database. If there are no fingerprints matching the applicant’s fingerprints, the
transaction is generally processed electronically without technician intervention within 48 to 72 hours.
If an applicant’s fingerprints match fingerprints in the database, the associated RAP sheet must be reviewed by a technician.
This is a manual process that can take an indeterminate amount of time. The applicant agency is automatically sent a delay
notice response. Questions or status inquiries related to a delayed transaction cannot be responded to, as there is no
pertinent information that can be statutorily provided until the manual review of the transaction is complete.
The next communiqué the applicant agency will receive is the completed response.
What is live scan fingerprinting?
The California Department of Justice provides an automated service for criminal history background checks that may be
required as a condition of employment, licensing, certification, foreign adoptions or VISA/Immigration clearances. Live Scan
technology allows digitally scanned fingerprints and related information to be submitted electronically to the Department of
Justice within a matter of minutes and allows criminal background checks to be processed usually within 72 hours.
In California, fingerprinting must be done by a certified fingerprint roller or qualified law enforcement personnel.
Live scan fingerprinting is the process of capturing fingerprints electronically with our advanced live scan machine.
With live scan fingerprinting, there is no ink or card. Your fingerprints are “rolled” across a glass plate and scanned.
It is faster, cleaner, and more accurate than the old ink and roll method.
Please visit the California Department of Justice's website for more information.