Step 5: Get Fingerprinted/Live Scan - For a Waiver Application

This step will answer questions about how to get fingerprinted and about CSLB's criminal background review process.

What are the laws concerning fingerprinting for contractors?

Pursuant to California law*, all applicants for a Contractors State License Board (CSLB) license are required to submit a full set of fingerprints for the purpose of conducting a criminal background check. Fingerprints are compared to the records of the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to determine whether a criminal history exists. We hope the questions and answers below will help guide you through the fingerprinting process and help prevent unnecessary delays in processing your application.

Who must be fingerprinted?

All applicants for license and each officer, partner, owner, and responsible managing employee thereof, as well as all applicants to be home improvement salespersons, must be fingerprinted. Individuals currently licensed by CSLB who do not apply for any changes to his/her license and applicants for a joint venture license are not required to be fingerprinted.

How do I go about getting fingerprinted?

After an application has been accepted by CSLB as complete (also known as "posted"), each individual listed on the application is sent instructions on the process for obtaining and submitting fingerprints and a Request for Live Scan Service form (BCII 8016). You must complete the third section (applicant information) in its entirety and take three copies of the completed form to a Live Scan station to have your fingerprints processed and submitted to DOJ and FBI. Live Scan fingerprinting services are available at most local police departments, sheriff's offices, and any public Live Scan site. A listing of Live Scan locations is available on the Internet at:

For applicants who reside out of state, please see below for information about hardcopy fingerprint cards.

What do I do with the three copies of the Request for Live Scan Service forms after being fingerprinted?

The first copy of the form will be retained by the Live Scan operator. You should retain the second copy of the form for your records. You must submit the third copy of the form to CSLB within 90 days after the date of the packet that contained the Request for Live Scan Service form. Failure to do so may result in your application being voided.

What is the cost for fingerprinting?

You are required to pay the Live Scan operator the $32 DOJ fingerprint processing fee and the $17 FBI fingerprint processing fee, as well as the Live Scan site "rolling" fee. NOTE: The rolling fees vary because each Live Scan site sets its own fee - CSLB does not set the price. The listing of Live Scan locations referenced above includes information about the rolling fee.

What if I'm located outside of California or do not have access to a Live Scan facility?

If you are located out of state and do not plan to come to California during the application process, or if you do not have access to a Live Scan site, you will fingerprint using hardcopy fingerprint cards. For out-of-state residents, the hardcopy cards will automatically be generated and sent after your application has been posted. For California residents who do not have access to a Live Scan site, you may contact CSLB's automated telephone system at (800) 321-CSLB (2752) to request hardcopy fingerprint cards. When the system answers, press 2-1-4 and provide the requested information. Hardcopy fingerprint cards will be sent to you. You must take the cards to a law enforcement agency within the United States to have your prints rolled. Return the cards with the required processing fee of $49 to CSLB for submission to DOJ and FBI. You may also be charged a "rolling" fee by the agency providing the service. Please be aware that the processing time required for hardcopy fingerprint cards is substantially longer than with Live Scan fingerprinting; taking three to six months or longer.

I have heard about applicants who had their fingerprints rejected or who had "delays" through DOJ or FBI - what does this mean?

Rejects may occur if there is a problem with quality of the fingerprint image - whether Live Scan or hardcopy cards. Applicants who have had their fingerprints rejected will be asked to make a second attempt at fingerprinting. If there is a second reject, CSLB will request that DOJ and/or FBI do a name check, which can be a lengthy process.

Delays may occur if DOJ and/or FBI are researching an issue, which can also be a lengthy process. The outcome of a delay may be a clear record or a conviction record.

License Applicants Who Were Convicted of a Crime or Formally Disciplined

For information about license applicants who were convicted of a crime or formally disciplined, please see here.


What can I do to ensure that my application will not experience any unnecessary delays?

Please be aware that the number one reason that an application may be denied is the applicant's failure to accurately disclose his/her conviction record. Therefore, checking the "Yes" box when appropriate and providing the required information regarding each conviction are the most important things that an applicant can do to avoid unnecessary delays. In addition, responding promptly if contacted by CBU staff will help.

*Business and Professions Code Sections 144 and 7069, and California Code of Regulations Sections 869.1, 869.2, 869.3, 869.4, and 869.5.

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