What is Live Scan?

Live scan is a biometric technology that permits digitally scanned fingerprints to be electronically transmitted directly to the California Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation instead of using ink and a fingerprint card. This relatively new technology allows criminal background checks to be processed usually within 72 hours. This livescan technology is sometimes referred to as: life scan, biometric fingerprinting, electronic fingerprinting and digital fingerprinting.

San Diego Live Scan Fingerprint Service FAQ 

Why do I need live scan fingerprinting?

Live scan applicants are to submit their fingerprints electronically to the CA DOJ for the purpose of running a criminal history check. California law requires individuals to be fingerprinted in order to become certified or licensed in most professions. The California Department of Justice only accepts live scan fingerprinting and no longer accepts fingerprints via ink and hard card. Live Scan digital submissions provide the safest and quickest way to submit and process background checks.


I’ve been Live Scan Fingerprinted before. Do I need to do it again?

Yes! This is a very common question. It’s rather common for people to need live scan fingerprints multiple times throughout their careers. People often ask “how long is the live scan good for” or similar questions. Live Scan is simply the “process” of capturing your fingerprints electronically. The purpose of live scan is to simplify the criminal background checks by the DOJ and/or FBI. This criminal background report is then sent to the “Requesting” agency listed on the “Request for Live Scan Service” form. This requesting agency is the only agency that will see your personal criminal history file. If you switch jobs or want to obtain a new California license, you will need to be livescan fingerprinted again in order for that specific requesting agency to view your criminal background history report.


How Long Does Live Scan Fingerprinting Take?

The entire fingerprinting process takes approximately only 10 minutes to roll your fingerprints and then electronically transmit them to the Department of Justice, FBI, and the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) if applicable.


 What to Bring to Your Live Scan Appointment?

  • 1. Live Scan Form (We can usually print up the form at our office)
  • 2. Valid Photo ID (DMV Driver’s License or ID, Passport, Military ID Card…)
  • 3. Payment (Cash, Check, Credit Card, Invoice..)


How Much Does Live Scan Fingerprinting Cost

  • 1. Rolling fee is only $28.00
  • 2. Processing fee – when applicable (see below)


Rolling Fee

The payment collected by the fingerprint service provider for capturing and electronically submitting your fingerprints.

Processing Fee

Live Scan Processing Fees are collected for the Department of Justice and FBI to perform the criminal history background checks. While sometimes paid by the requesting agency, live scan applicants are usually required to pay this fee themselves. Click here on DOJ and FBI live scan fees to view a complete list of background investigation fees.


How long will it take to receive a response?

Normal processing time is 2-3 days however; some requests may take up to 2 weeks to process depending on the information contained within the record.


Does Alive Scan Guarantee Accurate Fingerprinting

Occasionally the Department of Justice will reject the livescan fingerprint submissions for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are the applicant’s fingerprints have characteristics such as cuts, scars or calluses that are difficult to capture in the live scan process. If the applicant’s fingerprints are rejected on this basis, and they were originally scanned by Alive Scan, we will rescan and resubmit your fingerprints at no additional charge. Please note: You will need to bring with you the letter from the DOJ expressing that a resubmission is required. This is necessary because it contains the identification numbers to also avoid having to pay the DOJ and FBI fee.


Does Alive Scan offer Mobile Live Scan Fingerprinting Services?

Yes! We are proud to offer this convenient live scan service throughout San Diego. Click here for more info on our Mobile Live Scan Fingerprint Service. or simply contact us at 858.349.0204.


Does Alive Scan offer Corporate Billing Accounts?

Yes! We also provide billing accounts for schools, small businesses and larger corporations. Click here for more info about opening a Corporate Billing Account or simply contact us at 858.349.0204.


How far back does live scan go?

A Livescan report includes all or part of your Summary Criminal History Record. The Summary Criminal History Record is the criminal record kept by the California Department of Justice and may also include the FBI federal record. However, employers are limited by the “seven-year rule” under the California Civil Code, which means that, in most cases, employers can only consider convictions that occurred within the past seven years.


Applicant Agencies – How to submit applicant fingerprints for background checks

To get authorized to submit applicant fingerprints for background checks you must register with the California Department of Justice. Please see the Office of Attorney General website for more information about applicant fingerprints for criminal background checks.