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New Fingerprint Requirement Information

Effective January 1, 2014, all licensees renewing their license in an active status for whom no electronic record of the licensee's fingerprints exists with the Department of Justice (DOJ) must submit fingerprints for the purpose of having a State and federal criminal offender record background check. So, if the DOJ has no electronic record of your fingerprints, you must submit your fingerprints to the DOJ as directed to comply with your renewal requirements. A brief overview of the history and notification process may prove useful in addressing questions or concerns regarding this new requirement.


The CBA fingerprint requirement (see Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 144) originated in 1998, when the California Legislature established a fingerprint requirement for the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) boards and bureaus. The CBA, alongside other DCA boards and bureaus, interpreted the term "applicants" to mean applicants for initial licensure. Since that time, the CBA has been fingerprinting all applicants for initial licensure.

In 2008, the DCA requested that all of its boards and bureaus adopt regulations that would interpret "applicants" to also mean applicants for license renewal. The CBA initiated the rulemaking process to accommodate this request, thereby ensuring consistency in license requirements for all licenses, as well as adding an extra layer of protection for California consumers (see CBA Regulation section 37.5).


When the CBA identifies that a licensee is required to submit fingerprints, as a condition of license renewal, the CBA will send the licensee a notification letter approximately 90 days prior to the license expiration date. For example:

  • A licensee with a June 30, 2014 expiration date will be sent a notification letter at the end of March 2014.
  • A licensee with a July 30, 2015 expiration date will be sent a notification letter at the end of April 2015.

The notification letter will include information on how to complete the process and all necessary forms.

  • California Residents - Live Scan

    Licensees residing in California will need to submit fingerprints via Live Scan. The notification letter for these licensees will include a Request for Live Scan Service form, which should be completed by the licensee and taken to a Live Scan location. A copy of the completed Request for Live Scan Service form should be retained as proof of completion for at least three years. Once fingerprints are submitted via the Live Scan process, the CBA will work with the DOJ to obtain clearance. A current list of Applicant Live Scan locations is available on the DOJ website.

  • Non-California Residents - Hard Cards

    Licensees residing outside of California will need to submit fingerprints via hard card. The notification letter for these licensees will include two fingerprint hard cards. The only copies of fingerprint hard cards that can be accepted are those furnished by the CBA. Hard cards should be taken to a qualified technician trained in fingerprint-taking techniques. Some law enforcement agencies provide this service. In addition, telephone yellow page directories and web searches may list fingerprinting services. A receipt evidencing submission of the hard cards should be retained as proof of completion for at least three years. Once fingerprints are completed, mail both of the unfolded cards directly to the CBA at the address below, so that the CBA may work with the DOJ to obtain clearance.

    California Board of Accountancy
    2450 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 300
    Sacramento, California 95833-3291
    Attn.: Fingerprint Unit

On a final note, one common question the CBA receives is: Do I still need to submit fingerprints to the CBA even though my present employer (school, other state agency) already required me to be fingerprinted? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. By law, confidential fingerprint information is specific only to the requesting agency, and therefore, it is a misdemeanor for agencies to share confidential fingerprint information.

Additional information regarding this requirement can be found in the Fingerprinting FAQs. For any other questions about the license renewal process, please contact the License Renewal and Continuing Competency Unit by telephone at (916) 561-1702 or by e-mail at

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California Government

Governor and Executive Staff Website of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Alexis Podesta, Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency Dean R. Grafilo, Director, Department of Consumer Affairs