On May 23, 2018, the Supreme Court issued a new California Rule of Court effective June 1, 2018, which will require most active California attorneys to be re-fingerprinted. The State Bar will release instructions, FAQs, mandatory re-fingerprinting forms, a schedule, and other relevant information on June 1. Attorneys should not undergo re-fingerprinting until this information is released on June 1. The deadline to submit new fingerprints without penalty will be April 30, 2019.
For the past 30 years the State Bar has been statutorily required to receive notification of subsequent arrests and convictions from the California Department of Justice (DOJ). Until last year, the State Bar was out of compliance with this statutory mandate. The only way for the State Bar to come fully into compliance is to re-fingerprint licensed attorneys. Although attorneys were fingerprinted at the time of admission to the State Bar, unfortunately, neither the Bar nor the DOJ retained those fingerprints for future notification services. We apologize for our previous failure to comply with a statutory mandate, and for any inconvenience that may result from the re-fingerprinting attorneys will need to undergo. However this is a new State Bar focused on regulation and public protection. This Rule of Court enables statutory compliance and reflects the State Bar’s commitment to protecting the public.
Email notifications with more detailed instructions will begin going out June 1 on a rolling basis until early August. Any attorney can begin the re-fingerprinting process starting on June 1 by logging into their My State Bar Profile even if they have not received an email on that date.
The State Bar’s instructions will include information about Live Scan locations throughout the state, as well as fingerprint card information for out-of-state and out-of-country California attorneys, and requirements for attorneys authorized to practice in California under the State Bar’s multi-jurisdictional practice rules.
Fingerprints Need to Be Taken by a Live Scan Vendor
If you live in California, you need to obtain a prepopulated Live Scan form issued by the State Bar to submit your fingerprints to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
» Attorneys must download a prepopulated Live Scan form via My State Bar Profile.
Once you have the Live Scan form:
Live Scan Vendors in California and Related Fees
Each attorney will be responsible for covering the cost related to submitting the fingerprints to the DOJ and FBI.
The cost for a DOJ and FBI background check is $49: $32 for the DOJ and $17 for the FBI.
The costs for the Live Scan vendor to physically take your fingerprints differ by vendor and can range from $25 to $75, with an average cost of $33.
Contact the Live Scan provider in advance to verify operating hours, fees, payment methods, walk-in policies, etc. Attorneys must present valid photo identification to the Live Scan technician. Expired identification will not be accepted.
Attorneys who work for a government agency can us their agency's internal Live Scan services. Your employer will not receive information regarding criminal history as a result of submitting your fingerprints. The State Bar will be the only entity receiving your information once you submit your fingerprints using the pre-populated Live Scan form obtained from your My State Bar Profile or a State Bar authorized fingerprint card. The State Bar is prohibited from sharing your criminal offender record information with outside entities.
Automated Transaction Identifier (ATI) Number
Once fingerprints have been submitted, the Live Scan technician will sign the bottom of the Live Scan form and provide a 10-digit ATI number assigned to your fingerprint impressions, all of which the DOJ and FBI will receive. Attorneys must retain the ATI number as proof of submitting fingerprints to the Live Scan vendor.
The Live Scan technician will submit your fingerprints electronically to the DOJ and FBI. It takes about 3 to 14 business days for the State Bar to receive confirmation of an attorney’s fingerprint submission. The State Bar cannot predict delays in this process.
» See more information on the background check process and potential causes for delay(DOJ website)
Proof of Live Scan Submission
Attorneys must submit their ATI number into the ATI link. This shall serve as proof of submission of fingerprints to a Live Scan vendor by April 30, 2019, before the penalty period begins.
The ATI number submitted through the ATI link will be regularly audited against notifications received by the DOJ and FBI. The attorney will be notified if the ATI number will need to be resubmitted. The use of fraudulent ATI numbers may lead to disciplinary action.
Resubmit Fingerprints When Notified of a Rejection
If you are notified that your fingerprints have been rejected, please do the following:
The Live Scan vendor will complete the new Live Scan form and provide you with a new ATI number. Return to your My State Bar Profile and enter the new ATI number.
You may also choose to go to a different Live Scan vendor. If you choose to do so, however, you will have to pay the DOJ and FBI processing fees again, on top of any additional vendor fees.
If you do not resubmit your fingerprints within 90 days of receipt of the rejection notice or by April 30, 2019, (whichever comes later), you will be penalized $75. After that you will be required to resubmit your fingerprints by August 1, 2019, or you will be penalized an additional $100. If you have not resubmitted your fingerprints by December 1, 2019, your license status will be changed to inactive.