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Fingerprint Requirement for License Renewal

Title 16, California Code of Regulations, Sections 1419, 1419.1, and 1419.3 require the submission of fingerprints upon license renewal if the licensee was not previously fingerprinted by the Board or if a record of fingerprint submission no longer exists.

If you were licensed prior to March 1, 2009 and you are trying to renew your license to an ACTIVE status, you must have current electronic fingerprint results on file with the Board for BOTH levels of service (DOJ and FBI).

If you do not have current fingerprints on file with the Board or if you only have one (1) level of service (DOJ or FBI) on file, this could hold up your license renewal until the new fingerprints are completed and sent into the Board.

If you are renewing to an INACTIVE status you do NOT need to submit new fingerprints. If your RN license is on hold due to a fingerprint issue and you are trying to renew to INACTIVE status, please contact the Board.

Click here to email the BRN

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question Below to view the answer:

1. Why are registered nurses being required to be fingerprinted?
The mission of the Board is to protect the health and safety of consumers by promoting quality registered nursing care in the State of California. The Board fingerprints licensees as one way of ensuring that registered nurses are safe and competent practitioners.

2. When did the Board start fingerprinting licensees?
The Board began to fingerprint all applicants for licensure around August 1, 1990. For a licensee for whom the Board does not have fingerprints, the Board will require fingerprints for a license that expires on or after March 1, 2009.

3. Am I required to be fingerprinted?
Please refer to How to Determine if You Need to Submit New Fingerprints.

4. Should I contact the Board to determine if my fingerprint records are on file?
No, the fingerprinting records, particularly for licensees fingerprinted prior to 1990, are not readily available.

5. What should I do if I'm not sure if I've been fingerprinted for the Board?
When you renew your license, if you reasonably believe that you have been fingerprinted for the Board, check "YES" on the license renewal application to indicate that you have complied with the fingerprint requirement. The Board will reconcile your renewal application with fingerprinting records and notify you if it does not have your fingerprint records on file.

6. Do I need to wait until my renewal is due to be fingerprinted?
No, you may submit your fingerprints at any time prior to the expiration of your license.

7. How do I go about completing the fingerprint requirement?
Please refer to Instructions for Submitting Fingerprints.

8. How do I obtain the Live Scan form?
You may obtain a Request for Live Scan Service form from this website here. You may also submit a request in writing to the Board of Registered Nursing, 1747 N. Market Blvd., Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95834.

9. How do I obtain fingerprint cards (hard cards)?
There are two methods to obtain fingerprint cards:

  • 1) Submit a request online from the Board's Fingerprint Request page at https://www.dca.ca.gov/webapps/rn/requests.php.
  • 2) Submit a request in writing for the 8" x 8" fingerprint card (FD-258) to the Board of Registered Nursing, 1747 N. Market Blvd., Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95834

10. I live outside of California -- can I submit Live Scan fingerprints?
You may submit live scan fingerprints as long as the fingerprints were completed through a California Live Scan site. A listing of California Live Scan sites may be found at https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/locations.

11. Will you accept Live Scan fingerprints that are completed in another state?
No, only Live Scan fingerprints completed in California can be accepted.

12. What is the cost for fingerprinting?
The current processing fee for DOJ and FBI is $49.00. In addition, a print "rolling" fee of $5.00 to $45.00 will be required at the fingerprint site.

13. Where can I go to have Live Scan fingerprints completed?
A listing of California Live Scan sites can be found at https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/locations.

14. I was fingerprinted by my employer, school, or other state agency. Do I need to be fingerprinted for the California Board?
Yes, by law, fingerprint records are specific only to the requester and results cannot be shared with others. Therefore, you must submit fingerprints to the Board. Although it may be inconvenient to submit fingerprints to multiple agencies, it protects your interest by ensuring that you know and authorize your records being sent to the requesting entity.

15. I submitted fingerprints as part of a Board disciplinary process. Do I need to submit additional fingerprints?
No, if you submitted fingerprints to the Board as part of a reinstatement petition or a Board probationary requirement you do not need to resubmit fingerprints.

16. I am renewing my RN license in an inactive status; do I have to be fingerprinted to renew inactive?
No, the fingerprint requirement will be waived if the license is renewed in an inactive status. However, a request to have an inactive RN license activated will require fingerprints be submitted if the Board does not have fingerprint records for the licensee on file.

17. My license has been expired for 8 or more years do I need to be fingerprinted when I submit my renewal?
Yes, if your license was issued prior to August 1, 1990.

18. Will my license renewal be placed on hold until a fingerprint clearance is received by the Board?
No, once you have submitted your renewal, appropriate fee, fingerprints (if required), answered the fingerprint compliance question and provided any other information required for renewal, your license will be renewed.

19. I received a letter from the Board stating I failed to answer or comply with the fingerprint requirement. What do I need to do?
You need to submit your fingerprints to the Department of Justice. You may do so by completing the Request for Live Scan Service Form and visiting a Live Scan site of your choice to have the fingerprint submission completed.

20. If I answer "No" or do not respond to the fingerprint question on the renewal application what will happen to my renewal?
If you answer "No" or do not respond to the fingerprint compliance questions a hold will be placed on the license and the renewal will be deemed incomplete and not eligible for renewal. The Board will notify you by mail of the necessary documents to submit for completion of the renewal process. Please note that if you do not complete the renewal process prior to the expiration of your license you will not be able to practice until your license renewal has been completed.

21. I submitted my renewal and answered "No" to the fingerprint question. I now have completed and submitted my fingerprints. What will happen with my renewal?
Once you have complied with the fingerprint requirement and the Board receives verification of your submission, the renewal license will be released and a new pocket license will be issued.

22. What is considered proof of submission?

  • Live Scan - For fingerprints completed using Live Scan method, mail or fax one of the two copies of the Request for Live Scan Service form received back from the live scan site to the Board.
  • Hard Card - For fingerprints submitted via hard card, the submission of the hard card and fee to the Board is considered proof.

23. I am currently serving in the military outside of the country; do I need to provide fingerprints at the time I renew?
The fingerprint requirement is waived for licensees who are actively serving in the military outside the country.

24. What will happen if I do not submit fingerprints to the Board?
Failure to provide the required fingerprint information will render your renewal application incomplete and ineligible for renewal. In addition, failure to submit a full set of fingerprints to the Department of Justice on or before the date required for renewal of your license is grounds for discipline by the Board.

25. What is my fingerprint information going to be used for?
The mission of the Board is to protect the health and safety of California healthcare consumers. Any information received from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if there is any cause to pursue administrative action against the license.

26. Who will have access to my fingerprint information?
The Board of Registered Nursing.

27. I submitted my fingerprints. How do I find out if they were rejected?
Once you submit your fingerprints, the results will be sent to the BRN. The BRN will contact you if your fingerprints were rejected. The BRN will not contact you if your fingerprints were cleared.

28. I was told my fingerprints were rejected. What do I need to do?
You must wait for the BRN to contact you with further instructions. Once the BRN receives the rejection information from DOJ, a letter will be sent to you with further instructions. Do not contact DOJ as they will not be able to assist you.

29. Why are my fingerprints being rejected by DOJ and/or FBI?
The most common reason fingerprints are rejected is for the quality of the print. Due to the nature of the job, nurses wash their hands more often than the average person.

30. I was told that my fingerprints were rejected two times. What do I need to do now?
You do not need to take any further action. After the BRN is notified of the second rejection, the BRN will work directly with DOJ to complete a name search.

31. I was told to submit a name search because my prints were rejected two times. How do I submit a name search?
The BRN must submit the name search on your behalf directly to DOJ. The BRN cannot submit the name search until the second fingerprint rejection notice is received from DOJ. Once the BRN determines it is a second rejection of your prints, a name search will automatically be submitted.

32. I completed Live Scan fingerprints and the operator told me that my prints would be rejected. Can I submit an ink card in lieu of submitting Live Scan?
No, DOJ will not accept ink cards from an individual who resides in or has a California address. Complete the Live Scan process and wait for further direction from the BRN.

33. My fingerprints were rejected. Can I still renew my RN license?
Yes, once you have submitted your fingerprints, whether they are returned to the BRN as clear or rejected, you have complied with the fingerprint requirement and can continue to renew your license.

34. I submitted my renewal and have not received my license. Is the fingerprinting issue holding up my renewal?
There are a variety of reasons your renewal may be held up. Please contact the BRN at (916) 322-3350 and speak with an operator to determine why you have not received your license.

How to Determine if You Need to Submit New Fingerprints

  • If you were licensed in California by endorsement prior to March 1, 2009 and you were originally fingerprinted using a hard card instead of electronic Live Scan; then you will need to resubmit fingerprints.
    • The Board does not have an electronic record of fingerprint results on file and you need to submit a new set of fingerprints via the Live Scan process.
      • If you reside in California you must submit fingerprints via the Live Scan process.
      • If you are outside of California you may submit fingerprints via the hard card process or come into California and submit via the Live Scan process.
  • If you were licensed in California by endorsement prior to March 1, 2009 and you were originally fingerprinted using electronic Live Scan then you do not need to resubmit fingerprints.
    • You may respond to the fingerprint question on your renewal as "Yes I have complied with the fingerprint requirement"
  • If you were licensed in California by exam prior to March 1, 2009 and you submitted fingerprints via hard card or Live Scan, prior to March 1, 2009, then you will need to resubmit fingerprints.
    • The Board currently does not have an electronic record of fingerprints on file with both levels of service (DOJ & FBI). You will need to submit a new set of fingerprints.
      • If you reside in California you must submit fingerprints via the Live Scan process.
      • If you are outside of California you may submit fingerprints via the hard card process or come into California and submit via the Live Scan process.

Instructions for Submitting Fingerprints

California Residents:

You will need to complete a new fingerprint submission via the Live Scan process if you were licensed prior to March 1, 2009; you do not have current fingerprint results on file for both DOJ and FBI levels of service; and you are renewing your license to an ACTIVE status. Please FAX or MAIL the completed Live Scan form back to the Board once it has been done. Keep one (1) copy of the completed Live Scan form for your records.

Once the Live Scan form has been received by the BRN, we can renew your license (as long as all other renewal requirements have been met).

Click here to download the RN Live Scan form

Click here for a list of Live Scan locations

FAX Live Scan form to:
ATTN: Michelle Meier
(916) 574-7700

Allow 2-4 weeks for processing and renewal of a license (if license is on hold due to a fingerprint issue).

MAIL Live Scan form to:
Board of Registered Nursing
ATTN: Michelle Meier
1747 N. Market Blvd., Ste. 150
Sacramento, CA 95834-2979

Allow 2-4 weeks for processing and renewal of a license (if license is on hold due to a fingerprint issue).

Residents Outside of California:

You will need to submit two (2) FD-258 hard fingerprint cards with the $49 processing fee payable to the "Board of Registered Nursing"

  • if you were licensed prior to March 1, 2009;
  • you do not have current fingerprint results on file for both DOJ and FBI levels of service; and
  • you are renewing your license to an ACTIVE status.

As long as all renewal requirements have been met and the Board has received and processed your fingerprint cards AND the $49 payment we will renew your license.

The Board must receive the fingerprint cards with the $49 payment in order to renew the license. If the fingerprint cards are received without the $49 payment, you will receive a letter in the mail requesting that the $49 fee be paid before the license is renewed.

You may be able to obtain these FD-258 fingerprint cards at your local police station or sheriff’s department. If they do not have the standard FD-258 fingerprint cards, you can submit a request for two (2) fingerprint cards to be mailed to you from the Board by using the hard card request form at the link below.

MAIL FD-258 Fingerprint Cards with $49 payment to:
Board of Registered Nursing
ATTN: Michelle Meier
1747 N. Market Blvd., Ste. 150
Sacramento, CA 95834-2979

Allow 4-6 weeks for cashiering, processing and renewal of a license (if license is on hold due to a fingerprint issue).