Fingerprint Requirement for License Renewal

Under the authority of the Nursing Practice Act, all license, registration, and permit applicants and holders must furnish a full set of fingerprints for purposes of conducting federal and state criminal history record checks through the Department of Justice (DOJ). Licensure, registration, and permits are subject to denial, suspension, or revocation based upon an applicant’s or licensee’s conviction of a crime. The fingerprints remain on file with the California Department of Justice, who provides reports to the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) of any future convictions on an ongoing basis.

16 CCR § 1419 requires the submission of fingerprints upon license renewal if the licensee was not previously fingerprinted by the BRN, if a record of fingerprint submission no longer exists, or if the BRN requests that fingerprints be resubmitted. The requirement to be fingerprinted for license renewal took effect in 2009. Unfortunately, the BRN’s electronic licensing system at that time was not designed to check for or hold renewals in the absence of fingerprint results. The BRN is now using the BreEZe system for electronic license renewals since 2013. The BreEZe system was designed to check for and receive DOJ and FBI fingerprint results.

If fingerprint results are missing from the licensee’s electronic license file, licensees are notified on their renewal notices that fingerprints must be submitted to the DOJ. Their renewals are held until fingerprint results are received by the BRN.

The BRN currently requires a fingerprint submission occurring on or after January 1, 2014. If you were fingerprinted prior to January 1, 2014, you are required to submit a new fingerprint submission for your renewal. Your RN renewal will not be approved without valid fingerprint results. Failure to submit a set of fingerprints, if required or directed, is grounds for discipline by the BRN.

Renewing Your License

It is unnecessary to resubmit fingerprints if you have completed a new submission within your last 3 renewals and the BRN has not informed you of a need to resubmit fingerprints.

Inactive renewals: If you are renewing to an INACTIVE status, you do NOT need to submit fingerprints.

Please note: If you renew to an active status but you are not compliant with our fingerprint requirement, then your license will not renew and your status will change to “delinquent” upon expiration. If your RN license is on hold due to a fingerprint issue and you are renewing to inactive status, please contact the Fingerprint Unit by submitting an inquiry on the Contact Us page.

In order to return to an "active" status, the BRN will verify that you have an acceptable fingerprint submission on your BreEZe file.

Active renewals: If you are renewing your license to an ACTIVE status, the BRN must have fingerprint results on your BreEZe file from both levels of service (DOJ and FBI) or you may be required to furnish a full set of fingerprints to the DOJ.

Your license renewal notice is sent out 90 days prior to your license expiration date. The notice will clearly indicate whether you need to be fingerprinted. If you know you were fingerprinted prior to 2014, or do not recall ever being fingerprinted for the BRN, you are encouraged to be fingerprinted again to avoid any license renewal delays. You do not need to wait for your renewal window to open to complete a submission, however, the BRN does not recommend resubmitting unnecessarily.

If you were able to complete payment online and your license was not renewed, check your Application Status and Details Page or contact the BRN to see if you must submit fingerprints to successfully complete your renewal. If you were initially fingerprinted for the Board prior to 2014 and have not been fingerprinted since, you will need to be fingerprinted again.

However, if you have completed your fingerprint submission for the BRN, and your Application Status and Details Page indicates you are still deficient, your fingerprint results may have not been properly applied to your BreEZe account.

If your fingerprint results are not properly applied to your electronic license file in BreEZe, the license will not be issued. The DOJ, FBI, and the BRN match fingerprint results based on four data sets: first name, last name, date of birth, and social security number. If the information entered by the Live Scan operator does not match the BRN’s license information in the BreEZe system, the fingerprint results will not be properly applied to your electronic licensing file, which is considered an “unmatched record”. A common problem is the Live Scan operator may transpose or incorrectly enter the numbers for your date of birth or social security number. Another common problem is if you have a last name that includes hyphens or spaces, and it was not entered as an exact match by the Live Scan vendor.

Fingerprint results typically take up to 72 hours to enter the BreEZe system. If your results do not match on their own, your results may be unmatched in the BreEZe system and require manual intervention by BRN staff. If this occurs, you should upload a copy of your completed Live Scan form in the "Submit Additional Documents" section of your BreEZe account, or, you may contact the BRN for further assistance.

Requesting a Live Scan Form or FD-258 for License Renewal

To request a Live Scan form or FD-258, please use the BRN Fingerprint Request Form (please allow up to two weeks to receive a hard card in the mail once the hard card request is received and processed, which is approximately 3-5 business days after submission of the request). Please note, hard card (FD-258) submissions can take several weeks to a couple months to enter the BreEZe system.

Types of Results and Timeframes

The BRN receives various types of results from the DOJ and FBI.

  • Clear – A response stating no convictions have occurred or a listing of any conviction sustained.
  • Rejection – The Board will notify you by mail if a rejection of fingerprints is received from DOJ or FBI. This letter will include instructions on how to complete your re-print. You will not be charged an additional DOJ and FBI fee but may be charged the Live Scan vendor's processing fee. The most common reason fingerprints are rejected is for the quality of the print. You must complete the reject request and reprint, if you do not your application will remain deficient, and you will not be licensed.

    If you complete your re-print, and your submission is rejected a second time, the BRN will then work directly with the Department of Justice to complete a name search, and no further action is needed from you. Please note, the DOJ will not complete a name search without a second attempt.

  • Delay – A DOJ or FBI delay can vary from approximately 30 to 90 days before the Board will receive a result. There is nothing can be done to expedite a delay.
  • Invalid – The Board will notify you within 14 days after an invalid fingerprint notification is received from DOJ or FBI.
  • Rap Sheet – The BRN reviews the rap sheets (i.e., criminal record reports) to ensure that the conviction history matches what you provided on your Report of Conviction form, and to determine if the violation is related to the qualifications of a licensee. Please see more information related to reporting convictions here.

Frequently Asked Questions