All You Need to Know About Live Scan in California

Live scan is the new trend. Whenever you apply for a job, you’re asked for live scan fingerprinting. How much do you really know about the state-of-the-art technology? Let us tell you all you need to know about live scan in California.

Live scan, in very simple English, is fingerprinting without ink. It is a technology used to take fingerprints electronically through scanning devices to perform background checks and verify criminal records of applicants whether they are applying for a job, issuing a license, or doing volunteer work. Fingerprint images are both digitally captured and digitally transferred.

Live Scan vs. Ink Cards

Live scan fingerprinting is similar to ink cards, but it’s faster, easier, and cleaner. With traditional ink cards, fingers are rolled across ink which leaves applicants’ hands dirty. The fingerprint technician will have trouble with stains of ink, and the card where fingerprints are taken can be smeared with ink. In addition to all that, ink cards are delivered by snail mail and that takes a lot of time. Whether you will go for traditional ink cards or for the fast and easy live scan is up to your requesting agency (employer or license issuer).

From Live Scan to Background Check Results

The background check that your requesting agency (employer, a nonprofit organization, or law enforcement agencies) asks for may differ. It depends on the type of work or volunteering you will do. You will mainly be asked for a DOJ background check, an FBI background check or both. If you work with children, you will be asked for a CACI (Child Abuse Central Index) check as well.

The background check and the live scan form will depend on the organization you’re joining and the background check results they are authorized to receive. Agencies are not authorized to share your background check results so whenever you get a new job or join a new organization, you will be asked to get a new live scan. This ensures the privacy of your information and that no one views your records without permission.

Statewide and Nationwide Background Checks

The California’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has a huge database of the state’s criminal records collected from police stations, courts, etc. On the other hand, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) database contains all the criminal records of the U.S. For every crime committed, every theft and every arrest, there are records of fingerprints. Whenever you go to get a live scan, the live scan center will send your fingerprint images to the DOJ which then sends them to FBI if needed. They compare your prints to their database and then decide if your record is clear or not.

What Do Live Scan Locations Exactly Do?

California has numerous live scan locations authorized by the government to take fingerprints. However, they are not authorized to receive background check results. Their role is to digitally capture fingerprints and send images to the DOJ. The DOJ or FBI then sends results automatically to the requesting agency.

Why Do We Need Live Scan?

Most organizations, agencies, and employers request a live scan to ensure that they choose trustworthy individuals. If you’re hiring a personal guard, a teacher, or  a nurse, for example, it’s better if you know they have a clear record.

Live scan is becoming popular. It is indispensable for ensuring safety and technology has made it a lot easier.