Fingerprinting for Cali RN license

  1. Does anyone know if I can just go to the local FBI office (There is one in Jacksonville, FL) to get the finger printing card and have them do it there to mail in with my application? I requested it from the Cali BON over 3 weeks ago and has never arrived in the mail. Do I need to submit the application and the finger printing card at the same time or can they be mailed separately? Any other suggestions for speeding up the process on getting my license by endorsement in California?


  2. Visit Codeman5788 profile page

    About Codeman5788

    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 35; Likes: 2
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Trauma & SICU


  3. by   NedRN
    The standard FD-258 used anywhere you can get your prints done is what California will send you. So yes. You will send the completed card to the BON. Don't worry about the ORI number, the BON will fill that out when they get it.

    The best way to get a California license is to go to California and do the Livescan fingerprints in California. If the stars align, you can get a temp in 48 hours. Part of the issue with doing a fingerprint card is that the BON will batch them before sending them to the DOJ, and the DOJ will do the same and it will depend on how stacked up they are. Do it in-state and you bypass both potential roadblocks and the background is run stat.

    The other issue is the DOJ's scanner's ability to read your fingerprint card. It is not rare for them to be kicked out, you don't find out for several weeks, and then have to redo the fingerprint card and start over. If you have difficult prints, I would highly recommend that you use a Livescan vendor in Florida (the FBI should have a Livescan I would hope), scan your prints, they can now optimize the result before printing it on an FD-258. There are lots of Livescans in Florida as the state requires it (you probably did it for your Florida license) and you can even look them up on the FL BON site. Now I know what you are thinking, why not transmit the FL Livescan directly to California? Good thought, but California law currently doesn't allow it. Florida does allow out of state Livescans - which is interesting to see Florida ahead of the curve.
  4. by   Codeman5788
    Wow! Thank you for all of the great advice. I had read online that you had to reside in Cali to do the Livescan there, but I will look into the Florida one to send it out to Cali. Can I go ahead and do the Fingerprinting now before they probably process my application?
  5. by   NedRN
    You misunderstand what I wrote. You do have to Livescan inside California to be acceptable to the BON as an electronic file (you don't need to be a resident).

    However, Livescan is just a scanner, you can print the results if you are not in California and send the resulting fingerprint card to the BON just like original inked cards. Like any scanner, you can adjust settings like contrast until you have a great printed card that can be scanned successfully by California DOJ. That is the benefit of doing Livescan instead of inked fingerprints outside of California. You also won't get your fingers messy!
  6. by   Codeman5788
    So I still need to pay the $49 fee then when I send in my application? And it still is going to take the longer amount of time, just if I do it this way, then I don't have to worry about them rejecting it because it is smudged is what you are saying? But If I wanted to, I could fly out to California and do it there to do it the quick electronic way without being a resident?
  7. by   NedRN
    Everything I said is true, I'm not going to say something different the third time. Call the board if you have any doubt. There is indeed a $49 fee for submitting a fingerprint card just as their application says.
  8. by   Codeman5788
    They won't answer the phone or email me back. I believe you though. Thanks for your help!
  9. by   akulahawkRN
    Quote from Codeman5788
    So I still need to pay the $49 fee then when I send in my application? And it still is going to take the longer amount of time, just if I do it this way, then I don't have to worry about them rejecting it because it is smudged is what you are saying? But If I wanted to, I could fly out to California and do it there to do it the quick electronic way without being a resident?
    What you're going to want to do is get a "hard card" sent from the California BRN as it'll have all the info needed for proper processing of the results. Then call around to LiveScan places to see if they can print on those cards. If they can, have them do the rolling and check for smudged prints (you pay the rolling fee to them) and then you should send the card with the fee paid for the background investigation to the BRN. As stated, they may batch the cards and send a bunch off at the same time. This is a longer wait for you.

    If you can travel to California, there are LOTS of places that do LiveScan and you can easily go there and have it done. LiveScan results are processed basically immediately and results transmitted electronically to the BRN within a couple of days.

    You do NOT have to be a California resident to have it done, just make sure all the info is correct on the form (you can get it from their website), but you do physically have to be in California to have a LiveScan done. Otherwise, it's "hard card" time!
  10. by   NedRN
    Every place that does Livescan in any state can print to a fingerprint card, or "hard card" as you are calling it. A Livescan does not involve "rolling" fingers in ink so no smudging possible except for unintended movement while scanning - usually called blurring when a photographic/scanning type process is obscured.

    By the way, the batching done of fingerprint cards received by the BON is relatively trivial - they will send them off at least twice a week. The batching done by the DOJ is more significant as they will give priority to police investigations. But each extra step adds up, a couple days at the BON, another day to deliver to the DOJ, and then some indeterminate time to process, and another indeterminate time to notify the BON that the prints were not useable, and then another indeterminate time to notify the applicant. No wonder it can sometimes take months.

    Far better to actually do the Livescan in California and all that is bypassed completely - instant gratification. Of course, that is an expensive trip from the other side of the country and if you have a couple of months before you start looking for travel assignments in California, I would send them a card too. Just minimize the potential for problems by getting your fingerprints scanned then printed rather than ink and paper.
  11. by   Codeman5788
    Thanks for the great tips. I am potentially thinking about flying out there. If I do, can I hand deliver my application to the BON? I am looking to start my travel assignment the first week of May. Do you think there is enough time between now and beginning of April for it to get processed by mailing the fingerprints? How do they let you know you got approved? Just send you the license and it shows up in your mailbox one day? Last but not least, do they need my application first before my transcripts get there or can I go ahead and order those to get sent?
    Last edit by Codeman5788 on Feb 1, '14 : Reason: Verify
  12. by   NedRN
    You might bypass a lot of these questions by taking a look at the very thorough California board information on PanTravelers.

    I posted that if you have a couple of months before you start looking, I would do the mail route. I think most agencies will not submit you to California unless you already have a license. Your choice - California has improved their processes so I think fewer applicants with no criminal record do OK by mail, but their workload is extreme.

    Yes to delivering your application in person.

    They do not need your transcripts to issue a temp so that will not slow you down. But they do not say to send your application in first so I think you can do transcripts ahead of time if you want. I believe they will track your transcripts by SSN so they should not get lost.

    I can think of a possible reason not to do your transcripts before you get your temp. California can be very fussy about school curricula. If you don't have enough hours in some clinical, or enough hours of didactic in some subject, they can deny you a license. Several Canadian nurses have recently reported this, and some state programs are known to be problematic (not sure which ones precisely - historically before NCLEX NY and CA had the most rigorous nursing education and standards in the US and gave nurses from other states hard looks). I think it is now fairly rare for US nurses, but still a risk that I read about occasionally and getting the temp before they look at your transcripts may allow you to finish a first assignment.

    You can find out when your license is active by checking a temp or perm specific link on the BON. That is how the hospital and agency will check as well. I believe CA still issues a paper or plastic temp, but they are no longer signing temp letters at the board is my understanding. The online verification is fine though.
  13. by   Codeman5788
    Your awesome! I'll look for that message board that you mentioned as well, but I think you covered everything.
  14. by   Codeman5788
    On the application, it only has enough room to write for 1 school. I received my ASN and BSN degrees. Which one should I list?