California Architects

Newsletter Logo for California Architects

2020 Edition, Issue 3


A Publication of the California Architects Board ■ Public Protection Through Examination, Licensure, and Regulation

Fingerprinting Requirements

Effective January 1, 2021, all architect license applicants will be required to submit fingerprints prior to being issued an architect license. Senate Bill 608 (Glazer, Chapter 376, Statutes of 2019) requires the California Architects Board (Board) to obtain fingerprints from license applicants for purposes of conducting criminal history record checks. (More information can be found at Business and Professions Code sections 144 and 5552.1.) The fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to determine whether applicants have criminal records.

Applicants who reside in California must complete the electronic Live Scan fingerprint process. Applicants residing outside of California may either travel to California to complete fingerprinting at a Live Scan location or submit fingerprint hard cards obtained from the Board after December 2020. However, the fingerprint hard cards can take significantly longer to process.

All costs associated with meeting the fingerprinting requirement are the responsibility of the applicant. For applicants who are fingerprinted in California through a Live Scan operator, the processing fees vary by Live Scan location and are not set by the Board. Out-of-state applicants who choose the fingerprint hard card process must obtain the fingerprint hard card from the Board and go to a fingerprint rolling facility and send a payment of $49 along with the fingerprint hard card to the Department of Justice. Detailed instructions on the fingerprinting requirements will be provided to each applicant upon applying to take the California Supplemental Examination. Visit the Board’s website and the Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information on the new fingerprinting requirements. The Board is currently developing a dedicated web page for release at the end of December 2020 to provide guidance and answer questions regarding the new fingerprinting requirements.