How to Get Your California DOJ Background Check Easily
Updated: Sep 5
By Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.
You can get your California department of justice (“DOJ”) background check easily to review for yourself with $25, paper, an ink pad and about half an hour of time.
First page of BCIA 8106RR (Request for CalDOJ Report)
You may want to do this if you want to apply for second citizenship or an immigration benefit and you’ve been a) arrested, b) charged or c) convicted of a crime in California.
Finding out the disposition (i.e. outcome) of your contact with your police is a first step for determining whether you qualify for post-conviction relief (like an expungement). It’s also a first step for evaluating your citizenship or immigration case to find out if you’ll have any difficulties based on the conviction.
How to Request the CalDOJ Report
Step 1 - go to the CalDOJ website
Step 2 - Download, carefully fill out, and print the BCIA 8016RR (for livescan requests) or the BCIA 8705 (for ink fingerprint requests) Don’t forget to sign it.
Step 3 - Decide whether you will render your fingerprints at an approved livescan location or if you will take the fingerprints yourself on a paper FD-258 and submit your paper fingerprint rendering along with your application (BCIA 8705).
If you are in California, you may be able to find a livescan location. Google “livescan location California DOJ.” If you find a location near you, call them first and make sure they process fingerprints for CalDOJ reports.
If they do, bring your completed & signed BCIA 8016RR to the livescan appointment, and pay your fee. Livescan location fees vary but, as of the time of this writing, they seem to be around $30 or so.
Paper Fingerprints on FD-258
If you decide to take your own fingerprints to submit with your application, you can purchase blank FD-258 cards from amazon or download the FD -258 PDF here yourself to print. Both forms of blank fingerprint cards work just fine.
Note: the CalDOJ request form you use for livescan request (BCIA 8016RR) is different than the CalDoJ request form you use for ink fingerprint requests. (BCIA 8705).
FD-258 Fingerprint Card
You’ll also need a fingerprint ink pad to take your own fingerprints. At Malakouti Law, we use this fingerprint ink pad from amazon shown below, which costs a budget-friendly $4.99.
$5 fingerprint ink pad we recommend at Malakouti Law
Completed CalDoJ Application Package
When you’re finished preparing your application, your package should have four elements if you are taking your own fingerprints:
A completed, and signed BCIA 8106RR
A completed and signed FD-258 with clear prints
A check or money order for $25 made payable to the “California Department of Justice”
Your manilla envelope with sufficient postage
Plunk the first 3 items into the fourth item (the envelope), and drop that bad boy in the mail, as shown below.
Sample CalDOJ request package ready to mail out
2 Common Issues Requesting the Report & Solutions
The most common issue we see from people who have requested their own CalDOJ report is that their request was rejected by the DOJ due to poor fingerprint quality. Our recommendation is that you read and follow this one page guidance on the back from the FBI regarding proper fingerprinting technique.
Fingerprint instructions with FD-258
For redundancy, you may want to take two sets of fingerprints and send in two separate requests with two separate fees.
The second most common mistake we see is messing up the payment, by addressing it sloppily, or forgetting to include payment. Again, the check or money order should be made payable to “California Department of Justice.”
As we like to say at Malakouti Law, make sure to take care in your request so that you “read twice, send once.”
How to Challenge Information on the CalDOJ Report
The California DOJ does not allow you to challenge information on a CalDOJ report without first making a request. When you receive your CalDOJ report for record review, attached with the report will be a Claim of Alleged Inaccuracy or Incompleteness" (form BCIA 8706), shown below.
BCIA 8706 - only available after making a report request for review
This is the form that one must fill out in order to challenge the information on their CalDOJ report. If you had a form of post-conviction relief, you may be able to challenge the information on the report, depending on the nature of the post-conviction relief and the information being challenged.
We’ll go over which type of conviction, charge and arrest information can be “removed” from a CalDOJ report in another forthcoming article.
Possible Next Steps - PCR (Expungement, Vacatur, Sealing, etc.)
Sample California DOJ Background Check Report
Once you have the report, you can work towards finding out whether any post-conviction relief is available to you, and what kind of effect it’ll have on your CalDOJ report and your FBI Identity History Summary (“IdHS”).
Here’s where a professional can help a lot. A lawyer skilled in California post-conviction relief can evaluate your situation using your CalDOJ report to a) find out which courts or law enforcement agencies may have more records of your criminal history, and b)
In other words, the CalDOJ report gives minimal information about your criminal history, but one can use that information to locate the more expansive records (such as a final disposition, minutes of hearing, charging documents, police report, etc.).
Sometimes these more expansive records are necessary to obtain and submit if you are an American pursuing second citizenship elsewhere. If you are an immigrant in the United States, you’ll also want these records evaluated to make sure your U.S. immigration status isn’t jeopardized.
Request a Consultation With Malakouti Law
If you’re an American with a criminal record and you’re interested in second citizenship, request a consultation with Malakouti Law here to start getting answers on what’s possible.
Each immigration and citizenship case is particular and you should consult with a qualified immigration and citizenship lawyer about your case before taking any steps. The Law Office of Parviz Malakouti does not guarantee the accuracy of information presented nor assume responsibility for actions taken in reliance of this information. The information in this page could become outdated. Attorney marketing.