What You Can Do:
The California Department of Health,Vital Records is the place to start most California background checks for death, marriage and birth certificates. Birth certificates can generally be provided for persons born in and past 1905. Adoption records and Dissolution of Marriage or divorce records may also be available depending on individual cases. Here are the current estimated fees and average processing times for common California vital records used in background checks:
Doing California background checks on one’s own is an option, but many people also use commercial information providers to avoid long searches, extended waiting times and excessive processing fees.
Customer Service: (916) 445-2684
Monday – Friday, 8am-4pm, Pacific Standard Time
Mailing Address: California Department of Public Health
Vital Records – MS 5103
PO Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410
The California Department of Justice (CDOJ) oversees criminal records in background checks by using submitted fingerprints. If the individual being checked has a criminal history, the transcript will go to the appropriate bureau such as the Caregiver Background Check Bureau (CBCB). In cases in which there are no prior criminal records, the CDOJ will issue a clearance notice to the CBCB as well as the applicant.
For child care providers, the CDOJ will do a Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) check even after an initial background check was clean. The CDOJ will notify the CBCB of any reports of child abuse that occur after the initial check. Criminal background checks are legally mandatory for community care facilities for all job applicants and adult residents under the California Health and Safety Code as administered by the California Department of Social Services.The processing time after submitting fingerprints to the CDOJ can take several weeks, or even longer if the FBI is involved. A CACI may take up to six weeks.
Running background checks are subject to unique California laws such as the 7 Year Rule which limits how far back the citizens should be checked. A new law established in January 2012 places restrictions on individuals doing background checks on anybody. Most California background checks can be done in a few days and include a Social Security Number Scan, and for education purposes.
The usual background check processing fees are $15 with FBI versions at $17. A federal or state level processing fee for a Criminal Offender Record Search (CORI) that the CDOJ sends to the FBI is $32.
CDOJ 24 hour Automated Telephone Service: (916) 227-4557
Mailing address: Attorney General’s Office
California Department of Justice
Attention: Public Inquiry Unit
PO Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550