Teacher Credentialing, Certificate of Clearance

December 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Effective January 1, 1999, the Commission began accepting Live Scan fingerprint submissions. Live Scan is a process whereby fingerprints are electronically transmitted to the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) and California Department of Justice (DOJ). Response for fingerprints submitted via Live Scan quicker than traditional fingerprint ink cards. Contact California Live Scan Fingerprinting Centers (CAL-LIVE) for their nearest location; appointments and/or walk-ins are welcome.

Certificate of Clearance (COC)
A Certificate of Clearance is a document that verifies that the individual has completed the Commission’s fingerprint and character and identification process. Individuals must obtain a Certificate of Clearance prior to beginning student teaching.


Applying For A Certificate of Clearance

California residents must apply for their Certificate of Clearance online effective July 1, 2007. Follow the steps outlined in number 1, below.

Out-of-state and out-of-country residents have three ways to submit an application for a Certificate of Clearance. Each method is explained below.

  1. Apply online (the quickest method), using the instructions provided below:
  1. Print three copies of Live Scan 41-LS form
  2. Submit the three copies of the Live Scan 41-LS form and processing fees to the Live Scan operator when the fingerprints are taken (Click here for Live Scan Locations, or visit http://www.livescan-fingerprinting.net/california-live-scan-fingerprinting-center-locations)
  3. Navigate to the Commission’s Online Direct Application Site
  4. Complete the online application
  5. Using a VISA or MasterCard debit or credit card, complete the authorized transaction fee of $29.50
  6. Immediately following the successful submission of the online application, an e-mail will be sent containing a confirmation number and a link to the Track Payment web page.


  1. Submit a paper application via postal mail to the Commission office which includes all of the following:
  1. A completed application form (PDF) . Check the box in Section 3 titled Certificate of Clearance.
  2. Application processing fees which will be credited toward a future application fee for certification
  3. A copy of the Request for Live Scan 41-LS form must be attached to the application packet as proof that fingerprints were taken and the fingerprint processing fees paid. Out-of-state residents have the option of completing two fingerprint ink cards (FD-258) in lieu of a Live Scan receipt. There is an additional $51.00 fee to process the fingerprint ink cards, in addition to the application processing fee.

FBI Fingerprint Ink Cards FD-258 are available at California Live Scan Fingerprinting Centers corporate office, (888) 498-4234.

California Live Scan Fingerprinting Centers, offering online scheduling and convenience. Contact us at (888) 498-4234 to learn more and be sure to ask about our current promotions.

  1. Apply through the college or university in which you are completing your teacher preparation program.

The normal processing time for the fingerprint and character and identification process via Live Scan is one to three days. If submitting fingerprint ink cards, or if the individual requires review by the Commission’s Division of Professional Practices, the process will take longer. If the application is pending review by the Commission’s Division of Professional Practices, the online file will indicate that the application is “pending additional evaluation”.

Certificates of Clearance issued on or after July 1, 2007 are valid for five-years.

Source: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing website 2011-12. Material & pricing subject to change without notice.

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