Attorney Fingerprinting

On May 23, 2018, the Supreme Court issued a new California Rule of Court effective June 1, 2018, which will require most active California lawyers to be re-fingerprinted.

The Proposed Rule States

1. Attorney Fingerprinting

Attorney fingerprinting required by every active licensed attorney of the State Bar for whom the State Bar does not currently have fingerprint images shall, pursuant to the procedure identified by the State Bar, submit fingerprint images to the DOJ for the sole purpose of obtaining criminal offender record information regarding federal and state level convictions and arrests.

Inactive licensed attorneys for whom the State Bar of California does not have fingerprint images must submit fingerprint images to the Department of Justice prior to pursuing active status.

The State Bar shall request from the DOJ subsequent arrest notification service for its active licensed attorneys, pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 6054.

2. Implementation Program

The State Bar requires that all active licensed attorneys who have not submitted their fingerprints image to have fingerprint images to submit them to the Department of Justice by Dec. 1, 2019. The Board of Trustees of the State Bar must develop a schedule for implementation of subsection.

3. Information Obtained by Subsequent Arrest Notification; Limitations on Disclosure

Any advice obtained by the State Bar throughout the Following Arrest Notification System will likely be confidential and will be utilized solely for State Bar regulatory and licensing purposes.

4. Fingerprint Submissions and Processing Costs

All expenses for providing criminal history information to and also the processing of fingerprints for the State Bar, including print furnishing and encoding, as required by section 6054, shall be borne by the licensed attorney.

The State Bar will cover the Department of Justice and the FBI processing costs for licensed attorneys who have been granted a fee scaling or fee waiver for annual membership fees pursuant to State Bar Rule 2.15(A) or 2.16(C)(3)(c). These attorneys will pay for all third party print furnishing costs.

5. Lawyers That Are Physically Struggling to become Fingerprinted

In the event the DOJ creates a decision pursuant to California Penal Code section 11105.7 that the lawyer is currently unable to present legible fingerprints, then the lawyer can have been known to have complied with the need for Department 1.

Attorneys might additionally submit notification to the State Bar direct during their State Bar Profile they are not able to submit fingerprints on account of disability, injury, disease, or other circumstances beyond their own control.

The State Bar will assess the telling and could call for more evidence. In the event the State Bar determines that the lawyer is not able to submit an application in line with the info given, the lawyer can have been known to have complied with the requirement of section (b).

This section will only affect those persons that cannot produce legible fingerprints as a result of disability, disease, injury, or other circumstances beyond their hands and will not affect persons that cannot supply fingerprints cause of activities they’ve taken in order to avoid filing their fingerprints.

The State Bar will release guidelines, FAQs, compulsory re-fingerprinting varieties, a program, along with other relevant details on June 1 . Lawyers must not re-fingerprint before this info is published on June 1. The deadline to submit new fingerprints without any punishment will probably be April 30, 2019.

The State Bar is demanding attorneys to re-submit fingerprints by April 30, 2019.Under California Rule of Court Rule 9.9.5, all licensed active attorneys in California must be re-fingerprinted.  Failing to follow these instructions will be considered non-compliance with California State Bar fingerprinting rule requirements and may subject attorneys to fines. Below is the notification and penalty schedule:

Penalty Schedule



Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Phase 5

Phase 6


Rule of Court 9.9.5 Approved

Initial Notice of Fingerprinting Rule Requirement

Non-Compliance to Rule Notice

First Reminder

Second Reminder

Third Reminder

Final Warning Notice

Approximately three months to comply

Monetary Penalty II- $75

Approximately three months to comply

Monetary Penalty II- $100

Approximately four months to comply

Final Warning Notice of Status Change

Status Change to Involuntary Inactive


May 23, 2018

June 1, 2018 – Aug. 3, 2018

Aug. 6, 2018 – Jan. 30, 2019

Aug. 6, 2018 – Sept. 28, 2018

Second Reminder

Dec. 3, 2018 – Jan. 30, 2019

Feb. 4, 2019

Feb. 4, 2019 – Apr. 30, 2019

May 1, 2019

May 2, 2019 – July 31, 2019

Aug. 1, 2019

Aug. 2, 2019 – Nov. 30, 2019

Nov. 1, 2019

Dec. 1, 2019

Mauricio Ramos

Published by
Mauricio Ramos

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