When should I get a determination on my application? Isn’t there a 90 day deadline?

A:

Cal. Penal Code section 26205 states:

“The licensing authority shall give written notice to the applicant indicating if the license under this article is approved or denied. The licensing authority shall give this notice within 90 days of the initial application for a new license or a license renewal, or 30 days after receipt of the applicant’s criminal background check from the Department of Justice, whichever is later. If the license is denied, the notice shall state which requirement was not satisfied.”

(Emphasis added.)

It is important to note that some licensing authorities employ a delaying tactic by not taking fingerprints (which initiates the CA DOJ background check process), therefore allowing them to “sit” on an application indefinitely due to the second deadline test in 26205. However, such delaying tactics are unlawful.

Cal. Penal Code section 26190(a)(3) establishes that applications are to be made in person, and that the licensing authority has specific statutory duties with respect to the acceptance and processing of applications. (“The officer receiving the application and the fee shall transmit the fee, with the fingerprints if required, to the Department of Justice.” (Emphasis added.).)

That same duty to collect fingerprints and the CA DOJ background check fee is found in section 26185(a)(1). (“The fingerprints of each applicant shall be taken and two copies on forms prescribed by the Department of Justice shall be forwarded to the department.” (Emphasis added.) Note that while the statutes refer to the old-style ink fingerprint cards, the CA DOJ has in practice mandated that their LiveScan service be used for this purpose.)