Criminal Background Checks

“The Church’s position is that abuse cannot be tolerated in any form.” General Handbook §38.6.2. California law now requires Church members who work with minors for at least 32 hours per year to undergo a criminal background check. Thank you for your help in complying with this law and in protecting Heavenly Father’s children.

1. Who is required to get a background check?

Anyone who works with minors for at least 32 hours per year. This could include members of the stake presidency, bishopric, stake and ward primary workers, youth leaders, advisors, specialists, instructors, seminary teachers or any other person who works with the youth for 32+ hours in a year. 

2. How does the process work?

Members fill out the Request for Live Scan Service form and take the form to a Live Scan Services location to get fingerprinted. Our stake has an account with Live Scan Fresno, located at 1754 E Bullard Ave #105. They will perform the required service at no cost to our members and then submit the form to the State, which sends the results to Church headquarters, usually within 48 to 72 business hours.

3. Does it cost me anything?

No. We have arranged for a Live Scan event to take place at the stake center on October 8th from 1-3pm. Sign up at If you can't make this event, then you can visit Live Scan Fresno on the corner of Bullard/Cedar, during their normal business hours to be live scanned. Please note that there are two live scan providers in that office complex. Our account is with Live Scan Fresno. They will bill the stake directly for the live scan services that they provide. 

4. Who reviews the background check?

An individual at Church headquarters, approved by the State of California as a Custodian of Records, will review the background check.

5. What does the Custodian of Records do with the information?

The Church has added a tab on California membership records to mark whether the member has been approved to work with minors, which is visible only to leaders and clerks: The custodian will mark the member as cleared/certified or not. Note that members who have moved in from other areas that require some type of certification may have those reflected on their records as well. California’s certification will appear as CADOJ; unlike some others, the California certifications do not have an expiration date and will not have a report attached to the record.

6. Will local units be notified when the background check is complete?

No. Because of the number of background checks and the logistics of the reporting system, the Church will not be able to send notices of new clearances. Stake presidents, bishops or their clerks will have to check Leader and Clerk Resources (LCR) for updates.

7. What crimes are captured by the background check?

  • Any felony conviction.
  • Sexual battery.
  • Sex offense against a minor.
  • Any crime requiring registration as a sex offender.
  • Willful harm or injury to a child within the previous 10 years.
  • Corporal punishment or injury of a child within the previous 10 years.
  • Crimes against elderly or dependent adults within the previous 10 years.
  • Robbery and burglary within the previous 10 years.

8. What crimes will keep a member from serving with minors?

Any sexual offense against a child or adult and any violent offense against a child. Other convictions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

9. Do I need a new background check if I change wards or switch callings?

No. It bears noting, however, that background checks done in connection with non-Church employment cannot be accessed by the Church; consequently, members will need to be screened again using the form provided.

10. Does the background check expire?

Not currently. The law could change in the future, or the Church may determine that new background checks are appropriate after substantial time has passed.

11. Is the background check private?

Yes. No one will see criminal history information except the designated Custodians of Records at Church headquarters who reviews it.

12. Will the member be notified if he or she is not eligible to work with youth or children?

Yes. The stake president or bishop will notify a member who is marked ineligible to work with minors, who can then counsel with the stake president or bishop as needed.

13. How soon must members already in callings with minors get a background check?

Those currently in callings with minors should comply as soon as reasonably possible.

14. Will I receive a copy of the results? 

No. They will be sent to Church headquarters. 

15. What information from the background check will be attached to my membership record?

The only thing that will be attached to your membership record is a "cleared" or "certified" status. No other information will be stored in your membership record. You will be contacted by your bishop or stake president if you are not eligible to work with minors. 

16. What if I refuse to participate in the background check?

In most cases, if a member refuses to get the background check, he or she will not be allowed to work with minors.

17. What if I still have questions?

Contact your bishop or a member of the stake presidency.

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