Guardian Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Guardian Login Assistance/Password Reset:

How do I access Guardian?

You may access Guardian by visiting: https://guardian.dss.ca.gov/applicant.

If this is your first time accessing Guardian, you will need to select “Register as a New User” to create a Guardian account for yourself. If you already have a Guardian account, you can enter your User Name and Password. You will then be prompted to create a new application for the agency to which you are applying.

What do I do if I get locked out of my account?

If you enter an incorrect username or password too many times, your account will be locked and you will need to contact GuardianLoginSupport@dss.ca.gov to get your account unlocked.

I cant remember my password, what do I do?

If you have logged into Guardian and set up an account before, you will need to select “ Forgot Password/Unlock”. You will then be prompted to answer your security question. Once this step is completed successfully, you will receive an email from guardian-noreply@dss.ca.gov which will provide a temporary password to reset your password.

If you are still having trouble with logging in, please contact GuardianLoginSupport@dss.ca.gov

Who do I contact for technical assistance?

If you need assistance with your username or password, need to submit a Licensee User Access Form or have been locked out of your account, please email GuardianLoginSupport@dss.ca.gov. Please allow 3-5 business days for a response.

If you need assistance tracking your background check status, have an exemption related question or need general information about Guardian, please email Guardian@dss.ca.gov for assistance or call (888) 422-5669.

Guardian Background Check Questions:

This section pertains to the applicants who choose to use Guardian to assist in their background check. If you are not using Guardian, you may find the answers to your background check related Questions in the Care Provider Management Bureau Background Check Frequently Asked Questions section below.

How do I submit a background check application?

Follow the instructions to “Register As A New User” in Guardian. After entering the Agency PIN, follow the instructions to complete the application process. After the application is completed, a pre-populated Live Scan form will generate to assist with the fingerprint submission.

If you do not use Guardian, you may still submit fingerprints via Live Scan for your prospective employer. If an exemption is needed, you will be notified via U.S. Mail. You may mail your exemption documents back to the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) at 744 P Street, M.S. T9-15-62, Sacramento CA, 95814 or fax to 916-754-4589. If additional information is needed and once an exemption decision is made, you will again be notified via U.S. Mail.

I am going through a background check. How do I know if I am in process, cleared, exempted or denied?

If you have a Guardian account, you may log in to Guardian using your login credentials. If you have not logged into Guardian, you will need to select “Register as a New User” and continue with the application for Guardian. Please enter your Background Check ID # if you know it, along with your Social Security Number and all personal identifying information. After you have successfully registered in Guardian or logged into your existing account, you will see your Home Page with your status.

  • In Process means you are currently undergoing the background check process;
  • Eligible means you are cleared or exempted to work;
  • Not Eligible means your background check has been denied.

How long does it take to conduct a background check using Guardian?

Once Live Scan fingerprints have been received and your Criminal Record Statement (LIC 508/LIC 508D) have been completed in Guardian, some background check results can be processed in real time. For example, if you have no criminal history and all requirements have been met, a clearance can be processed within a day. If you do have criminal history, background checks can take up to 75 days. It is highly recommended to use Guardian to upload your exemption documents if you do need a Criminal Record Exemption.

How do I upload documents?

You may upload documents by accessing Guardian, where the “Upload Document” button will be available on your home screen. Next, a pop up box will appear which allows you to select the appropriate file. After the document has been uploaded, the Care Provider Management Bureau will receive the document in real time.

How will I know what needs to be submitted in order to proceed with my background check?

If a criminal record exemption is required, an Exemption Needed letter will generate. and be available for viewing. If you have opted in to electronic notifications, you will access this letter in Documents, on the Home Page of your Guardian applicant portal. If you have not opted in to electronic notifications, you will receive this letter via U.S. mail.

How will I receive notifications from Guardian?

If you have chosen to receive notifications from Guardian, these notifications will be provided to you at the email address entered during creation of your account. You may opt in to electronic notifications at any time by accessing your Guardian account and selecting “My Account.”

What happens if I no longer have access to a computer to manage my Guardian portal/account?

If you no longer have access to a computer, you may utilize the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) to manually send in your exemption documents and receive letters via U.S. Mail. You can also call CPMB at 888-422-5669 or email CPMB at guardian@dss.ca.gov to inquire about the status of your exemption. If you choose to no longer utilize Guardian, please update your notification preferences in “My Account.”

What if I want to discontinue receiving notifications from Guardian?

You may opt-out of electronic notifications from Guardian at any time. Access “My Account”, select “Opt Out” and click “Save”.

How do I update my personal information? (change of address, email address, phone number)

You may update your address, email address, phone number and your opt-in/opt-out of electronic notification preferences by accessing “My Account” in Guardian. Only your username cannot be updated. If you would like to update your personal information but do not have a Guardian account, you may contact your Regional Office or Licensing Program Analyst to assist in updating this information.

What if I don’t want to use Guardian?

You may submit exemption documents to and receive paper communications from the Care Provider Management Bureau via U.S. Mail at 744 P Street, M.S. T9-15-62, Sacramento CA, 95814 or by fax to 916-754-4589. You may also track the status of an exemption by communicating with CPMB via phone at 888-422-5669 or email to guardian@dss.ca.gov. If you register as a new user in Guardian and do not want to receive documents electronically, please opt-out of electronic communications during the registration process.

Home Care Aide Registry:

How do I make a payment for my application or application renewal fees?

When submitting your initial application for the Home Care Aide Registry or renewal application as a Home Care Aide in Guardian, you will be prompted to enter payment information as applicable. You may pay by credit or debit card. You will be taken to a third-party payment site (Elavon) to complete this payment.

How do I apply for the Home Care Aide Registry?

To apply to the Home Care Aide Registry you will need to first obtain the Applicant Initiated Form that can be found on the Home Care Services Bureau Webpage, starting in mid-January 2021. Follow the instructions to “Register As A New User” in Guardian. After entering the Agency PIN, follow the instructions to complete the application process. After the application is completed, a pre-populated Live Scan form will generate to assist with the fingerprint submission.

To apply for the Home Care Aide Registry outside of Guardian, you may send in the manual Home Care Aide Registration Application (HCS 100), along with a check or money order made payable to the Department of Social Services, to Home Care Services Bureau, 744 P Street, M.S. 9-14-90, Sacramento, CA 95814.

How do I renew my Home Care Aide Registration?

If you have opted in to electronic notifications, you will receive an email when your renewal period is approaching. You will also receive a letter, either in your Guardian portal or via U.S. Mail, which states that your Home Care Aide Registration is expiring and you need to take action to renew your registration.

You may renew your Home Care Aide registration in one of the following ways:

If you are an independent Home Care Aide and use Guardian, you will need to locate the Applicant Instruction Form on the Home Care Services Bureau webpage, that will be available starting in mid-January 2021. Access your Guardian applicant portal to add a new application, enter the PIN number, select the appropriate request types and proceed to payment.

If you are working for a Home Care Organization (HCO), you will need to ask the HCO for their Applicant Instruction Form or Agency PIN. Access your Guardian applicant portal to add a new application, enter the PIN number, select the appropriate request type and proceed to payment.

If you do not use Guardian, you may send your renewal fee and the Application for Home Care Aide Registration Renewal (HCS 101), to Home Care Services Bureau, 744 P Street, M.S. 9-14-90, Sacramento, CA 95814.

What are the Request Types for Home Care Aides in Guardian?

Home Care Aide Registry Initial is for initial Home Care Aide applicants,
Home Care Aide Registry Renewal is for Home Care Aide registrants who need to renew their application and pay the renewal fees.

TrustLine Registry:

How do I apply for the TrustLine Registry?

To apply for the TrustLine Registry in Guardian please obtain the Applicant Instruction Form from the agency in which you are applying to. If you are applying for a subsidized or fee-paying agency, please complete a TLR 9163, which will be available in January 2021, and return it to the Resource and Referral Network. If you need assistance with this, please contact the Resource and Referral Network at TrustLine website or call (800) 822-8490.

Guardian Login Assistance/Password Reset

How do I access Guardian?

You may access Guardian by visiting: The Guardian Agency Portal. If you have already created an account, please use your username and password to log in. If you are new Guardian, please refer to the question “What is a Licensee User Access Form?”.

What is a Licensee User Access Form?

The Licensee User Access Form is used by the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) to establish the Licensee as the initial user of Guardian. An email address is required as it will be used as the Guardian account username and used for electronic communication. Please also list all applicable agencies the user needs access to. The form must be completed by a Licensee and have an original signature in order to be accepted by CPMB. After receipt of the form and account creation by CPMB, the initial user can grant access to other individuals in an agency that may need access to view rosters, employment information, exemption statuses, etc.

What do I do if I get locked out of my account?

If you enter an incorrect username or password too many times, your account will be locked and you will need to contact GuardianLoginSupport@dss.ca.gov to get your account unlocked.

If your Licensee or Director created your Guardian account, they can unlock the account for you by following the user guide Unlocking (Enabling) a User Account.

If I can’t remember my password or am having trouble with my password, what do I do?

If you have already created your Guardian account, select “Forgot Password/Unlock”. You will be prompted to answer one of your pre-established security questions. You will then receive an email from guardian-noreply@dss.ca.gov with a temporary password.

If you are a Licensee and have not submitted your Licensee User Access form for account creation, please do so. Once an account has been created you will receive an email from guardian-noreply@dss.ca.gov that contains a temporary password.

If you are not a Licensee of an agency, please contact your Licensee or main point of contact for your agency to create an account for you. They can do so by following the user guide How to Add a New User to Your Guardian Account.

If you are still having trouble with logging in, please contact GuardianLoginSupport@dss.ca.gov.

Who do I contact for technical assistance?

If you need assistance with your username or password, need to submit a Licensee User Access Form or have been locked out of your account, please email GuardianLoginSupport@dss.ca.gov. Please allow 3-5 business days for a response.

If you need assistance tracking the background check status of an individual, have an exemption related question or need general information about Guardian, please email Guardian@dss.ca.gov or call (888) 422-5669.

Guardian Background Check Questions

This section pertains to those agencies who are using Guardian to perform their background check and roster management functions, as well as those who choose to receive electronic notifications from Guardian.

How can I initiate an application on behalf of an applicant?

An agency can initiate a background check application on behalf of an applicant in Guardian. After the application is complete, a pre-populated Live Scan form will generate for the applicant to submit fingerprints. The applicant will also receive a notification to the email address that was input during the application process, informing them that a Live Scan form is available. It is important to note that the agency must also complete the self-disclosure information for the applicant if an application is initiated on of the applicant’s behalf. The application will not be submitted until the self-disclosure information has been completed. For further information, please refer to the User Guide for Licensing and Home Care Agencies (PDF Coming Soon).

How do I answer the self-disclosure questions and upload the LIC 508 for an applicant?

Please access Guardian, locate the “Applications” tab and select “Application Administration” from the drop down list. You must enter the Application ID. Once entered, the individual’s information will appear Please follow the prompts to complete the self-disclosure questions and upload a copy of the signed LIC 508.

How do I check the eligibility of an individual?

Agencies may utilize Guardian to check the eligibility of currently associated individuals and prospective applicants. Access Guardian, locate the “Rosters” tab and search for the individual. Results will display only if the individual is associated to your roster. Eligibility status is summarized in the “Determination” column. If you have further questions, you may email Guardian@dss.ca.gov or call (888) 422-5669.

How can I track the exemption status of a prospective applicant?

If a prospective applicant or currently associated individual requires an exemption, you can track their status by accessing the “Roster” tab and searching for the individual. The “Determination” column will display the status.

  • In Process means the individual is currently in the exemption process and a decision has not been made.
  • Eligible – Clearance means the individual did not have to go through the exemption process and has no criminal history, therefore they have been cleared.
  • Eligible – Exemption Approval means the individual has been granted an exemption and is eligible to work.
  • Eligible – Exemption Approval – Conditional means the individual has been granted an exemption and is eligible to work with a condition.
  • Not Eligible – Exemption Denial means the individual has been denied their exemption and is not eligible to work in, reside in or be present in an agency licensed by the Department of Social Services.

How long does it take to conduct a background check using Guardian?

After Live Scan Fingerprints and a Criminal Record Statement (LIC 508/LIC 508D) have been completed in Guardian, some background check results can be processed in real time. For example, if the individual has no criminal history and all requirements have been met, a clearance can be processed within a day. If the individual does have criminal history or information which requires further research by the Care Provider Management Bureau, background checks can take up to 75 days. It is highly recommended to use Guardian to upload any exemption documents for the individual if they do need a Criminal Record Exemption.

How will I receive notifications from Guardian?

As an agency with a Guardian account, you are opted into electronic notifications upon registration for Guardian. You will receive notifications for various reasons regarding the background check process for individuals associated to your agency. Some of those reasons may be fingerprints for an applicant are almost due, a self-disclosure needs to be completed for an individual, you have a document available in your agency portal or a decision has been made for an individual. If you wish to receive letters via U.S. Mail, you can opt-out of electronic notifications at any time by accessing My Account in the upper right corner of your Home Screen and adjusting the preferences for receiving notifications.

How do I manage my employee roster?

You may manage your employee roster in real time by accessing the “Rosters” tab in Guardian. Select the appropriate agency and edit the association for any individual by selecting the “Edit” button in the “Actions” column. For further instruction, please refer to the User Guide for Licensing and Home Care Agencies.

How can I disassociate (separate) an employee?

Disassociations in Guardian take place in real time. You may clean up your roster, disassociate (separate) individuals who should no longer work be associated to your agency and remove individuals from your roster who have been denied exemptions. You may disassociate individuals from your agency in Guardian by following the User Guide for Licensing and Home Care Agencies (PDF Coming Soon). Disassociation (separation) dates cannot be backdated.

Will I still receive my Roster Report (LIS 555) from my Regional Office?

Guardian will replace the report that your Licensing Program Analyst provides to you yearly now that you will be able to view and manage your roster in real time.

How can I initiate a transfer of someone who is associated to another agency?

Guardian allows you to transfer (connect) an in-process, cleared or exempted individual to a your agency in real time. If you have multiple agencies in Guardian and want an individual to connect from one agency to another, please refer to the User Guide for Licensing and Home Care Agencies (PDF Coming Soon). Alternatively, a Criminal Record Exemption Transfer Request form (LIC 9188) can be emailed to guardian@dss.ca.gov, faxed to 916-754-4589 or mailed to Care Provider Management Bureau, 744 P Street, M.S. T9-15-62, Sacramento CA, 95814.

How do I upload documents into Guardian on an applicant’s behalf?

If you have an applicant that does not use Guardian or asks you to upload their exemption documents for them, you are able to do so by following the User Guide for Licensing and Home Care Agencies (PDF Coming Soon).

Who do I contact for technical assistance?

If you need assistance with your username or password, need to submit a Licensee User Access Form or have been locked out of your account, please email GuardianLoginSupport@dss.ca.gov. Please allow 3-5 business days for a response.

If you need assistance tracking your exemption status, have an exemption related question or need general information about Guardian, please email Guardian@dss.ca.gov or call (888) 422-5669.

The Care Provider Management Bureau has compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the background check process. If you have additional questions, please contact Guardian@dss.ca.gov.

Who needs to be fingerprinted?

State laws require that all community care license applicants and adults who work and/or reside in licensed community care facilities or home care organizations need to be fingerprinted. In addition, all Home Care Aide and TrustLine applicants, whether independent or affiliated to a Home Care Organization or TrustLine agency, must be fingerprinted.

How do I get a fingerprint clearance?

To begin the process to obtain a criminal background check clearance, you must fulfill the two requirements below:

First, you must complete a Criminal Record Statement (LIC 508) form that the agency can provide or can be found by visiting the Forms and Brochures page of the Department of Social Services Website. On the form you must truthfully provide the history of any criminal record you have by selecting yes or no to the questions asked. Please provide that form to the agency for record keeping.

If you choose to use Guardian, you may initiate an application for an agency. To do so, please obtain the Applicant Instruction Form from your prospective agency and visit the Guardian Applicant Portal to Register as a New User.

Next, you must submit your fingerprints to the California Department of Justice via a Live Scan site. If you are not using Guardian, please obtain a Live Scan form from your agency to complete this requirement. If you choose to use Guardian, once you have completed your application and the agency has resumed your application, a pre-populated Live Scan form will be available for generation in the Applicant and Agency portals in Guardian.

How do I submit my fingerprints?

You may contact your local licensing office to locate the nearest Live Scan (electronic) fingerprint site or visit the Office of Attorney General website for a list of open Live Scan locations. You must make an appointment and go to the site to submit your fingerprints. Note: Live Scan is an electronic fingerprinting service provided by companies and Live Scan is operated separately (independently from) from the California Department of Social Services and the California Department of Justice (DOJ).

Your fingerprints are electronically forwarded to the DOJ and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to determine if you have any reportable arrests or convictions. If you will be working/residing in a children’s facility, your name and your identifying information also will be checked against the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).

What is a fingerprint reject?

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) will reject fingerprints that may be smudged or unable to be read. The DOJ will send a notice to the licensee that the applicant requesting association to their facility has a fingerprint reject. The licensee must give the notice to the applicant and the applicant must be re-fingerprinted. Alternatively, the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) will send a notice to the applicant and the agency that Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) fingerprints have been rejected.

The applicant should make an appointment and return to the same Live Scan site to have their fingerprints taken again. If the applicant brings the Live Scan transaction receipt and the fingerprint reject notice to the Live Scan site, the applicant will not be charged for the reprint. Make sure the reprint submission has the same ATI (or TCN) number that was used on the original fingerprint submission or the DOJ will not understand that the applicant is being reprinted due to a reject of the first fingerprint submission. The ATI (or TCN) number can be found in Section 8 of the original Request for Live Scan Service form (LIC 9163, LIC 9163B).

What happens if I have no criminal history?

You will receive a notice from the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) that you have no criminal history and are cleared to work. This clearance letter will cover the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI), if applicable. This is known as a criminal record clearance. You will also receive a notice from DOJ, if you have no criminal history with the DOJ. This DOJ notice does not allow you to begin working, you must wait until you receive the CPMB clearance letter. If you are using Guardian and are opted-into electronic notifications, you will receive this letter in your Guardian Applicant Portal.

Can I start working as soon as I receive a clearance notice form DOJ?

If you have no criminal history with the DOJ, you will receive a notice. This DOJ notice does not allow you to begin working, you must wait to work and/or reside in licensed community care facilities or home care organizations until you receive the CPMB clearance letter.

I did not get a delay notice from DOJ, but 30 days have passed. I have a criminal history. What should I do?

Check with your potential agency to see if they have received an exemption needed notification either in Guardian or by mail from the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) stating that a criminal record exemption is needed. The agency may also check with the local licensing office to determine if Guardian has a status of your background check.

When you submit your fingerprints and you have a criminal history, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) will send your record, commonly called a “RAP sheet,” to the California Department of Social Services. CPMB will send a letter or electronic notification to the agency where you have applied for association, to inform them that a criminal record exemption is required.

You will also be sent a similar letter, provided your address on record is correct. If the agency agrees to request an exemption on your behalf, you must submit the required documents outlined in the exemption needed letter to CPMB. You can send the requested information to Care Provider Management Bureau, 744 P Street, M.S. T9-15-62, Sacramento CA, 95814, fax to 916-754-4589 or email your documents to Guardian@dss.ca.gov. If you choose to use Guardian, you can directly upload the documents to your Applicant Portal and CPMB will receive them instantly. You cannot work, reside, or volunteer at the agency or provide services unless you receive an exemption. If the agency chooses not to request an exemption for you to work, reside, or volunteer in their agency, you may apply for an exemption on your own behalf.

What is an exemption?

Before an individual can obtain a community care license, or provide services, work or reside in an agency, he/she must receive a criminal record clearance from the California Department of Justice or the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB). An individual convicted of any crime is disqualified unless CPMB grants a criminal record exemption (exemption) from disqualification. An exemption is a California Department of Social Services authorized written document that "exempts" the individual from the requirement of having a criminal record clearance. All convictions other than minor traffic violations require an exemption, including misdemeanors, felonies and convictions that have been dismissed per 1203.4 PC or convictions that occurred a long time ago. CPMB also has the authority and responsibility to investigate arrests to determine if the underlying conduct is substantiated and therefore presents a risk to the health and safety of clients who are in care. CPMB may grant an exemption if the individual’s criminal history meets all the criteria specified in the regulations and he/she submits substantial and convincing evidence of good character and rehabilitation. However, individuals convicted of serious crimes such as robbery, sexual battery, child abuse, elder or dependent adult abuse, rape, arson or kidnapping are not eligible for an exemption.

I received a letter that says an exemption is needed. What do I need to submit for an exemption?

A complete exemption package must be sent to the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) within 45 days from the date of the exemption needed notification letter. You can send the requested information to Care Provider Management Bureau 744 P Street, M.S. T9-15-62, Sacramento CA, 95814, fax to 916-754-4589 or email your documents to Guardian@dss.ca.gov. You may also choose to use Guardian to directly upload your documents to CPMB electronically. CPMB will examine your record and history to determine if you are eligible for an exemption to work, reside, or volunteer in a facility or provide services. You will receive an exemption only if you can show that you are sufficiently rehabilitated and that you are no longer involved in criminal activity.

To begin the exemption process, you must submit the following materials to CPMB within the specified timeframe. Seeking an exemption is a lengthy process and the more complete your packet to CPMB, the faster the process will be.

  1. A written statement/explanation detailing approximate dates and events leading up to the arrest(s) that resulted in the conviction(s)/arrest(s) which are identified below. Also, state what has been done since the conviction(s) to ensure you do not have involvement in any criminal activity again. Please provide proof of training, classes, courses, treatment, counseling, etc. that have been completed.
  2. Proof of completion or status of court ordered requirements. These documents can be provided by the court upon request.
  3. Three (3) signed character reference statements. Reference statements must be on the enclosed Reference Request Form LIC 301E. Additional copies may be obtained at www.ccld.ca.gov. Reference statements must be current, cannot be from relatives or family members and cannot be from someone who works at the agency.

How long do I have to wait for my exemption request to be processed?

The Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) is required to review all of the information requested in the exemption package. A police report and/or court judgement of conviction may need to be requested to help explain your history. Your file cannot proceed until the records are received. If the court or police do not send the records, CPMB must continue to request them until a response from the law enforcement agency is received. You can expedite your exemption request by providing as much information as possible when you submit your original package to CPMB. If you obtain any records from the court or police, submit them to CPMB as soon as possible. Copies of any records you have may help expedite the CPMB’s decision on your exemption request. NOTE: It may take up to 75 days from the date your completed exemption request is received for a decision to be made.

What if my exemption request is denied?

You will receive a letter from the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) informing you that your exemption request has been denied. If you decide to appeal CPMB’s decision, you must submit a written request within 15 days from the date of the denial letter. You may choose to mail the appeal request or you can upload your appeal request to Guardian. Your case will then be reviewed by CPMB staff for reconsideration and if the appeal is applicable, the case will be forwarded to the legal department at the California Department of Social Services. The appeal process is lengthy and may take up to one year for a final decision. NOTE: If your exemption request is denied and you do not appeal CPMB’s decision, you will not be eligible to fingerprint to work, reside, or volunteer for a facility for a period of two years from the date of the denial letter.

What is a non-exemptible crime?

The Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) is prohibited by law from granting exemptions to individuals convicted of certain crimes (non-exemptible crimes). Currently, there are 60 non-exemptible crimes, including murder, rape, torture, kidnapping and crimes requiring sex offender registration.. Additional non-exemptible crimes apply to prospective foster and adoptive parents, certified family homes, and Resource Family Homes. If an individual is convicted of a non-exemptible crime, that individual cannot work, reside, or be present in any licensed facility or for a home care organization. An individual’s application will be denied, or the license revoked, based on the conviction of a non-exemptible crime. CPMB also has the authority and responsibility to investigate arrests for non-exemptible crimes to determine if the underlying conduct is substantiated and therefore presents a risk to the health and safety of clients who are in care.

I submitted fingerprints and have not received any response. I do not have any criminal record. How long should I wait?

After 15 days, it is recommended that you ask the agency to check your status in Guardian. If the agency does not use Guardian, you can ask them to contact their local licensing office to check the status of your fingerprints. If the local licensing office is unable to determine the status of your fingerprint submission, the licensing office should contact the Care Provider Management Bureau.

I have an exemption and I want to start working in another agency. Should I fingerprint again? How do I transfer my exemption from where I currently work to the new agency?

Another set of fingerprints is not needed if you are transferring your exemption or clearance to an agency that requires the same set of fingerprints that you previously submitted. Once granted, an exemption or clearance can be transferred from one licensed community care agency to another, if certain conditions are met and if you have not been convicted of any new crimes. If you have printed and have an exemption or clearance for an agency that requires a Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) check, then you can transfer to any agency. If you have printed and have an exemption or clearance for an agency that does not require a CACI check, in order to transfer to an agency that does require a CACI check, you will need to submit a new set of fingerprints.

To begin the transfer process, ask the agency to which you are transferring to submit a completed Criminal Record Exemption Transfer Request form (LIC 9188). The form must be signed by the new licensee, administrator or manager. The form should be sent to Care Provider Management Bureau, 744 P Street, M.S. T9-15-62, Sacramento CA, 95814, fax to 916-754-4589 or email to Guardian@dss.ca.gov. CPMB will review the previous exemption file and make a decision on the exemption transfer request. If approved, the exemption transfer to the new agency will be processed. CPMB will update Guardian to show your association to the new agency.

If the agency uses Guardian and you have no new criminal history, your transfer to the new agency can be processed in real time and there is no need for the local licensing office or CPMB to intervene. It is highly recommended for the agency to use Guardian to process transfers and manage their roster.

I had an exemption before, but it isn’t active. Do I need to start over?

If you have not been active and working for a period of three years, your exemption cannot be transferred and will be required to fingerprint for the agency you are seeking association to. Once your fingerprint results are received at the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB), your previous exemption determination will be reviewed to determine if you are eligible to have your exemption reactivated, provided your record does not indicate any new convictions since your last exemption was granted. If eligible for an exemption reactivation, you will not be required to go through the exemption process. However, you may be required to provide some additional information. CPMB will make a decision based on the information it has received and its review of the previous exemption determination. If the exemption reactivation is approved, CPMB will notify you and the agency of its decision in writing.

What is CACI?

The Child Abuse Central Index is a California database of information related to substantiated cases of child abuse. It is a State law to check the database prior to issuing a license to care for children or approving an individual to work, reside or volunteer in a childcare agency or to be registered on the TrustLine registry.

What is Adam Walsh?

The Adam Walsh Act is a Federal Law that requires enhanced background check procedures on Foster Care Programs prior to licensure or certification. The enhanced background check includes, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • Applicants must complete Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history check in addition to the California Department of Justice criminal history check.
  • Applicants, and all adults living in the home, who have identified other states they have lived in within the preceding five years will complete an out-of-state child abuse and neglect registry check.

It should be noted that the Federal background check requirements for foster and adoptive parents include additional non-exemptible crimes and crimes for which the California Department of Social Services cannot grant an exemption if the applicant was convicted of those crimes within the last five years.

I was granted a conditional exemption, how do I request to remove the condition?

If you wish to request a removal of your condition, you will need to contact the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) and provide a written request to remove your condition. You can request this removal through an email sent to Guardian@dss.ca.gov, a fax to 916-754-4589 or mailed to Care Provider Management Bureau, 744 P Street, M.S. T9-15-62, Sacramento CA, 95814. If you use Guardian, you can also upload this request for electronic submission to CPMB.

In your request please state why you think your condition should be removed, as well as provide evidence of rehabilitation that would support the removal of your condition. If CPMB decides to remove your condition, you will receive an Exemption Approval letter either via U.S. Mail to the address CPMB has on file, or through your Guardian applicant portal if you have an account. If the request has not been granted, you will then receive a letter stating so via U.S. Mail, this letter will not be available in your Guardian portal if you have one.

Can I transfer with my condition on my exemption?

Your conditional exemption cannot be transferred without review from the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB). If your agency is using Guardian, or if they submit the Criminal Record Exemption Transfer Request form (LIC 9188) to CPMB, the transfer (connection) to the new agency will not be automatic and CPMB will review your transfer request for eligibility. If the transfer can be granted, you will receive a letter stating so. If your transfer cannot be processed due to the condition that has been placed on your exemption, you will also be notified via letter.

If I am denied an exemption and I choose to not appeal that decision, what happens?

If you are denied an exemption and you choose to not appeal the decision, the denial decision is final and you will be excluded from Community Care Licensed Agencies for a period of two years. This includes working at or residing in an agency licensed by the Department of Social Services. If you wish to try and reinstate your eligibility after one year, please refer to the Petition for Reinstatement/Reduction in Penalty Frequently Asked Question.

What is an agency defined as?

The term "agencies" is inclusive of all Community Care licensed facilities, Foster Family Agencies, Home Care Organizations and TrustLine agencies.

What are the terms of my exemption/exemption transfer?

An exemption remains valid provided you have no new criminal history and you follow all licensing laws and regulations. If you fail to abide by these terms, the Care Provider Management Bureau can take further action that will prohibit you from retaining your background clearance or exemption and you may not be able to work or be present in an agency licensed by the Department or hold an eligible status on the Home Care Aide and TrustLine Registries.

How do I apply for the Home Care Aide Registry if I don’t want to use Guardian?

If you choose not to use Guardian to apply for the Home Care Aide Registry, please send in the manual Home Care Aide Registration Application (HCS 100), along with a check or money order made payable to the Department of Social Services, at Home Care Services Bureau, 744 P Street, M.S. 9-14-90, Sacramento, CA 95814.Once your application, payment and fingerprints are received you will be notified of your background and registry status. If an exemption is needed, you will be sent a notice informing you of the next steps.

How do I apply for the TrustLine Registry if I don’t want to use Guardian?

If you choose not to use Guardian and want to apply for the TrustLine Registry, please complete the TLR 9163 G. Once your application, payment and fingerprints are received you will be notified of your background and registry status. If an exemption is needed, you will be sent a notice informing you of the next steps.

I received a Notice of Investigation letter and want to withdrawal my TrustLine application so my history isn’t investigated, where can I find the TrustLine withdrawal form?

Please contact the Care Provider Management Bureau (CPMB) via mail to 744 P Street, M.S. T9-15-62, Sacramento CA, 95814, fax to 916-754-4589 or email to Guardian@dss.ca.gov to request a copy of this form. If you are using Guardian, you may submit the form to your portal. If you choose not to use Guardian, please mail, fax or email the form back to CPMB.

I have a condition on my exemption, can I transfer to the TrustLine Registry?

Exemptions with conditions cannot be transferred to the TrustLine registry. If you have a condition placed on your exemption and you wish to apply to the TrustLine Registry, please request a removal of your condition. Please see the Frequently Asked Question on how to remove a condition.

Can Licensee Applicants apply for licensure in Guardian?

In order to apply for a community care license, please contact your local licensing office to assist.

Does using Guardian replace the fingerprint fee at Live Scan?

Using Guardian does not replace the Live Scan process or the fingerprint fees. Guardian will generate a pre-populated Live Scan form after an application has been completed, to assist with the accuracy of information received.

What is a Petition for Reinstatement or Request for a Reduction in Penalty?

A Petition for Reinstatement or request for a Reduction in Penalty is a process that allows an excluded individual the right to request a reinstatement of their eligibility to work in a Community Care Licensed Facility or be registered on the Home Care Aide or TrustLine Registries. An excluded individual may submit a Petition for Reinstatement or request a Reduction in Penalty after one year has elapsed from the date of the notification of the exclusion order (exemption denial, non-exemptible denial), or one year after the effective date of the Department’s adoption of the decision and order upholding the exclusion order.

What is an excluded individual?

An excluded individual is an individual who has been previously denied an exemption and the right to work or be present in a Community Care Licensed Facility or be registered on the Home Care Aide and TrustLine Registries. The individual’s exclusion to work, be present, or registered may have been the result of their criminal history information or an action that was taken by another Department.

How can I request to start a Petition for Reinstatement or request a Reduction in Penalty?

You can request a Petition for Reinstatement or Reduction in Penalty in one of two ways:

  1. Send a written request and supporting documentation to Care Provider Management Bureau at 744 P Street, M.S. T9-15-62, Sacramento, California, 95814 or,
  2. Send a written request and supporting documentation to Care Provider Management Bureau at RegistryResearch@dss.ca.gov.

What will I need to submit for a Petition for Reinstatement or Reduction on Penalty?

A request for a Petition for Reinstatement should include information which will alter the basis of the Department’s previous decision. Some examples of supporting documentation are as follows:

  • Evidence of activities you have done since your exclusion which demonstrate rehabilitation and good character
  • Employment history, progress reports, and/or performance evaluations
  • Verification of completion (certificates) of any training, classes, courses, treatment, and/or counseling
  • Current letters of reference
  • Evidence of whether or not the underlying reasons for your exclusion have been corrected or are no longer in existence

You may submit any and all of these types of documentation to demonstrate your rehabilitation and good character.

What do I need to do if my Petition for Reinstatement or Reduction in Penalty is granted?

If your Petition of Reinstatement is granted and you have not already submitted Live Scan fingerprints for an agency, you will need to find an agency to work for and submit fingerprints. Once your fingerprint results are received, you will go through the background check process where you may be granted a clearance or be notified of the need for an exemption.

If you have already submitted Live Scan fingerprints for an agency, you will receive an acknowledgement of your submission for your Petition for Reinstatement or Reduction in Penalty and your case will move through the background check process where you may be granted a clearance or be notified of the need for an exemption.