Chapter 1.5. National Search Of Criminal Records of California Penal Code >> Title 1. >> Part 4. >> Chapter 1.5.

In lieu of a national check of fingerprint records conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation through the California Department of Justice, state agencies shall contract with an independent vendor to conduct a national search of the individuals' criminal records, as provided in this chapter.
This chapter applies to:
  (a) The California Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing, in licensing of all teaching and services credential applicants, pursuant to Section 44341 of the Education Code.
  (b) The State Department of Social Services in licensing those community care facility operators providing services to children as mandated in Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.
  (c) The county welfare department in carrying out its approval authority for relative and nonrelative extended family member foster care placements pursuant to Section 309 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
In order that a thorough search may be conducted, the agencies listed in Section 11146 shall require applicants, as a condition of employment or licensing, to provide (a) their social security and drivers' license numbers, (b) educational history, (c) three personal references, (d) a five-year employment and residence history, and, (e) if appropriate, any other names they may have been known under. This information shall be provided under penalty of perjury.
The agencies listed in Section 11146 may contract with any vendor demonstrating the capability to conduct such background searches in a timely manner and with the assurance of complete confidentiality. Any such vendor shall (a) be a licensed private investigator as defined in Section 7521 of the Business and Professions Code; (b) have been in business for at least five years; (c) be able to furnish bank references; (d) provide a minimum of one million dollars ($1,000,000) in liability insurance, with the contracting agency being named as an additional insured; and (e) be able to provide services, via subcontracts if necessary, in all areas of the state. No contract shall be let unless it provides therein that the cost per applicant for a search, including administrative costs, shall not exceed forty dollars ($40). The state shall not be liable for any amount in excess of forty dollars ($40) per applicant.
In order to expedite the work of the vendor, all applications submitted to the vendor shall include the results of the fingerprint checks conducted by the California Department of Justice.
Vendors are exempted from any provisions of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1798) of Title 1.8 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code which prevent the vendor from conducting the national search of individual criminal records required by this chapter.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, applicants may be charged for the actual cost of the national search required by this statute, including administrative costs, not to exceed forty dollars ($40).
Any vendor or employee of a vendor who knowingly furnishes a record or information obtained from a record to a person who is not authorized by law to receive the record or information shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisoned in a county jail for not more than one year, or both.
Any vendor or employee of a vendor who intentionally discloses information, not otherwise public, which that person knows or should reasonably know was obtained from confidential information, shall be subject to a civil action for invasion of privacy by the individual to whom the information pertains. In any successful action brought under this section, the complainant, in addition to any special or general damages awarded, shall be awarded a minimum of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) in exemplary damages as well as attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in the suit. The right, remedy, and cause of action set forth in this section shall be nonexclusive and is in addition to all other rights, remedies, and causes of action for invasion of privacy, inherent in Section 1, Article I of the California Constitution.