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Child Transportation Agencies

An illustration of a van with an adult driving and children as passengers on a heart shaped background

Transport/escort companies, which ensure the safe transportation of minors across state lines to residential facilities with permission from the minor's parents or legal guardian, are required by law to register the individual(s) transporting or accompanying the minor with TrustLine.

On-demand child transportation companies which provide transportation for children, such as picking up a child after school or taking them to scheduled activities are mandated by The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to use the TrustLine Background Check for their drivers. For more information on these requirements please contact the CPUC.

The TrustLine Background Check is not just a requirement, it is a tool to help ensure the safety of the children under your care. 

Please read below to find information on:

Overview of TrustLine Background Check How to Get a TrustLine Agency Account Guardian Database Information Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
An illustration of a van with an adult driving and children as passengers on a heart shaped background

Before You Begin: Overview of The TrustLine Background Check

TrustLine Background Check is administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). The background check includes:

  • Department of Justice (DOJ) – criminal history check for arrests and convictions in California
  • FBI - fingerprint check of the national criminal history database. Includes arrest and conviction information reported to the FBI from states or federal agencies
  • Child Abuse Index Check (CACI) – received from DOJ and is a name-based search of child abuse investigation reports in California

To have your employees go through the TrustLine Background Check, you will have each applicant fill out a TrustLine Background Check application, have their fingerprints scanned at a Live Scan site, and submit the application to CDSS. Applicants submit an application and a one-time fee of $43.00, to CDSS, and their fingerprints to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a fee of $64.00. A fingerprint scanning fee, that varies by Live Scan vendor, will be collected along with the DOJ fee. Since the live scan fee varies, the total fee of $143.00 to go through TrustLine is approximate.

CPUC Requirements and Legislation

Information on the California Public Utilities Commission Requirements:

For On-Demand Transportation companies that are mandated by CPUC to use the TrustLine Background Check, creating a TrustLine agency account does not meet the requirement. Each driver that accompanies the minor must be individually Registered with TrustLine, which means that each driver submits a TrustLine application to the California Department of Social Service and fingerprints to the Department of Justice.

Information on the Legislation and California Public Utilities Commission Ruling:

Although we can point you in the direction of the legislation, we cannot interpret it or assess whether it applies specifically to your company. Read the Health & Safety Code For Transport/Escort Companies and the CPUC Ruling for OnDemand Transportation Companies.

Read legislation that may apply to your company

First Step: Setting Up an Agency Account

1. Contact TrustLine at 800-822-8490, so we can create an agency account for you. There is no fee to create an account. We will take some brief information from you about your agency, and give you an overview of the TrustLine application process.

You will receive:
  • A TrustLine application form (TLR9163G) with your specific agency information and coding. See side bar of how to use this application form.
  • Once your agency account is created, you will also be given access to Guardian, the online database, where you can view your roster of caregivers, submit applications and processing fees (or give access to caregivers to submit their application and processing fee), and view a caregiver's status on the TrustLine Registry. In your Guardian account, you will be able to create an Applicant Initiated Instruction Form with your specific agency information and coding. See side bar of how to use this application form.

How To Use Guardian Database For TrustLine

Guardian is an online database created and maintained by the California Department of Social Services, that assists agencies and applicants in the background check process. It provides a secured web-based system which contains portals for different user groups (i.e. local agencies, applicants, CDSS, etc) The TrustLine Background Check uses the Guardian database to enter applications, communicate results to agencies and applicants, and receive background check information from the California Department of Justice (DOJ). This is a faster and more efficient system than using a paper application.

The information below is for fee paying agencies who use TrustLine Background Check and already have an agency account. Please contact TrustLine to set up your account first before proceeding.

Find Information on How to Use Guardian


TrustLine checks an individual’s fingerprints against records at the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI, and does a name check of the Child Abuse Central Index of California (CACI). TrustLine also has a RAP back service (Record of Arrests and Prosecution), which means the criminal history and CACI checks at DOJ are updated continually within California, with any subsequent arrests or convictions or substantiated child abuse reports that occur. The FBI check is run one time when the applicant first applies.

You can check an applicant’s status by calling or emailing TrustLine. If you have an agency Guardian account, you can go in and view applicants on your roster. If the applicant has applied to TrustLIne for the first time using an application coded with your agency coding, you will be able to see their TrustLine status at the top, under the person’s name. It will say “Accreditation Status,” which could be Registered, Closed or Pending/In-Process.

Once someone has applied to the TrustLine Background Check, they remain on the TrustLine database. If they are Registered (they clear the background check) with TrustLine or are a current applicant, they do not need to re-apply to TrustLine. You will just need to associate them to your agency.

You have the option of choosing whether you or the applicant pay the application fee. If the applicant is applying online via Guardian, you should provide the applicant with the Applicant Initiated Instruction Form found in your agency Guardian portal. When you generate this instruction form in Guardian, you will be able to choose between an “applicant payment” version or an “agency payment” version. Each of these 2 versions of the form will have its own PIN number. Based on which PIN number the applicant enters into Guardian when submitting their application, that will determine whether Guardian requires the applicant to pay the fee or if the fee is deferred for the agency to pay.

Guardian is a database that houses multiple background checks run by the California Department of Social Services. These checks include TrustLine, as well as Foster Care, Elder Care, Home Care Aid, and Child Care for example. This means that if someone is in Guardian, they have not necessarily gone through the TrustLine Background Check. Please call us, and we will be able to check for you whether the applicant has gone through TrustLine or not.

  1. Find a Live Scan location near you on the DOJ website

  2. Go to any UPS store near you that does Live Scan Fingerprinting

  3. Go to a Police or Sheriff Station

If the applicant has worked at a preschool, daycare or community care licensed child care facility within the last three years, the background check clearance can be transferred to TrustLine. All you need to do to transfer the background check clearance is submit the TrustLine application along with the CDSS processing fee. However, if it has been longer than three years since the applicant has worked at the facility, the fingerprints have expired, and the applicant will need to fingerprint for TrustLine.

TrustLine has a one-time only fee of around $143 dollars. Once an applicant is Registered with TrustLine, there is no renewal fee to stay TrustLine Registered.

You can do this by either going into Guardian and submitting a TrustLine application with your agency coding on it (no fee required). Or you can contact TrustLine and ask to have the applicant associated with your agency. It is important to have the person associated with your agency so that you will receive automatic results of the background check, or any changes in status.

TrustLine has a one-time only fee of around $143 dollars. Once an applicant is Registered with TrustLine, there is no renewal fee to stay TrustLine Registered. Applicants submit an application and a one-time fee of $43.00 or $78.00 depending on agency category, to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and their fingerprints to DOJ. The fingerprint fee due at the Live Scan vendors’ location is usually around $100 dollars, which includes a $64.00 dollar DOJ fee, and the fingerprint scanning fee charged by the Live Scan Vendor.