Saturday, September 6, 2014

Marriage License and Criminal Background Check

Whoops. . . I somehow didn't mention in my first post of the day about the status of getting our Marriage License approved and our Criminal Background Check completed and approved. 

Direction from my Skype session with our legal counsel in Ecuador is to have the Marriage License notarized by a USA licensed notary public only.  Do not submit the document to the EC Consulate in the USA. 

This is remarkably easy to do.  I obtained a newly printed out Marriage License - with two copies (I'm doing that with the Birth Certificates mentioned earlier today, too) from the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk's office here locally, complete in color, full size 8 and a half by 11 inches in size, and with the county's three dimensional embossed seal in the lower left corner.  I can then take it to any number of (State of California) licensed Notary Public individuals and get the license notarized.  Easy to get done. 

The Criminal Background Check has been more of a difficulty than first thought.  We submitted our inked fingerprints on the official FBI 258 form and sent them off to a "channeler" in Ohio who is one of several authorized FBI intermediaries who have a letter on file stating they submit individual's fingerprints on a regular basis.  After a number of days - around two weeks - I called back to the channeler and asked them the status of our fingerprints.  "They couldn't read them," was the reply.  Sigh. 

I have had a history of having a harder time than many on getting readable fingerprints, and knew there might be a hitch in the process.  But it was my wife's prints too that didn't read either. . . and her prints are even harder to take than mine!  Years of nursing does that to one's hands.  Yes, the FBI approved channeler we used in Ohio offers a free second take on the sending of new inked fingerprint cards (which we would have to pay for again locally), but we declined based on our prior knowledge of how our prints usually turn out.  Where to go. . .

I contacted our legal counsel in Ecuador once again and got a Skype session after several tries and talks on Skype with the office staff there during the Wednesday before Labor Day.  My lawyer said that it was good under the circumstances to use the "Live Scan" electronic fingerprint submission process to the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) and from there, with them checking our criminal background with the FBI while identifying us from the fingerprints submitted on glass electronically - CA DOJ does this with all applicants, btw - we should be able to then go to the USA Federal Secretary of State's office in Washington, DC for the official apostille of our Criminal Background checks, and then  submit them to the Ecuadorian Consulate in Beverly Hills, CA.  Whew!  But that's the process.  

We used the retired, but working from her own home as a fingerprint roller, lady who we've used before that takes fingerprints for our church staff and volunteers.  She sent them on to CA DOJ in Sacramento.  

My results were accepted, and are supposed to be mailed to me and received here any day now.  My wife's results are still in process, according to the automated telephone service number the CA DOJ has set up for us to call in for this info.  Hmmm. . . Hope all goes well in the end for us on this matter.  We are at the end of our rope, as after this method, there are no more ways to give us a clean Criminal Background check, as far as  I know.  Maybe it will have to be done through US Federal channels. . . dunno.  

After we receive our results in the USPS mail, we are told to get these results apostilled by the CA Secretary of State's office.  That's right!  I'll bet we can use the Ronald Reagan State office building's offices for that as we are told to use for our other documents.  Will have to check for certain on that detail.  Lots of details in the paperwork process Ecuador requires.  If we have to send them to Sacramento instead, we will do so, of course.  

So we have to be patient, resourceful, wise, discerning, and patient.  Oh, I said that already.  You get the drift. . . 


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