California Civil Code
(a) Every owner of a check casher’s business shall obtain a permit from the Department of Justice to conduct a check casher’s business.
(b) All applications for a permit to conduct a check casher’s business shall be filed with the department in writing, signed by the applicant, if an individual, or by a member or officer authorized to sign, if the applicant is a corporation or other entity, and shall state the name of the business, the type of business engaged in, and the business address. Each applicant shall be fingerprinted.
(c) Each applicant for a permit to conduct a check casher’s business shall pay a fee not to
exceed the cost of processing the application, fingerprinting the applicant, and checking or obtaining the criminal record of the applicant, at the time of filing the application.
(d) Each applicant shall annually, beginning one year from the date of issuance of a check casher’s permit, file an application for renewal of the permit with the department, along with payment of a renewal fee not to exceed the cost of processing the application for renewal and checking or obtaining the criminal record of the applicant.
(e) The department shall deny an application for a permit to conduct a check casher’s business, or for renewal of a permit, if the applicant has a felony conviction involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit, if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a person engaged in the business of check cashing.
(f) The department shall adopt regulations to implement this section and shall determine the amount of the application fees required by this section. The department shall prescribe forms for the applications and permit required by this section, which shall be uniform throughout the state.
(g) In any action brought by a city attorney or district attorney to enforce a violation of this section, an owner of a check casher’s business who engages in the business of check cashing without holding a current and valid permit issued by the department pursuant to this section is subject to a civil penalty, as follows:
(1) For the first offense, not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(2) For the second offense, not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(h) Any person who has twice been found in violation of subdivision (g) and who, within 10 years of the date of the first offense, engages in the business of check cashing without holding a current and valid permit issued by the department pursuant to this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(i) All civil penalties, forfeited bail, or fines received by any court pursuant to this section shall, as soon as practicable after the receipt thereof, be deposited with the county treasurer of the county in which the court is situated. Fines and forfeitures deposited shall be disbursed pursuant to the Penal Code. Civil penalties deposited shall be paid at least once a month as follows:
(1) Fifty percent to the Treasurer by warrant of the county auditor drawn upon the requisition of the clerk or judge of the court, to be deposited in the State Treasury on order of the Controller.
(2) Fifty percent to the city treasurer of the city, if the offense occurred in a city, otherwise to the treasurer of the county in which the prosecution is conducted. Any money deposited in the State Treasury under this section that is determined by the Controller to have been erroneously deposited shall be refunded out of any money in the State Treasury that is available by law for that purpose.
(j) This section shall become operative December 31, 2004.