The History of Fingerprints and How They are Used in Law Enforcement Today

Are you in the process of applying for a job that requires an FBI fingerprint check? Do you know where to get it done quickly and conveniently? If so, this blog post is for you! We’ve rounded up some of the best places to get your fingerprints near you.

What is FBI Fingerprinting?

FBI fingerprinting is collecting and submitting fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for a background check. This process is used to verify an individual’s identity and determine any criminal or civil records associated with their name. Fingerprints are the best way to positively identify someone, as they are unique to each person and cannot be altered or forged.

The FBI collects, stores, and analyzes millions of fingerprints from individuals across the United States. This data is used for various purposes, from background checks for employment purposes to determining if an individual has any outstanding warrants. All submitted fingerprints are compared against a national database, which enables law enforcement officials to cross-reference an individual’s prints against those on file quickly.

Fingerprinting is essential for many individuals seeking employment or obtaining specific licenses or clearances, such as security guards, teachers, daycare workers, and healthcare professionals. It can also be used in criminal investigations and is often the first step taken by law enforcement in identifying a suspect. In addition, fingerprinting is sometimes used by immigration officials and other government agencies to verify an individual’s identity or citizenship status.

Who Needs FBI Fingerprinting?

  • Anyone wanting to obtain a clearance from the FBI or a job requiring an FBI clearance.
  • People looking for a job in the government or a regulated industry
  • People seeking a job that requires access to sensitive information
  • Individuals looking for adoption, guardianship, foster care, or immigration into the US
  • Applicants for professional licenses in some states, such as doctors, nurses, and attorneys
  • People who want to purchase firearms from a federal firearms dealer

Where can I Get FBI Fingerprinting Done?

FBI fingerprinting services are available at various locations across the United States. Depending on where you live, there are different options available for getting your prints taken.

  1. Certifix Live Scan Centers: Certifix Live Scan Centers provide convenient, fast, and accurate Live Scan fingerprinting services for those who need fingerprinted for FBI clearances. These centers are authorized by California statute and are certified FBI Channeling Agents.
  2. Certifix Live Scan offers locations across the United States to get fingerprinted, send them to the FBI, and receive your results.
  3. Fieldprint: Fieldprint offers a complete electronic fingerprinting process, so no matter where you’re located, you can quickly get your fingerprints taken and sent to the FBI for clearance.
  4. Local Law Enforcement: If you’re not near a Certifix Live Scan Center or Certifix Live Scan location, you can also get your fingerprints taken at your local law enforcement agency. Contact your local agency near you to learn about the process in that area.
  5. Forensic Professionals: If you’re located in the Toronto area, Forensic Professionals offer FBI fingerprinting services in Scarborough.

How to Prepare for FBI Fingerprinting

Before your fingerprinting appointment, taking the necessary steps to ensure a smooth, successful experience is essential. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your FBI fingerprinting appointment:

  • Research the location of your appointment and plan to arrive early.
  • Bring a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Ensure you have the necessary documents, such as an FD-1164 fingerprint card or other forms requested by the agency.
  • Wear comfortable clothing since you may need to remove your shirt and jewelry during fingerprinting.
  • Be sure to provide the fingerprints appropriately – pressing firmly and evenly onto the inkpad before rolling on the card.
  • It is essential to follow any instructions provided by the agency and answer all questions truthfully.

By taking these steps and being prepared, you will be able to have a successful FBI fingerprinting experience!

What Documents do I Need for FBI Fingerprinting?

You must have the proper documents when getting your fingerprints taken for an FBI background check. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • A valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, or passport
  • Completed FD-258 form (the FBI fingerprint card)
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Payment for the fingerprinting service
  • Any additional documents required by your agency or organization

It’s vital to ensure you have all the necessary documents when you arrive for your appointment. This will help the process go more smoothly and ensure that your results are accurate.

How Long Does it Take to Get my Results?

  • The FBI typically takes 2-4 weeks to process and respond to the background check request.
  • The processing time may vary depending on the complexity of the background check.
  • It is essential to note that the FBI will only provide fingerprints and not the actual background check results.
  • The background check results will be sent directly to the requesting agency.
  • If an applicant has a criminal record, they may need to wait up to 12 weeks for their results.
  • Additionally, if the fingerprints are rejected, the applicant must resubmit them, which can further delay the process.
  • It is essential to be patient during this process and understand that it is a necessary step in many job applications.

How Much Does it Cost to Get FBI Fingerprinted?

  • The cost of getting fingerprinted for an FBI background check depends on the type of service you use.
  • Certifix Live Scan offers fingerprinting services for $20 per set plus any applicable state and local taxes.
  • Certifix Live Scan Centers provide Live Scan fingerprinting services for a fee of $25 to $50, depending on the type of request.
  • Fieldprint provides electronic fingerprinting services for a fee of $20 per individual plus any applicable state and local taxes.
  • Toronto’s Forensic Professionals charge $25 per individual for FBI fingerprinting services.
  • In some states, additional fees may be for processing and submitting your fingerprints to the FBI.

What are the Steps of the FBI Fingerprinting Process?

The steps involved in the FBI fingerprinting process are straightforward and relatively simple.

  1. Gather the necessary documents: Before you can get fingerprinted, you’ll need to gather the documents required for FBI fingerprinting, such as an FD-258 form, state-issued identification, and any other forms or documents that your state or agency may require.
  2. Find an authorized fingerprinting location: Once you have your documents, you’ll need to find an authorized fingerprinting location near you. You can find authorized locations through the FBI website or search for “FBI fingerprinting near me” on your favorite search engine.
  3. Get Fingerprinted: Once you’ve found a location, you’ll need to bring your documents and get fingerprinted. You may be asked to provide additional information during your appointment.
  4. Submit your fingerprints: After being fingerprinted, you must submit your fingerprints to the FBI for processing. You can do this by mail or electronically, depending on the location where you got fingerprinted and the requirements of the agency requesting the background check.
  5. Wait for Results: Once your fingerprints have been submitted and processed, it typically takes 10-14 business days to receive your results from the FBI. It is important to note that the FBI does not provide results directly to individuals; they are sent to the agency that requested the background check.

What if My Fingerprints are Rejected?

If your fingerprints are rejected, the quality of the fingerprints taken needs to be improved to create a viable record. In this case, you may need to have your fingerprints retaken. Here are some tips to ensure that your fingerprints are accepted the second time:

  • Make sure your hands are clean and dry before having your fingerprints taken.
  • Make sure the person taking your fingerprints is experienced and well-trained.
  • Make sure the equipment used for fingerprinting is working correctly.
  • Stay still during the process and keep your hands in the same position until instructed otherwise.
  • Ask for a copy of your fingerprint card in case of any errors or issues.
  • Follow up with the agency that took your fingerprints to ensure they were accepted for processing.

Tips for a Successful FBI Fingerprinting Experience

  1. Before your appointment, ensure you have all the necessary documents, including a standard fingerprint form, FD-1164.
  2. Make sure your fingerprints are correctly placed on the form and legibly.
  3. Visit an authorized fingerprinting service provider such as Certifix Live Scan.
  4. If you need clarification on the process, contact the ChildLine Verification Unit at 717-783-6211 or 1-800-932-0313 to ask questions.
  5. Have your photo ID ready at the time of the appointment.
  6. Make sure to arrive on time for your appointment and be prepared to stay for the full duration of the process.
  7. Ask questions if you have any doubts or need clarification about any part of the process.
  8. Listen carefully to instructions given to you by the fingerprinting technician and follow them carefully.
  9. Make sure your hands are clean and dry before getting fingerprinted, ensuring a successful result.
  10. Be patient during the process, as it may take time for the technician to complete your fingerprints correctly and accurately.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, FBI fingerprinting is a multi-step process that requires careful preparation. It’s important to remember to bring all the necessary documents and complete all the steps correctly to get your fingerprints processed and receive your results.

Finding the closest fingerprinting services is essential when you are ready to get fingerprinted. You can find fingerprinting services at government agencies, local law enforcement, private companies, and even at Certifix Live Scan Centers.

Be sure to ask questions about the process beforehand to ensure your experience goes as smoothly as possible. Additionally, it is essential to be familiar with the cost of fingerprinting services and be prepared to pay the applicable fees.

Finally, it is essential to remember that the FBI will not accept FD-1164 fingerprint cards on standard white paper stock. So be sure to check with your provider about the type of paper required for submission.

Getting fingerprinted for a background check is easy if you are prepared and have all the necessary documents. Armed with this information, you can rest assured that your experience will be smooth and successful.


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