Live Scan Fingerprinting Live Scan vs. Ink card fingerprinting

Benefits of Live Scan vs. Ink card fingerprinting Services

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Are you trying to decide between ink cards and live scan fingerprinting? Which one is the best choice for your needs? If so, then this blog post is for you! We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each so that you can make an informed decision.

Introduction to Live Scan

Live scan is a convenient and efficient way to capture fingerprints without ink. The process is simple: a special scanner electronically captures the image instead of using ink to collect fingerprints. This image is securely transmitted directly to the Department of Justice in seconds. Live scan fingerprinting eliminates the need for messy and inconvenient ink cards while providing an accurate and reliable fingerprint record. Additionally, Live Scan allows the fingerprint technician to retake a print several times to ensure they capture the best image quality possible. Live Scan fingerprinting offers a fast and secure way to process a background check for employment purposes, making it an ideal choice for employers and applicants.

How Does Live Scan Work?

Live scan is an inkless fingerprinting process that electronically transmits fingerprint records to the California Department of Justice in seconds. It is a fast, accurate, and easy method of providing fingerprints for background checks and other identification purposes. It requires no ink or mess and is much faster than ink-rolled fingerprinting. The process begins with the subject placing their fingers on a scanner that reads the fingerprint data into a computer system. The computer then converts the fingerprint data into an electronic format and transmits it to the DOJ for verification. This means that live scan fingerprinting can be done quickly and efficiently with minimal wait time, making it the ideal choice for many organizations and individuals, Learn More.

Benefits of Live Scan

There are many benefits to using a Live Scan for fingerprinting. It helps to avoid the problems associated with traditional ink prints, such as smudging, smearing, and over or under-inking. The process is also more accurate and efficient than ink prints, using a state-of-the-art digital device to scan fingerprints. This reduces the chance of human error and allows the technician to retake a print several times to ensure they are capturing the best image quality possible. Here are some of the top benefits of using Live Scan for fingerprinting:

  1. Accurate results: Live Scan helps to ensure that the fingerprints are captured accurately, reducing the possibility of human errors.
  2. Faster processing: The digital device used in Live Scan makes it easier and faster to capture and process fingerprints.
  3. Improved image quality: The technician can retake a print repeatedly to ensure they capture the best image quality possible.
  4. Reduced time: Because of its accuracy and speed, Live Scan can reduce the time it takes for fingerprints to be processed and returned.
  5. Cost-effective: Live Scan is often more cost-effective than traditional ink prints because of its increased accuracy and speed.

Advantages of Live Scan

One of the main advantages of Live Scan fingerprinting over ink and roll fingerprinting is that it is much cleaner and easier to capture prints digitally. Furthermore, the rejection rate is almost nonexistent when using Live Scan, greatly reducing the chances of human error. The process also eliminates smudging, smearing, and over or under-inking that can occur with ink and roll fingerprinting. In addition, customers are given hand sanitizer to reduce the risk of contamination during the process. Furthermore, Live Scan is much faster than ink and roll fingerprinting, reducing the time for customers to complete the process.

  1. Live Scan fingerprinting is a much cleaner and more effective way of capturing and processing fingerprints than traditional ink and paper methods.
  2. Live Scan fingerprinting offers a much clearer image of the fingerprints, reducing the possibility of human error.
  3. The scans are captured on a state-of-the-art digital device, providing accuracy and reliability.
  4. With Live Scan, there is no risk of smudging, smearing, or over-inking, which can cause difficulties with traditional methods.
  5. The data is transmitted electronically and securely, ensuring accuracy during submission to the relevant authorities.
  6. Most importantly, Live Scan fingerprinting is a preferred method for many clients due to its speed and ease of use.

Pros and Cons of Live Scan Fingerprinting


  • Quickly Collects Fingerprint Data for Criminal History Background Checks
  • Avoids Problems Associated with Ink Prints, Such as Smudging, Smearing, and Over or Under Inking
  • Delivers Fingerprint Information to the Department of Justice Electronically in Seconds
  • Facial Recognition is Just One Part of Many Biometric Tools the FBI Eventually Plans to Use to Gather and Store Intelligence Information
  • Live Scan Fingerprinting Avoids Many of the Problems Associated with Rolled Ink Fingerprints


  • Possible Privacy Concerns Related to the Storing of Fingerprint Data
  • May Lead to Unnecessary Expenses and Inconvenience for Individuals Who Need a Background Check for Employment Purposes
  • Potential for Errors in Data Collection
  • Potential for Unauthorized Access to Sensitive Data
  • Potential for Discrimination Based on Race, Gender, etc.

What Are Fingerprint Ink Cards?

Fingerprint ink cards, also known as FBI Form FD-258, are pre-printed cards used to capture fingerprints manually. The technician uses an ink roller and inks up the subject’s fingertips. The subject then rolls each fingertip onto the corresponding fingerprint box on the card, leaving a visible copy of their prints on the card. This process is sometimes referred to as “ink-rolled fingerprinting”. It has been used for decades and is still a popular choice for manual fingerprint submissions. It is especially useful if the subject’s prints cannot be captured electronically using a Live Scan machine. Furthermore, it is important to note that ink-rolled fingerprints must be of good quality to be accepted by the California Department of Justice (DOJ).

Advantages of Using Ink Cards

Ink cards have certain advantages compared to live scan fingerprinting. The cost of ink card fingerprinting is generally lower than what is charged for live scan machines. Additionally, there are more locations available that offer ink card fingerprinting than those that provide live scan machines. Another advantage of using ink cards is that they can capture impressions of both thumbs on the same card without changing anything. Lastly, since fingerprints are not digital, there is no need to worry about technical issues such as smudging, smearing, or over or under-inking. Despite the advantages mentioned above, there are still drawbacks to using ink cards, and it’s important to consider them before deciding which method to use for fingerprinting.

Disadvantages of Ink Cards Versus Live Scan Fingerprinting

Ink-rolled fingerprinting can be more difficult than digital fingerprinting, and mistakes can lead to rejection. Ink-rolled fingerprints are done by rolling your fingertips on an ink pad and pressing them onto a card. It takes time to perfect the technique, and the prints can be accepted if propped. The Live scan process helps to avoid these issues, as the scanner detects the prints by rolling your fingertips on a glass plate. Live scan fingerprinting also eliminates smudging, smearing, and over or inking, which can happen with traditional ink methods. Despite its advantages, Live scan fingerprinting is more expensive than ink cards, and there are fewer locations available for having your prints taken.

Pros and Cons of Ink Fingerprinting


  • Less expensive than electronic software
  • Available at more sites for prints
  • Live scan process helps avoid smudging and smearing associated with ink fingerprinting
  • Major benefit is that Live scan captures prints quickly, accurately, and securely


  • Not as accurate as digital fingerprinting
  • Can lose print clarity and blur ridges together, producing false matches
  • Problems in crime scenes with excessive DNA, especially in public places
  • Absence of ink makes it less reliable

Ink Rolled Fingerprinting vs. Digital Fingerprinting

Ink-rolled fingerprinting and digital fingerprinting are both commonly used methods of capturing fingerprints. The traditional ink rolled method requires rolling the fingers on an ink pad and pressing the fingertips onto a blank card. This method is generally cheaper than digital fingerprinting. However, it needs to be more accurate and more prone to rejection. Digital fingerprinting, on the other hand, uses a scanner to detect prints by rolling your fingertips on a glass plate. This method is much more accurate and has a lower rate of rejection. It is also much cleaner and more efficient than the ink-rolled method.

Steps Involved in Live Scan Fingerprinting

  1. Electronic Fingerprint Scanning: The first step in Live Scan fingerprinting is to get your fingerprints scanned electronically by a professional, certified Live Scan operator. This eliminates the need for messy ink and makes the process fast and clean.
  2. Completing Section 4 of the Form: Once your fingerprints have been scanned, the Live Scan Operator will complete Section 4 and return the second and third copies to you.
  3. Submitting to Law Enforcement Agency: The next step is to submit your signed form with the finger scan images to a law enforcement agency or other authorized agency (e.g., a school or employer) for processing.
  4. Receiving Notification: Upon completion of processing, you and the requesting agency will receive notification of results as quickly as possible.

Following these simple steps, you can complete your Live Scan fingerprinting process quickly and efficiently!

Does A live Scan Offer Both Ink and Live Scan Fingerprinting?

Yes, Alive Scan offers both ink and live scan fingerprinting services. The advantage of using Alive Scan is that they are certified to fingerprint via Live Scan (digital), FBI FD-258 Ink Cards, and SF-87 Ink Fingerprint Cards. With Live Scan fingerprinting, there is no ink or card, eliminating the chances of smudging, smearing, and over or under-inking. Certifix also offers live scan fingerprinting services nationwide at UPS stores, with a rolling fee of $25 for live fingerprinting and $35 for ink fingerprint cards. Therefore, whether you go with ink cards or Live Scan fingerprinting, you can rest assured that Alive Scan will provide the best service possible.

5 Benefits of Live Scan over Ink Card Fingerprinting Services

  1. Quicker Results: The Live scan process provides a much faster and more convenient way to obtain fingerprints. The traditional ink and paper method can receive results in minutes rather than days or weeks.
  2. Accuracy: Live Scan fingerprinting eliminates the possibility of human error when using ink and paper fingerprinting methods. The digital scan is more accurate and reliable than manual entry and is less likely to be rejected due to improper form completion, smudging, or smearing of the ink print.
  3. Cleanliness: The Live scan process is much cleaner than the traditional ink and paper method of securing fingerprints. When using the ink method, there’s no need to worry about smudges, smears, or over-inking.
  4. Security: Fingerprint data is securely stored in a digital format, ensuring that it remains secure and can’t be tampered with or stolen.
  5. Convenience: With Live scan fingerprinting, the results can be sent digitally to licensing bureaus, making the entire process much faster and more convenient for all parties involved.

5 Reasons to Get Your Fingerprints Taken with Live Scan

  1. Error-Free Process – Live scan fingerprinting is a precise, mistake-free process that only takes 10–15 minutes. The risk of smudging and smearing ink, over or under-inking, is eliminated, and the fingerprint quality is guaranteed to be better than the ink & roll method.
  2. No Messy Ink – Live scan fingerprinting doesn’t require messy ink, making it a lot more convenient and sanitary.
  3. Retake Option – Live scan fingerprinting allows the technician to retake fingerprints if some are unclear. This allows you to choose the best fingerprints to be sent to the law enforcement agency.
  4. Electronic Transmission – Live scan fingerprinting enables secure electronic transmission of fingerprints. This eliminates the need to post physical prints and accelerates the background check process.
  5. Multi-Purpose – With live scan fingerprinting, you can get fingerprints taken for all civil purposes, including citizenship, immigration, employment, record suspension (pardon), adoption, visa, US waiver, foreign travel and employment, security screening, child custody, etc.

How Live Scan can help reduce crime and improve safety

Live Scan is a preferred method of capturing fingerprints by law enforcement agencies worldwide due to its ability to reduce crime and improve public safety. Live Scan fingerprint images provide higher accuracy rates than traditional ink methods, making it easier for law enforcement to identify suspects positively. Additionally, Live Scan devices are funded with assistance from the National Institute of Justice, allowing 600 law enforcement agencies in 18 countries to use this innovative technology. This helps increase opportunities for individuals to be fingerprinted electronically, providing more accurate and efficient results. With the help of AI, Live Scan can also help identify patterns in criminal activity, which can lead to more effective crime prevention strategies. Live Scan is an invaluable tool for law enforcement agencies, as it can potentially reduce crime and improve safety in local communities.

Which Option is Better?

When conducting background checks, Live Scan fingerprinting is generally the preferred approach. It is quick, accurate, and secure. It also produces better-quality prints without the mess of ink and cards. Additionally, Live Scan technology allows for much faster results with a lower rejection rate of illegible prints. On the other hand, fingerprint ink cards are more cost-effective and available in more locations. Each approach has benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to consider your business needs when deciding which option is best for you.

Which One Should You Choose, Ink Cards or Live Scan Fingerprinting?

When deciding between traditional ink cards and live scan fingerprinting, it is significant to consider the pros and cons of each option. Ink cards are cheaper, with more locations available to take your prints. However, with live scan, you can benefit from state-of-the-art, digital live scan inkless technology, eliminating many of the problems associated with ink prints, such as smudging and over or under-inking. Additionally, Live scan processes fingerprints directly to state agencies and the FBI. Ultimately, the decision between ink cards and live scans lies in the individual’s needs. If speed is paramount, a live scan may be the way to go. Traditional ink cards may be better if you look for a more cost-effective option.

How to Pick the Right Option for You

Picking the right option for you regarding fingerprinting can be overwhelming. Luckily, a few options available will help make the process smoother. The two most popular options are Live Scan and ink cards.

Live Scan is an electronic method of capturing fingerprints, which is why it is becoming increasingly popular. Certifix Live Scan Centers are a great place to get Live Scan fingerprinting services done quickly and accurately. When you visit a Certifix Live Scan Center, you must provide the state you need to be fingerprinted for and then submit your Request for Live Scan Service form.

Alternatively, ink cards are another way of getting fingerprinted. When using ink cards, the requesting agency should provide either the ink card(s) or the triplicate Live Scan Request form (or three copies) to each applicant. Fingerprinting Express offers quick and accurate fingerprinting quotes when using this method, so be sure to call them at (800) 710-1934 if this is your preferred option. They also match competitors’ pricing for the same service, so shop around!

American Health Biometrics has experienced fingerprint rollers that can help make your experience easier and more efficient, so if you decide to go with ink cards, they are a great choice.

No matter which option you choose, make sure that you do your research before deciding what’s best for you. Read reviews and ask around to see what’s worked best for others in similar situations so that you can make an informed decision.

How Live Scan Can Benefit Your Business

Live Scan technology can benefit your business in several ways. First, it eliminates any potential problems associated with ink fingerprinting, such as smudging, smearing, and over or under-inking. This is especially helpful for businesses that require fingerprinting for background checks or other applications, as the Live Scan process ensures accuracy and reliability. The Live Scan process also captures fingerprints electronically for submission to specific agencies, fingerprint archiving, and fingerprint card production.

To start a Live Scan Fingerprinting Business, you will need basic training. There are some courses available that provide instruction in the necessary software and hardware needed to be a live scan service provider. This will ensure you provide your clients with the highest quality service possible.

Once you have obtained your training and set up your live scanning services, you can begin offering various popular services to your clients. These include notary services, fingerprinting for FINRA applications, background checks, and fingerprint archiving. Live Scan technology is also helpful in setting up digital time clocks for employees or contractors.

Live Scan technology is far more accurate than traditional rolled ink fingerprinting methods. It also requires less time to capture fingerprints due to its digital nature. This makes it a much more efficient option for businesses with many employees who need to be screened quickly and reliably.

By investing in Live Scan Fingerprint technology, your business can benefit from its accuracy, efficiency, and safe time and resources on screening processes. With careful planning and implementation of Live Scan technology, businesses of all sizes can enjoy increased productivity levels while staying compliant with applicable laws and regulations.

Why Live Scan is the better choice for your business

Live scan is the superior choice for businesses wanting to quickly and accurately capture fingerprints and other biometric data. Live scan technology uses a digital scanner to capture fingerprints electronically, eliminating the need for messy ink rolls and smudged paper cards. The live scan also offers a much faster processing time than traditional rolled ink methods, with results often returned within minutes. Additionally, live scan technology offers more accuracy in capturing fingerprint data, making it the ideal choice for businesses that require reliable background check results. Finally, the live scan is most-effective time than rolled ink methods in the long run, making it a better option for businesses looking to save money on their background checks.

What is the Cost of Live scan Fingerprinting?

The cost of Live Scan fingerprinting varies depending on the location. However, you will typically be charged a service fee or rolling fee, which covers the cost of the actual fingerprinting service. Additionally, you may need to purchase FD258 cards to submit fingerprints electronically to the Department of Justice (DOJ). These cards typically cost around $15.00 each, plus any applicable State or FBI background fees. Using Live Scan technology, you can avoid problems associated with ink fingerprinting, such as smudging, smearing, and over or under-inking. Additionally, Live Scan offers faster results and a lower rejection rate of illegible prints due to the inkless nature of the device.

How to Get Started ink card fingerprinting Services With Certifix Live Scan

If you want to get started with ink card fingerprinting services, Certifix Live Scan can help. Their nationwide network of locations can provide you with both ink card fingerprinting and Live Scan submissions. All you need to do is search for a location near you and make an appointment.

Once you have made your appointment, you must get your fingerprints rolled onto an FD-258 ink fingerprint card. This card is then mailed along with your FBI Criminal Report Request to the address provided by Certifix Live Scan. The fee charged for the service will vary depending on the location, so it is important to call ahead for a quote.

Once Certifix Live Scan receives your fingerprint card, their mobile operator will process your request and mail the results directly to you. The fee for this service includes the government fee plus any additional fees that may be applicable.

By using Certifix Live Scan’s nationwide network of locations, you can get started with ink card fingerprinting services quickly and easily. They are the perfect partner for all your fingerprinting needs with their convenient appointment options, mobile operator processing, and competitive pricing.


In conclusion, live scan fingerprinting is the superior option regarding the accuracy and convenience of capturing fingerprints. It is also more secure than ink cards, as the prints are digitized and stored electronically. Furthermore, A live scan is experienced with both traditional ink fingerprinting services and digital fingerprinting, so you can be sure that your fingerprints will be captured accurately and securely. Ultimately, when it comes to choosing between ink cards and live scan fingerprinting, the choice is yours – but if you want a secure, accurate, and convenient process, the live scan is the way to go.

Certifix Live Scan is the top choice for live scan fingerprinting services at over +600 locations in California and Florida. We provide live scan fingerprinting services and ink card fingerprinting services in our locations.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Top 10 Benefits of Live-Scan Fingerprinting

    1. Error-free process
    2. No messy ink or long waits
    3. Fingerprint capture takes only 10–15 minutes
    4. Encryption of digital fingerprints and secure electronic transmission
    5. Fingerprint quality is better than the ink & roll method
    6. Fingerprints can be retaken to choose the best ones
    7. No smudging or smearing of ink
    8. No over or under-inking
    9. Faster processing time than the ink & roll method
    10. No need to clean up the applicant’s hands after the process.

  • What is Fingerprinting?

    Fingerprinting is a process of capturing and recording a person’s unique set of fingerprints. It is used for identification purposes, such as in criminal investigations, and can also be used for verification, such as when verifying an individual’s identity at a passport office.

  • How Is Fingerprinting Done?

    Fingerprinting is done by using an inkless scanner or a specialized ink pad. The scanner scans the ridges and patterns of the finger and creates an image that can be stored for comparison. The ink pad captures the ridges and patterns of the finger by pressing the finger onto the pad.

  • What Are the Different Types of Fingerprinting?

    There are three main types of fingerprinting: visible prints, rolled prints, and latent prints. Visible prints are taken from surfaces where a fingerprint can be seen, such as glass or metal objects. Rolled prints are taken by rolling each finger onto an ink pad. Latent prints are taken from surfaces where a fingerprint cannot be seen, such as wood or fabric objects.

  • What is Ink Fingerprinting?

    Using the old-fashioned ink procedure necessitates visiting a nearby sheriff’s department or law enforcement authority to have one’s fingerprints registered. The conventional method of obtaining fingerprints, ink fingerprinting, is still utilized for a variety of purposes today. To saturate the whole fingerprint area, a person’s fingertips are rolled in ink. Then, every finger is placed onto prepared cards from one end of the fingernail to the other.

  • How does Live Scan Fingerprinting differ from Ink Fingerprinting?

    Digital fingerprinting is less complex than traditional ink fingerprinting. The prints are detected by the scanner by rolling your fingertips on a glass plate. The fingerprints are then forwarded to the appropriate location once they have been captured digitally. An electronic copy of fingerprints is also more difficult to lose or destroy than a tangible copy.

  • What issues can occur with Ink Fingerprinting?

    Even though ink has been used to record fingerprints since the nineteenth century, several issues might arise. The ink on the card, for example, might smear. It’s also possible that the ink does not reach all the ridges on each fingertip. In any case, the prints will be rendered useless.

  • What is better, Live Scan Fingerprinting or Ink Fingerprinting?

    Both techniques have their own set of benefits. The ink fingerprinting technique is less expensive, and there are far more sites where one can get their prints done. The digital alternative is much more costly, but it is certainly more reliable, saving time and hassle. High precision minimizes the possibility of the relevant authority rejecting the prints and forcing one to start over.

  • What are the advantages of Live Scan Fingerprinting?

    Live Scan fingerprinting offers many advantages over ink fingerprinting, including faster processing time, greater accuracy, and improved security. It also eliminates the possibility of human error due to incorrect ink application or rolling technique.

  • What are the disadvantages of Live Scan Fingerprinting?

    The main disadvantage of Live Scan fingerprinting is its cost, which is typically higher than the cost of traditional ink fingerprinting. Additionally, Live Scan fingerprinting results are only valid within the state in which the prints were taken, and cannot be transferred over state borders.

  • How is live scan fingerprinting different from traditional ink fingerprinting?

    Digital fingerprinting is less complex than traditional ink fingerprinting. The prints are detected by the scanner by rolling your fingertips on a glass plate. The fingerprints are then forwarded to the appropriate location once they have been captured digitally. And In recent years, fingerprinting has become increasingly automated and can now be used to verify identities and find matches much faster and more accurately. Additionally, the term “biometrics” has expanded beyond fingerprints to include palm prints, irises, and facial recognition. Tend to work.

  • How has fingerprinting changed over time?

    In recent years, fingerprinting has become increasingly automated and can now be used to verify identities and find matches much faster and more accurately. Additionally, the term “biometrics” has expanded beyond fingerprints to include palm prints, irises, and facial recognition.

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