FBI Fingerprint Live Scan Form

FBI Fingerprint Card: Key Tips for Success

Share This Article

Published on December 4, 2023 at 09:32 pm

Filling out an FBI fingerprint card may seem complicated, but it can be a straightforward process with some guidance. This blog post will provide step-by-step instructions on accurately filling out the card. Whether you complete the right-hand, left-hand, or both sections, we have you covered. So, let’s begin demystifying filling out an FBI fingerprint card.

Importance of correctly filling out FBI fingerprint cards

  • Accuracy is crucial: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) uses the FD-258 fingerprint card to record an individual’s fingerprints for identification checks accurately.

  • Background checks: These cards are often necessary for employment, licensing, immigration, and legal processes.

  • Potential delays: Errors in filling out the card can result in processing delays or even the rejection of your application.

  • Long-term implications: The accurate completion of the FD-258 is essential to ensure that your criminal history, if any, is correctly reported.

Common mistakes to avoid

  • Mistake #1: Using incorrect ink color for fingerprints. The FBI specifies the use of standard black ink.
    • Tip: Double-check the instructions for the required ink color before printing.

  • Mistake #2: Leaving required fields blank, submitting an incomplete card.
    • Tip: Review every section carefully and fill out all necessary information.

  • Mistake #3: Forgetting to sign and date the card is mandatory.
    • Tip: Mark a checklist of final steps, including signing and dating the card.

  • Mistake #4: Submitting fingerprints of poor quality that cannot be used for accurate identification.
    • Tip: Ensure clean, rolled impressions and avoid smudging.

  • Mistake #5: Providing the wrong payment information for background check processing.
    • Tip: Verify your payment details thoroughly before submission to avoid financial hiccups.

By understanding the importance of the FD-258 fingerprint card and avoiding these common errors, individuals can facilitate a smoother FBI background check process. Careful attention to detail and adherence to the instructions will help avoid unnecessary setbacks and ensure accurate results from your FBI background check.

Understand the FBI Fingerprint Card

Purpose of the different sections on the card

  • ORI (Originating Agency Identifier): This section identifies the agency or department that originated the fingerprint request.

  • Name: The individual’s full legal name is a crucial identification component.

  • Date of Birth: Helps to differentiate individuals with similar names.

  • Place of Birth: Used in conjunction with other identifiers for accurate records.

  • SSN (Social Security Number): Another unique identifier that assists in accurate data retrieval.

  • Reason Fingerprinted: Indicates the purpose, such as employment or licensing, for the background check.

  • Aliases: Documents known aliases to cross-check databases for any additional records.

  • Residence: The current address is critical for location-based historical records.

  • Employer and Address: Information used to validate the context of the fingerprint submission.

  • Signature of Official Taking Fingerprints: Validity checks to certify the official who took the prints.

  • Signature of Person Fingerprinted: Signing is a form of consent and self-attestation.

Explanations of the required information

  • Print Quality: Fingerprints must be rolled from side to side to cover the entire fingerprint area. The quality should be high with clear ridge patterns, ensuring it is usable for accurate identification and comparison.

  • Privacy: The information provided is kept confidential and is used only for the purpose indicated on the card.

  • Completeness: Every field must be filled out correctly. More data is needed to ensure the identification process is completed on time.

  • Amendments: If an error is made, starting with a fresh card is better than altering the information, which could raise questions about authenticity.

  • Instructions Followed: Adherence to the FBI guidelines is mandatory. Non-compliant cards are subject to rejection.

The successful processing of an FD-258 fingerprint card hinges on an intimate understanding of each section’s purpose and providing accurate and complete information. By meticulously filling out the card with all required details and ensuring the quality of the fingerprint imprints, individuals can prevent delays and complications in their background check process.

The necessary papers need to be collected.

Identification Documents Needed for Fingerprinting

  • Primary Identification: Government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, passport, or state ID card.

  • Secondary Identification: Additional documents like a birth certificate or social security card can be presented if necessary.

  • Support: Certain agencies may require a specific form of ID. It’s crucial to check beforehand and bring the required type(s).

  • Validity: All identification must be current and have not expired to ensure reliability.

  • Legibility: Details on the ID should be clear and easily readable to avoid misinterpretation.

Other Supporting Documents

  • Application Papers: Any relevant forms or documents related to the application process must be brought to the fingerprinting session.

  • Instruction Materials: Supporting material provided with the fingerprint card should be reviewed and retained.

  • Documentation of Residence: Proof of address documents such as utility bills or a lease may also be required.

  • Payment Information: Some agencies charge a fee for fingerprinting services, which should be prepared in advance.

  • Appointment Confirmation: If an appointment was made, bringing confirmation can verify your slot and reduce wait times.

Preparing all necessary identification and supporting documents before arriving at a fingerprinting location is vital. This ensures compliance with guidelines and facilitates a smooth and efficient process.

Individuals should prioritize double-checking that all items are current, legitimate, and appropriate for the specific fingerprinting requirements of the agency or organization they are dealing with.

Preparing for Fingerprinting

Choose an authorized fingerprinting location

  • Consider Proximity: Selecting a convenient location reduces stress and travel time.

  • Check Hours: Verify the operating hours to ensure they fit within your schedule.

  • Read Reviews: Customer feedback can provide insight into efficiency and service quality.

  • Confirm Services: Some locations may offer additional services like passport photos.

Ensure your hands are clean and dry.

  • Avoid Moisturizers: Before your appointment, avoid using lotions, as they can affect print clarity.

  • Wash Hands: Clean your hands thoroughly to remove dirt and oils.

  • Be Mindful of Cuts: Minor cuts or injuries can impact fingerprint capture, so consider rescheduling if necessary.

  • Dryness: Ensure your hands are dried before the process begins.

  • Temperature: Keep hands warm to avoid difficulties in print readability due to cold.

Fingerprints are a unique identification form critical for various official procedures. When preparing for a Certifix Live Scan, it is vital to locate an authorized center that aligns with your schedule and has positive reviews for the best experience.

Remember to take care of your hands before the appointment; their condition directly affects the quality of the fingerprint capture. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure the fingerprinting process is as quick and successful as possible.

Section I: Personal Information

Provide accurate personal details.

  • Full Name: Print your legal name as it appears on official identification documents.

  • Date and Place of Birth: Enter the full date (month, day, year) and city/state/country of birth.

  • Physical Address: Provide your current residential address where you reside.

  • Sex and Race: Indicate your gender and race for identification purposes.

  • Additional Identifiers: List any unique physical characteristics like tattoos or scars.

  • Signature: Your signature is required to validate the card; sign where indicated.

Include aliases, if applicable.

  • Other Names: If known by any other names or aliases, include these in the designated section.

  • Usage Context: Remember to specify in which context these alternate names are or were used.

The meticulous filling out of personal information on the FD-258 fingerprint card is a process that must be approached with accuracy and clarity.

It is an undeniable attestation of one’s identity and must reflect exact and verifiable personal details.

Individuals are responsible for unambiguously providing this data and listing legal names and aliases. By strictly adhering to each requirement and review, applicants can confidently contribute to a smooth identity verification process.

The success of FD-258 fingerprinting largely depends on the precision of the personal information provided. It is an essential step in identity verification for numerous official applications, where even minor errors can result in processing delays.

Attention to detail in completing the fingerprint card streamlines the subsequent procedures and reinforces the integrity of personal identification records.

Section II: Arrest Data

Disclosure of arrest history, if applicable

  • Arresting Agency: The name and identifier code of the agency that made the arrest.

  • Arrest Date: The specific arrest date (month, day, year).

  • Charge Information: Detailed description of the charge(s) leading to the arrest.

  • Disposition: Outcome of the arrest, including convictions or other conclusions within legal proceedings.

Explanation of arrest codes

  • ORI (Originating Agency Identifier): A code assigned by the CJIS Division to identify the originating agency.

  • NCIC (National Crime Information Center) Codes: Codes used to describe the offense in a standardized way across various jurisdictions.

  • Literal Terms for Child Abuse: Specific details describing the nature of a child abuse crime or charge.

  • Amputations Noted: Record of any amputations, imperative for precise identification through fingerprints.

Maintaining detailed records of an individual’s arrest history is crucial for criminal justice processes. The arrest data section on the criminal fingerprint card or the disposition report form is instrumental in ensuring that all pertinent details of an individual’s criminal history are accurately and comprehensively documented.

Reporting agencies should take extensive care to ensure that the arrest data provided is thorough and precise, as it significantly influences the handling of criminal cases and the administration of justice.

This data also supports the investigation and prosecution phases by offering a clear view of the individual’s history with law enforcement, which is particularly essential in cases of child protection and recurring offenses. Hence, meticulously articulating arrest data is critical in law enforcement documentation and public safety.

Section III: Personal Address and Employment Information

Complete residential address and employment details

  • Current Residential Address: Provide the full address, including street, city, state, and zip code.

  • Address Legibility: Ensure handwriting is clear and readable to avoid processing delays.

  • Historical Addresses: Include any previous addresses relevant to background checks.

  • Employer’s Name: The legal name of the individual’s current employer.

  • Main Address of Employer: Full address of the employer, mirroring the format of the residential address.

  • Organization ID Number: This is a unique identification number assigned to the employer, where applicable.

Include any changes within the past five years.

  • Previous Residences: List any addresses where the individual has resided during the last five years.

  • Employment Changes: Detail any changes in employment, including job titles and employer information, over the last five years.

  • Documentation of Moves: For each change of residential address, include specific move-in and move-out dates.

  • Accuracy Importance: Exactness in reporting residential and employment history enhances the reliability of background checks.

When completing the FD-258 fingerprint card, providing comprehensive and accurate personal address and employment information is imperative for the FBI’s processing and subsequent background checks.

This section assists in creating a thorough personal profile, which is particularly beneficial in cross-referencing identities and validating an individual’s history.

Employers, law enforcement agencies, and legal entities depend on this data for verifications and investigative purposes, highlighting the need for absolute precision and up-to-date details.

Remember, including comprehensive data on the fingerprint card is not only a requirement but contributes significantly to the integrity of the criminal justice system and the safety of communities.

Section IV: Subject’s Request for Their FBI Record

Information on how to request and obtain a copy of your FBI record

  • Right to Access: Every individual can request a copy of their FBI criminal history record, often called a “rap sheet.”

  • FBI Application Form: Begin by completing the required FBI application form, typically found on the FBI’s website.

  • Proof of Identity: Submit a current, government-issued photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, to verify your identity.

  • Fingerprint Submission: Provide a set of your fingerprints, usually on an FD-258 fingerprint card, to facilitate the retrieval of your records.

  • Processing Fee: Pay the processing fee associated with your request. This fee is subject to change, so verify the current amount beforehand.

  • Keep a Copy: Retain a copy of your request and all the documentation for your records.

  • Postal Mail: Mail your completed application, proof of identity, fingerprints, and the necessary fee to the address specified on the FBI website.

  • Online Request Options: For convenience, check if an online submission option is available, which can speed up the process.

  • Review and Challenge: Review your FBI criminal history record for accuracy upon receipt. If needed, challenge any inaccuracies, following the guidelines provided by the FBI.

Requesting your FBI record can be essential for various purposes, including employment, visa applications, or personal review.

The abovementioned process is designed to be as straightforward as possible, ensuring individuals can easily access their information.

Following all instructions carefully and providing complete, accurate information is crucial to avoid delays. Remember, this is your suitable and part of maintaining your records and history.

Double-checking your completed fingerprint card

  • Meticulous Review: Before submitting, scrutinize every detail on the FD-258 card. Ensure all fields are complete and that all information is legible.

  • Ink Consistency: Use only black ink to fill out the form; any other color may lead to rejection.

  • Signature and Date: Do not overlook signing and dating the card, as an unsigned card is considered invalid.

  • Accuracy of Fingerprints: Verify that fingerprints are correctly rolled and fully captured without smudging.

  • Personal Details: Double-check your information for spelling or data entry errors to prevent identification issues.

Submitting the card for processing

  • Choosing the Correct Agency: Submit the FD-258 card to the relevant agency, such as the FBI or other authorized departments, according to the instructions.

  • Adhering to Submission Guidelines: Conform to specific guidelines related to packaging and mailing that the agency may provide.

  • Tracking the Submission: It is advisable to send your fingerprint card via a tracked mailing service to ensure its delivery and receipt.

  • Follow up: If permitted, follow up on the status of your submission after an appropriate period, as processing times can vary.

  • Prepare for Additional Requests: Be ready to submit additional information or another set of fingerprints if the first set is deemed unacceptable.

When dealing with the FD-258 fingerprint card, attention to detail is paramount. Reviewing and submitting your card correctly will help avoid the inconveniences and potential delays of rejections.

By following the structured process and duly cross-checking every aspect of the form, the risk of errors is significantly minimized, leading to a smooth and successful submission of your fingerprint records.


This guide has been helpful to you in understanding how to fill out an FBI fingerprint card correctly. Taking the time to complete this critical document accurately is crucial for any background check or identification process. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Certifix Live Scan. We are here to support you in any way we can.

You Might Also Like:

Get your Live Scan Fingerprinting Near You

Live Scan & ink Card Fingerprinting

Schedule an Appointment Now!

We Offer a Nationwide Network of 1200+ Fingerprint Enrollment Centers

Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *