Live Scan Fingerprinting Fingerprinting for NFA Applications

Fingerprinting for NFA Applications [Full Guide]

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Published on June 26, 2024 at 04:24 pm

Updated on June 27th, 2024 at 05:14 pm

Fingerprinting is a crucial part of the NFA application process. Applicants must submit their fingerprints as part of their legal documentation. This helps authorities perform thorough background checks, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. The process involves capturing the unique patterns of an individual’s fingerprints. Each pattern is distinct and can be recorded using digital equipment or traditional ink methods. Proper submission of these fingerprints is essential for the application’s success. Fingerprinting adds an extra layer of security to the approval process.

Overview of Fingerprinting Process

Fingerprinting for NFA applications involves capturing clear impressions of an applicant’s fingerprints.

This can be done using digital fingerprinting equipment or traditional ink methods.

The process starts by pressing each finger onto a scanner or ink pad. The fingerprints are then recorded and analyzed.

Accuracy is critical to make sure each pattern is correctly captured.

Proper labeling and submission are necessary to ensure the fingerprints match the individual.

This process ensures a reliable background check can be conducted.

The Importance of Fingerprinting in NFA Applications

Applying for a National Firearms Act (NFA) item involves multiple steps, and fingerprinting is a critical part of this process.

Below are the key reasons why fingerprinting is essential in NFA applications:

  • Identity Verification
    • Ensures Authenticity: Fingerprinting confirms the applicant’s identity, preventing fraud.
    • Prevents Impersonation: Accurate identification keeps unauthorized individuals from acquiring NFA items.
  • Background Checks
    • Criminal Records: Fingerprints are used to conduct thorough background checks through FBI databases.
    • Safety Measures: This step helps ensure that firearms do not end up in the hands of individuals with criminal backgrounds.
  • Legal Compliance
    • Federal Requirements: Fingerprinting is mandated by federal law for all NFA applications.
    • Consistent Process: A standardized fingerprinting process helps maintain uniformity and compliance with legal regulations.
  • Security
    • Enhances Public Safety: Ensuring qualified individuals receive NFA items helps maintain public safety.
    • Reduces Risk: Proper identification and background checks minimize the risk of misuse of NFA items.
  • Efficiency
    • Streamlines Application: Proper fingerprint documentation speeds up the processing of applications.
    • Avoids Delays: Accurate and precise fingerprints help avoid delays caused by errors or the need for re-submission.
  • Record Keeping
    • Traceability: Fingerprinting provides a reliable method for tracing the history and ownership of NFA items.
    • Accountability: Maintains accountability and integrity within the firearms industry.
ImportanceKey Points
Identity VerificationEnsures authenticity, Prevents impersonation
Background ChecksCriminal records, Safety measures
Legal ComplianceFederal requirements, Consistent process
SecurityEnhances public safety, Reduces risk
EfficiencyStreamlines application, Avoids delays
Record KeepingTraceability, Accountability

Understanding the significance of fingerprinting can significantly enhance the efficiency and security of the NFA application process, ensuring that only authorized individuals gain access to these sensitive items.

What You Need To Know About ATF eForms

ATF eForms are an online platform provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

They allow users to electronically submit and manage applications related to firearms and explosives.

Key benefits include faster processing times and enhanced convenience.

Users must create an account on the eForms website to gain access.

The system supports various forms, such as Form 1 for making a firearm and Form 4 for transferring a firearm.

Understanding the specific form requirements and following the submission guidelines is crucial to ensure timely delivery.

How to Fill Out ATF “eForm 4”

Filling out the ATF eForm 4 can seem daunting, but with this step-by-step guide, you can complete it efficiently. The eForm 4 transfers and registers an NFA (National Firearms Act) firearm.

Step 1: Accessing the eForm 4

  • Visit the ATF eForms Website: Go to ATF eForms Site.
  • Login/Register: If you have an account, log in. If not, register by following the on-screen instructions.

Step 2: Starting a New eForm 4

  • Select “eForm 4”: Once logged in, locate the “eForm 4” option and click on it.
  • Begin Application: Click “Begin Application” to start a new form.

Step 3: Entering Transferor Information

  • Transferor Details: Please fill in the details of the current owner (transferor), including their business name, address, and FFL number.
  • Primary Contact: Provide the name and contact information of the transferor’s primary contact person.

Step 4: Entering Transferee Information

  • Transferee Details: Please complete the personal information of the buyer (transferee), including their name, address, and contact information.
  • Personal Identification: Upload a recent photograph and provide identification details (driver’s license or other government-issued ID).

Step 5: Describing the Firearm

  • Firearm Information: Provide details about the NFA item being transferred. Information includes:
    • Name of Manufacturer
    • Model
    • Caliber/Gauge
    • Type of Firearm
    • Serial Number
  • Additional Information: If applicable, include any additional details or descriptors.

Step 6: Documentation and Certification

  • Additional Documents: Upload any required documents, such as trust or corporation documents, if applicable.
  • Certify Information: The transferor and transferee must electronically sign the form to certify that the information provided is accurate.

Step 7: Payment

  • Processing Fee: Pay the required transfer tax ($200 for most NFA items) using an electronic payment method as specified by the form.
  • Confirm Payment: Ensure payment has been processed and confirmation is received.

Step 8: Review and Submit

  • Review: Carefully review all the information entered for accuracy. Cross-check each section to ensure there are no errors.
  • Submit: Submit the completed form by clicking the “Submit” button.

Step 9: Await Approval

  • Tracking: You can track the status of your application through the ATF eForms portal.
  • Notification: You will receive a notification once the application has been processed and approved.

Useful Tips

  • Double-check Information: Ensure all personal information and firearm details are correct.
  • Save Progress: Regularly save your progress to avoid losing information.
  • Help Resources: Utilize the help resources available on the ATF eForms site if you encounter any issues.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Incorrect Serial Numbers: Ensure serial numbers match precisely with the firearm.
  • Incomplete Documents: Make sure all necessary documents are uploaded.
  • Wrong Payment Info: Verify your payment details to avoid transaction issues.

Following these steps, you can smoothly navigate the ATF eForm 4 process. Always make sure to provide accurate and complete information to avoid delays in processing.

How to Fill Out the ATF’s FD-258 Fingerprint Card

Filling out the FD-258 fingerprint card correctly is crucial for processing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Follow this straightforward guide to ensure accuracy.

Materials Needed:

  • FD-258 Fingerprint Card
  • Black Ink Pad
  • Valid Identification Document (e.g., driver’s license)
  • Pen (black ink)

Steps to Complete the FD-258 Fingerprint Card

1. Personal Information Section

  • Last Name: Write your full legal last name.
  • First Name: Write your full legal first name.
  • Middle Name: Write your full legal middle name. If none, write “NMN” (No Middle Name).
  • Signature of Person Fingerprinted: Sign your name exactly as listed.
  • Residence of Person Fingerprinted: List your address, including street, city, state, and ZIP code.
  • Date: Write today’s date in MM/DD/YYYY format.

2. Citizenship

  • Citizenship (Cit.): Write your country of citizenship. Use “US” for the United States.

3. Descriptive Data

  • Sex: Use “M” for male, and “F” for female.
  • Race: Indicate race using the appropriate abbreviation:
    • W: White
    • B: Black
    • I: American Indian or Alaskan Native
    • A: Asian or Pacific Islander
    • U: Unknown
  • Height: Write your height in feet and inches. E.g., 5’10”.
  • Weight: Write your weight in pounds.
  • Eyes: Abbreviate eye color:
    • BLK: Black
    • BLU: Blue
    • BRO: Brown
    • GRN: Green
    • HAZ: Hazel
    • MAR: Maroon
    • PNK: Pink
    • XXX: Unknown
  • Hair: Abbreviate hair color:
    • BAL: Bald
    • BLK: Black
    • BLN: Blond
    • BRO: Brown
    • GRY: Gray
    • RED: Red/Auburn
    • SDY: Sandy
    • WHI: White
  • Place of Birth (POB): Write the abbreviation for the state or country of birth. Use USPS abbreviations for states.
  • Date of Birth (DOB): Write your birth date in MM/DD/YYYY format.

4. Social Security Number (SSN)

  • Social Security No. (SOC): Write your total Social Security number.

5. Employer and Occupation

  • Occupation: List your current job title.
  • Employer and Address: Write the name and address of your employer.

6. Reason Fingerprinted

  • Reason Fingerprinted: Write why you are being fingerprinted, such as “ATF Application”.

7. Additional Information

  • Miscellaneous No. (MNU): Leave blank unless otherwise instructed.

8. Fingerprinting Process

  • Using the black ink pad, roll each finger from nail to nail in the designated boxes:
    • Right thumb
    • Right index finger
    • Right middle finger
    • Right ring finger
    • Right little finger
    • Left thumb
    • Left index finger
    • Left middle finger
    • Left ring finger
    • Left little finger
  • Ensure fingerprints are unmistakable and fully rolled.

Check Your Work

  • Double-check all fields for accuracy.
  • Ensure fingerprints are unmistakable and within the designated boxes.


  • Submit the completed FD-258 fingerprint card as instructed by the ATF.

By following these steps carefully, you can accurately complete the FD-258 fingerprint card, aiding in prompt application processing.

Legal Requirements for Fingerprinting in NFA Applications

When applying for items regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA), specific legal requirements for fingerprinting must be met.

These requirements ensure that the background check process is thorough and accurate.

Here’s a detail of what you need to know:

1. Submission of Fingerprints

  • All NFA applications require the submission of fingerprints for the applicant.
  • Fingerprints must be submitted on FBI Form FD-258.

2. Accurate and Clear Prints

  • Ensure fingerprints are unmistakable and not smudged.
  • Use black ink and avoid rolling your fingers too fast or too slow.

3. Certified Professionals

  • A law enforcement agency or certified fingerprint professional should take fingerprints.
  • Avoid using DIY fingerprint kits, as they may not meet FBI standards.

4. Two Complete Sets Required

  • Submit two complete sets of fingerprints with your application.
  • Both sets must be identical and include all ten fingerprints.

5. Accompanying Documentation

  • Include a copy of the completed ATF Form 1, ATF Form 4, or other relevant ATF forms.
  • Forms must be filled out entirely and accurately to match the fingerprint cards.

6. Timing of Submission

  • Submit fingerprint cards and the NFA application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
  • Ensure timely submission to avoid delays in processing.

7. Legal Compliance

  • Adhere to local, state, and federal firearm ownership and fingerprinting laws.
  • Check for any additional state-specific requirements.

8. Processing Fee

  • There may be a fee associated with fingerprinting services.
  • Confirm costs with your local law enforcement or fingerprinting service.

9. Renewal and Updates

  • Fingerprints may need to be resubmitted for updates or renewals.
  • Follow ATF guidelines for renewal applications.

10. Background Checks

  • Fingerprints are used to conduct thorough background checks.
  • This step helps ensure the applicant is legally eligible to possess NFA items.

By adhering to these legal requirements, your NFA application process can proceed more smoothly and efficiently.

Reference Table for NFA Applications:

Form UsedFBI Form FD-258
Number of SetsTwo Complete Sets
Where to SubmitAlong with ATF Form 1 or 4 to the ATF
Professional RequirementCertified Law Enforcement or Fingerprint Professional
DocumentationCompleted associated ATF Forms
Timing for SubmissionSubmit with Application
Processing FeeVaries by Provider

Follow these steps to meet the fingerprinting requirements for your NFA application and avoid any potential legal hurdles.

Laws and Regulations Regarding Fingerprinting

Fingerprinting for NFA applications must adhere to federal laws. Applicants are required to follow FBI-approved methods for capturing fingerprints.

These regulations ensure the authenticity and accuracy of the prints. Submission must happen within a specified time frame to avoid delays.

Proper identification and consent are essential before fingerprinting. Regulatory bodies may also require specific documentation to accompany the fingerprints.

These rules aim to maintain high-security standards and accurate background checks, which are crucial for NFA application processing.

Proper Documentation and Submission Procedures

Proper documentation is vital for NFA applications.

Applicants must provide accurate details such as name, address, and identification number.

They must also include two fingerprint cards. These cards should be printed correctly to avoid rejections.

Applicants are encouraged to double-check all information before submission.

Forms must be neat and readable. The submission should be made within the specified timeframe to prevent delays.

Adhering to these procedures ensures a smoother application process.

Compliance with guidelines increases the chances of approval.

How to Get Fingerprinted for an NFA Application

Step 1: Understanding the Requirement

  • To purchase a firearm regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), you must first complete a background check, which includes fingerprinting. This guide will explain how to get fingerprinted for an NFA application using Certifix Live Scan.

Step 2: Locate Certifix Live Scan Centers

  • Go to the Certifix Live Scan
  • Find a Fingerprinting Location

Step 3: Schedule an Appointment

  • Choose a Convenient Location
    • Select a center that is conveniently located and suits your schedule.
  • Schedule Online or by Phone
    • You can book an appointment online through the Certifix Live Scan website.
    • Alternatively, call the chosen center to set up an appointment.

Step 4: Prepare Required Documents

  • NFA Application Documents
    • Depending on your application, bring copies of your NFA application documents, including ATF Form 1 or ATF Form 4.
  • Identification
    • Carry a valid form of photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

Step 5: At the Appointment

  • Arrive on Time
    • Ensure you arrive at least 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
  • Complete Necessary Forms
    • Fill out any required forms provided at the Certifix Live Scan center.
  • Fingerprinting Process
    • A trained technician will take your fingerprints electronically.
    • Review the fingerprint card for accuracy before leaving the center.

Step 6: Submission

  • Receive Confirmation
    • Ensure you receive a confirmation receipt or documentation from Certifix Live Scan.
  • Submit Fingerprints
    • Follow the instructions on your NFA application regarding submitting fingerprints. The scanned fingerprints will typically be sent electronically to authorized governmental agencies.

Step 7: Follow-Up

  • Track Application Status
    • Monitor the status of your NFA application using the tracking information provided by the ATF.
  • Respond to Requests
    • If the ATF requests additional information or clarification, respond promptly to avoid delays.

By following these steps, you can efficiently navigate the fingerprinting requirement for your NFA application using Certifix Live Scan.

How long does it take to process an NFA fingerprint card?

Processing an NFA fingerprint card typically takes several weeks.

First, the applicant submits the fingerprint card to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Steps Involved:

  • Submission to ATF – This is the initial step.
  • Background Check – The ATF conducts a comprehensive background check.
  • Approval – If everything is in order, the card is approved.

Usually, the entire process ranges from 8 to 10 weeks. However, processing times can vary based on the volume of applications and any additional reviews required.

Sometimes, delays can extend the timeframe to 90 days or more.

What should I do if my NFA fingerprint card is rejected? 

If your NFA fingerprint card is rejected, the first step is understanding why.

Contact the agency or entity that processed your fingerprints to obtain specific details.

They might offer recommendations on how to rectify the issue.

Common problems include poor print quality or incomplete information.

Ensure your fingerprints are unmistakable and all required fields are accurately filled out.

Next, schedule a new appointment for fingerprinting.

To avoid repeated issues, go to a different location or technician.

Bring any previous correspondence or feedback to help the technician understand what went wrong initially.

Finally, submit the corrected fingerprint card according to the instructions.

Keep tracking the status of your submission to ensure there are no further issues. Prompt and diligent follow-up can expedite the resolution process.

Is there a specific type of fingerprint card required for NFA applications?

When submitting an NFA (National Firearms Act) application, it’s essential to use a specific type of fingerprint card.

The acceptable card is the FD-258 fingerprint card, which the FBI designated and is required for processing NFA applications.

It includes spaces for necessary personal information and the fingerprints themselves.

EUsing the correct card can help avoid delays in the application process.

Always verify the latest requirements with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

How much does it cost to get fingerprinted for an NFA application? 

Getting fingerprinted for an NFA (National Firearms Act) application typically involves a small fee.

Our Sterling-kiosk locations charge $40 for the Fingerprint Card Service, your content states $10 to $50.

Local law enforcement agencies, private fingerprinting businesses, and online services often offer fingerprinting services for NFA applications.

It’s essential to check with the specific provider beforehand, as prices and availability can vary.

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