What are the Types of Fingerprinting?

The Complete Guide to Fingerprinting Services: What You Need to Know

Fingerprinting is a biometric technique that uses the unique patterns on human fingertips to identify individuals. Fingerprinting has been used for over a century by law enforcement and security agencies to establish a person’s identity and criminal history.

There are several different types of fingerprinting services available, including criminal background checks, employment screening, and security clearances. Criminal background checks are typically conducted by law enforcement agencies and are used to determine if a person has a criminal record. Employment screening is used by employers to verify the identity of job applicants and to conduct criminal background checks. Security clearances are typically required for individuals who work in sensitive government positions, such as national security or intelligence.

Criminal Background Checks:

The most common use of fingerprinting is for conducting criminal background checks. Law enforcement agencies maintain vast databases of fingerprints linked to criminal records. When a fingerprint is collected at a crime scene or during booking procedures, it can be run through these databases to identify suspects and link them to previous crimes. Fingerprint checks are also conducted as part of background screening for employment, licenses, and security clearances to reveal any undisclosed criminal history.

Employment Screening:

Many employers require fingerprinting for pre-employment screening and background checks on new hires. Fingerprints are cross-referenced with state and federal databases to check for any criminal records. This helps companies avoid hiring individuals with backgrounds that could make them risky for certain positions. Employment screening targets roles working with vulnerable groups like children, healthcare, financial services etc. where integrity and trust are paramount. Fingerprint checks need to be conducted in compliance with laws like FCRA to protect applicant privacy.

Security Clearances:

Government agencies and contractors require fingerprinting for security clearance checks on personnel who handle classified information. Fingerprints are run through FBI and Homeland Security databases to identify any criminal history, associations with unlawful organizations or activities that may compromise national security. These intensive background checks are required for access to sensitive facilities, documents, and data systems. Fingerprinting provides a unique biometric identifier that is difficult to falsify compared to documents.

What to Expect During the Fingerprinting Service?

Before getting fingerprinted, knowing what to expect during the process is important. Fingerprinting typically involves the use of ink and paper to capture the person’s fingerprints. The person being fingerprinted will be asked to roll their fingers in ink and then place them on a special card or paper that is designed to capture the fingerprints. The process can be messy and may take several minutes to complete. However, there is another method if you are not a fan of ink and roll. Modern technology has made it possible to obtain fingerprints digitally (the service is called Live Scan Fingerprinting), which is much faster and less messy than traditional ink and paper methods.

When you go for fingerprinting services, especially in contexts like background checks, employment applications, or legal processes, here’s what you can generally expect:

Arrival and Registration:

  • Bring identification documents such as a driver’s license, passport, or any other government-issued ID.
  • You might need to fill out forms with personal information and the purpose of fingerprinting.


  • Identity Confirmation: The official will verify your identity by checking your documents and details against the information you provided.

Fingerprinting Process:

  • Cleanliness: Ensure your hands are clean and dry. Any dirt or moisture can affect the quality of fingerprints.
  • Technique: You’ll be asked to roll your fingertips on an ink pad or place your fingers on a digital scanner.
  • Multiple Attempts: Don’t worry if the first attempt doesn’t yield clear prints. The official will guide you, and several attempts might be made until acceptable prints are obtained.
  • Quality Check: The technician will check the quality of the fingerprints to ensure they are clear and readable.


  • Confirmation: You might receive a confirmation that your fingerprints have been successfully captured.
  • Processing: Your fingerprints will be processed for the specific purpose they were taken, such as background checks or official records.


  • Time: The entire process usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes, but this can vary based on factors such as the number of attempts needed to obtain clear prints.

Where to get Fingerprinting?

To get fingerprinting services, you will need to find a reputable fingerprinting service provider. Several options are available, including private companies specializing in fingerprinting services and government agencies offering fingerprinting services.

When choosing a fingerprinting service provider, it is important to consider the reputation of the company, the cost of the service, and the types of services offered. Additionally, you may want to consider the service provider’s location, as some providers may require you to travel to a specific location to obtain fingerprinting services.

If you live in the state of Oregon and are looking for a fingerprinting service, allow us to introduce you to Pac Signing Notary, a professional notary service provider offering a plethora of services, including traditional fingerprinting services and live scan fingerprinting services. Our fingerprinting solutions are cost-effective and premium, and we also offer mobile fingerprinting. 


Fingerprinting services are an important tool used for identification and verification purposes. Whether you are applying for a job, obtaining a security clearance, or undergoing a criminal background check, fingerprinting services can help to ensure that your identity is verified and your background is thoroughly checked. Get in touch with PAC Signing Notary and receive tailored notary assistance in no time.