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What is Live Scan Fingerprinting?

by | Mar 7, 2018 | Fingerprinting, livescan fingerprinting

Fingerprinting has been one of, if not the most, widely accept method of verifying someone’s identity for years.  Usually, you would press your fingers one by one onto an ink pad, then press them again, one by one, onto a sheet of paper.  This would leave an ink imprint of each of your unique fingerprints, which would then be sealed in an envelope and sent off to a database that contains “official” fingerprints.  It would then be compared to your fingerprints on file to verify that you are, in fact, who you claim to be.  This process could usually take anywhere from 1 week to 1 month (sometimes longer depending on the work-ethics of the employees taking, handling, and verifying the fingerprints).

We are currently living in a time where technology is always advancing.  We read our books, check our mail, do our shopping, and even take classes digitally on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, and frankly, we think these ink and paper fingerprints are outdated!  This is where Live Scan comes into play.

Live Scan is a digital, “inkless” fingerprinting process that allows your fingerprints to be taken digitally and immediately sent electronically and compared to the database where your official fingerprints are stored (whether that be to the FBI, Department of Justice, or other agency authorized to view and check them).  The obvious advantages to this are that there is no meed to dirty your fingers with black ink, no need to waste paper, and it cuts the verification time down significantly because it is sent to the database instantly over the internet.  Most Live Scan fingerprinting results come back within 24-72 hours.

It also reduces the chance for error (whether it be human or mechanical) that the ink fingerprinting process had.  The fingerprinting professional could make a mistake during the process, the person being fingerprinted could have incorrectly followed instruction, or the person checking the fingerprints could have done something wrong, let’s not forget, they’re only human!

Almost all of the fingerprinting agencies, law enforcement groups, and government departments associated with fingerprinting have switched to the Live Scan method.  It is more trustworthy, and cost-efficient in most cases.  If you, personally, are in need of fingerprinting, and want to check this Live Scan out for yourself, check out our Fingerprinting Services.


There are four convenient Absolute Investigative, Fingerprinting, and Security Services locations in Maryland.  Contact us for all your investigative, security and fingerprinting needs.  Fingerprinting clients do not require an appointment - walk-ins are welcome.