Ink Fingerprint & FBI Criminal History Summary Checks – FAQ

FBI FD-258 Ink Fingerprinting FAQs

Alive Scan has put together a list of FAQs about FD-258 Card “Hard Card” Ink fingerprinting to help its fingerprint applicants successfully and confidently complete the fingerprinting and background investigation process. Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions.


Who is required to submit ink fingerprints?

  • Volunteers – Peace Corp
  • Employment – Government Jobs, Teaching Abroad, Traveling Nurse, SEC & FINRA
  • Visa & Immigration
  • Personal Background Check (Check for accuracy, see what employers see…)
  • Attorneys – To correct errors, expungement…


* Ink Fingerprinting is generally required for out-of-state and out-of-country purposes. If your criminal background check is for the purpose of California licensing or employment, live scan fingerprinting is required.


Where do we get the FD-258 Card?

Alive Scan can provide the 8″x8″ FBI FD-258 Ink Fingerprint Card when necessary. Usually the employer or requesting agency will provide the FD258 fingerprint card. If you were not provided this card, Alive Scan does provide them for “FREE” to it’s customers. Although the actual FD-258 form can be printed up from a home computer, we highly recommend that use the 8″ x 8″ FD-258 Hard Card.


Do I need to be fingerprinted by law enforcement?

No. In fact, California police departments and sheriff offices no longer offer ink fingerprinting to the general public. FD-258 applicants MUST, however, be fingerprinted by a certified fingerprint specialist – such as Alive Scan. The fingerprint roller must sign and date the Fd-258 Form along with entering his/her official FPC number. Law enforcement agencies in San Diego recommend Alive Scan for FBI FD-258 Card Fingerprinting, as well as Live Scan Fingerprinting.


Is Alive Scan Certified to Fingerprint FBI FD-258 “Hard Card” Applicants?

Yes. Alive Scan is certified by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to fingerprint via Live Scan (digital), FBI FD-258 Ink Cards and the less common SF-87 Ink Fingerprint Card.


I’ve been fingerprinted in the past, can you use those fingerprints?

No. We cannot accept previously rolled fingerprint images. Your fingerprint images cannot be transferred between organizations. You are required to obtain a new set of ink-rolled fingerprints for submission with your request.


Can I fingerprint myself?

NO! The FBI requires the fingerprint applicant to be fingerprinted by a certified fingerprint roller. The fingerprint roller must sign the Fd-258 Form along with entering their official FPC number.


How is my FBI Criminal Report sent to me?

At this time, the FBI Criminal Report can send you a hard copy of your report via US Mail. The FBI does not allow CJIS Channelers to disseminate FBI Criminal Reports outside of the United States, it will only be mailed to an address in the United States.


Can my FBI Criminal Report results be sent to another individual?

You may have your FBI Criminal Report mailed to a designated attorney, if identified in your FBI Criminal Report Request. When requesting an FBI Criminal Report for use by your attorney, you must provide a written request on your attorney’s letterhead. The written request must include your signature as well as your attorney’s signature, and it must indicate that the FBI Criminal Report information results are to be released to your attorney.


Can I request an individual’s FBI Criminal Report for employment or licensing purposes?

No. You may place a request for a copy of your own FBI Criminal Report for personal review only.


Can Alive Scan Fingerprint SF-87 Applicants?

Yes. Alive Scan is certified to fingerprint via Live Scan (digital), FBI FD-258 Ink Cards and SF-87 Ink Fingerprint Card.

Alive Scan is authorized to fingerprint applicants on the less common SF-87 fingerprint card. The SF-87 Fingerprint Card is often used my the military and to complete a federal employment security clearance. Alive Scan is authorized to fingerprint SF-87 applicants, although these cards are typically completed by qualified government personal. Some requesting agencies allow the FD-258 Card to be used as a substitute since the two fingerprint cards are very similar. Check with the requesting agency before substituting the FD 258 for the less common form SF-87 card.


Can I use live scan technology instead of an “Ink Card” for an FBI Background Check?

No. The FBI only accepts Form FD-258 “Hard Card” Ink Fingerprint Cards for the purpose of running a Criminal Background Check. Live Scan fingerprinting is used when applying for a license, permit, certificate or employment in California. Live Scan fingerprints are submitted directly to the CA Department of Justice.