August 17, 2016

Ink Card Fingerprinting


Walk In Appointments: Monday-Friday  and  Mobile Services Available 24/7

Federal Fingerprinting offers FBI Ink Card Fingerprinting Services also known as Fingerprint Cards or Ink Cards. Fingerprint Cards (FD-258) are generally used when an applicant is applying for a job, license or permit outside of the state that they currently live in such as California. However sometimes these Fingerprint Cards/ Ink Cards are used for Federal Background Checks or in some cases when a Live Scan fingerprint will not go through the normal process you can sometimes use a Fingerprint Card/ Ink Card instead. Fingerprint Cards/ Ink Cards generally it takes 1 to 2 Months to be processed and to come back with results to the customer, compared to Live Scan fingerprinting which usually only takes a few days or so to get your results back.

To properly prepare for your upcoming FBI Fingerprint Card appointment, you will need the following:

  • Social Security Number (if you have one)
  • Government Issued Photo ID

Customers must present a valid photo ID to the fingerprint technician to verify your identity. The following are FBI approved forms of photo identification:

  • Passport
  • California Driver's License
  • California DMV ID
  • Card Out-of-state Driver's License
  • Alien Registration / Immigration Green Card
  • Military ID Card
  • Mexican Consulate ID Card (Matricula Consular de Alta Seguridad)

Please call us at 888-417-0203 for more information.


Ink Card Fingerprinting may be required for any of the following reasons:

  1. To obtain your criminal history record from another state or another country. Individuals would be required to submit the ink card to the appropriate state agency or country’s goverment agency.
  2. To obtain a copy of your criminal history record sent directly to you by the FBI. This is particularly helpful for those individuals applying for immigration or adjustment of status.
  3. To obtain an out-of-state professional license such as licenses to practice law, nursing and other professions.
  4. FINRA / Federal Employment – Some employers including but not limited to those individuals seeking federal employment and others working in the securities industry regulated by FINRA are required to submit Ink Card fingerprints for background screening prior to being licensed.

Here is an exaplme on how to complete an FD-258 Ink Card, however please note that some States or Country may want somethings filled out differently so be sure to check with them before you complete it: Click Here

Do I have to use the FBI Ink Card Form FD-258?

When people who reside in California wish to work or become licensed in another state, the FD 258 Card is usually the required method of fingerprinting. When being fingerprinted for reasons within California then live scan fingerprinting is required, but if you reside outside of the State of California then you are usually required to use a “hard card” fingerprint method.

How’s a ” Ten Print Card” or “Hard Card” differ from the FD 258 Card?

The Ten-Print fingerprint card is just another name for the ink fingerprint card. The blue/white FD-258 cards are usually the only acceptable form to be fingerprinted on. We recommend that you contact the the agency to verify, as some agencies use an alternate format.

Here are some other common names for the FD-258 ink card:

  • Ten Print Card
  • Fingerprint Card
  • Hard Card
  • Hard Copy
  • Ink Card
  • Wet Card
  • Standard Form (Standard Fingerprint Card)
  • FD-258

Fingerprinting Process

  • The recommended height for recording legible fingerprints is approximately 39 inches from the floor. This allows the forearm of an average adult to be parallel with the floor. This is the recommended position to record fingerprints.
    • Soap and water are preferred; however, rubbing alcohol may be substituted.
    • If hands are moist, wipe each finger with rubbing alcohol. If hands are dry or flaky use a small amount of hand lotion and wipe off any residue.
    • If capturing fingerprints electronically, ensure the live scan fingerprint device is properly calibrated and the platen is free of dust, dirt, and any residual fingerprint images.
  • The individual’s hands should be cleaned prior to printing:
  • Instruct the individual to look away from the fingerprint device, not to assist in the fingerprint process, and to relax. Grasp the individual’s right hand at the base of the thumb with your right hand. Cup your hand over the individual’s fingers, tucking under those fingers not being printed. Guide the finger being printed with your left hand.
  • If using the ink and paper method, roll the finger on the inking plate or pad so the entire fingerprint pattern area is evenly covered with ink. The ink should cover from one edge of the nail to the other and from the crease of the first joint to the tip of the finger. Using the correct amount of ink is vital.
  • When taking the rolled impression, the side of the finger bulb is placed upon the card or platen. The finger is then rolled to the other side until it faces the opposite direction. Care should be exercised so the bulb of each finger, from tip to below the first joint, is rolled evenly. Generally, the weight of the finger is the maximum pressure needed to clearly record a fingerprint. In order to take advantage of the natural movement of the forearm, the hand should be rotated from the more difficult position to the easiest position. This requires the thumbs be rolled toward and the fingers away from the center of the individual’s body. Roll each finger from nail to nail in the appropriate space, taking care to lift each finger up after rolling to avoid smudging.
  • When using the ink and paper method and a rolled impression is not acceptable, you may use an adhesive retab to cover the fingerprint in its space. (Only two retabs can be applied to each fingerprint block.) For live scan, the image should be deleted and retaken.
  • For a Type-4, plain impressions are typically printed last. The technician simultaneously presses the individual’s four fingers (of the right hand), keeping the fingers together on the surface of the card or live scan device (at a 45-degree angle) to capture all four fingers in the allotted space. Repeat this process for the left hand and then print both thumbs. Type-14 capture protocol requires the technician to simultaneously press the individual’s four fingers on the surface of the live scan device at a 90-degree vertical angle. Care should be taken to capture all fingers in the allotted space. Repeat this process for the left hand and then print both thumbs simultaneously (4-4-2 method). Capturing all fingers and thumbs in a vertical position improves finger segmentation software accuracy.
  • Complete all required textual information. It is important to enter the appropriate data in all fields when known.

Special Circumstances

Deformed or missing fingers:

If the finger is deformed, every attempt should be made to record the fingerprint in both the rolled and plain impression blocks. A postmortem kit, which is more commonly known as a spoon, can be utilized to assist in recording these images. If unable to record the image, simply place a notation in the fingerprint block (e.g., deformed, webbed) or electronically apply the Unable to Print (UP) code in data field 2.084.

Missing fingers are fingers physically present but cannot be recorded at the time of capture due to injury. Each missing finger should be designated via a notation in the fingerprint block (e.g., bandaged, injured, crippled, paralyzed) or electronically apply the UP code in data field 2.084.

Fully amputated fingers:

An amputated finger occurs when the finger’s first joint is no longer physically present. Amputated fingers should be designated via a notation in the fingerprint block (e.g., amp, missing at birth, severed) or electronically apply the Amputated (XX) code in data field 2.084.

Tip-amputated fingers:

If a portion of the first joint is present, record the available fingerprint pattern area in both the rolled and plain impression blocks.

Extra fingers:

When fingerprinting an individual with an extra finger, record only the thumb and the next four fingers. Do not record the extra finger as either a rolled or plain impression.

Scarred fingers:

Record scarred fingers in both the rolled and plain impressions without a notation.

Worn fingerprints:

An individual, by the nature of their work or age, may have very thin or worn ridges in the pattern area. Apply light pressure and use very little ink to record these types of fingerprint impressions. A technique known as “milking the finger” can be used to raise the fingerprint ridges prior to printing. This technique involves applying pressure or rubbing the fingers in a downward motion from palm to fingertip.

For more information about recording legible fingerprints or to request training, visit our website or contact the Customer Service Group at (304) 625-5590 or via e-mail at