About Live Scan

Background of Live Scan Back to top

As a result of legislation passed in 1997, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has developed the automated background check process which requires digitized fingerprints (“Live Scan”). Digitizing the fingerprints enables the electronic transfer of fingerprint images to the DOJ, which saves both time and money.

What are the benefits of Live Scan? Back to top

The Live Scan process helps in avoiding many of the problems associated with ink prints, such as smudging, smearing, and over or under inking. A major benefit of Live Scan is that your fingerprints are transmitted directly to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice conducts a criminal background check, based on your fingerprints, results are sent within 24 to 48 hours to your employer or licensing agency.

What is Live Scan Fingerprinting? Back to top

Live Scan is a digital fingerprinting process that replaces traditional ink fingerprinting in states where it’s available. An applicant’s fingerprints are securely transmitted to a government agency, which performs a criminal history background check using an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

Live Scan is often required by statute for certain types of state-issued licenses, employment, and volunteer work. It has many advantages over ink fingerprinting, including image quality and result turnaround time.

What is a requesting agency? Back to top

A requesting agency is the organization that asks a Live Scan applicant to get Live Scan. This may be an employer, law enforcement agency, school, non-profit organization, home-care agency, etc.

Requesting agencies are also sometimes referred to as applicant agencies.

How does the process work? Back to top

A trained and certified Live Scan specialist will capture fingerprints using a Live Scan system. The fingerprints are then sent securely via electronic transmission to the appropriate FBI or DOJ-certified channeling agencies for background check processing. A live scan typically takes 10 to 15 minutes, and the person taking the fingerprints will collect all appropriate fees at the time of service.

Who needs Live Scan anyway? Back to top

All types of individuals are required by the state and federal governments to get Live Scan, including (but not limited to): realtors, licensed DMV professionals, notaries, foster parents, teachers, appraisers, caregivers, stockbrokers, contractors, nurses, doctors, surgeons, security guards, volunteers, and lawyers.

Why do I need a Live Scan? Back to top

Live Scan is often required for people who work or volunteer in positions of trust for populations such as vulnerable citizenry, the elderly, dependent adults and children.

Is Live Scan the same as a background check? Back to top

Live Scan is a form of background check required by the state and federal governments; typically for state-issued licenses, employment, or volunteer work. It is also often required for (but not limited to) people who work or volunteer in positions of trust for populations such as vulnerable citizenry, the elderly, dependent adults and children.

The government will check submitted fingerprints against its database to retrieve an individual’s criminal record.

What is Live Scan? Back to top

Live Scan is the electronic fingerprinting process that replaces traditional ink fingerprinting. An individual’s fingerprints are scanned and securely transmitted to the government, which performs a criminal history background check using an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). Live Scan is often required by statute for certain types of state-issued licenses, employment, and volunteer work.