top of page

Digital vs. Ink and Roll Fingerprinting

There are two main fingerprinting methods: the older method - ink and roll and the newer one – digital fingerprint. With modern technology, ink fingerprinting is becoming less popular, digital fingerprinting is clearly on the rise. In this article, we will explain the difference between the two.

Digital vs. Ink and Roll Fingerprinting

Digital fingerprinting

This method is the only fingerprinting method accepted by the RCMP (except in rare cases when a client’s fingerprint quality is deemed too low). Digital fingerprint is captured using a live scanner machine by placing fingers on a glass plate (no ink involved)

· Quick (typically takes about 10 minutes)

· Clean (avoids the mess of ink on hands)

· Produces high-quality fingerprints (eliminates smudging)

· More environmentally friendly (eliminates the need for paper and ink)

· Easily allows for retakes of fingerprints if necessary.

In today's world, fingerprint databases are predominantly searched using digital means, making digital prints a crucial necessity. With all these advantages above, it’s easy to see why digital fingerprints become the industry standard. Digital fingerprinting is now the go-to method for the RCMP to obtain criminal record checks and numerous other organizations. Frontier One Fingerprint offers digital fingerprinting services for various purposes, including: Immigration, Citizenship, Private or Federal Employment, US Entry Waivers, volunteering, adoption, etc.

Ink and Roll fingerprinting:

This method dates to the 19th century. In ink fingerprinting, your fingers are rolled over an ink pad and then onto paper to capture the prints. While ink fingerprints enjoy global recognition and might be ideal for countries not digital-ready, they come with several drawbacks in today's world:

· Messy: The ink can get everywhere and can be challenging to clean off.

· Time-Consuming: The process, including drying and possible retakes, can take longer than digital methods.

· Quality Concerns: There's potential for smudging or uneven ink distribution, leading to unclear prints.

· Storage Issues: Physical copies require space and are susceptible to wear, tear, or environmental damage.

· Less Environmentally Friendly: Uses paper and ink, contributing to waste.

· Limited Flexibility: Retakes or adjustments can be cumbersome and might require new sheets or additional ink.

· Transmittal Delays: Sending physical copies to other locations can take more time than electronic transfers.

Despite these challenges, ink fingerprinting is indispensable in certain scenarios, such as when applying for employment or licenses in various US states depending on their specific requirements, or in countries that mandate their own forms and exclusively recognize ink methods.

At Frontier One, we provide both digital and ink fingerprinting services. Let us know what you require, and we're here to assist you.


- ONTARIO: (𝟗𝟎𝟓) 𝟐𝟒𝟕-𝟑𝟖𝟔𝟖

- ALBERTA: (𝟒𝟎𝟑) 𝟕𝟑𝟏-𝟑𝟓𝟑𝟓


Like and follow our fanpage for more information:

11 views0 comments
bottom of page