Everything You Need to Know about Ink Fingerprints


Ink fingerprints are the traditional method of capturing fingerprints when a criminal record check or police certificate is requested. In Canada, digital or electronic fingerprinting has replaced ink fingerprinting. Police certificate requests that are intended for foreign countries are still processed with ink fingerprints.


In some states FBI Identity History Summary applications still require actual ink fingerprints (*most accept digital print-out hard copies). Therefore, we will alternate the service between ink and digital fingerprint based on customer requests at Frontier One Inc.


In addition, certain countries require ink fingerprints to be taken in Canada (on their own fingerprint cards) in order to conduct background checks and issue police certificates. The following countries typically require ink fingerprints:


● The Philippines for their NBI clearance,

● Bahrain for their Good Conduct Certificate,

● Egypt for their Criminal Record Certificate,

and some others.

Below is the sample of ink fingerprints on C216c form (RCMP fingerprint form):

A specific fingerprint ink pad is utilized, or a tiny coating of fingerprinting ink is put on a glass or metal surface using a rubber roller. Individuals' fingers are rolled, nail edge to nail edge, on the ink layer and subsequently on the paper surface for rolled imprints. For flat imprints, regulated pressure is applied to the ink layer and then to the paper.


The limits of the ink fingerprinting procedure are as follows:


- An uncontrolled pressure or an uneven ink layer may result in smudged fingerprints.


- If the ink is too fluid, it may get into the furrows and cause loss of the ridge details.


- Inked fingerprints must be digitized and encrypted before being transmitted electronically.


- If some of the fingerprints are not clear, they cannot be retaken on the same fingerprint form, and the whole process needs to be repeated.


- An applicant's hands get dirty with black ink and need to be cleaned.


The ink fingerprinting service can be provided by many different companies, which are either accredited by the RCMP or not. You can ensure the quality of your fingerprints is the best by using the services of an RCMP-accredited fingerprinting agency. As one of Canada's largest RCMP-accredited fingerprinting agencies, Frontier One Inc. has extensive experience providing both ink and digital fingerprinting services. Come to us and you won't have to worry about the quality of your fingerprints (except if you have a really bad skin condition).