What Do Fingerprint-Based Background Checks Actually Show?

a fingerprint scan

Fingerprint-based background checks are routinely done in certain industries as part of the pre-employment screening process. A candidate’s fingerprints are collected and cross-referenced against the FBI database to check for matches, and results can come back in as little as 24 hours. But what do fingerprint-based background checks actually show?

Arrest Records

The main results that fingerprint background checks bring up are a person’s arrest records, but these findings provide only limited information. The problem with relying on arrest records alone is that they don’t give you the full picture. This is because the FBI fingerprint database won’t disclose any accompanying information about the events following an arrest.

Unfortunately, an employer could end up passing up a qualified candidate after a fingerprint search pulls up an arrest that did not result in a conviction. That said, an arrest record could also be an important clue that prompts an employer to dig deeper and find out about a relevant conviction.

On a positive note, a fingerprint check can provide a strong indication that a person has never been arrested. Since people tend to have confidence in businesses that do fingerprint-based background checks on their employees, fingerprinting your applicants can be a selling point of sorts.

Fingerprints Obtained for Other Reasons

In addition to arrest records, there are other possible hits that might come up when a fingerprint search is done. These additional results may or may not be of interest to the person requesting the background check and could simply reveal that the person has:

  • Legally purchased a gun
  • Applied for a healthcare position
  • Applied for a job in education

Further Validation of Name-Based Background Checks

Since everyone’s fingerprints are unique, fingerprint information can validate a person’s innocence when another background check has resulted in a false positive due to someone having the same name. Also, fingerprint background checks are sometimes the only way to expose a dishonest individual who has successfully assumed another person’s identity.

Contact Us Today for Our Mobile Fingerprinting Services 

The bottom line is that, although fingerprint background checks are not the be-all-end-all, they are a helpful tool when used in combination with name-based background checks.

Trending Notary is a mobile notary service that comes to your home or business to collect fingerprints in New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Book an appointment with us today!


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