Channeler FAQs

1. What is an FBI-approved Channeler?

An FBI-approved Channeler is a contractor that serves as the conduit for submitting fingerprints to the FBI and receiving the FBI criminal history record information (CHRI), on behalf of an Authorized Recipient (AR), for authorized noncriminal justice purposes. The current FBI-approved Channelers were selected from a 2011 Request for Proposal (RFP) solicitation.

2. How do I become an FBI-approved Channeler?

The FBI is not currently accepting any additional Channelers. To receive notification of any future RFP, you may register at FedBizOpps.

3. Does a Channeler request letter have to be mailed to the FBI?

An AR requesting to use an FBI‐approved Channeler can mail, fax, or email the request to the FBI Compact Officer.

4. Can a Channeler submit fingerprints directly to the FBI for a state agency and bypass the state?

A state agency that is authorized by statute to submit noncriminal justice fingerprints to the FBI must submit the fingerprints through the state repository unless the state repository has outsourced the fingerprint channeling function.

5. After the Channeler receives the CHRI from the FBI (on behalf of the AR) can the AR have the Channeler send the CHRI directly to another contractor?

The Channeler is simply an expeditor of the CHRI. The CHRI responses may only be returned to the AR, so the Channeler may not send the CHRI to anyone other than the AR.

6. Is there a list of potential customers that can be provided to the Channelers?

The FBI conducts national fingerprint‐based criminal history record checks for noncriminal justice purposes when authorized by a Federal or State statute that has been approved by the U.S. Attorney General. The FBI System of Records Notice is published in the Federal Register and sets forth the routine uses of records maintained in the Fingerprint Identification Records Systems, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses. The FBI does not maintain a listing of ARs.

7. Can a Channeler publicize information on its website that it is an FBI-approved Channeler?

News releases or notices may be published on a Channeler’s website only after approval from the FBI.

8. Can a company outside the United States submit fingerprints to the FBI through an FBI-approved Channeler?

Only a United States company that has the statutory authority to submit fingerprints to the FBI and receive the FBI CHRI may use an FBI-approved Channeler.

9. Can anyone request a fingerprint check from the FBI?

Only those authorized by a Federal or State statute, enacted pursuant to Pub. L. 92-544 that has been approved by the FBI, may request a fingerprint-based background check through the appropriate entity from the FBI. Individuals requesting a fingerprint-based background check for personal review may do so in accordance with the Departmental Order process.

Additional questions can be submitted via e-mail to

- More on criminal history summary checks