Note: An individual cannot request a certified copy of fingerprints and/or IdHS information.
The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division provides certification of fingerprints and/or IdHS information maintained in the FBI’s Criminal File to be used in court cases. Certified copies can only be requested by law enforcement entities.
As information, most court authorities take judicial notice of the FBI’s IdHS information and/or copy of the fingerprint card(s) as maintained by the CJIS Division as a valid criminal history of the record subject without requiring a certification. The information housed in the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System is submitted to the FBI by one or more of the following groups:
- The FBI’s NGI System: Arrest information maintained in the NGI System consists of federal and foreign offenders, persons arrested in U.S. territories, and criminal arrests that Interstate Identification Index (III) participants are unable to provide. This information is supported by the subject’s fingerprints and verified by fingerprint comparison. Certification of arrest information must come from the contributing agency; certification of convictions relating to this arrest information should be obtained from the court where the subject was tried.
- National Fingerprint File (NFF) Program participating state(s): Arrest information returned from NFF states is verified by fingerprint comparison. NFF states are responsible for the maintenance of their files. Certification of arrest information in an NFF record must come from the contributing agency; certification of convictions relating to this arrest information should be obtained from the court where the subject was tried.
- III (Non-NFF) state(s): Arrest information obtained directly from a non-NFF state is based solely on a match to a state identification number (SID) which matches a SID of a record in the NGI System. The FBI has not verified this information by fingerprints, and it is not maintained in the NGI System. Certification of arrest information in a non-NFF record must come from the contributing agency; certification of convictions relating to this arrest information should be obtained from the court where the subject was tried.
Responses to requests for certified copies of fingerprints and/or IdHS information will include the requested information (if available), a cover sheet signed by the FBI CJIS assistant director with a raised seal and ribbon, and a certificate of authenticity from the Director of the FBI giving the CJIS assistant director signature authority for the document. This is recognized in court proceedings as an official document.
Requests for certified copies of fingerprints and/or IdHS information must include an original court order signed by a judge, with the following exceptions:
- Written communications from FBI field offices;
- Written communications from U.S. attorney’s offices only on agency letterhead;
- Written communications from a foreign country for extradition purposes;
- Written communications from any law enforcement agency going to a foreign country for extradition purposes; and
- Electronic court orders.
To request certified copies of information, in addition to the original signed court order, the requesting agency must provide the following information on agency letterhead:
- Subject’s name and date of birth;
- FBI Universal Control Number;
- Type of request (i.e., fingerprints with required dates of arrest, IdHS, or both);
- Custodial status of the subject and location if subject is in custody;
- Purpose of the request (i.e., prosecution, extradition);
- Official name and title of requestor;
- Complete mailing address (no P.O. Boxes);
- Requestor telephone number;
- Requesting agency’s Originating Agency Identifier Number; and
- Court date.
Note: The Criminal History Analysis Team 1 requires a minimum of two weeks for the processing of a certified request once the original court order or required document has been received.
Please note that any documents reflecting a foreign language must be accompanied by an official translation of the document(s).
Requests for certified copies of information may be e-mailed to CK_CHAT_CHALLENGE@fbi.gov, but must also be mailed to the following address:
FBI CJIS Division
Attn: Criminal History Analysis Team 1/BTC-3
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
Any questions regarding the above requirements may be emailed to CK_CHAT_CHALLENGE@fbi.gov.
For non-certified copies of fingerprints and/or IdHS information, the Special Processing Center is available 24/7 to provide these copies to law enforcement entities and can be reached at 304-625-5584 or SPC@leo.gov.