RCMP Fingerprinting Policy Change

The RCMP have recently changed the way they evaluate fingerprints while processing background check requests. These changes have increased the level of quality required for fingerprints to be deemed acceptable. Previously, fingerprints of moderate quality may have been flagged for manual handling by an officer, resulting in a slower, but often successful, request. Currently, fingerprints that are of insufficient quality will result in a name and date of birth criminal record search.

Unfortunately, the RCMP does not communicate to the applicant, or submitting agency, if a set of fingerprints cannot be processed due to insufficient quality. We will only learn whether or not a submission was successful when the results are returned, and that only occurs if we are required and authorized to open the package. While the RCMP has communicated that they are evaluating the impacts of this policy change, it is best to provide the highest quality fingerprints available.


Example of High-Quality Fingerprints:


Fingerprint Preparation Tips

In preparation for having your fingerprints taken, avoid any tasks that may be harsh or abrasive to your fingers for as many days as possible. This can include activities such as manual labour or rock climbing; continuous exposure to hot water or handling hot objects; or exposure to strong chemical cleaners or other strong chemical substances.

If you are prone to dry skin or have had trouble in the past with fingerprinting, you should apply a humectant moisturizer (we recommend glycerin-based lotions) as necessary to maintain hydration. For those with slightly dry skin, the application of a humectant moisturizer immediately before fingerprinting may be enough to drastically improve the impression quality. Avoid using oil-based lotions, especially immediately before fingerprinting.

If you suffer from hyperhidrosis there is unfortunately no easy chemical solution. You will likely require a greater amount of time to complete a quality set of fingerprints, so if possible, inform the agency to be taking your fingerprints ahead of time to ensure this will be possible, or schedule a longer than normal appointment if appointments are available. The use of alcohol to dry out the hands does not usually do any good, though it has been helpful in rare cases. You may wish to bring a good quality absorbent hand towel from home, as low-quality paper towels may be the only thing available when having your fingerprints taken. The best way to get good fingerprints is through patience and wiping or dabbing your fingerprints to dry them between attempts.


Common Causes of Poor Fingerprints

There are multiple reasons why fingerprints may develop poorly; many of which can be solved easily. By far the most common cause of poor fingerprint submissions is sweaty hands. People may be hot, nervous, or have sweat-inducing conditions. Other common causes of poor submissions include skin conditions like scars, creases, tears, and cuts.

Sometimes a poor submission is the fault of the fingerprinter, their tools, or their instructions. Too much or too little ink on the fingers will produce bad results. Similarly, poor-quality ink may result in a bad job. Poor fingerprints may also be the result of improper rolling technique and too much or too little pressure.

Note that all of these tips apply to both digital and ink fingerprinting. While there is no ink present for digital submissions, finger pressure, finger condition, and anything else that may impede the process should still be considered before the appointment. Reach out to an expert from Reliability Screening if you still aren’t certain about the preparation process.


Quality Fingerprints From Coast to Coast – Reliability Screening

Reliability Screening offers high-quality fingerprinting services, background checks, and Criminal Record Check checks. If you’re looking for a reliable, trusted, and efficient service – we’re it! Reliability Screening offers fingerprinting services from coast to coast, so no matter where you are in the Great White North, you can rest assured that your fingerprinting needs are taken care of.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or ask any questions you may have. We’d be happy to have you as our next satisfied customer!