Reducing the Risk of Reject Fingerprint Submission

The process of fingerprinting began as far back as the days of the ancient Babylonians and is still useful in our current era. The unique identifying markers they provide are essential in circumventing fraudsters and criminals.

However, there is a chance that fingerprints can be rejected during the capture process. Hence, the team at Reliability Screening wants you to know about fingerprinting, how rejection can happen and how it can be avoided.

How Fingerprints Are Taken

Before digital scanner technology improved the process, fingerprinting was done with ink and cards. The subject’s hands are first cleaned, usually with alcohol, to remove any dirt and sweat. After it is completely dry, the pad of each fingertip is rolled in ink to cover the entire area. Then the fingertips are rolled, one at a time, onto specific sections of prepared cards. Each fingertip is rolled from one side of the nail to the other to create rolled fingerprints. To complete the process, all fingers of each hand are placed on the bottom of the car to produce flat (or plain) fingerprints. The flat impressions are compared to the rolled impressions to prove their accuracy.

Current fingerprinting technology involves using digital scanners to capture fingerprint images. The process involves placing the subject’s fingers on the surface of a silicon or optical reader. After holding the fingers on the reader’s surface for a few seconds, the reader captures the fingerprint scan and converts it into a digital pattern. The fingerprint patterns are then stored on a server where a computer can access the data.

How Fingerprints Are Used

Fingerprints provide a distinct and verifiable way of identifying someone. Since fingerprints are unique to each person in the world, it is considered a very reliable method of identification.

Fingerprints can be used as part of the physiological requirements of biometric identification. Biometric security is used to circumvent issues like identity theft and improve security measures.

Fingerprints are also used to identify persons of interest by law enforcement agencies. By searching the scene of a crime, agents can identify people at the location through the fingerprints found. They usually use two kinds of prints. Visible prints are located on surfaces that can create impressions when touched. Substances like clay, dirt, blood and paint can capture fingerprints. Latent prints are located on other surfaces that can’t capture impressions but can capture prints when oil, sweat, and other substances from a person’s fingers are left behind.

Factors That Lead To Fingerprint Rejection

There are a variety of activities that can distort your fingerprints and lead to rejection during submission.

Any activity that causes calluses to build up on the fingertips will distort fingerprints. They could occur in high-intensity activities like rock climbing, lifting weights, or manual labour. The calluses can also develop in less strenuous activities such as playing certain instruments or office work like typing.

Repeated exposure to certain chemicals can wear away at your skin, smoothing it out and making it difficult to pick up prints. Cleaning staples like chlorine and bleach can create this effect. However, just washing your hands at a high frequency or using hand sanitizer a lot can also smooth out your fingerprints.

Another contributing factor to fingerprint distortion is a person’s condition. As people age and their skin wrinkles, picking up fingerprints becomes harder. Others could have a medical condition that affects their skin and increases the likelihood of fingerprint rejection.

How To Reduce The Risk of Fingerprint Rejection

To increase the chances of the fingerprinting process succeeding, there are many steps you can take.


Getting ready for the fingerprinting process can increase your chances of success. If you normally participate in activities that might distort your fingerprints, take a break for 5 days to a week before the appointment. If the distorting occurs as a result of work activities, schedule the appointment after a weekend, a long one preferably, and before work.


If your hands are prone to dryness, wrinkles, or worn edges, using lotion in the days before your fingerprints are taken can help. The recommended amount is 3 times a day before your appointment. If possible, moisturize your hands after every time you wash them. However, do not moisturize on the day of your appointment as that can distort your fingerprints.

Staying Dry

On the day of your fingerprinting appointment, your hands should be clean and dry to facilitate the process. If you tend to get sweaty, bring a handkerchief to allow you to wipe them during the process. Cooling your fingers down with water or an ice pack, then drying them, can help mitigate any sweatiness.

Reliability Screening – Ottawa Fingerprint and Digital Fingerprinting Provider in Canada.

Getting accurate fingerprints is crucial in background checks and security screens. Fingerprint rejection turns a smooth and simple process into a drawn-out and stressful procedure. Reducing the risk of rejection will improve the process, allowing for your easy capture of fingerprints.

When fingerprints prove difficult to capture, an experienced technician can help facilitate the procedure. Please contact us for fingerprinting services from our convenient locations or at the convenience of your place of business. Reliability Screening Solutions provides a one-stop shop for authentication services and personalized customer care. With our RCMP accreditation and our staff of experienced technicians, we will ensure your fingerprints are captured securely without rejection.