The Fingerprint Recording Process

Since the 19th century, ink-rolled fingerprints have been used as a method to identify criminals.

To reduce fraud in the Hooghly district in Jungipoor the Chief Magistrate, Sir William Herschel, required residents to record their fingerprints when signing business documents. 

In 1901, Scotland Yard established the first Fingerprint Bureau. Fingerprints were presented as evidence in English courts within the year. In 1903, New York state prisons adopted the use of fingerprints. 

Nowadays, in Canada, digital fingerprinting is used to process fingerprints. Using an optical scanner, fingerprints are taken digitally. This data is then sent to the RCMP’s Canadian Criminal Real Time Information System (CCRTIS). 

Thanks to this electronic method, the fingerprint process has become cleaner, faster, and more accurate than the traditional ink-rolled fingerprints! 

Digital Fingerprinting Process Using LiveScan 

At Reliability Screening in Ottawa, we use a LiveScan device to send your fingerprints directly to the RCMP’s CCRTIS

Without the use of ink or a card, it makes fingerprinting a clean and simple process! When you’re getting fingerprints taken, the process is as follows: 


  • When you arrive at our office, we’ll make sure you have all the required documents before we begin the process
  • Before taking your fingerprints, we’ll have you wash your hands thoroughly to remove any grease or dirt that could impact the results 
  • Our fingerprint technician will take the lead and guide your hand, scanning one finger at a time (relax your hands so we can get a clear image) 
  • The technician will place the side bulb of each finger on the digital scanner and then roll it to the other side until it’s facing the opposite direction 
  • The weight of your finger is the maximum amount of pressure needed for a clear scan, so there’s no need to press down. Doing so may result in a blurry scan
  • Once each individual print has been recorded, all four fingers will be scanned simultaneously. The same will be done to your two thumbs. 


Our fingerprint technicians have successfully recorded the fingerprints of numerous clients in Ottawa. They’ll be able to guide you through the process to ensure the best results. 

What Impacts the Results? 

There’s a large percentage of the population that have fingerprints that are hard to read. 

This is usually caused by wear and tear on the hands from occupational exposure or from an accident/injury that has occurred in the past. 

However, this is nothing to be worried about. We have seen our fair share of unique fingerprints over the years and know the proper procedure to make sure your prints are up to RCMP standards. 

Deformed fingers, amputated fingertips, and scarred or worn fingers are all things that can impact the results of your fingerprint scan. 

  • Deformed – if the finger is deformed, we’ll attempt to record the finger. If not possible, we have a code we can use to inform the RCMP of the special circumstances 
  • Amputated – if you’re missing a portion of your finger, but the first joint is still there, we’ll record the available fingerprint pattern
  • Scarred or Worn – If you have scars or weak fingerprints due to age or occupational exposure, we’ll apply slight pressure when taking your fingerprint to try and capture what we can

Fingerprinting Services in Ottawa

Use our online booking tool to set up an appointment at one of our two Ottawa locations. Our booking system has a detailed list of all our fingerprinting services for your specific case. Select the fingerprinting service you need, then choose a time that works for you.

On the day of your appointment, please bring two forms of ID. Our fingerprinting process is quick and easy, but done with high accuracy! On average, our fingerprinting process takes between 10-15 minutes. 

If you’re an employer who is looking for fingerprinting services for more than one of your employees, we’ll happily visit your business to perform our fingerprinting service. 

At Reliability Screening in Ottawa, we have two convenient locations for you to have your fingerprints taken. Book your fingerprinting appointment today!