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Digital vs. Ink Fingerprinting: Which Should You Choose?

There are two main types of fingerprinting available: Ink or Digital Live-Scan. Which type of fingerprinting is right for you?  Read on to learn all about the two options, the differences between them, and why you might choose one over the other. 


Ink Fingerprinting

Ink fingerprinting is probably what you think of when you hear the word fingerprinting.  Prints are taken using an inkpad and then rolled on a standard FD-258 card. This card contains space for each finger’s individual print, plus an area for each hands’ found fingers (excluding the thumb) to be taken simultaneously. Getting ink fingerprints works best if your hands are well-moisturized to “raise” the prints. 


Digital Live-Scan Fingerprinting

Digital fingerprinting is a newer technology that captures prints electronically, without the use of ink. To capture a digital fingerprint, you simply roll your finger across a glass plate, and then your prints will be scanned into a machine. 


Advantages and disadvantages

Each type of fingerprint method has its own advantages and disadvantages.  With digital fingerprinting, the process is less messy, the image quality can be higher, and the resulting prints are more accurate. If you have digital fingerprints taken at 911OccMed, they will be kept on file for a year, and you can come back to have them re-printed or mailed at any time 


Ink fingerprinting on the other hand, is more cost-effective.  It can also be taken in any state (Digital fingerprints can’t be sent across state lines).  So if you are living in Arizona but applying to an out-of-state job or school, ink fingerprinting will be a better option for you. 


Ink or Digital: Which should you choose?

Here in Arizona, where 911OccMed is located, many jobs, schools, and government positions require fingerprints.  If you are applying for Level 1 Clearance for DPS (which includes positions like teachers and school contractors), you can use ink fingerprinting.  For some other positions and employers, digital fingerprinting may be required.  


When it comes down to it, there is not a clear winner between digital and ink fingerprinting.  It really just depends what you need the prints for.  Different schools, workplaces, and departments have different requirements for fingerprinting.  At 911OccMed, we have the technology and the supplies to meet the requirements set by a variety of organizations.  Just be sure you know what you need when you come in for fingerprinting.  


You can get fingerprints, either digital or ink, taken at 911OccMed without an appointment.  Simply walk in to either of our Phoenix-area clinics and are team of professionals will take care of all your fingerprinting needs!