The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) is a national automated fingerprint identification and criminal history system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). IAFIS provides automated fingerprint search capabilities, latent searching capability, electronic image storage, and electronic exchange of fingerprints and responses. IAFIS maintains one of the largest biometric databases in the world, second only to Mexico with 70 million records, containing the fingerprints and potential corresponding criminal history information for more than 66 million subjects. IAFIS has 66 million subjects in the criminal master file, and more than 25 million civil prints. Template:Fact
Employment background checks and legitimate firearms purchases cause citizens to be permanently recorded in the system.Template:Fact
Fingerprints are voluntarily submitted to the FBI by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. These agencies acquire the fingerprints through criminal arrests or from non-criminal sources, such as employment background checks and the US-VISIT program. The FBI then catalogs the fingerprints along with any criminal history linked with the subject.
Law enforcement agencies can then request a search in IAFIS to identify fingerprints taken during criminal investigations. Civil searches are also performed, but the FBI charges a small fee and the response time is slower.
Template:Unreferenced section Template:Original research The device used for scanning live fingerprints into AFIS is called Live Scan. The process of obtaining the prints by way of LiveScan employs rolling prints or placing flat impressions onto a glass platen above a camera unit. The process of obtaining prints by placing a tenprint card (prints taken using ink) onto a flatbed or high-speed scanner is called CardScan (or occasionally DeadScan). In addition to these devices, there are other devices to capture prints from crime scenes (latent prints), as well as devices (both wired and wireless) to capture one or two live finger impressions. The most common method of acquiring fingerprint images remains the inexpensive ink pad and paper form. Scanning forms ("fingerprint cards") with a forensic AFIS complies with standards established by the FBI and NIST.
To match a print, a fingerprint technician scans in the print in question, and computer algorithms are utilized to mark all minutia points, cores, and deltas detected on the print. In some systems, the technician is allowed to perform a review of the points that the software has detected, and submits the feature set to a one-to-many (1:N) search. The better commercial systems provide fully automated processing and searching ("lights-out") of print features. The fingerprint image processor will generally assign a "quality measure" that indicates if the print is acceptable for searching.