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AIS Updates

3 Types of Fingerprints- Latent, Patent, and Plastic

There are many times in life where you need to be fingerprinted. Most often, it involves the background check for a new job. In the state of Maryland, people wanting to legally purchase and own a gun must be fingerprinted first. If you'd like to travel out of the country and need a passport for the first time, you'll be fingerprinted. Of course, if you are arrested you'll be fingerprinted too. Have you ever stopped to think about why?

Fingerprint identification is one of the most important criminal investigation tools due to two features: their persistence and their uniqueness. A person’s fingerprints do not change over time. The friction ridges which create fingerprints are formed while inside their mother's womb and grow as the baby grows. The only way a fingerprint can change is through permanent scarring, which doesn't happen very often. It isn't just that fingerprints don't change. In addition, fingerprints are unique to an individual. Even identical twins have different fingerprints. Your fingerprints are yours and yours alone, and they'll be that way for the rest of your life!

3 Types of Fingerprints

In general, the purpose of collecting fingerprints is to identify an individual. This person may be applying for a job, wanting to volunteer around children, hoping to buy a gun, a criminal suspect, a victim of a crime, or a witness to an event where your identity needs to be confirmed. There are three types of fingerprints that can be found: #1 Latent #2 Patent #3 Plastic

Even if you don't realize it, you are leaving fingerprints everywhere! Latent fingerprints are made of the sweat and oil on the skin’s surface. This type of fingerprint is invisible to the naked eye and requires additional processing in order to be seen. This processing can include basic powder techniques or the use of chemicals. Patent fingerprints, on the other hand, can be made by blood, grease, ink, or dirt. This type of fingerprint is easily visible to the human eye. Plastic fingerprints are three-dimensional impressions and can be made by pressing your fingers in fresh paint, wax, soap, or tar. Just like patent fingerprints, plastic fingerprints are easily seen by the human eye and do not require additional processing for visibility purposes.

If you need to be fingerprinted, you can come to American Identity Solutions to do so. We use electronic fingerprinting services, so you won't have to deal with messy ink like in the past. We will then send your fingerprints into several databases. One such database is with the FBI. If you have been arrested for a crime or your prints match unknown fingerprints found on a crime scene, the database will recognize this.

We have recently added Latent Fingerprint Analysis to our list of available services. We encourage you to use our simple online portal to book an appointment to be fingerprinted.

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