In today’s security-conscious world, agencies such as the FBI and ATF are conducting rigorous background checks. But gone are the days of ink fingerprints. In 2022 the ATF announced that it would begin accepting electronic fingerprint files (abbreviated as .EFT file) through their eForms Portal.
So organizations who have formerly been relying on printed cardstock and ink fingerprints are now relying on digital fingerprints.
.EFT (electronic fingerprint transmission) files are digital files that contain fingerprint information securely. Additionally, they contain demographic information that allows for confirmation of identity and matching the individual to the government’s fingerprint database. It is a standard used by the FBI for digital fingerprints as well as the ATF eForm 4 tax stamp application.
This new standard allows customers to be notified and fix any issues within weeks, instead of the 6-18 months it typically took to return printed cards. You can then re-upload the corrected .EFT file to make your customers’ lives easier.
How to create an .EFT file
- Turn on your live scan fingerprinting equipment. The live scan fingerprinting software should be installed on your computer.
- You will find an option to start a new scan, which may be an on-screen button.
- Your live scan software will open a new screen which will prompt you to provide applicant demographic data. This will populate the fields that are present on the FD-258 form such as name, address, etc.
- Collect the fingerprints digitally using a live scan device or fingerprint card conversion tool.
- If your customer is missing a finger you can utilize the “skip finger” feature.
- Collect roll-prints for all fingers, which capture an individuals full fingerprint, including the sides of their fingers.
- Package all of the data into an EFT file using the correct Type of Transaction (TOT) according to the specification being used.
Biometric .EFT file format follows the technical specifications developed by the FBI criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS).
Hardware required for .EFT file creation
To create an .EFT file you will need a 10-print roll scanner that has been certified by the FBI for creation of approved roll-prints. These include:
- Integrated Biometric Kojak Fingerprint Scanner
- Suprema Realscan G10
- Integrated Biometrics 5-0
Who uses and submits .EFT files?
- Gun shops
- Law enforcement agencies
- Employers who require deep background checks for roles such as law enforcement officer, teacher, parole officer, etc.
- Notaries and mail stores who regularly perform fingerprinting
What information is stored in an .EFT file?
Try opening an .EFT file on your desktop and here’s what you’ll see:
But for the FBI or ATF the file contains detailed information on all 10 fingerprints, and 10-roll fingerprints as well as first name, last name, and other information to verify your identity.
Benefits of .EFT fingerprint files
By submitting fingerprints with a valid .EFT file, you will avoid fingerprinting errors. Wait times for processing applications can be reduced from four to six months to as fast as 90 days. .EFTs also aid law enforcement agencies in solving crimes and locating missing persons. Additionally, .EFTs can help prevent identity theft.
If creating an EFT was not easy enough you can additionally store these files to allow for future uses the next time that customer comes back. Allowing for even quicker and more seamless interactions with your clientele.
With the ATF now accepting .EFT files there is truly no reason for you or your customers to get your hands dirty again!
To learn more about the tools you need to create .EFTs, contact IDScan.net.