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5 Reasons to Have Your Fingerprints Taken

— December 8, 2021

If your fingerprint samples are rejected, it can delay the results of your background check. This may interrupt your travel plans or your chances of getting a job.

If you’ve never had your fingerprints taken before, you might think that this service is only required if someone is arrested or on trial. But fingerprint samples are taken more often than you might think, and for reasons that have nothing to do with criminal activity. 

Consider this: how do employers or governments verify that an individual is not a threat to them? If someone has a history of criminal activity, they may be refused entry to a country or denied a job position. Few people would be willing to volunteer that information about themselves, which is why fingerprinting services are used.

For security and verification purposes, you might be requested to submit a DNA sample. Here are a few common reasons why you may need to have your fingerprints taken:

Applying for a Job

In certain lines of work, background checks are mandatory. You may need to consent to a background check for volunteer work as well. A few examples of these jobs include:

  • Security
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Working with children (such as in a school or daycare setting)
  • Government

If you plan to work with people who are vulnerable, are minors, or have medical conditions, employers will request fingerprints so they can verify your identity and check if you have any criminal history. Without submitting your fingerprints, you may be ineligible to apply for the position. 

Based on your fingerprint sample, the employer can access information like your criminal record, employment and education history, and any instances of drug use. 

Adopting a Child

They say that you’re never ready to become a parent and that you can’t prepare for how your life will change. While that may be true, you will need to provide fingerprints if you are adopting a child.

Adoption agencies need to be particular about which applications they accept. If you are planning to adopt a child from a foreign country, you’ll first need to clear a criminal record check. 


A computer keyboard. One of the buttons is marked with a fingerprint.
Public Domain image courtesy of CC0

Do you dream of traveling the world? You’re ready to escape to a beach, mountain range, or ancient forest on another continent. But before you book your flights, keep in mind that you may need to submit a fingerprint sample first.

The government of that country will need to verify that you have no criminal history before allowing you to enter. A background check is also required to obtain work permits or visas. If any past convictions or criminal records are found, you could be denied access to that country. 

Depending on where you want to travel, you might be required to submit your fingerprints first.


You’re ready to pack your bags and move somewhere completely different. But first, you’ll need to apply for citizenship or permanent residence. This will allow you to seek employment in the country. It will also give you the ability to vote in elections and access healthcare benefits.

Moving to and working in a country without citizenship may result in deportation. To gain citizenship, you will need to submit a sample of your fingerprints. 

DNA Test

Have you ever been curious about your family history? If you want to find more about your blood relatives, you might be interested in submitting your DNA for a test. 

Learning more about your history can be an eye-opening experience. You may gain a deeper connection to your culture when you learn about where you came from. 

These tests can also tell you important medical information, like which hereditary diseases run in your family. You can learn about conditions that you may have a predisposition to. 

Submitting High-Quality Fingerprint Samples

If your fingerprint samples are rejected, it can delay the results of your background check. This may interrupt your travel plans or your chances of getting a job. When submitting a fingerprint sample, follow these steps to increase their legibility:

  • Make sure that your hands are not wet. Dry them off if they are clammy. 
  • If you have calluses or dry skin, moisturize your hands and then remove any residue.
  • Try not to press too lightly or too hard.
  • Use enough ink to cover your fingertips, but not too much that it makes the print too dark.
  • Roll your finger from one side to the other so you capture the ridges on all sides of it.

While DNA samples are often used in court cases as evidence, fingerprinting services have other purposes unrelated to criminal justice. Gain the freedom to work, travel, or adopt a child by submitting your fingerprints.

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