Mobile fingerprinting is a type of fingerprinting service in which the person or agency collecting the fingerprints travels to the person being fingerprinted. People who work in this field have vans equipped with everything they need, and usually are willing to travel within a reasonable radius to take fingerprints by request. Many urban areas have multiple mobile fingerprinting services for people to choose from.
While people may associate fingerprint collection with police booking, there are a lot of reasons to take fingerprints. For example, fingerprints are needed for background checks for government employees, people who work with children, and many other people. In these cases, using a mobile fingerprinting service is much more convenient than asking people to do to a police station or fingerprinting center to have their fingerprints taken.
Many mobile fingerprinting services will happily handle large groups, allowing for whole office fingerprinting to be done quickly and conveniently. People can step out for 10 minutes to have their fingerprints taken and then return to work, instead of having to take an hour or more to travel to a site for fingerprinting.
Fingerprinting for large groups can also be useful for safety initiatives. For example, a school might offer parents the option of having their children fingerprinted to get prints on file which can be used for identification. Having fingerprints and a recent photograph can be especially useful in a kidnapping, and may increase the likelihood of recovery.
When mobile fingerprinting is performed, the company usually uses a live scan service, in which the fingers are rolled over a scanning plate, rather than inked and applied to a card. The live scans are transmitted to an agency so that they can be entered into and cross referenced with a database, allowing background checks to be conducted very quickly. Generally, the results of the background check are sent to the agency which requested the check, such as the school district, not the mobile fingerprinting service.
Because identity theft is a concern in many regions of the world, mobile fingerprinting services tend to take confidentiality very seriously. They use secured connections for transmission of live scans, and may delete records in their system after a set period of time. A reputable company should be able to provide complete information about their security practices upon request from a customer, and special security requests can usually be accommodated to ensure that customers are comfortable.