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How does FBI Level 2 Background Check Work?

Most of us heard that Level 2 Background Check generally refers to a state and national fingerprint based check and consideration of disqualifying offenses, and applies to those employees designated by law as holding positions of responsibility or trust. But do you know what happens to your fingerprints when they reach FBI for Level II screening. Here is some information on what exactly happens there.


Your prints are forwarded from state repositories, such as FDLE to FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS, which is a national fingerprint and criminal history system that responds to requests 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help our local, state, and federal agencies to solve and prevent crime and catch criminals and terrorists. IAFIS provides automated fingerprint search capabilities, latent search capability, electronic image storage, and electronic exchange of fingerprints and responses.


Not only fingerprints, but corresponding criminal histories; mug shots; scars and tattoo photos; physical characteristics like height, weight, and hair and eye color; and aliases are included in IAFIS. The system also includes civil fingerprints, mostly of individuals who have served or are serving in the U.S. military or have been or are employed by the federal government. The fingerprints and criminal history information are submitted voluntarily by state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies.


IAFIS is the largest biometric database in the world, housing the fingerprints and criminal histories for more than 66 million subjects in the criminal master file, along with more than 25 million civil prints. Included in FBI’s criminal database are fingerprints from 73,000 known and suspected terrorists processed by the U.S. or by international law enforcement agencies who work with us.


The average response time for an electronic criminal fingerprint submission is about 10 minutes, while electronic civil submissions are processed within an hour and 12 minutes. IAFIS processes an average of approximately 162,000 ten-print submissions per day.


IAFIS was launched on July 28, 1999. Prior to this time, the processing of ten-print fingerprint submissions was largely a manual, labor-intensive process, taking weeks or months to process a single submission. The FBI has been the national repository for fingerprints and related criminal history data since 1924, when more than 800,000 fingerprint records from the National Bureau of Criminal Identification and Leavenworth Penitentiary were consolidated with Bureau files. The first use of computers to search fingerprint files took place in October 1980.


Here are the facts which can impress almost everybody.


  • IAFIS searches the fingerprints of over 69.4 million subjects in the National Criminal History Record File (over 295 million arrest cycles).


    • The civil file contains an estimated 30 million subjects.
    • Increases by 8,000-10,000 subjects each day
    • Database includes approximately:


      • 632,520 Active Wants
      • 566,771 Sex Offenders
  • More than 18,000 local, state, federal, and international partners electronically submit to IAFIS
  • Interstate Photo File has 11,509,127 million photos for over 6.4 million records
  • IAFIS identified 27,286 fugitives in May as a result of tenprint processing
  • Yearly Volume Tenprint Fingerprint Submissions to IAFIS:


    • Fiscal Year 2011 to date – 32.7 million
    • Fiscal Year 2010  – 61.3 million
    • Fiscal Year 2009 – 52.7 million
  • Average monthly transaction volume: 134,391 per day


    • Record High Receipts: 04/30/2010 – 300,113 within 24 hours
    • Record High Completions: 04/30/2010 – 297,816 within 24 hours


May 2011


  • Tenprint Criminal Submission Rate (related to arrests, inquiries, etc.): 53.2 percent


    • 95.1 percent submitted electronically
  • Tenprint Civil Submission Rate (related to employment/licensing screening, etc.): 46.8 percent


    • 97.1 percent submitted electronically
  • Electronic fingerprint submission rate: 96.0 percent
  • Manual (paper) fingerprint submission rate: 4.0 percent
  • Response times:


    • Criminal Electronic (CAR) Fingerprint SubmissionsAverage Response Time – 6 minutes and 55 seconds99.45 percent completed within one hour
    • Civil Electronic Fingerprint SubmissionsAverage Response Time – 1 hour, 34 minutes and 36 seconds99.13 percent completed within 12 hours
    • Electronic Non-Federal User Fee (NFUE) Fingerprint SubmissionsAverage Response Time – 46 seconds98.18 percent completed within 15 minutes
    • Criminal Fingerprint Card Processing Non-Urgent (CPNU) SubmissionsAverage Response Time – 31 minutes and 40 seconds100 percent completed within 72 hours


IDENTICO LLC is FDLE approved Live Scan vendor serving South Florida.  With any question related to Level 2 background screening please call us at (954) 239-8590 or visit us online at www.myidentico.com for more information. Visit our office located at 3948 Pembroke Road, Suite E, Pembroke Park, FL, 33021 for all fingerprinting, background screening or drug testing needs.




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