The process for submitting fingerprints differs for broker-dealers and funding portals. Funding portals should review the EFP Quick Reference Guide for Funding Portals for their fingerprint submission process.
Investment Adviser Firms: FINRA does not process fingerprint transactions for investment adviser (IA) firms. An IA-only firm must submit fingerprints directly to those states that require a fingerprint check for an RA registration. Contact the applicable state to verify state fingerprint requirements. Fingerprint submissions received by FINRA from an IA-only firm will not be returned to the firm.
For the fastest turnaround of fingerprint results, FINRA recommends firms submit fingerprints electronically rather than send paper fingerprint cards.
Electronic fingerprints provide the following benefits over paper fingerprint cards:
- reduced cost (lower processing fees and no card or postage expense)
- faster turnaround
- better image quality
- fewer illegible fingerprints
When to Submit Fingerprints
Broker-dealers and transfer agents are responsible for complying with the Securities Exchange Act (SEA) of 1934, as amended, and SEC rules promulgated thereunder, as well as FBI requirements. Section 17f-2 of the SEA requires that a firm submit fingerprints for individuals who perform certain roles within a firm. When a firm submits a Form U4 for an individual requesting registration with a fingerprint-participating SRO, the firm has 30 days from the filing date to submit fingerprints for the individual.
If the firm does not submit the fingerprints within the 30-day timeframe, the individual's registration status will be set to "Inactive Prints” (INACTIVE_PRINTS). Business activities requiring a securities registration must be suspended while an individual’s registration is inactive. Individuals who remain “Inactive Prints” for two years will have their registrations terminated with the status “Terminated No U5” (T_NOU5).
If FINRA receives fingerprints at any point before the registration terminates, the individual’s registration will update to “Approved Pending Results” (APRSLTS), a status that permits an individual to conduct business while waiting for the FBI result.
A firm will be required to resubmit fingerprints when an individual’s fingerprint submission is deemed Illegible (ILEG) or Rejected (REJT) by the FBI.
Required Fingerprint Information
The following information is required on every fingerprint submission:
- Employer's name, address, and Org ID
- Individual's Name
- Individual's CRD number (if applicable)
- US Social Security Number (required only if applicable, do not provide foreign or TIN)
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth (including state if within the United States)
- Hair Color
- Eye Color
- Individual’s signature (Hard Copy)
- Official’s signature (Hard Copy)
FINRA processes all non-deficient fingerprint cards and charges applicable fees. FINRA will contact firms when possible to confirm missing information in order to process a deficient fingerprint card; however, firms are responsible for submitting fingerprint cards with all required fields completed. Deficient fingerprint cards which FINRA cannot process will not be returned to firms.
Only one submission per individual should be sent at a time. Duplicate fingerprint cards will not be returned to firms and they will be processed at the expense of the firm.
To Submit Fingerprints Electronically
Firms may either:
- become certified by FINRA to submit their firm’s fingerprints electronically, or
- select a commercial vendor certified by FINRA to submit electronic fingerprints on behalf of their firm.
To Submit Hardcopy Fingerprints
Fingerprint cards are available for purchase from FINRA. Contact the FINRA Media Source Unit at 240-386-4200.
FINRA fingerprint cards include a barcode which is used to track submissions as they are processed by the FBI and results are posted to Web CRD. If fingerprints are submitted on a non-FINRA fingerprint card, the firm should affix a FINRA barcode sticker to the " Your No: OCA" field of the card before mailing it to FINRA. This will enable the firm to track the fingerprint submission status through Web CRD.
Barcode stickers can be ordered free of charge through the FINRA Gateway Call Center at (301) 590-6500.
Firms should send hardcopy fingerprints to:
First Class Mail
P.O. Box 9495
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-9495
9509 Key West Avenue, 3rd Floor
Rockville, MD 20850
NOTE: When sending Overnight/Courier Mail, please include the following phone number: (301) 869-6699