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Fingerprint Processing for Funding Portals

SEA Rule 17f-2 generally requires your firm to submit fingerprints for each person who is a partner, director, officer or employee of your firm, subject to certain exceptions. Fingerprints are submitted on either FINRA approved fingerprint cards or electronically through a certified EFS vendor contracted with Sterling. Firms pay fingerprint fees by using E-Bill, FINRA's electronic billing system.


Fingerprints must include your firm’s Organization ID# that was assigned as part of the FINRA Entitlement process.

Note: If a vendor or hardcopy fingerprint submission asks for the “Firm CRD Number,” Funding Portals should supply their Organization ID#. Funding Portals are not assigned CRD numbers.

Fingerprint Cards

FINRA-specific fingerprint cardstock may be purchased from Sterling for $14.00 (includes 25 cards with shipping & handling). To order new FINRA-specific fingerprint cardstock, contact Sterling Client Support. See the Need Help? Section on the right-hand side of the page for contact information.

In order to process fingerprint cards, FINRA requires that cards have all required fields completed. Sterling or FINRA will contact firms when possible to confirm missing information in order to process a deficient fingerprint card; however, firms are responsible for submitting fingerprints with all required fields completed. Deficient fingerprint cards are not returned.

Please note that all non-deficient fingerprint cards are processed and charged applicable fees. Duplicate fingerprint cards will be processed at the expense of the firm. Refer to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or the EFP Quick Reference Guide for Funding Portals for more information.

Firms should send hardcopy fingerprints from within the United States or its territories to:

Sterling Identity
10220 SW Greenburg Rd
Suite 301
Portland, OR 97223

Per FBI requirements, hardcopy cards from outside the United States or its territories must be sent directly to FINRA’s address below. FINRA will forward these fingerprint cards via express mail to Sterling for processing.

First Class Mail
FINRA, Document Services
P.O. Box 9495
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-9495

Overnight/Courier Mail
FINRA, Document Services
9509 Key West Avenue, 3rd Floor
Rockville, MD 20850

Note: When sending Overnight/Courier Mail, please include the following phone number: (301) 869-6699.

Electronic Fingerprint Submissions (EFS)

Firms may submit fingerprint information electronically to Sterling. You must have your FINRA Organization ID# to submit fingerprints electronically. The EFS Program allows for high-speed electronic transmissions of fingerprint data to FINRA and then to the FBI either through the firm contracting with Sterling, or another certified EFS vendor that has a contract with Sterling, or by the firm leasing or purchasing fingerprint scanners to submit information directly to Sterling.

The EFS Program offers the following advantages:

  • Speed – Electronic submissions are sent for immediate transmittal to the FBI.
  • Image Quality – Electronic fingerprints offer lower illegibility rates than hard copy submissions, leading to fewer fingerprint transactions that need to be re-submitted for an individual.
  • Cost – There are no postage fees to pay and lower fingerprint collection fees assessed for electronic fingerprint submissions. Typically, there are fewer fingerprint re-submissions required for an individual because of improved image quality which further reduces firms’ costs.

Fingerprint Results

FINRA’s vendor, Sterling submits fingerprints electronically to the FBI and results from the FBI are automatically uploaded to the Funding Portal Registration Depository (FPRD) for viewing by those who are entitled to see the Criminal History Record Information (CHRI). FBI results are generally posted to FPRD within 24-36 business hours after FBI receipt.