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Electronic Fingerprinting - Quick Reference Guide for Funding Portals

FINRA Fingerprint Process Change

FINRA’s new fingerprint process for broker-dealer firms and funding portals became effective 7 a.m. ET on Dec. 6, 2021, consistent with the fingerprint plan filed with and declared effective by the SEC. Under the new process, broker-dealers and funding portals must route fingerprints to Sterling, FINRA’s designated fingerprint provider. Sterling processes and submits fingerprints to the Department of Justice (FBI) for broker-dealer firms and funding portals. Benefits of this process change include state-of-the-art technology, processing efficiencies and reduced pricing for firms.


A Funding Portal organization applying for FINRA membership must comply with SEA Rule 17f-2 and submit fingerprints for all persons who are or will be associated with the Funding Portal member. 

As part of the FINRA membership application process, a Funding Portal applicant must initially submit all fingerprints in hard copy (i.e., fingerprint cards) for its associated persons until the applicant receives its Organization (Org) ID # from FINRA.  An Org ID # is assigned when FINRA processes the member applicant's New Funding Portal Organization Super Account Administrator (SAA) Entitlement Form to grant access to the FINRA Funding Portal Registration Depository (FPRD). Firms should apply the Org ID # to all initial fingerprint cards received with the member entitlement package.

Once the Funding Portal applicant is assigned its Org ID #, fingerprints may be collected electronically through a FINRA-approved fingerprint vendor.

Sterling, FINRA’s fingerprint provider, processes all fingerprint transactions to the FBI and returns the results to FINRA for posting in FPRD where Funding Portal organizations are able to view fingerprint statuses. Statuses include the received status to indicate receipt of fingerprints for an associated individual and includes the FBI results of the Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) background check.

Key Fingerprint Information

Funding portals may purchase FINRA-specific fingerprint cardstock from Sterling for $14.00 (includes 25 cards with shipping & handling). Contact Sterling Client Support; see the Need Help? Section on the right-hand side of the page for contact information.

In order for fingerprint cards to be processed, firms must complete all required fields. 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 (FAQ) 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 to FINRA, please include the following phone number: (301) 869-6699.

  • Fees: Firms are charged two types of processing fees for fingerprint submissions: a FINRA fingerprint fee and an FBI fingerprint fee. Learn more about them on the Fingerprint Fees page.
  • Fingerprint statuses from the FBI are generally posted to FPRD within 24 to 36 business hours following submission to the FBI.
  • Entitled users can view the FBI response to fingerprint card submissions in FPRD. Users that have the required entitlement will have to Accept the Terms and Conditions to view the status received from the FBI.
  • Fingerprint statuses in FPRD are identified as a code.
  • A fingerprint status by the FBI as illegible (i.e., an ILEG code in FPRD) will require another fingerprint submission for the individual within 30 days of the ILEG status. A third illegible status will result in a Name Check that FINRA facilitates with the FBI.
  • FINRA has a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help Funding Portal members submit fingerprint cards.
  • All fingerprint cards must be submitted with the individual’s Social Security number, if applicable. The card must include the individual's signature, the signature of the individual taking the prints, Sex, Date of Birth (DOB), Place of Birth, Height, Weight, Hair and Eye Color as well. To ensure accurate processing, confirm that all fields are complete with the correct identifying information.

Fingerprint Submission Process

  • Initial Submission: The FBI fingerprint fee is assessed when the FBI result is posted to FPRD. The individual’s fingerprint status will depend on the result received. If the result is illegible (ILEG) or rejected (REJT), another fingerprint submission is required within 30 days of the last result.
  • Second Submission: When the first fingerprint card submission is determined to be illegible, the second fingerprint card submission will only be assessed FINRA’s Fingerprint Fee. If the fingerprint card is illegible or rejected a second time, a third fingerprint submission is required within 30 days of the last result.
  • Third Submission: When the third fingerprint card is submitted, both the FINRA and the FBI fingerprint fees are assessed. If the result of the third submission is illegible, the individual’s fingerprint status will be updated to Name Check (NMCK). The FBI will use the individual’s demographic information to check for any CHRI, and upon return of the FBI result, the fingerprint status will update to CLRX, RAPX, CMPX, or EXCX as applicable. If the result of the third submission is REJT, another fingerprint card must be submitted for the individual within 30 days.

Fingerprint Statuses

Status Code Description

CLER

FBI result indicating No Data was identified for fingerprints submitted.

CLRX

FBI result indicating No Data was identified based on Name Check search.

COMP

FINRA staff has completed review of CHRI identified by the FBI in response to fingerprints submitted.

CMPX

FINRA staff has completed review of CHRI identified by the FBI following Name Check search.

EXCX

FBI result indicating no match after Name Check search due to excessive candidates.

ILEG

FBI result indicating fingerprints submitted were determined to be illegible (by the FBI).

NMCK

Individual is undergoing a Name Check search based on FBI determination that previous fingerprint submissions were illegible.

RAPP

FBI result indicating CHRI was identified for fingerprints submitted.

RAPX

FBI result indicating CHRI was identified based on a Name Check search.

RECC

Fingerprints received and forwarded to the FBI for processing.

RECT

A third fingerprint submission to the FBI because fingerprints previously submitted were illegible.

RECV

A second fingerprint submission to the FBI because fingerprints previously submitted were illegible.

REJT

Fingerprints were rejected by the FBI because required information was missing.

XMPT

Individual is exempt from fingerprinting requirement based on illegible prints or other criteria in Rule 17f-2.