FBI points to declining rates for fingerprint checks
06 October 2016 16:46 GMT

The FBI has pointed out in a statement that new rates for criminal history record identification (CHRI) checks performed by the FBI which went into effect on October 1, 2016 are 50 percent lower than the cost of those services 23 years ago.

Until September 30, 2016, the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division’s fee for state and federal entities was $14.75 to process fingerprint-based CHRI requests for noncriminal justice purposes, such as employment and licensing. A similar process to check individuals who volunteer—e.g., hospital volunteers and sport coaches for recreational programs—had an associated fee of $13.50. However, beginning with the government’s new fiscal year, the rates dropped $2.75 each, bringing the fees down to $12 and $10.75, respectively.

The FBI said that the continued rate decrease reflects the FBI’s investment in technology that has allowed the processing of a record number of noncriminal justice CHRI checks while lowering costs.

The cost benefit of this investment in technology was highlighted by the FBI’s fee study using the methodology approved in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (73 FR 34905, June 2008) and Final Rule (75 FR 18751, April 2010). The results of the study indicated that the cost of providing the fingerprint-based and name-based CHRI checks for noncriminal justice purposes was $2.75 lower than the rate previously charged. Subsequently, the CJIS Division moved to adjust the cost and published a Notice in the Federal Register announcing the coming fee reduction.

Form used by the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division to initiate and perform a criminal background check.

Aside from fingerprint-based CHRI checks, certain federal agencies are also authorized to conduct name-based checks. Entities approved to use this service save on each check beginning this fiscal year as the fee went from $2.25 to $2.

CJIS also eliminated the separate fee for enrollment in the Rap Back service as of October 1. Rap Back, which began in 2014, is an optional service that provides authorized users with the ability to enroll an individual in a program that notifies the user of subsequent information on that person that may change their status. For example, if the FBI receives a new criminal arrest or a disposition of an old arrest during the term of the individual’s enrollment, the FBI will notify the authorized recipient of this information. Based on the study, the cost of the optional Rap Back program is now included as part of the revised fee for fingerprint-based CHRI checks.