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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I find a Fingerprinting location?

You can find Identity Network Kiosks at our locations page. We have hundreds of convenient locations, covering all 50 states and DC.

Q: Do I need an appointment to get my fingerprints taken?

Nope! Just walk into any participating UPS Store and ask to use the Identity Network Kiosk. Before you go, though, check the location’s availability and hours at our locations page.

Q:Can multiple people register for Sterling Identity using the same email address?

No. To ensure that only the authorized individual receives the report, Sterling Identity requires each individual applicant use a different email address. If you and your family generally use a shared address, we suggest creating temporary email addresses for each person purchasing their own report.

Q: I selected a fingerprinting location when I registered. Do I have to use that specific location?

Not at all – our Registration Stations don’t require appointments ahead of time. Take your registration information with you to any participating UPS Store found on our locations page, and you’re on your way.

Q: The location I went to couldn’t help. What do I do now?

Oh no! We’re sorry you had a problem. Technical and business issues can sometimes get in the way of even the best plans. We want to help you, though, so go to our locations page to find another location, or reach out to our Support team at 844-787-3431 or for more options.

Q: The Registration Station couldn’t capture my fingerprints. What should I do?

Unfortunately, a small percentage of people can’t capture quality prints digitally. If you couldn’t get the station to accept your fingerprints, you might have to try other methods. Reach out to our Support team at 844-787-3431 or for options.

Q: The information on my background check is wrong! Can I correct it?

It’s possible, yes. The FBI manages corrections or challenges to the content of your FBI background check, though, so you will have to reach out to them or to your reporting court/agency for assistance.

Q: Can I have my background report mailed to a third party?

No. Per FBI regulations, we can only send background reports directly to the requester. Sterling Identity cannot send the background report to lawyers, employers, family members, or friends of friends.

Q: Can I have my background report mailed to a P.O. Box?

Sterling Identity does not send background reports through the mail. Instead, we provide you with a downloadable PDF of your report. You can print this report on white paper in full color if you need a hard copy.

Q: I don’t live in the United States anymore. Can you mail my report to a different country?

Sterling Identity does not send background reports through the mail. Instead, we provide you with a downloadable PDF of your report.

Q: What’s included in my FBI Criminal History Report?

You will receive a copy of your FBI background record (also referred to as an Identity History Summary, Background Check, or Rap Sheet) that contains information collected any time you were fingerprinted in the past. The record includes things like arrests and convictions, federal employment, and naturalization, among others.

Q: How long will it take to get my results?

Usually people get their criminal history reports within 24 hours. We’ve even seen people receive them in 5 minutes! If you do not receive results within 48 hours, please contact Support.

Q: I selected the wrong product or delivery type during registration. How can I get a refund?

If you have not submitted your fingerprints, you can cancel your order through our online portal. Sign in, access your order, and click Cancel. If you have trouble or have already submitted your fingerprints, reach our to our Support team at 844.787.3431 or to determine if you are eligible for a refund.

Q: Does Sterling Identity provide FBI report services to non-US citizens?

No. Sterling Identity can only provide these services for US citizens and individuals with a Permanent Resident card. If you don’t fall into this category, contact the FBI directly for assistance.

Q: Can this background check be used for licensing purposes?

Sterling Identity can assist with most licensing in the state of Florida, including:

  • Nursing
  • Real Estate
  • Teaching
  • Daycare
  • Construction

Sterling Identity may be able to assist with licensing in other states as well. Contact Support at 844-787-3431 or email us at to find out if we can help you!

Q: Can this background check be used for employment purposes?

FBI criminal history reports requested by individuals themselves cannot be used for employment background screening. Use this process if you’re ordering a copy of your report for personal review.

Q: Can this report be delivered to a third party?

Sterling Identity can only deliver an FBI criminal history report for personal review to the individual requesting it using the method requested during registration.

Q: Can Sterling Identity assist with immigration into the United States?

Sterling Identity cannot provide criminal history reports for individuals trying to immigrate to the United States.

Q: Can Sterling Identity assist with obtaining a foreign visa?

If you are a US citizen or a Permanent Resident, Sterling Identity can help you obtain an FBI criminal history report for visa purposes.

Many foreign countries refer to the background check required as a “police report” or “criminal history check.” Check that country’s requirements to ensure that Sterling Identity’s services meet your needs.

Q: Does Sterling Identity provide apostille services?

FBI Channelers, including Sterling Identity, cannot provide apostille services. We do provide you with a copy of your FBI criminal history report, which can then be apostilled through a separate agency.

Q: How do I begin the registration process?

Go to to register. When done, you’ll get an email with your unique registration code. Take that email to a Sterling Identity location to take your fingerprints.

Q: Can I expedite my report?

We’re pretty quick already! Select digital delivery for the quickest results, which are usually delivered in under an hour. Sterling Identity cannot guarantee same-day results.

Q: I made a mistake in the registration process. Can I correct that information before having my fingerprints taken?

You can update or correct your address and date of birth through your profile at or on the Sterling Identity Network Kiosk prior to submitting fingerprints.  If you have already submitted your fingerprints, you will need to start the process over and re-pay for your FBI criminal history report.

Q: My fingerprints were rejected by the FBI. What do I do now?

Shortly after receiving the rejection notice, you’ll receive an email with a new registration code. Use the new code to capture and submit new fingerprints. We recommend you contact our Support team first so we can provide some tips and tricks to assist in providing new prints.

If your prints are rejected a second time, digital fingerprinting might not be the right solution for you. Contact our Support team for more information on alternate methods of fingerprint submission.

Q: Can I get a copy of my fingerprints?

At this time, Sterling Identity can’t provide digital or physical fingerprint copies. If you need a physical copy, we suggest your reach out to your local law enforcement agency for assistance.

Q: For how long is my FBI report valid?

The information contained in your FBI report is considered valid up to the moment the report itself was pulled. Your organization determines how long after that they will accept the report. Please check with your organization to determine whether your FBI report is still acceptable.

Q: Who is required to be fingerprinted?

Section 17(f)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires firms to submit fingerprints for all partners, directors, officers and employees, unless they are exempt under those same provisions. Rule 17f-2 exempts employees from fingerprinting who do not:

  • Sell securities
  • Regularly have access to the keeping, handling, or processing of securities, monies, or the original books and records relating to the securities or monies or
  • Have direct supervisory responsibility over those who sell securities or have access to securities, monies, or the original books and records

Q: How much does FINRA fingerprinting cost?

FINRA prices vary based on your company’s location. To find out what your state charges, reach out to our support team at 844-787-3431 or

Q: Do I need to create an account with Sterling Identity to get FINRA fingerprinting?

Yes. Before we start collecting fingerprints, we’ll need to create an account for you.

Q: How does my firm sign up for an account? What information should I provide?

To sign up, please contact Sterling Identity at 844.787.3431. We will need your firm’s CRD number, contact information for your authorized representative (address, phone, e-mail, etc.), and information on whether fingerprinting will be paid for by your firm or by the candidate.

Q: What is a CRD number?

CRD stands for Central Registration Depository, FINRA’s central licensing and registration system used by the US Securities industry and regulators. The CRD contains a broker-dealer firm’s registration records as well as the qualification, employment and disclosure histories for its associated individuals. It also facilitates the processing of form filings, fingerprint submissions, qualification exams and continuing education sessions. FINRA allows select firms and regulators to access Web CRD.

Q: Why does Sterling Identity need a CRD number?

Essentially, your CRD number is your FINRA account number. We use it to direct fingerprints to the right FINRA account. Without a CRD number, Sterling Identity cannot create an account for your company.

Q: Does my company need to purchase Sterling Identity equipment?

No. Sterling Identity has fingerprinting locations in all 50 states and Washington DC. Once your company has created a FINRA account with us, we will send your employees a QR code they can take to any location to collect and submit their fingerprints.

Q: How will my employees get fingerprinted?

After your set up an account with Sterling Identity, we will email any employee that needs to be fingerprinted. The email will contain a unique registration code they can take to any Sterling Identity fingerprinting location to collect and submit their fingerprints.

Q: How do I check the status of a candidate’s background check?

Once FINRA receives the results of a FBI Criminal Background Check, the candidate’s status will be updated in the Web CRD/FPRD and the results will be available to review.

Q: Why are a candidate’s fingerprints marked “illegible,” and how do I fix it?

Fingerprints may be deemed illegible for several reasons. For example, if the candidate has worn fingerprints and could not capture adequate ridge detail, the FBI may deem their prints illegible.

If a candidate’s fingerprints are marked illegible in the Web CRD/FPRD, please call our customer service team at 844.787.3431 so we can help the candidate resubmit fingerprints. We do not charge for such a resubmission.

Q: How long does it take FINRA to update a candidate’s status in the CRD/FPRD?

Usually, FINRA will update FBI Background Check status in the Web CRD/FPRD within 24-72 hours.

Q: How do Sterling Identity and FINRA ensure that personal information is protected during and after processing?

Our equipment is FINRA certified and protects electronic transmissions using digital certificates and S/MIME encryption.

FINRA stores all records in a secure database while they await FBI disposition. Once the FBI responds, FINRA maintains the data for 30 days, after which the data is no longer available.

All fingerprint records and Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) are encrypted during transmission, processing and storage.

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