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Important service information in response to coronavirus (Covid-19).
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Hard Card Process for Employment

Due to COVID-19, hard card processing time is 5-7 business days. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you require faster processing for DCSA/SWFT, please visit our partner site: Inquiries Screening

Important Note

FBI regulations prohibit us from accepting hard cards captured outside of the United States and its territories. Hard cards mailed from outside of the US or its territories, or captured by foreign Law Enforcement agencies, will not be processed.

If we cannot process your hard cards, we will destroy them per FBI guidelines for your protection unless you include a self-addressed stamped envelope with the same address from which the cards were originally mailed. We will not return hard cards to addresses outside of the US and its territories.

Fingerprints Done the Traditional Way

Law Enforcement agencies use the FD-258 form to record fingerprints for non-criminal purposes, and we can process them when needed.

Here’s what you need to do to capture your fingerprints using ink and paper, which we call the hard card process.

Step 1: Find a Law Enforcement Location

*Due to COVID-19, some agencies are no longer providing fingerprinting services. Call the agency in advance to confirm they still offer fingerprinting services.

Step 2: Print the “Declaration of Official Taking Fingerprints” Form

  • Download and print this declaration form and bring it with you.
  • Present the form to the Law Enforcement official capturing your fingerprints. They will need to fill out this form to confirm fingerprints were captured per FBI standards. Sterling Identity is unable to process your hard cards unless we receive this form completed and signed by the Law Enforcement official that captured your fingerprints.

What's a Hard Card?

What's a Hard Card?

A hard card is the FD-258 form used by law enforcement to capture non-criminal fingerprints. People who can’t capture electronic fingerprints can submit these forms for processing instead.

Step 3: Collect Your Proof of Identity Documents

  • Bring two valid ID documents from the FBI list of acceptable documents to the Law Enforcement agency*.
  • Requirements:
    • At least one ID document should be from the Primary List.
    • At least one ID document should list your current valid address within the US or its territories.

*The Law Enforcement official will not be able to capture your fingerprints unless presented two valid ID documents.

Step 4: Go to a Law Enforcement Agency to Capture Your Fingerprints

With the assistance of a Law Enforcement official, you will fill out two FD-258 forms with your information and fingerprints.

  • Ensure the Law Enforcement official is using the latest FD-258 form (form version appears in the upper left corner on the first page). Per FBI regulations, we cannot process hard cards on obsolete FD-258 forms. If the agency doesn’t have the latest FD-258 forms, request them to print copies from the FBI’s FD-258 website.
  • Present your “Declaration of Official Taking Fingerprints” form and request the official to fill out and sign the form.
  • Present your two valid ID documents when the official requests them.
  • Follow the official’s guidance to capture your fingerprints on the two FD-258 forms.
  • Collect the two FD-258 forms and the “Declaration of Official Taking Fingerprints” form before leaving.

Step 5: Send Your Prints to Sterling Identity

Mail* your two completed FD-258 forms and the completed “Declaration of Official Taking Fingerprints” form to:

Sterling Identity
ATTN: FBI Channeling
10220 SW Greenburg Road
Suite 301
Tigard, OR 97223

*Please use a postal method that provides tracking (i.e., UPS, FedEx, or USPS Priority). Sterling Identity is not responsible for lost hard card submissions without proof of delivery. If we cannot process your hard cards, they will be destroyed per FBI standards for your protection, unless you include a self-addressed stamped envelope with the same address from which you mailed the hard cards. We will not return hard cards to addresses outside of the US and its territories.

Have questions? We have answers

We pride ourselves in having the best support team in the industry.  If you have any questions about this process, whether before you go or when you’re already there, contact us at 844.787.3431 or