NFA Fingerprint Cards

Information on Requesting and Submitting NFA Fingerprint Cards

Those persons who are registering with the CFTC in any capacity (Associated Person of a CPO, CTA, IB) will need to submit fingerprint cards to the NFA prior to their registration being effective. It is also likely that the new forex registration rules will require fingerprint cards from Associated Persons of Forex CPOs, Forex CTAs and Forex IBs.  Below are two announcements from the NFA regarding fingerprint cards.

You can request fingerprint cards from the NFA by calling: 312-781-1410 or 800-621-3570.

You can have the fingerprints done at any local police station.

You will send the fingerprint cards to this address:

Attn: Registration
300 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 1800
Chicago, Illinois 60606

Please note: recently we have seen clients who have had issues with having their fingerprint cards read by the NFA.  If you do not have a local police station take your prints (i.e. you have a notary or other group take the prints), you risk the prints being illegible which will slow down the registration process.  We recommend you always have your prints taken at a police station.


Fingerprint Cards

Fingerprint cards are sent by NFA to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to determine if the applicant has a criminal record. To conduct a check of its records the FBI must be able to analyze the print pattern of all 10 fingers. The FBI will reject fingerprint cards that do not have legible patterns for all 10 fingers. For this reason it is very important that you have your fingerprints taken by a person properly trained in rolling fingerprints.

NFA has issued a Registration Advisory [HFLB note: please see below] that provides guidance concerning fingerprinting to assist those who submit applications via the Online Registration System.

NFA can only accept and process a complete FBI “applicant card”. Applicants are encouraged to submit more than one set of fingerprints with their application to avoid delays in obtaining additional sets if necessary for processing.

We will return any fingerprint cards we receive which are incomplete or not an applicant card to the registrant and request new cards be sent as soon as possible.

NFA offers a fingerprinting service for NFA applicants at the Chicago office (300 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1800) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. for $15 (cash, check or money order). In order to use NFA’s fingerprint service, visitors must be pre-registered in the building’s visitor registry. Visitors should contact NFA’s Information Center (either by phone at 312-781-1410 or send an email to [email protected]) to register their name and date of visit so they can receive access to NFA’s offices on the 18th floor. NFA recommends that visitors pre-register at least a day prior to their visit.

All individuals being fingerprinted will be required to present two forms of identification, one of which is a valid picture ID issued by a government agency, in order to verify the identity of the person being fingerprinted. NFA now submits digital images of fingerprints to the FBI for criminal background checks. Results are received in three days or less, and in some cases within several hours, resulting in a faster and more efficient registration process. If you have any questions regarding the fingerprint process, please contact NFA’s Information Center at 312-781-1410 or 800-621-3570.


Registration Advisory – Fingerprinting
July 29, 2005

As part of a 2003 Report to Congress (GAO-03-795), the United States Government Accountability Office identified potential weaknesses in controls with respect to the fingerprinting of individuals who submit fingerprints in connection with registration applications in the futures and securities industries. NFA is providing the following guidance to assist Members who submit applications via NFA’s Online Registration System (ORS).

Members are responsible for performing due diligence and establishing appropriate procedures in the hiring process. Members are required to submit fingerprint cards for each of their applicants for registration as associated persons or for approval as a principal. Members should use all available information gathered in the hiring process (both from the ORS application information and from any other hiring due diligence procedures such as background checks and employment references) to confirm that the person being fingerprinted is the same person submitting an application via ORS.

Members should consider incorporating the following fingerprinting practices in connection with filing registration applications in the futures industry. These recommended practices are intended to enhance the integrity of the fingerprinting process and complement Members’ existing procedures used to verify that the fingerprint card contains the fingerprints of the person whose application has been filed.

Members that use their own personnel to take fingerprints should consider:

  • Establishing and communicating internal fingerprinting procedures, and periodically reviewing and updating them;
  • Limiting the number of employees who are responsible for the fingerprinting process;
  • Training those employees to roll high-resolution fingerprints that will be accepted by the FBI; and
  • Training those employees to require the person being fingerprinted to present two forms of identification, one of which is a valid picture ID issued by a government agency, in order to verify the identity of the person being fingerprinted.

Members that use third parties to take fingerprints should consider requiring individuals to be fingerprinted at a location where the persons taking the fingerprints are likely to verify identity as well as the authenticity of identification cards presented, such as law enforcement offices and NFA’s Chicago office. Other locations that may provide fingerprinting services and that would be appropriate include military bases, government agencies and self-regulatory organizations.

If you have any questions regarding the information contained in this Advisory, please contact NFA’s Information Center at (800) 621-3570.

2 thoughts on “NFA Fingerprint Cards

  1. Pingback: CTA and CPO Registration Form 8-R Changes — Hedge Fund Law Blog

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