State Identification Bureau

The State Identification Bureau at DCJS processes criminal and civil fingerprint transactions to determine positive identification, past criminal history and warrant information. DCJS receives criminal fingerprint transactions electronically 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Those fingerprints are associated with misdemeanor and felony arrests, incarcerations and other criminal justice-related inquiries from all law enforcement agencies across New York State. On average, arrest transactions are processed in fewer than 15 minutes. Criminal history record reports, commonly referred to as “rap sheets,” are returned electronically to the agencies that submitted the arrest fingerprints, district attorney offices and to the courts and are used to make decisions about charging, bail and/or release at arraignment. DCJS also electronically scans hard-copy arrest fingerprint cards that are sent via surface mail by agencies that cannot transmit fingerprints electronically.

The bureau also processes fingerprints submitted by applicants for certain occupations or licenses when a criminal history background check is authorized under state or local law. These checks cover a variety of jobs and licenses, including school teachers, school bus drivers, child care workers, police officers and nursing home employees. On average, these background checks are processed in fewer than two hours. Reports are returned electronically to contributing agencies, which then make suitability determinations for each prospective employee or licensee. DCJS also notifies the employment or licensing agency if an employed or licensed individual is subsequently arrested.

The DCJS Latent Print Unit accepts latent fingerprints that have been captured at crime scenes and processed by law enforcement evidence technicians, comparing and analyzing those latent prints to fingerprints on file at DCJS for identification purposes.

The unit serves 17 counties – Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington – and also accepts latent print evidence from law enforcement agencies throughout the state, as well as nationally and internationally.  After completing its work, the unit returns a Latent Print Analysis, including the submitted evidence and the results of searches and comparisons that have been performed, to the submitting agency.

Latent Print Unit personnel provide advanced latent print training to law enforcement officers and latent print examiners across the state. They also make presentations on the topic to high school students and college criminal justice programs.

SABIS-Latent Brochure (pdf)

Best Practices for Submitting Latent Print Evidence to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Latent Print Unit (pdf)

Download Evidence Submission form to submit latent print evidence to DCJS’ Latent Print Unit (pdf)
[Note: The Latent Print Unit operates from 7a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.]

Latent Print Unit - Customer Satisfaction Survey (pdf)

Latent Print Unit - Complaint Form (pdf)

Origins of the New York State Bureau of Identification

In September 1996, the New York State Bureau of Identification celebrated 100 years of continuous service. To commemorate this achievement, Origins of the New York State Bureau of Identification was published in book form.