You may be familiar with a background check when you apply for a new job, but you may be surprised to find yourself fingerprinted as part of the process as well. Never fear: many companies, especially those related to child education, medicine, or government work do this type of background check as part of their standard hiring process. Here are three reasons you may get fingerprinted prior to starting your new job so you can have peace of mind.


As mentioned above, certain companies do fingerprinting on their employees simply due to the sensitive nature of the job being applied for. If you are looking for a job in healthcare of the medical field, working with children, or seeking a government job, you may be more likely to be fingerprinted as part of the hiring process.

What your potential employer is looking for is honesty in your background, as a fingerprint scan reveals any criminal history you may have. It also confirms your identity by being able to place your date and area of birth and other identifying factors about you. Since you may be applying for a job where you are responsible for minors, medications, or important information, your potential employer will want to make sure you are clear of any suspicious activity and that you are who you claim to be.


Most employers simply need either a birth certificate, Social Security number, driver’s license, or other type of information to verify who you are in order to hire you and place you on their taxed payroll. If you don’t have sufficient identification or you have numerous names you go by, they may have you do a fingerprint background check in addition to submitting more common forms. This check is done simply to verify the information you have given them already.


Even a minor brush with the law, such as misdemeanor offenses, can cause your employer to want to know more about your criminal record. You don’t want to lie about any criminal convictions, so make sure you list them on a job application if the question arises. If a fingerprint scan is part of the employment process, be upfront about your criminal record. It’s best your employer hear it from you than via an extensive background check, and fingerprinting will likely reveal all your convictions.

You don’t have to go into avid detail when explaining a criminal conviction to your potential employer; you simply should tell them that you were convicted of a crime, when it was, and the current status of your court case (probation, closed, etc.). You can find templates online to help you write a pre-employment letter explaining your criminal history.

Fingerprinting as part of the background check is becoming more common among businesses. The process is done to both protect you as an employee and your employer. Your employer will likely use a live scan fingerprinting company to do your background check through the FBI for the most accurate results. The information is used for employment purposes only and is not shared publicly. You can request to see your fingerprinting results when they have been completed.

It’s important that you know why you are being fingerprinted and what the process will reveal about your past so you can discuss any potential issues with your employer. San Diego Livescan is dedicated to helping people and businesses feel more secure via our live scan fingerprint background checks. We work closely with individuals, employers, government agencies, daycare providers, and more to provide accurate background checks for peace of mind.