Automated Fingerprint Identification System Law and Legal Definition

Automated fingerprint identification (AFIS) is the process of automatically matching one or many unknown fingerprints against a database of known and unknown prints. Automated fingerprint identification systems is used mostly by law enforcement agencies for criminal identification initiatives like identifying a person suspected of committing a crime or linking a suspect to other unsolved crimes. However, at present the system is used in civil identification projects to prevent multiple enrollments in an electoral, welfare, driver licensing, or similar system. It is also used for conducting background searches of job applicants for highly sensitive posts.

In the U.S. Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System holds all fingerprint sets collected in the country, and is managed by the FBI. Many states also have their own AFIS.