An Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) is effectively a storage, search and retrieval system for fingerprint and palm print electronic images and demographic data. AFIS is a high speed, high capacity image processing system that enhances the ability of the latent fingerprint examiners to search and identify crime scene evidence and then print technicians to search arrest prints against ever increasing pool of fingerprint records.

AFIS systems have and continue to replace outdated manual methods of fingerprint classification employed by law enforcement agencies over the past century.

AFIS systems utilize specialized software and powerful computer hardware configurations to create unique mathematical ‘maps’ (algorithms) based upon relationships between the characteristics present within the finger or palm friction ridge skin structures. Modern AFIS systems rapidly extract information from the fingerprint to establish the pattern type, minutiae points and the axis of the image. The use of mathematical algorithms enables a fingerprint to be compared with millions of file prints within a matter of seconds.