Travelling internationally requires a great deal of documentation and proof of identity, and that often includes getting fingerprinted. I’m a seasoned traveller, and I know I’m not the only one who has had to get their fingerprints taken more than once, both electronically and as ink on paper.
The process can be time-consuming, but there is actually a proper way to get your fingerprints done right the first time without any hassle — i.e. without having to do it three or four times until the fingerprint tech can get a clean impression. Here’s how to take a proper fingerprint on the first try and be on your way.
Many “bad” fingerprint are a result of too oily or too dry skin. It’s recommended not to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer prior to getting your fingerprints done. However, as we are living in a global pandemic, I would strongly advise you to do both — but when you moisturise them afterward, use an oil-free lotion.
When you’re placing your fingers on the surface that will record the print — whether its electronic or a piece of paper — it’s important to not press your finger down in the middle. Starting at an outer corner, roll your finger across the paper or screen while pressing down firmly until your finger is comfortably centred.
If your prints are being taken electronically, don’t starting moving your digits until you’re given the ok from the device or the person operating it. If you’re on an ink pad, the person operating it will probably give you precise instructions about how to position your fingers; prior to the pandemic, they probably even would’ve physically guided your fingers using their hands.