The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) Unit houses the State’s central repository of fingerprint and palm print records. The Unit makes use of the AFIS system, which helps catalog, search, compare, and store known finger and palm prints, latent prints, and related demographic data from arrest and certain applicant records. The AFIS system also interfaces with the FBI’s Next Generation Identification System (NGI) and provides agencies access to nationwide criminal justice information.


AFIS technicians perform two major tasks: Quality Control of incoming prints to build an accurate database, and performing non-evidentiary print comparisons against the database for a variety of customers.


Services Provided 


Quality Control

- The 100,000+ records that are submitted to the AFIS every year undergo a quality check to ensure they comply with AFIS system requirements and are handled in the order they are received.

- If assistance is needed in locating a submitted record, contact the AFIS Unit with the Transaction Control Number (TCN) of the submitted record. The TCN is issued by the livescan or cardscan device and can be found by opening the record on the livescan/cardscan device after capture of the prints.


Comparison Requests

If an agency would like a non-evidentiary comparison of fingerprints to the AFIS database, a comparison request sent to the AFIS Unit is a quick way to see if the prints have an existing record within the AFIS or NGI system.

- Emails should be sent to

- Requests are answered during standard Crime Laboratory working hours: M-F; 7:45a to 4:30p.

- Submitted fingerprint(s) can be compared to fingerprint standards stored under a WI SID, or searched against the AFIS database.

- Include an agency contact name and phone number in the request.

- If requesting a comparison to a known standard, include the WI SID or demographic information to retrieve the standard – or – request that the prints be searched against the AFIS database.

- Fingerprint cards that are emailed for comparison purposes should be scanned at a minimum of 600 dpi and be in a lossless format, preferably TIFF. If not possible, contact the AFIS Unit for further options. 

- Conclusions will be returned via email, most often within 24 hours of the submission.


Contact Information

To see if the AFIS Unit can assist you, please contact us at dojcrimelabafis@doj.state.wi.usor contact the Madison Lab at (608)266-2031.