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Fingerprint Card Requirements

Any individual applying to register as an associated person, floor broker, floor trader, or floor trader order enterer, or is applying to be listed as a principal must send a completed fingerprint card to NFA unless:

  • the individual is currently registered with the CFTC in any capacity or is listed as a principal of a current CFTC registrant (This shall not be applicable to any person who was not required to file a fingerprint card in connection with such application.);
  • NFA has received fingerprint card results from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) within 90 days preceding the date the individual's Form 8-R is filed with NFA;
  • the individual is a director, but is not also an officer or employee of the firm ("outside director"). The firm may file with NFA a Notice Pursuant to CFTC Regulation 3.21(c). A firm that has filed a Notice Pursuant to CFTC Regulation 3.21(c) with respect to an outside director described therein must file with NFA on behalf of such outside director a Form 8-R completed in accordance with all pertinent instructions and verified by the outside director. The exemption provided for by this paragraph is limited solely to the outside director's fingerprint requirement and does not affect any other duties or responsibilities of the firm or the outside directors under these Rules. In appropriate cases, NFA may require additional information from the firm with respect to any outside director referred to in the Notice Pursuant to CFTC Regulation 3.21(c);
  • any sponsor that is registered as a broker dealer that files a Form 8-R on behalf of an AP applicant or a principal may, in lieu of submitting a fingerprint card for the applicant or principal, represent in the Form 8-R that, within the last 90 days, an application for registration as a General Securities Representative has been filed on behalf of the applicant with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and that a fingerprint card containing the applicant's or principal's fingerprints accompanied the application; or
  • the individual is a foreign natural person as defined in CFTC Regulation 3.21(e)(1)(i). The firm may file with NFA a certification pursuant to CFTC Regulation 3.21(e). A firm that has filed a certification pursuant to CFTC Regulation 3.21(e) shall maintain records in accordance with CFTC Regulation 1.31 documenting that the criminal history background check performed pursuant to CFTC Regulation 3.21(e)(2)(i) was completed and the results thereof.

Firms may email any notice or certification to NFA (

Digital images of fingerprints are sent by NFA to the FBI to determine if the applicant has a criminal record. Results are received in three days or less, and in some cases within several hours, resulting in a faster registration process.

To conduct a check of its records, the FBI must be able to analyze the print pattern of all 10 fingers. The FBI will reject fingerprint cards that do not have legible patterns for all 10 fingers. For this reason, it is very important that you have your fingerprints taken by a person properly trained in rolling fingerprints.

NFA can only accept and process a completed and signed FBI applicant card. Applicants are encouraged to submit three fingerprint cards with their application to avoid delays in obtaining additional sets if necessary for processing.

NFA will return to the applicant fingerprint cards that are incomplete or are not applicant cards and will request new fingerprint cards.

Completed fingerprint cards should be sent to NFA at the following address:

National Futures Association
Attention: Registration Department
300 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60606-6615

NFA offers a fingerprinting service for NFA applicants at the Chicago office (300 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1800) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. for $15 (cash, check or money order). All individuals being fingerprinted will be required to present two forms of identification, one of which is a valid picture ID issued by a government agency, in order to verify the identity of the person being fingerprinted.

In order to use NFA's fingerprinting service, visitors must be pre-registered in the building's visitor registry. Visitors should contact NFA's Information Center (312-781-1410 or 800-621-3570 or to register. Visitors must provide their name and date of visit so they can receive access to NFA's offices on the 18th floor. NFA recommends that visitors pre-register at least one day prior to their visit.

NFA has issued a Registration Advisory that provides guidance concerning fingerprinting to assist those who submit applications via the Online Registration System. If you have any questions regarding the fingerprint card process, please contact NFA's Information Center.

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