How to Fill Out the ATF’s FD-258 Fingerprint Card
The ATF FD-258 fingerprint card is not something that most people are used to filling out. As a result, you may not know that it’s actually something that is very easy to do and you can do it yourself at home. Contrary to popular belief, it does not need to be filled out by a law enforcement agency. In fact, nearly all FD-258 cards submitted with NFA purchases are done by the user themselves! We will give you some helpful instructions so you can successfully complete your FD-258 Fingerprint Card.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WHY ARE FINGERPRINTS REQUIRED FOR NFA ITEMS?
In the 1930s when the National Firearms Act (NFA) was passed and silencers became heavily regulated, fingerprints were essentially the only form of positive identification that could be relied on not to be forged or faked. Things have gotten better in the 90+ years since then. Modern driver’s licenses and identity cards are nearly perfect and secure, and fingerprints remain a seemingly outdated yet almost absolute form of identity for a person.
Because NFA registration is wrapped up with that same primitive 1930s method of identifying people, fingerprints are still required even though the process of NFA registration is now almost entirely digitized.
Broadly speaking, filling out a fingerprint card is just getting your prints onto the card and filling out a bit of information.
WHICH ATF FINGERPRINT CARDS ARE NEEDED FOR NFA TRANSFERS?
The FD-258 card is used for everything related to NFA purchases transfers, and sales.
You can see an example fingerprint card here.
Regardless of the type of NFA transfer, there is only one NFA fingerprint card to use, and that is the aforementioned FD-258 fingerprint card
HOW TO GET THE CORRECT CARD
There are several ways to get the correct NFA fingerprint card. Of course, the cards are only half of the equation. You also need an ink pad. Since you probably don’t have one of those just lying around, you’ll need to buy one of those, too. You can order NFA fingerprint cards from the ATF or you can poke around online and quickly find some cards to buy.
Or you can do it the easy way and buy a complete fingerprint kit – cards, ink, and all! Silencer Central has been in business for nearly two decades, and we know exactly what you need to get your ATF fingerprint card filled out correctly. For just $9.99, you get a professional-grade ink pad, a full set of instructions, and a return envelope that goes straight to our in-house digitization team who will submit a digital copy to the ATF for the fastest processing.
There are plenty of places selling NFA fingerprint card kits, but none that explain and guide you through the process as seamlessly as Silencer Central.
To fill out an FD-258 card, you must provide a clear set of fingerprints, as well as some seemingly irrelevant and redundant identification information.
Let’s get you started on what you’ll need to provide:
- Full legal name (Last, First, Middle)
- Date of Birth (DOB)
- Citizenship (CTZ)
- Eye Color
- Hair Color
- Place of Birth (be sure to use City and State)
- Social Security Number
- Signature of Person Fingerprinted
- Residence of Person Fingerprinted
There are specific codes that need to be used for the following fields: Sex, Race, Eye Color, and Hair Color. The appropriate codes are in the tables in our guide, so there’s no need to go searching for them.
TAKING YOUR FINGERPRINTS AT HOME THE EASY WAY
We’ve prepared a handy instructional video that shows the entire process for filling out an ATF fingerprint card. Watch the video a couple of times and practice on a blank piece of paper first. Here are the steps so you can follow along with the video:
Step 1: Fill out the fingerprint card using the instructions and codes from the last section.
Step 2: Clean and prep your hands. You don’t want dirty, oily, or greasy fingers as the ink will smear and smudge. If you think your hands are dry, use a lotion to soften the skin so your fingers roll easily.
Step 3: Follow the directions for which fingers are on which hand to print and in the correct order. This is important as each fingerprint section must contain the proper fingerprint.
Step 4: Once you have taken all your fingerprints and filled in all the fingerprint blocks, look them over one by one to make sure each print is clear, not smudged, and complete. Any errors or partial prints will result in rejection by the ATF.
Step 5: If you have made an error, you’ll need to start a new card. You cannot correct fingerprint errors on the new card. This is why we ship a pair of cards with our NFA fingerprint card kit.
Step 6: Double-check the rest of the fingerprint card. Improper fingerprint cards are one of the biggest reasons NFA purchases get delayed. Did you use the correct codes for eye and hair color? Did you correctly fill out the place of birth information? Is the card correctly signed?
Step 7: If your silencer or other NFA device is on a trust with multiple people, you probably have to repeat this fingerprinting process for each person on the trust. Go ahead and fill out any additional ATF fingerprint cards now.
Step 8: Now it’s time to get everything together. Fingerprint cards should be signed, dated, and bundled with your purchase paperwork.
Step 9: Put the fingerprint cards in the envelope that was provided with your kit from Silencer Central. Do not under any circumstances fold or otherwise deform the cards. This will get them rejected and you’ll have to do them all over again.
Step 10: Submit your completed fingerprint cards and NFA purchase application. If going through a local NFA dealer, you’ll have to leave them with the dealer. If taking advantage of Silencer Central’s unique direct delivery program, just mail us the completed application packet and we’ll do the rest.
BUYING A SILENCER? LET US HELP SIMPLIFY THE PROCESS!
For almost 20 years, Silencer Central has been working hard to make the silencer buying process as simple as possible for you. Along the way, we managed to become the nation’s largest silencer dealer with locations in all 42 silencer legal states. We are the industry leader in silencer sales and have optimized the entire purchase process as much as possible.
No matter if you want one of our famous all-titanium BANISH suppressors that are user-serviceable and multi-caliber or another industry-leading brand, we’ve got what you are looking for. Silencer Central stocks silencers for every budget and every caliber, from rimfire to .50 BMG and even shotguns!
Only Silencer Central allows you to purchase silencers directly by mail without ever stepping foot in one of our showrooms. No other silencer dealer can make purchases as simple as we can, and with NFA devices, the simpler the process, the better!