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PIA Comments to NAIC Subgroup on Fingerprints

A Subgroup of the NAIC Producer Licensing Working Group is considering whether and how to standardize fingerprint-based background checks across the states. Some of...
March 2, 2004

A Subgroup of the NAIC Producer Licensing Working Group is considering whether and how to standardize fingerprint-based background checks across the states.  Some of the issues being discussed include whether there should be a central repository for electronic fingerprint images, and how often the prints should be resubmitted to the FBI and state authorities to update the background check.

As in the past, PIA once again submitted the fingerprint policy adopted by the PIA National Board of Directors, and recommended that NAIC focus on seeking a federal solution. But should NAIC decide to pursue a state-based system, PIA urged that the fingerprint background check be required for resident agents only (with non-resident giving deference to resident state's background check), fingerprints be stored electronically in a central repository and rechecks be done on a time schedule similar to others in the financial services industry.

PIA's comments to the NAIC

What It Means to Agents: Approximately a dozen states submit fingerprints to the FBI for background checks on resident applicants and would like assurance that similar background checks have been conducted by the resident states of the non-resident applicants.  Some states are equipped to handle electronic fingerprints while others still rely on cards.  Several states want to resubmit the prints to the FBI at least every five years, while others feel that such a resubmission is not worth the time and cost.

New York is experimenting with a system by which its department receives updated information regarding the fingerprinted producer as such information is posted to the FBI data base. Much work would need to be done to reach agreement among NAIC members as to how to proceed and several states would need to invest in expensive equipment if they were required to collect electronic fingerprints. Several regulators doubt that their state legislators would approve a bill for either one-time or periodic fingerprint based background checks. Thus, this issue is likely to be discussed several more times before the regulators can achieve consensus.

In the interim, NAIC leadership has pledged to renew efforts to seek a federal solution and PIA has committed to assist them to advance an equitable and efficient system.

PIA Assistant Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Ellen Sanders represented PIA at the NAIC Symposium in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at ellensa@pianet.org