Sep 6, 2008

Fingerprinted & Violated in Texas

I went to get fingerprinted for my real estate license yesterday. New 'security' laws require all licensed Realtors in Texas to be photographed and fingerprinted.
I feel absolutely violated. Maybe it's because I come from the old school that believes only criminals should be fingerprinted. Apparently because I work in a position of financial responsibility, the FBI needs to check me out. And I have to go to a hard-to-find, seedy office and pay $44 (checks only, no cash or credit cards) for the privilege.
So why doesn't every CPA, lawyer, banker and doctor in the state have to be fingerprinted too? There are plenty of folks in responsible positions to choose from. And if we're going to start fingerprinting every gainfully employed US citizen (for example, to renew your driver's license), why don't we just set up fingerprinting stations in convenience stores?
It adds insult to injury when I have to pay, make an appointment a week in advance and jeopardize my safety all to have my right to privacy violated. I grew up on Air Force bases and I'm as patriotic as the next American, but this isn't about patriotism. I can't sell homes if I don't go through this process.
Is it just me?
[where: 75230]


Chris said...

Actually, lawyers are (now) fingerprinted as far as I know. A year ago, as a first year law student, I had to apply to the State Bar...for (essentially) permission to keep studying law, and for preliminary approval to be able to apply to take the Bar exam.

Anyone who just applies to be allowed to take the Bar exam, and one day hopefully be admitted to the State Bar of Texas, has to submit to a full FBI background check, and go to one of those random "fingerprinting center" locations (in my case, an office suite with camping furniture, and a staff of one).

But, I know how you feel: I have to get fingerprinted for my real estate license as, there are gonna be multiple copies of my fingerprints floating around, all because I did the work to earn professional degrees / licenses...

Fingerprint Guy said...

The State of Texas is requiring more and more professional occupations to have background checks. Most people do not realize that nearly 75% of all fingerprinting is for business and occupational reasons and not criminal. Unfortunately, there is that stigma and then to be required to go to a F.A.S.T. location when there are mobile fingerprint services that will come right to your home or office.