The FBI says it now allows the use of paid “channelers” to help expedite criminal background checks. The FBI-approved channelers are private firms that have contracted with the agency to receive and submit criminal history record information, including fingerprints, electronically. They typically charge fees for their services. Four have been approved, and others are expected to be added.
The FBI says a channeler “simply helps expedite the criminal history record information on behalf of the FBI.” The firms can process requests for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. The agency says fingerprint authentications still must be made directly to the FBI, nor can a channeler process an employment or licensing request, which continues to be a state function.