Do They Fingerprint At Pawn Shops

Brian McCracken


That’s an interesting question – but to answer it, yes some pawn shops do take finger prints. Normally it is a state of city law that forces them to take the finger prints and they are stored securely at the pawn shop. Police departments and other law enforcement agencies will have access to those finger prints should something go wrong but typically speaking you have nothing at all to worry about.

That having been said, not all pawn shops take finger prints. This is particularly true where it is not required by state law, such as in Ohio. Often times pawn shops may view having to take fingerprints as a daunting task and something that they really don’t want to be involved with. It can be an inconvenience to them as well as their customers and when it comes right down to it, they are going to do what is best for their customers while still following all of the appropriate state and federal laws. This just happens to be a business where the states really like to get involved in saying what a pawn shop can and cannot do. Sometimes that’s a good thing – but sometimes it’s not.

Why Would Pawn Shops Take Finger Prints Anyways?

Like mentioned above, it all has to do with the local laws that the pawn shop operates in. Some states and cities require that pawn shops take the finger prints. It has nothing at all to do with ‘trust.’ Pawnbrokers know that most of their customers are good, honest people who just need a little quick cash to get them through some kind of adversity. Unfortunately, with the economic hardship that has hit most of the country, property crimes have increased and there are more stolen goods floating around now than there use to be. Because of that, law enforcement wants to try to track the goods down and prosecute the people who stole of sold them.

That’s Where Finger Prints Come in

The finger prints records help law enforcement track down individuals who may be involved with stolen merchandise.
As much as pawnbrokers work to keep stolen items out of their business, it’s not always possible to clean it out completely. Eventually something stolen will get pawned or sold at a pawn shop and there isn’t much that can be done about it unfortunately.
After all, stolen merchandise typically looks exactly like non-stolen merchandise. It’s not as if the bad guy tags the item as ‘Stolen,’ but boy wouldn’t life be easier if they did.

Your Identity is Safe

Despite having to submit finger prints at pawn shops that are required to take them, your identity and personal information will remain safe. Typically speaking, pawn brokers are very protective of their customers and will do everything possible to keep identity thieves from gaining access to your personal information. If you aren’t turning in stolen merchandise, than you will have absolutely nothing to worry about. And that’s really what this all comes down to – trying to get the bad guy. Finger prints only help law enforcement do that and aren’t used or shared for any other reason other than that.

The Nerd’s Experience

I understand how unsettling it can be to submit your finger print to a pawn shop for the first time. But really, it is only to help law enforcement track down bad guys and there is really no other reason for it. If you are feeling uneasy with it, I would say that you’ve got nothing to worry about. You’re just a good person looking for an honest loan against something you own. It’s not as if you are the bad guy so you’ve got nothing to fear.

And that about does it… If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment field below and I will be happy to help you out.