When one or more amputations appear upon a fingerprint card, it may be
filed separately from those having no amputations in order to
facilitate searching. It is to be noted that before it may be filed in
the amputation group, the card must contain a definite and unequivocal
statement or marking by the contributor to the effect that a certain
finger or fingers have been amputated or were missing at birth. This
prevents the appearance on later cards of impressions of fingers
thought to have been amputated but which in reality were merely
injured and bandaged when previous prints were submitted.
If one finger is amputated, it is given a classification identical
with that of the opposite finger, including pattern and ridge count,
or tracing, and referenced to every other possible classification.
If two or more fingers are amputated, they are given classifications
identical with the fingers opposite, with no additional references.
If two amputated fingers are opposite each other, both are given the
classification of whorls with meeting tracings.
When a fingerprint card bearing a notation of fingers missing at birth
is classified, the missing fingers should be treated as amputations in
that they are given the identical classifications of the opposite
fingers and are filed in the amputation group. As these fingers are
missing from a prenatal cause, they would have always received the
identical classification of the opposite finger on any previous
If all 10 fingers are amputated or missing at birth, the
classification will be
M 32 W MMM.
M 32 W MMM
If both hands are amputated or missing at birth, the footprints should
be taken as they, too, bear friction ridges with definite patterns. A
footprint file is maintained by the FBI for identification purposes in
instances where the subject has all fingers amputated or missing at
Partially amputated fingers often present very complex problems and
careful consideration should be given to them. The question often
arises as to the appropriate groups in which they should be filed,
i.e., amputations or nonamputations. As no definite rule may be
applied, it is a matter of experience and judgment as to their
In those instances in which a partially amputated finger has half or
more than half of the pattern area missing, it is given the
classification of the opposite finger. It will be filed in the
amputation group under the classification of the opposite finger and
reference searches should be conducted in all possible classifications
in the nonamputation groups. If two or more of the fingers are
amputated in this manner, they are given the classification of the
opposite fingers only and are governed by the rules concerning
Generally, a tip amputation, or one which has less than half of the
first joint amputated, will always be printed in the future.
Therefore, a partially amputated finger with less than half of the
pattern area missing is classified as it appears and is referenced to
the opposite finger. It will be filed in the nonamputation group and
reference searches should be conducted under the classification of the
opposite finger, and in the amputation group. It must be referenced
this way even though it never could have originally had the
classification of the opposite finger.