Electronic Biometric Transmission Specification

The FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division is moving toward a system that will contain a complete biometric and biographic profile of the subject records in its databases. Although fingerprints will continue to be the FBI's primary mode of identification for the near future, the scope of the EBTS has been expanded over previous versions to include additional biometric modalities (e.g., palm print, facial, and iris) in recognition of the rapidly developing biometric identification industry. The American National Standards Institute /National Institute of Standards and Technology-Information Technology Laboratory 1-2011 standard (ANSI/NIST-ITL 1-2011) includes new record types to facilitate data sharing of new biometric modalities. Implementers should be aware that NIST has published an Errata for ITL 1-2011, correcting some errors in the Type-9 record. Integrating biometric data in accordance with the ANSI/NIST standard and subsequent Errata, the FBI EBTS provides a description of all requests and responses associated with electronic fingerprint and other biometric identification services.

The process of updating an FBI implementation of the ANSI/NIST-ITL 1-2011 standard involves many considerations as well as iterations of reviews and approvals. The EBTS is governed by the Advisory Policy Board (APB) process. Specifically, the Identification Services Subcommittee, Identification Services Coordination Group (ISCG), reviews drafts of the EBTS. This group provides comments, ranging from very specific to broad, to enhance the standard and provide opportunities for user feedback. The approval process takes into account the impact on legacy users, system contributors, and interoperability stakeholders, particularly when adding new information and changing functionalities. Changes to the EBTS require close coordination with users to articulate effects on programming, costs, business objectives, and other factors that need to be projected and reconciled accordingly.

EBTS v11.0 introduces the NGI Iris Service in Appendix S: Descriptors and Field Edit Specifications for Type-17 Logical Records. Future updates to EBTS 11.0 will be completed through Technical and Operational Updates (TOUs) and will be fully incorporated directly into the EBTS, with previous versions moved into the archive. In addition, a redline excerpt of the changes associated with the most recent TOU are provided for quick reference. Changes to the document are either deletions or insertions. Both are identified in red text and/or strikethrough font. All comments to this standard may be submitted via this website.

EBTS Version 11.1 Redlines — November 17, 2022

EBTS Version 11.1 Final — November 17, 2022

EBTS version 11.1 XML - Final — January 27, 2023

The following EBTS XML IEPD v11.1 contains changes necessary for NGI Increment 4 XML Schema for Web Services. All comments to this version may be submitted via this website by using the 'Comment' button at the top right of this window.

EBTS Compliance Tool Suite v4.0

The EBTS Compliance Tool Suite (ECTS) provides users with capabilities to prepare and validate EBTS transactions. There are three tools in the suite:

  1. The EBTS Reference Tool provides users with the ability to display selected information from the EBTS specification
  2. The EBTS Transaction Tool provides users with the ability to validate EBTS transactions
  3. The EBTS Conversion Tool provides users the ability to convert transactions between traditional encoding and XML

The tools support the following EBTS versions:

  • 9.3
  • 10.0.8 (includes EBTS TOU #1-8)
  • 10.0.9 (includes EBTS TOU #1-9)
  • 11.0

Traditional encoding is supported for all EBTS versions. Extensible Markup Language (XML) is supported for EBTS versions 9.3 and above.

* Please Note:

  • ECTS supports Java 8. Please ensure that you have Java 8 installed on your computer. Use the following links to:
  • ECTS may run on any system that supports Java 8, including Windows and Linux

Open EBTS Compliance Tool Suite

For help with ECTS, reference the following:

ECTS Help File

  1. To use the tool, click the "Open EBTS Compliance Tool Suite" button above.
  2. When running ECTS, users will see several security notifications. The user must accept these notifications to run the application.
  3. Select Open or Save (Firefox), Save (IE), or Keep (Google Chrome) in the pop-up that appears and follow the instructions to save/open ECTS.
  4. If you saved the application, open "Windows" or "File Explorer" (file management application in Windows). Navigate to the download location of the ECTS.BAT file and double click on it to open.Windows/File Explorer can be found by clicking on the windows start button and typing "Windows Explorer" or "File Explorer" in the Search Programs and Files text box.
    Each type of Web Browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) has a setting for the download location. Refer to that setting to determine the download location of the startup program.
  5. Read and accept the disclaimer
  6. Continue using the tools.

These tools run as Java applications on your computer. In this way, no information regarding your transaction(s), including Personally Identifiable Information (PII), leaves your computer.

EBTS Working Group

To contact the FBI EBTS Working Group to request items to be placed on monthly meeting agenda, items and recommendations for future changes along with requesting new values for current tables in the EBTS and new allocations of Type-2 fields.