Fingerprint with your stamps?

The police are set to hand over a clunky and time intensive finger printing service provided to the public for visa and job applications to NZ Post.

Until now people needing to supply fingerprints had to have their hands inked at a police station but that is set to change with a three month trial in the Auckland area, which will be rolled out nationally if successful.

The trial, which starts tomorrow, will see participating NZ Post stores offer a electronic "capture and copy" system, police forensic services national manager Inspector John Walker said.

Walker said nationally police staff spent about 10,000 hours a year fingerprinting members of the public. Handing the fingerprinting over to post shops would free up valuable staff time.

"Whilst the current service is time consuming, fully manual, and involves inking applicants' hands, NZ Post will provide a cleaner, faster electronic capture and copy system,"  he said.

There will be a charge for the service.

The participating post shops are: Wellesley St (Auckland City), North Harbour, and Manukau. Outside of the Auckland area, this fingerprinting service will still be available from police stations.

An exception will be for South African nationals - the South African High Commission has requested that all South Africans requiring their fingerprints taken to contact the South African High Commission in Wellington.