Texas DPS Rapid DNA Analysis

November 21, 2022

1. What is Rapid DNA or Rapid DNA Analysis?

Rapid DNA, or Rapid DNA analysis, is a term used to describe the fully automated process of developing a DNA profile from a known reference sample or a crime scene sample in 1-2 hours without the need for a DNA laboratory and without any human interpretation.

2. What is Modified Rapid DNA Analysis

Modified Rapid DNA analysis is a fully automated process of developing a DNA profile from a known reference sample or a crime scene sample, but it requires human interpretation and technical review in an accredited forensic DNA laboratory.

3. What are some possible uses for Rapid DNA analysis?

This technology has the potential to be used to analyze DNA samples at booking stations, to assist with Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) and to assist investigators with missing persons/unidentified human remains cases. In the future, this technology could be approved for crime scene samples for enrollment and searching in CODIS.

4. Are there additional quality assurance and legal requirements for the use of Rapid DNA instruments/systems?

In the State of Texas, all DNA analysis must be completed in a manner consistent with State statute.

5. Are there any Rapid DNA systems approved for use in Texas at a booking station?

There are currently two instruments approved for use by the FBI; however, Texas statute does not yet allow for the use of Rapid DNA Systems in a booking environment.

Rapid DNA at a Glance

6. Can a Rapid DNA instrument/system be used to develop DNA profiles from crime scene (forensic) samples for upload to CODIS and NDIS?

Currently Rapid DNA is not approved for use on crime scene samples for uploading and/or searching in CODIS. Crime scene samples often contain mixtures of DNA from more than one individual, may be of poor quality, or not contain enough DNA which would require interpretation by a trained scientist. This is why all crime scene samples must be processed by an accredited forensic DNA Laboratory that follows the FBI Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories to be eligible for entry into CODIS.


7. Is there an expected implementation date for the use of Rapid DNA technology in booking environments by law enforcement agencies in Texas?

No. As a consequence of the need for legislative changes and necessary enhancements to the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, it is difficult to estimate when law enforcement agencies in Texas will be able to search profiles developed by a Rapid DNA system in CODIS from a booking facility.

Once Rapid DNA testing in a booking environment is available in Texas, agencies wishing to participate will be required to follow the current standards and operational procedures approved by the FBI.

8. Is there an expected implementation date for the use of Rapid DNA technology for crime scene evidence by accredited laboratories or law enforcement agencies in Texas?

No. Enhancements to the Rapid DNA technology are needed to bring the technology into compliance with the FBI Quality Assurance Standards (QAS) for Forensic DNA Testing. Texas also needs changes to legislation and IT infrastructure.

9. What is DNA Index of Special Concern (DISC)?

The DISC is a collection of DNA profiles from unsolved cases (homicides, sexual assaults, kidnapping and terrorism cases) specifically identified by NDIS participating laboratories that will be searched immediately every time an arrestee sample is successfully processed in a Rapid DNA device located in a booking station. If a match is made in DISC to an unsolved crime scene sample, this will enable law enforcement to detain these individuals during the booking process. DISC profiles are searched against the state and national CODIS databases.

10. How can a law enforcement agency request that their CODIS eligible DNA profiles be added to the DNA Index of Special Concern (DISC)?

Agencies wishing to add their unsolved homicide, rape/sexual assault, kidnapping and terrorism DNA records to this index should contact their local forensic laboratory that worked the evidence. If an agency is submitting new evidence, this request can be made at the time of submission. For Texas DPS Crime Lab submissions, the Rapid DNA/Crimes of Special Concern Form (LAB-214) Word | PDF must be completed in order to meet FBI requirements for entering DNA profiles into the DNA Index of Special Concern and enabling them to be searched using Rapid DNA technology.

11. Can a law enforcement agency use a Rapid DNA instrument to develop DNA profiles from crime scene (forensic) samples for investigative purposes?

Yes, an agency can use a Rapid DNA instrument to develop profiles from crime scene evidence outside of an accredited laboratory. However, DNA results from crime scene evidence obtained from a Rapid DNA instrument are not eligible for entry and searching in the CODIS Database at this time.

Additionally, once approval for CODIS searching of Rapid DNA profiles from crime scene evidence is granted, eligibility would not be retroactive, meaning any profiles developed prior to approval would still not be CODIS eligible. By federal rule, law enforcement agencies cannot have access to the state SDIS database. Any database created by a local agency solely from profiles developed using Rapid DNA would have reduced impact due to its small size and slow growth. In addition, there may be admissibility concerns for results obtained with Rapid DNA instruments at this time.

Things to consider when purchasing a Rapid Instrument:

  • Cost: Rapid DNA testing is much more expensive than traditional DNA testing offered to you by Texas accredited forensic laboratories.
  • A law enforcement agency wishing to use a Rapid DNA instrument for both booking and crime scene evidence will not be able to use the same instrument. Multiple instruments with different requirements will be needed.
  • Sample size: Rapid DNA instruments require a much larger sample than traditional DNA testing provided by your local accredited DNA laboratory. Touch DNA samples are not routinely successful and are unsuitable for Rapid DNA testing.
  • Mixtures: The instruments are also not meant for testing mixtures. An example of a suitable testing item would be a blood drop at the point of entry in a burglary.
  • Two swab method: It is recommended that two swabs be collected from evidentiary items – Swab A to be sent to your local crime laboratory, Swab B to test using the Rapid instrument. The purpose of the Two Swab method is to ensure that enough sample remains for traditional testing in the event the Rapid DNA instrument does not produce a suitable test result.
  • Space availability: A law enforcement facility must provide a secure location for the instrument and the consumables. The cartridges used are large and some require refrigeration.


For More Information

You may contact the Texas Department of Public Safety regarding the use of Rapid DNA in the State of Texas at:


You may contact the FBI directly regarding Rapid DNA at:


For more information about Rapid DNA, please see the link below: