Automated Fingerprint Identification has a history of more than 20 years. In the last 5 years, there has been an explosion of technologies that have dramatically changed the face of AFIS. Few other engineering and science fields offer such a widespread use of technology as does computerized fingerprint recognition. Optics, computer vision, computer graphics, artificial intelligence, artificial neural networks, parallel processing, distributed client server applications, fault tolerant computing, scaleable architectures, local and wide area networking, mass storage, databases, are a few of the fields that have made quantum leaps in recent years. All of these improvements have a dramatic effect on the size, speed, and accuracy of automated fingerprint identification systems. ThIs paper offers a historical overview of these trends and discuss the state of the art. It culminates with an overview an educated forecast on future systems, especially those 'real time' systems for use in area of law enforcement and civil/commercial applications.