Fingerprint matching has emerged as an effective tool for human recognition due to the uniqueness, universality and invariability of fingerprints. Many different approaches have been proposed in the literature to determine faithfully if two fingerprint images belong to the same person. Among them, minutiae-based matchers highlight as the most relevant techniques because of their discriminative capabilities, providing precise results. However, performing a fingerprint identification over a large database can be an inefficient task due to the lack of scalability and high computing times of fingerprint matching algorithms. In this paper, we propose a distributed framework for fingerprint matching to tackle large databases in a reasonable time. It provides a general scheme for any kind of matcher, so that its precision is preserved and its time of response can be reduced. To test the proposed system, we conduct an extensive study that involves both synthetic and captured fingerprint databases, which have different characteristics, analyzing the performance of three well-known minutiae-based matchers within the designed framework. With the available hardware resources, our distributed model is able to address up to 400 000 fingerprints in approximately half a second. Additional details are provided at http://sci2s.ugr.es/ParallelMatching.