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Crime & Safety · Request a State Criminal History Record (Background Check)

The WSP Criminal History Section (CHS) maintains the complete and accurate criminal history record information (CHRI) of the statewide criminal records repository as well as Washington State records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On this page you will find the following resources:

Who can request a Criminal History Record (Background Check)?
How to obtain a Criminal History Record (Background Check)
Criminal History Request Statutes
Criminal Records Privacy Act
Child & Adult Abuse Information Act
Contact Information

Who can Request Criminal History Records (Background Check)?


Certified criminal justice agencies may request and receive unrestricted criminal history record information (CHRI) from the WSP Identification and Criminal History Section for criminal justice purposes.

The public may request and receive CHRI for non-criminal justice purposes, but it is limited to conviction information only.


Obtaining a State Criminal History (Background Check)


Conviction criminal history record information (CHRI) is defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 10.97.030, and it relates to an incident that has led to a conviction or other disposition adverse to the subject. In addition to the conviction CHRI, non-criminal justice requestors (the public) may receive a record showing pending arrest offenses under one year old without a disposition, and if the subject is a registered sex/kidnapping offender.

You can obtain criminal histories from the State Patrol in two ways:

Online

You may run a background check and receive the results immediately by going online and using WATCH (Washington Access To Criminal History). This feature requires either a credit card, or a pre-established billed or non-profit account.

NOTE: If you cannot access WATCH please review the instructions for checking and updating to 128-bit encryption.

PDF Form

You may make a request for conviction CHRI by submitting a completed Request for Conviction Criminal HistoryAdobe PDF file form, along with applicable fees to the Identification and Criminal History Section:

If applying for a billed or non-profit account, print and fill out the application packet and submit by mail, fax or e-mail. All forms are available in the WATCH forms directory.

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Criminal History Request Statutes


Depending on the purpose, the Identification and Criminal History Section responds to public inquiries under two different statutes.

The results for either check are the same. Both include all convictions, information on pending arrests less than one year old, and kidnapper/sex offender information.

Criminal Records Privacy Act (RCW 10.97)

Under the Criminal Records Privacy Act, conviction criminal history record information (CHRI) may be made public to anyone without restriction and without the consent of the subject of the record. The requestor must either:

Instructions for completing a Request for Conviction Criminal History Record PDF form (3000-240-569):

  • Part A: Print or type applicant’s full name, all alias names (including birth and married names) and date of birth. The applicant’s sex and race are optional.

  • Part B: Print or type date, requestor’s name and title, telephone number, and requestor’s business, organization, or agency name and address. If you would like to receive results electronically check the box provided, print or type your email address and submit a password. Be sure requestor signs name on the appropriate line.

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Child and Adult Abuse Information Act (RCW 43.43.8321 or 43.43.830)

Under the Child and Adult Abuse Information Act, requests for CHRI are available at no charge to non-profit businesses or organizations licensed in the state of Washington; any agency of the state; or other governmental entities that educate, train, treat, supervise, house, or provide recreation to developmentally disabled persons, vulnerable adults, or children under 16 years of age. Background checks may also be requested by a business or organization that qualifies for exemption under section 501 (c)(3) of the internal revenue code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. Sec. 501 (c)(3) and that provides emergency shelter or transitional housing for children, persons with developmental disabilities, or vulnerable adults.

These background checks are for initial employment or engagement decisions only, or for volunteers working with vulnerable adults and/or children. The requesting agency must get permission from the subject and notify them of the Section’s response.

Create Online WATCH Account

Once the WATCH account is set up the requestor will run the applicant using the on-line account.


Instructions for completing the Request for Criminal History Information Child/Adult Abuse Information Act Form (3000-240-430)

  • Part A: Print or type the complete name and address of the requesting business, organization, or agency, title of requestor, telephone number and date. An authorized signature is required on the line provided.

  • Part B: Check the box that applies. If you would like to receive results electronically check the box provided, print or type your email address and submit a password.

  • Part C: Print or type applicant’s full name, all alias names (including birth and married names) and date of birth. The applicant’s sex and race are optional.

  • Part D: Print or type the name of the requesting agency, business, or organization and the applicant's name and address. Be sure to get the required applicant signature on the line provided.

Request Fees (all fees are non-refundable)

Name and date of birth (via mail, fax or e-mail):

$17

Name and date of birth (via online system, WATCH):

$10

Notarized letter:

$10/each

Fingerprint card (mail):

$26

Mailed requests must include a check or money order made payable to the Washington State Patrol. Personal and/or business checks are accepted. Fees may be paid using a Bankcard Authorization FormAdobe PDF file. This form may be filled out and mailed, faxed or emailed along with the request.

There is no fee for Washington state organizations that qualify as a non-profit.

Request Responses: Timeline & What to Expect

WATCH (Online): Immediate
Mailed/faxed/e-mailed: 7-14 business days

If a record exists, a copy of the record will be attached to the returned form. It will include a state of Washington record of convictions, any pending crimes against persons less than one year old, and sex offender and kidnapper registration information. If our search reveals that no CHRI exists, a no record result will be provided.

Dissemination Notice

Secondary dissemination of the CHRI is prohibited, unless in compliance with RCW 10.97.050.

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Contact Information


Phone:

(360) 534-2000 and press option 2

Fax:

(360) 534-2073

Email:

watch.help@wsp.wa.gov

Mail:

Washington State Patrol
Identification and Criminal History Section
PO Box 42633
Olympia WA 98504-2633

 


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