Crime & Safety · Updating An Existing Criminal History Record
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:
Updating Existing Criminal History Record Information
Updating Existing Criminal History Record Information (CHRI)
Court orders processed within the Criminal History Section (CHS) include juvenile seals, juvenile destroys, vacates, deletions, dismissals, certificates of discharge, and restorations of firearm rights. Below, you will find short descriptions and links to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) website for further information.
Copies of court orders may be provided to the CHS to update criminal history records by fax, electronic mail, or regular mail. Please see our contact information below.
The CHS cannot provide you with legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney.
Dismissal: RCW 10.97.030 (4)
A decision not to prosecute, a dismissal, or acquittal, except when the acquittal is due to a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity.
This information is considered non-conviction and is not disseminated to the public. However, this information will remain available for law enforcement inquiries for the maximum state record retention period. This information may only be deleted pursuant to RCW 10.97.060 or upon an order from the court of jurisdiction.
A dismissal entered after a period of probation, suspension, or deferral of sentence shall be considered adverse to the subject and will remain a “guilty” with an update of “dismissed.”
When a conviction is vacated the “guilty” status is replaced with a status of “vacated,” and is no longer disseminated to the public.
This information will remain available for law enforcement inquiries for the maximum state record retention period. Orders to vacate conviction records must be initiated by the court of jurisdiction.
Please note the FBI disseminates ALL CHRI upon a fingerprint based record check, including incidents with a status of “vacated.”
Seal or Destroy (juvenile records): RCW 13.50.050, RCW 13.40.127
When a juvenile case is sealed, any documents related to the arrest incident and disposition named in the order are sealed from public view. These documents are retained by the section in the event the juvenile has a subsequent conviction that unseals the record.
When a juvenile case is destroyed, any documents related to the arrest incident and disposition named in the order are physically destroyed and cannot be placed back into the state record at a later date.
Orders to seal or destroy juvenile records must be initiated by the court of jurisdiction.
Expungement/Deletion of Non-Conviction Information: RCW 10.97.060
Non-conviction information may be deleted upon request of the subject of the record under provisions stated by RCW 10.97.060.
To request an expungement/deletion, download and complete the Washington State Patrol's Request for Expungement/Deletion of Non-Conviction Records form, and mail it to the Criminal History Section. Processing time may vary from 14-28 days. You will be notified of any action taken by the WSP on the request.
Restoration of Firearm Rights: RCW 9.41.040 (4)
Restores the individual’s right to possess a firearm for the specific charge(s) stated in the order and/or the petition within the state of Washington.
When the Criminal History Section (CHS) receives an order restoring firearm rights, a notation to the corresponding case information is made which notes the date of judge’s signature, right to possess a firearm is restored, and the RCW specified in the order. The FBI record is also updated at this time.
Restoration orders must be obtained by the court of jurisdiction or another Washington State superior court under a civil case number. For information on obtaining a court order, please see "A Guide to Sealing and Destroying Court Records, and Deleting Criminal History Records" located at the Administrative Office of the Courts website, or contact the court of jurisdiction.
Please note the Washington State Patrol Identification and Criminal History Section does not determine your right to purchase or possess a firearm. For information on firearm purchase checks, please contact the FBI’s NICS department toll free at (877) 324-6427.
Non-Conviction Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) Review
The subject of the Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) record has two options to review his/her complete record. Both options allow the subject to challenge or request a modification to their record if they believe it has incorrect information. The fingerprinting agency may, at its option, charge a fee for their service.
The first option allows the subject of the record to keep a copy of his/her non-conviction CHRI, meant for personal use. The fee is $10.00.
Submit a request for a copy of your non-conviction CHRI, a completed record review/challenge fingerprint card, and $10.00 to the Washington State Patrol at:
Washington State Patrol
A copy of your non-conviction CHRI will be returned to the address on the completed fingerprint card.
With the second option, the subject of the record may view their record, but is not allowed to make a copy or reproduce their non-conviction CHRI in any way. There is no charge for this option.
Complete a record review/challenge fingerprint card and submit it to a local law enforcement agency (LEA), the jail or prison facility (if incarcerated), or to the WSP office in Olympia. You will then be able to review your non-conviction criminal history (either sent to the LEA, jail or prison or in office immediately in Olympia) for no longer than 30 minutes.
Modifications/Challenges of Criminal History Record Information
An individual may request modifications to or challenges of their Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) by submitting the Request for Modification of Record form. If the challenge is found to be substantiated, modification to the CHRI will be performed by the Criminal History Section (CHS). Updated information may be provided to persons or agencies who received the person’s CHRI prior to the update.
Review of Refusals to Modify Criminal History Record Information
A person who is the subject of a criminal record, and who disagrees with the refusal to modify a record by the Identification and Criminal History Section (CHS), may request a review of the refusal within twenty business days of the date of receipt of such refusal.
The request for review must be in writing, and must be made by completing the Request for Review of Refusal to Modify Record form.
If review is requested in the time allowed, the WSP Chief must complete the review within thirty days and make a final determination of the challenge. The WSP Chief may extend the thirty day period for an additional period not to exceed thirty business days. If the WSP Chief determines that the challenge should not be allowed, you will receive the reason in a written response. Denial by the WSP Chief will constitute a final decision under RCW 34.04.130.
Criminal Identity Theft & Compromised Identity Claims (CIC)
Criminal Identity Theft occurs when an individual gives another person’s name and date of birth as their own at the time of their arrest. When the arrest is submitted to the Washington State Identification System (WASIS) by a law enforcement agency, the victim’s name and date of birth become a permanent part of that thief’s CHRI.
At that time the victim’s identity is considered compromised and may become a problem for victims when potential employers, volunteer coordinators, or others conduct a name and date of birth background check. Individuals who have common names may also suffer from compromised identity if another person with a similar name and date of birth has a criminal history record on file.
The Compromised Identity Claim (CIC) program assists victims of compromised identity theft in the following ways:
Processing a Compromised Identity Claim (CIC)
Download the Compromised Identity Claim (CIC) form to take to your local law enforcement agency.
Please be sure to read the instructions thoroughly before completing the CIC form. The agency may charge a fingerprinting fee for their service. The agency will then mail ALL information in to the CHS, along with your photo and fee. If the packet is missing the required fee, signed CIC form, fingerprint card, or was not sent in by a law enforcement agency, it will be returned to you.
Compromised Identity Claim (CIC) Resources:
Requesting Assistance with Reading/Understanding the Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) in Background checks
Information on a state Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) from a background check can be confusing at times, and we are here to help.
Washington State Patrol (WSP) Background Check CHRI Questions
If you have received a background check from the WSP, we may be able to assist you in clarifying the information contained in the CHRI. We cannot answer any questions on the particulars of a court case -- only the court of jurisdiction may do this. However, we are able to assist with navigating the “RAPsheet,” and defining common terms associated with arrests and dispositions.
If you need assistance with a Washington State CHRI, please contact the CHS Unit.
Non-WSP Background Check CHRI Questions
If you have received a background check through a company other than the WSP, you must contact that company for assistance on the information returned to you.
Please note that some of the documents provided on this page are available in Adobe® PDF format only and will require the Adobe® Reader in order to view or print them from your Web browser.