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Criminal History

Criminal History Records, or background checks, consist of fingerprint-based records and disposition information submitted by law enforcement agencies and courts throughout Washington.

Request a Criminal
History Report

Online
You may run a background check and receive the results immediately by using WATCH (Washington Access to Criminal History)

By Mail
You may make a request for conviction Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) by submitting a completed Request for Conviction Criminal History form, along with applicable fees to the Identification and Background Check Section. See below for more info.

Resources & Questions

  • Who Can Request Criminal History Reports?

    Certified criminal justice agencies may request and receive unrestricted criminal history record information (CHRI) from the WSP Identification and Criminal History Records 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 and arrests less than one year old with dispositions pending, and information regarding registered sex/kidnapping offenders.

  • Obtaining a Background Check Online (WATCH)

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

    There is a $12.00 fee, payable by major credit card or debit card, and the response is returned immediately online.

    To request a verification of your WATCH RAPsheet by fingerprint, place the subject’s right thumbprint on the front lower right hand corner of the report and mail the form and a letter explaining your request to:

    Washington State Patrol, Identification and Background Check Section
    PO Box 42633, Olympia, WA 98504-2633

    There is no additional fee for the thumbprint comparison. A notarized letter can also be requested online for a $10.00 fee.

  • Obtaining a Background Check By Mail

    You may make a request for conviction CHRI by submitting a completed Request for Conviction Criminal History form, or a full set of fingerprints, along with applicable fees to the Identification and Background Check Section:

    Washington State Patrol, Identification and Background Check Section
    PO Box 42633, Olympia, WA 98504-2633

    Through the mail using a check or money order OR via fax or email using the Bankcard Authorization Form.

    A notarized letter can also be requested online for an additional $10.00 fee.

    To apply for a billed or non-profit account, print and fill out the application packet and submit by mail, fax or e-mail.

  • Obtain a Copy of your Non-Conviction CHRI

    To obtain a completed record review/challenge send a fingerprint card, and $12.00 to:

    Washington State Patrol, Identification and Background Check Section
    PO Box 42633, Olympia, WA 98504-2633

    A copy of your non-conviction CHRI will be returned to the address on the completed fingerprint card. This non-conviction information is for your personal use only.

  • Non-Conviction Record Review

    Visit the Washington State Patrol Criminal History Records Section and request a record review during normal business hours, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; closed from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday – Friday and all legal designated holidays. There is no fee for this service and you may inspect your complete CHRI, including non-conviction information for a reasonable period of time not to exceed thirty minutes. You will not be able to obtain this CHRI at any other WSP office. You will be required to provide fingerprints to establish a positive identification.

  • Inmate Record Review

    You may inspect your complete Washington State CHRI by having the correctional facility/jail where you are incarcerated submit a fingerprint card with the reason fingerprinted indicated as RECORD REVIEW/CHALLENGE. The Criminal History Records Section will then provide a copy of your transcript of record to the correctional facility/jail for your inspection. There is no fee for this request.

  • Updating Existing Criminal History Record Information

    Court orders processed within the Criminal History Section (Section) include juvenile seals, juvenile destroys, vacates, deletions, dismissals, certificates of discharge, and restorations of firearm rights. Copies of court orders may be provided to the Section to update criminal history records by fax, electronic mail, or regular mail.

    Dismissal: 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 criminal justice 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 “guilty” status with an update of “dismissed.”

    Vacate: 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 criminal justice 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 (Juvenile Records): When a juvenile case is sealed, any documents related to the arrest incident and disposition named in the order are sealed from public view. This information will remain available for criminal justice inquiries for the maximum state record retention period. Orders to seal juvenile records must be initiated by the court of jurisdiction.

    Destroy (Juvenile Records): 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 destroy juvenile records must be initiated by the court of jurisdiction.

    Expungement/Deletion of Non-Conviction Information: Non-conviction information may be deleted upon request of the subject of the record under provisions stated by RCW 10.97.060. Do I qualify for an expungement with WSP? (expungement checklist).

    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 Recrods Section.

    Restoration of Firearm Rights: 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 Recrods Section 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 Criminal History Records 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.

  • Modify/Challenge Your 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 Records Section. Updated information may be provided to persons or agencies who received the person’s CHRI prior to the update.

  • Compromised Identity Claim (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:

    • Provides the CIC claimant with a letter identifying the claimant’s state identification number (SID), and verifying that the claimant is not the same person as the other individual(s) in the database with similar name and date of birth descriptors.
    • Provides the CIC claimant with a wallet card bearing the claimant’s name, SID, photograph, and thumbprint.
    • A notation that a personal identification card has been submitted to the Identification and Background Check Section is disseminated on a background check.
    • Allows the person to create a personal identification record with the Identification and Background Check Section.

  • 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 Criminal History Records Section, 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.

  • Fingerprint Training Resources

    If you’re looking for fingerprinting resources, please see our Fingerprint Training Resources page.

  • Request Assistance Understanding Your Criminal History Records

    Information on a Washington state Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) from a background check can be confusing at times, and we are here to help. 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. The Criminal History Records Section 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 Record of Arrests and Prosecutions (RAPsheet) and defining common terms associated with arrests and dispositions. If you need help, feel free to give us a call.

    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.

  • ACCESS

    The ACCESS Section manages and operates the statewide law enforcement telecommunications system — A Central Computerized Enforcement Service System (ACCESS).

    To visit ACCESS, please click here.

  • FAQs

    What is the difference between a Conviction & Non-Conviction RAPsheet?
    Conviction RAPsheet = “Conviction” record means criminal history record information (CHRI) relating to an incident which has led to a conviction or other disposition adverse to the subject. There is no restriction on dissemination of conviction criminal history information. Non Conviction RAPsheet = “Non conviction data” consists of all criminal history record information (CHRI) relating to an incident which has not led to a conviction or other disposition adverse to the subject, and for which proceedings are no longer actively pending. Only criminal justice agencies are entitled to receive non-conviction information. RCW 10.97.030 and 10.97.050

    How do I delete non-conviction information?
    Criminal history record information (CHRI) that consists of non-conviction information only may be deleted from the Washington State Identification System (WASIS) pursuant to RCW 10.97.060. This request may be made by submitting the Request for Deletion/Expungement of Non-Conviction Records form to the Washington State Patrol Identification and Criminal History Section, ATTN: Criminal History Support Unit, PO Box 42633, Olympia WA 98504-2633. Please note that this process does not affect local records. Deletions apply to state and federal records only.

    How long does WSP retain criminal arrest information?
    Criminal history record information (CHRI) is retained in the Washington State Identification System (WASIS) until an individual reaches 99 years of age. Records that have met the retention are returned to the contributing agency. If the record contains multiple dates of birth, retention is based on the newest date of birth.

    How to order more fingerprint cards?
    The FBI-CJIS Division supplies fingerprint cards, free of charge, to those agencies issued an Originating Agency Identification Number (ORI). To order fingerprint cards, complete the CJIS Requisition Form 1-178a. This request can be completed by phone, fax, or electronically.

    Phone: FBI, Customer Service (304) 625-5590
    Fax: CJIS Division, Fingerprint Supply Center (304) 625-3984

    How are RAPsheet and Fingerprint Rolling Techniques classes scheduled throughout the state?
    Washington State is divided into eight training regions. Training is scheduled in each region at least once annually. Additional classes may be added to the calendar based on need and trainer availability. There is a class minimum of ten registered attendees.

  • Contact

    Phone
    (360) 534-2000

    Physical Address
    3000 Pacific Ave, Suite 202
    Olympia, WA 98501

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

    Hours of Operation
    Monday – Friday (except legal holidays)
    8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (closed from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.)