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Information · Privacy Policy

SECTION A. — Introduction

Thank you for visiting a Washington State Patrol Web site. This Privacy Notice addresses collection, use, security, and access to information that may be obtained through use of a Washington State Patrol Web site. It also describes several state and federal laws that apply to personally identifiable information (PII) that you might provide in the course of navigating this site. Sections are listed to the right for quick navigation.

SECTION B. — Information Collected and How it is Used

Browsing Information Collected:

When you browse this website, we may gather and store certain information about your visit. We automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:

  1. The Internet domain and network address you use to access our site;
  2. The type of web browser and operating system you are using;
  3. The date and time of your visit;
  4. The pages you visit on this website;
  5. The last website you visited before coming to ours; and
  6. Other web traffic statistics such as Google Analytics or Piwik Analytics.

The information is used by this agency to improve the content of our web services and to help us understand how people are using our services.

SECTION C. — Personal Information and Choice

You may choose whether to provide personal information on-line.

"Personal information" is information about a natural person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things as an individual's name, address, and phone number, but does not include the user's domain name or IP address.

We collect no personal information about you unless you voluntarily provide it by sending us e-mail, participating in a survey, or completing an on-line form. You may choose not to contact us by e-mail, participate in a survey, or provide any personal information using an on-line form. Your choice to not participate in these activities will not impair your ability to browse this web site and read or download any information provided on the site.

Volunteered Information Collected:

If during your visit to our website you participate in a survey, send us an email, or perform some other transaction online, the following additional information may be collected:

  1. Your email address and contents of the email.
  2. Information volunteered in response to a survey.
  3. Information volunteered through an online form for any other purpose.

The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats you send us. We will not usually ask for, or collect, this kind of information from the general public through this web site. Emails you send to us may be used to respond to issues and to further improve our services. We may forward your email to another agency or a vendor for appropriate action.

The records retention schedules published by the State Archives requires us to keep this information only so long as it is useful, and then destroy it; these schedules change from time to time.

Our Washington Access to Criminal History (WATCH) service requires further personal information for security and payment purposes. You must provide personal information to use the WATCH service. The information enables an account and/or payment. If you choose not to provide this information, we will be unable to provide criminal history information, and you will have to request the criminal history information in person or by mail with payment made by check.

If personal information is requested on the web site or volunteered by the user, state law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, this information is a public record and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by federal or state law.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (link is external) (COPPA) governs information gathering online from or about children under the age of 13. We are especially concerned about protecting children's privacy. Under COPPA, a web site must get parental permission before collecting personally identifiable information about a child under the age of 13.

SECTION D. — Public Access to Information

In the State of Washington, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs including the privacy of individuals. Exceptions are provided by both state and federal laws.

As a public agency, all our information is governed by laws such as Washington's Public Records Act RCW 42.56 (link is external). Information you send us may become a public record, and it may be subject to public inspection and copying if not otherwise protected by federal or state law.

Information collected through use of this site may be public information and subject to inspection and copying by members of the public. For example, the Public Records Act states that:

Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying all public records, unless the record falls within the specific exemptions of subsection (6) of this section [RCW 42.56.070(6) (link is external)], Chapter 42.56 RCW (link is external), or other statute which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records.

To the extent required to prevent an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy interests protected by Chapter 42.56 RCW (link is external), an agency shall delete identifying details in a manner consistent with Chapter 42.56 RCW (link is external) when it makes available or publishes any public record; however, in each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.

In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Policy and the Public Records Act or other law governing the agency's disclosure of records, the Public Records Act or other applicable law will control.

RCW 42.56.050 and RCW 42.56.210 prevent state agencies from disclosing personal/private information about you.

SECTION E. — Your Right to Review and Correct Personally Identifiable Information

State law requires agencies that collect personally identifiable information to provide "procedures for correcting inaccurate information, including establishing mechanisms for individuals to review information about them and recommend changes in information they believe to be inaccurate." (RCW 43.105.365 (link is external))

You can access any personally identifiable information we collect about you by using the information in the Contact Information section at the end of this Policy. We will do our best to correct factual errors in your personally identifiable information if you send us a written request that clearly shows the error. We will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections.

SECTION F. — Credit Card Transactions

For certain transactions, a credit or debit card number may be required for payment. The number is validated and discarded by State Patrol systems. It is not retained in any Washington State Patrol data base. A transaction number is kept for historical purposes.

Credit and debit card numbers, electronic check numbers, card expiration dates, and other financial account numbers are exempt from public disclosure under RCW 42.56.230 and RCW 42.56.270.

SECTION G. — Cookies

To better serve our users, we use a variety of indicators to customize your browsing experience with this website, including "cookies." If you use your browser settings opt to block all cookies in the settings to your web browser (including essential cookies), this could affect the availability and functionality of this website. We only have control over indicators we provide and not over third party tools or other technologies deployed on this website that may be created by using embedded third party applications.

Cookies created on your computer by using this web site do not contain personally identifying information and do not compromise your privacy or security. We use the cookie feature only to store a randomly generated identifying tag on your computer.

Most browser software can notify you before a web site places a cookie on your computer. Some browsers will permit you to block the creation of cookie files altogether or provide the option of individually accepting or rejecting a cookie request. You may also want to periodically check and delete cookie files in the manner suitable for the browser you are using. Instructions to enable these features may be found in your browser's Help menu.

SECTION H. — Security

This Agency has taken steps to safeguard the integrity of its data and prevent unauthorized access to information maintained by us. These measures are designed and intended to prevent corruption of data, block unknown or unauthorized access to our systems and information, and to provide reasonable protection of information in our possession.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof the security of information provided via State Patrol web sites.

SECTION I. — Disclaimer

Our web site contains links to other web sites. These include links to web sites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses, including but not limited to the websites of our vendors. When you follow a link to another site, you are no longer on our web site and this Privacy Policy will not apply-- you will be subject to the privacy policy of that new site.

Reference in this Web site to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the State of Washington, this agency, or its officers, employees or agents.

We reserve the right to revise and update this Privacy Policy at any time without notice by posting the revision on our site.

This site contains text, artwork, photos or other content that is copyrighted by others and is being used with permission of the copyright holder. Therefore, we recommend that you contact our Webmaster (link sends e-mail) for permission to use any content contained on this site.

SECTION J. — Glossary

A network address is assigned to your computer or mobile device whenever you are using the Internet. Network addresses can be IP address like this: or like this: fc00:0:0:0:0:0:0:0:/7 or Ethernet addresses like this 00:00:00:FF:EE:11.

Cookies are small data files stored on your hard drive or in your device memory when you visit a website. Cookies and similar technologies are widely used by websites to make them work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the website operator about how users are using their website. Most browsers allow you to block cookies by adjusting the "settings," "preferences" or "internet options."

To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, please refer to your browser 'help' section, visit the Federal Trade Commission's explanation on its website (link is external), or the Washington State privacy resources at

SECTION K. — Washington State Patrol Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns about the accuracy of your personal information or that it is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, please contact the following:

For questions about criminal history records data (WATCH), contact:

For all other questions concerning this site and privacy notice, contact:

Mailing address:

Administrative Services
Washington State Patrol
PO Box 42600
Olympia WA 98504-2600

For other contact information, please see our Agency Directory

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Section Links

A - Introduction
B - Information Collected
C - Personal Information
D - Public Access
E - Access to Your Personal Information
F - Credit Cards
G - Cookies
H - Security
I - Disclaimer
J - Glossary
K - Contact Information