Criminal Records




Want Instant Access? 


Obtain Criminal Records



Obtaining Your Criminal Records From the FBI in 5 Easy Steps


According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 70 million people in this country have criminal records of some form. Background checks done by the majority of employers of applicants for jobs can result in an otherwise qualified individual being denied employment because of a criminal record.

You might believe that a conviction was expunged, but it could turn up in a criminal records search. The problem is that mistakes occur when background checks are performed, and the situations under which they are required have increased. For example, some common situations in which a background check might be required include:

  • Applications for employment
  • Applying for admission to college
  • Joining the military
  • Obtaining a security clearance
  • Purchasing a firearm

Obtaining your criminal records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to check them for accuracy is a simple procedure that involves only five steps.

Step One: Obtain an application at the FBI website

You cannot request a copy of the criminal records of someone other than yourself. At the FBI website, print a copy of the application form and fill it out completely.

Step Two: Print and complete the fingerprint card

FBI criminal records are filed according to a person's fingerprints. As part of the application process to obtain a copy of your criminal history, you must take the blank fingerprint card that you can print from the FBI website, and take it to a police or sheriff's department to have them take your fingerprints and fill out the card for you.

Step Three: Payment of the $18 fee

The application and fingerprint card must be accompanied with payment of the $18 processing fee. Cash and personal or business checks are not accepted as payment. You can send a money order or a certified check payable to the "Treasury of the United States" along with the completed application package. Payment is also accepted by credit card, but you must provide the credit card information on the credit card payment form available on the website.

Step 4: Mail the completed application package

Before mailing your application, fingerprints and acceptable form of payment to the FBI, you should review the checklist available on the agency's website to make certain everything has been filled out completely and that the package contains everything needed. At that point, you should mail the package to the FBI at the address provided in the introductory letter you should print as part of the package.

Step 5: Wait and review

It can take up to 14 weeks or longer to process your request for criminal records. There are private companies that work as "FBI-approved Channelers" that process the applications and fingerprints as expeditors. These companies charge fees in addition to the $18 processing fee charged by the FBI, but they might be able to get your application processed quicker than an application submitted directly to the agency.

Once you receive the identity history report that includes your criminal records revealed by your fingerprints, review it carefully to determine if there are any errors or mistakes. The FBI website contains information about the procedures for challenging the results of you criminal records search.

Click here to check other public record resources for Background Check information.


Home - Background Check Resources
All Rights Reserved Copyright 2005 2006  Identity Theft is an affiliate site that recommends legal means of public records research only.