How to Check My Record for Criminal History to See If I Need an Expungement


Few things are less bracing than finding out you have criminal activity on your record you didn't even know was there. Expunge your record to wipe your slate clean, as if the crime never happened. Before you can do that, you must check your criminal history. There are a few ways to check your criminal history before you attempt to expunge the information from your record. Find out what's in your past so you can go into your future with nothing holding you back.

  • Call your local police department and ask where you can get a copy of the form to request a state criminal record check.

  • Obtain the form. Fill it out. You must sign it and give your consent before your record can be checked. Turn the form in at the police station and pay the fee.

  • Call every other state you've lived in or done business in and do the same. Criminal record checks are limited to the state that perform them.

  • Ask your local police department to take fingerprints for you. Police should take a rolled impression of each finger and one flat impression on the standard fingerprint form.

  • Check your federal criminal history. Download the Applicant Information form from the FBI. Include your personal and residential information along with a check for $18, the fee as of May 2011. Make the payment payable to the Treasurer of the United States.

  • Mail the original fingerprint card, the application and your payment to:

    FBI CJIS Division -- Record Request

    1000 Custer Hollow Road

    Clarksburg, WV 26306

    Your federal criminal background check will be mailed to the address you provided on the form.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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