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FBI Criminal Records Checks Information

Updated 01/2017
Current processing time is 13-15 weeks. Allow additional time for mail delivery. An Identity History Summary—often referred to as a criminal history record or a “rap sheet”—is a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions kept by the FBI and related to arrests and, in some instances, federal employment, naturalization, or military service. If the fingerprint submissions are related to an arrest, the Identity History Summary includes the name of the agency that submitted the fingerprints to the FBI, the date of the arrest, the arrest charge, and the disposition of the arrest, if known. All arrest information included in an Identity History Summary is obtained from fingerprint submissions, disposition reports, and other information submitted by authorized criminal justice agencies. The U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73, also known as Departmental Order, establishes rules and regulations for you to obtain a copy of your Identity History Summary for review or proof that one does not exist.

Pre-Employment Civil Records Check

Only you may request a copy of your own Identity History Summary (or proof that one does not exist). You would typically make this request for personal review, to challenge information on record, to meet a requirement for adopting a child, or to meet a requirement to live, work, or travel in a foreign county.
How to Submit a Request
The FBI offers two methods for requesting your Identity History Summary or proof that one does not exist.
Option 1: Submit your request directly to the FBI.
Option 2: Submit your request to an FBI-approved Channeler, which is a private business that has contracted with the FBI to submit your request on your behalf. Contact each Channeler for costs, processing times, and availability in your area.
Review some frequently asked questions or contact us at 304-625-5590 if you have questions regarding your Identity History Summary Check.
Background Checks for Employment or Licensing If you are requesting a background check for employment or licensing within the U.S., you may be required by state statute or federal law to submit your request through your state identification bureau, the requesting federal agency, or another authorized channeling agency. You should contact the agency requiring the background check or the appropriate state identification bureau (or state police) for the correct procedures to follow for obtaining an FBI fingerprint background check for employment or licensing purposes.
Federal Criminal Records Checks For an example of an applicant with a Federal criminal record but no state or county arrest record, Click Here. This record would not have been found without a check of the separately maintained Federal criminal records systems which contains about 10 per cent of all arrest records. This search is included in our criminal record “Smart Search Plus®”.

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