Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

FBI Rap Sheets: Frequently Asked Questions

FBI Rap Sheets: Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a FBI Rap Sheet?

• A FBI Identification Record is also known as a FBI rap sheet or criminal history record. The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintains FBI rap sheets.

It contains the name of the agency submitting the fingerprints to the FBI, the date of arrest, the arrest charge, and the disposition of the arrest.

• All arrest data is obtained from fingerprint submissions, disposition reports and other reports submitted by criminal justice agencies from all 50 states, as well as federal criminal justice agencies.

Who Can Request a Copy of My FBI Rap Sheet?

• An individual may request a copy of his/her own record for personal review or to challenge information on the record. A copy may also be requested to satisfy international adoption requirements or to live or work in a foreign country.

• The FBI is permitted to share a person’s FBI rap sheet with certain state and federal agencies for purposes of doing background checks for employment and licensing, as well as security clearances. If an arrest or conviction has been sealed, it should not be included on the FBI rap sheet. (See 42 U.S.C. § 14616.)

• If the subject of a FBI rap sheet wants the result to go to someone other than him/herself, a notorized third-party authorization form must be included with the request. (See United States Department of Justice Order 556-73.)

How Can I Request a Copy?

• Prepare a signed written request for a copy, including your complete mailing address.

• Get a set of fingerprints on standard fingerprint form, including all 10 rolled and four plain fingerprint impressions.

• Submit a money order or certified check payable to the “Treasury of the United States” in the amount of $18.

• Mail all of the above to FBI CJIS Division – Record Request, 1000 Custer Hollow Rd., Clarksburg, WV 26306. It ordinarily takes three to four weeks to process your request.

What Information Is Contained in My Record?

• The name submitted on the original arrest fingerprints used to establish the record

• The subject’s date of birth

• The name and location of the agency submitting the original arrest fingerprints

• The date of arrest

• The offenses charged at arrest

• Final disposition, including sentence date, type of sentence (e.g., consecutive, concurrent, probation), amended charges, modification of charges (e.g., pled guilty to lesser charges) and if a single final disposition applies to all listed charges

• The agency that submitted the information

What Common Mistakes Appear on a Rap Sheet?

• Incomplete dispositions of cases; for example, a reported arrest without a final disposition;

• Double entry of an arrest which makes the criminal record look longer and more serious than it really is;

• Incorrect entries which can potentially make a less serious conviction more serious in nature; and

• Expunged or sealed case information which should have been removed from your state and FBI rap sheets.

How Do I Challenge My Record If There Are Mistakes on It?

• The FBI gets all of the information it includes from local, state and federal agencies. If there are mistakes on your FBI rap sheet, you need to contact the agency that supplied the information to the FBI.

• Contact the original agency that submitted the information to the FBI or the criminal history repository in the state where the criminal record occurred to find out how to change, correct or update information.

• The FBI will not modify the record without written notification from the appropriate criminal justice agency.

Miscellaneous Information

• It takes approximately three to four weeks to obtain an FBI rap sheet.

• There are no procedures to expedite a request. However, if you have a deadline, indicate this information in your request and an attempt will be made to meet your needs.

• The FBI will not send the results to a third-party, such as an employer, unless the subject of the record provides consent to do so.

• For more information, see