Criminal History Records, Background Checks - NY DCJS

How to Request Your New York State Criminal History

An individual may request a Personal Record Review to obtain:

  • A copy of his or her New York State criminal history record, commonly called a rap sheet.
  • A “no record” response indicating that he or she has no New York State criminal history record.

Note: An individual cannot request a criminal history record for another person to determine if that person has a criminal history.

How to Request Verification that a Record has been Sealed

Individuals or their lawyer can use the forms that follow to receive verification from the Division of Criminal Justice Services that a court-ordered seal – as defined by state Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) 160.59, 160.55, or 160.50 – has been applied to their New York State Criminal History Record. 

  • CPL 160.59 Seal Verification Form – This form should be used by individuals who have applied for and received a court order seal related to a conviction that occurred more than 10 years ago. 
  • CPL 160.55 Seal Verification Form – This form should be used by individuals requesting verification of a seal related to a felony or misdemeanor arrest that resulted in a conviction to either a traffic infraction or violation.
  • CPL 160.50 Seal Verification Form – This form should be used by individuals requesting verification of a seal related to an arrest that resulted in the termination of the criminal proceedings in their favor (for example: decline to prosecute, dismissal or acquittal).

Note: A copy of the signed court seal order must be mailed with the verification form.

Requesting Expungement and Destruction of Certain Marijuana Conviction Records (CPL 160.50[5])

State law permits individuals convicted of Penal Law sections 221.05 and 221.10 to ask the court where the conviction occurred to expunge and destroy their criminal history records related to these charges.  Individuals seeking destruction of those conviction records must make a formal request through the state Office of Court Administration (OCA).  Please visit the OCA website for more information about how to make this request.

Please note: Convictions of Penal Law sections 221.05 and 221.10 have been sealed. This means that all of the arrest, court, prosecution and criminal history records related to those convictions are confidential and cannot be seen except under the following circumstances:

  • If an individual is applying for a job as a police or peace officer; and,
  • If an individual is applying for a pistol permit.

Individuals who are satisfied with the confidentiality that record sealing already provides are not required to apply for expungement or destruction of conviction records.

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Personal Record Review: What You Need to Know

Personal Record Review: What You Need to Know

You may use your Personal Record Review response for any personal reason.

An employer or licensing entity cannot ask you to provide this information as a condition of obtaining or continuing a job or holding a license: this is prohibited by New York State Labor Law. This law does not apply to: employees of state or municipal departments; employees of legally incorporated hospitals, and employees of medical colleges associated with such hospitals; and employees of private proprietary hospitals.

Access to criminal history records for employment or licensing is only permitted if there is a state law, federal law, or local law of a New York State village, town, city or county that specifically authorizes a fingerprint-based criminal history record check for employment or licensure.

State Labor Law also requires every employer to post a copy of New York State Correction Law Article 23-A, which deals with the licensing and employment of individuals convicted of crimes. The information must be posted in a place accessible to employees.

Please Note:

  • An individual must choose to receive either an unsuppressed or suppressed Personal Record Review response. If both responses are needed, a separate request must be submitted for each response.
  • Personal Record Reviews requested for international purposes will require an apostille from the Department of State. The requester should use the reason types Travel/Other Country or Other International Purpose to ensure DCJS is aware that an apostille is required. 
  • Individuals who believe they have a criminal history record under more than one name must include those name(s) as aliases on the Personal Record Review application and fingerprint card. This information will help DCJS locate additional sealed records.
  • Children younger than 11 years old cannot be fingerprinted for a Personal Record Review

There are two types of Personal Record Review responses:

Personal Record Review – Unsuppressed

This response contains all criminal history records, including those suppressed or sealed under New York State Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), including:

  • CPL 160.50 dismissed cases
  • CPL 160.55 eligible violation/infraction convictions
  • CPL 160.58 eligible substance abuse and related convictions
  • CPL 160.59 eligible convictions granted by the court
  • CPL 720.35 youthful offender adjudications
  • Individual charges dismissed in court and the equivalent arrest charges, if the case was disposed on or after Nov. 1, 1991.

Personal Record Review – Suppressed

This response does not include sealed or suppressed information, as detailed above.

How to request a Personal Record Review while living in NYS

How to request a Personal Record Review while living in NYS

  1. Contact MorphoTrust USA to schedule an appointment to have your fingerprints taken: visit https://uenroll.identogo.com/ or call 1-877-472-6915.
  2. You must provide one of the following Personal Record Review service codes either online or by phone:
    • For a Suppressed Record: 15464Z More Info
    • For an Unsuppressed Record: 15465FMore Info
  3. You must provide the following at your fingerprinting appointment:
    1. One form of identification. Visit https://uenroll.identogo.com or call 1-877-472-6915 for information about acceptable forms of identification. Note: If you are a minor between the ages of 11 and 17 and do not have an acceptable form of identification, please complete the New York Photo ID Waiver for Minors form.

      AND
    2. Payment: $13.75. Credit cards, checks and money orders are accepted. Checks or money orders must be made out to "Idemia".

After Submitting Your Personal Record Review request:

  • Your Personal Record Review will be processed and delivered via U.S. mail within three to four weeks. Record Review responses cannot be picked up at DCJS.
  • New York State does not release this information to a third party.
  • Your response may include one or more of the following: your criminal history record, information about fingerprints you submitted as required by law for employment, licensing or other purpose, or a “no record” response.
  • You also will receive information explaining how to challenge the accuracy of any reported information.

Contact the Record Review Unit at 518-457-9847, 518-485-7675 or RecordReview@dcjs.ny.gov with any questions about this process.

More Info Personal Record Review – Unsuppressed

This response contains all criminal history records, including those suppressed or sealed under New York State Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), including:

  • CPL 160.50 dismissed cases
  • CPL 160.55 eligible violation/infraction convictions
  • CPL 160.58 eligible substance abuse and related convictions
  • CPL 160.59 eligible convictions granted by the court
  • CPL 720.35 youthful offender adjudications
  • Individual charges dismissed in court and the equivalent arrest charges, if the case was disposed on or after Nov. 1, 1991.

Personal Record Review – Suppressed

This response does not include sealed or suppressed information, as detailed above.

How to request a Personal Record Review while living outside NYS

How to request a Personal Record Review while living outside NYS

To find an IdentoGo location in your state of residence:

  1. Visit https://uenroll.identogo.com/ and enter one of the following service codes:
    • 15464Z to obtain a Suppressed Record More Info
    • 15465F to obtain an Unsuppressed Record More Info
  2. Then, click “Locate an Enrollment Center” and enter either your zip code or city and state to find a center near you.

  3. Note: IdentoGo charges a $43.75 processing fee for this service. The fee must be paid when you are fingerprinted at the enrollment center.

If there is no IdentoGo Enrollment Center near you, please follow these procedures:

  1. Download an FBI (FD-258) fingerprint card, complete the personal information fields on the fingerprint card and then contact a local law enforcement agency to have your fingerprints taken on the card.

    Note: If you are a minor between the ages of 11 and 17 and do not have an acceptable form of identification, please complete the New York Photo ID Waiver for Minors form.
  2. Visit https://uenroll.identogo.com to enroll for Cardscan submission. A processing fee of $13.75 will be collected during that enrollment process. During enrollment, you must provide one of the following Service Codes:
    • 15464Z to obtain a Suppressed Record More Info
    • 15465F to obtain an Unsuppressed Record More Info
  3. You will receive an enrollment confirmation page with a barcode printed on the top right of the page once your registration is complete. Print and sign the confirmation page with the barcode and mail the signed confirmation page and the completed fingerprint card to:

    IDENTOGO
    Cardscan Department-NY Program
    340 Seven Springs Way, Suite 250
    Brentwood, TN 37027


    NOTE:

    • IDENTOGO will not forward pre-paid envelopes to DCJS.
    • If you are out of country, please contact the Record Review Unit at 518-457-9847 or 518-485-7675.

After Submitting Your Personal Record Review request:

  • After DCJS receives your fingerprint transaction, your Personal Record Review will be processed and sent via U.S. mail within 30 business days. Record Review responses cannot be picked up at DCJS.
  • New York State does not release this information to a third party.
  • Your response may include one or more of the following: your criminal history record, information about fingerprints you submitted as required by law for employment, licensing or other purpose, or a “no record” response.
  • You also will receive information explaining how to challenge the accuracy of any reported information.

Contact the Record Review Unit at 518-457-9847, 518-485-7675 or RecordReview@dcjs.ny.gov with any questions about this process.

More Info Personal Record Review – Unsuppressed

This response contains all criminal history records, including those suppressed or sealed under New York State Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), including:

  • CPL 160.50 dismissed cases
  • CPL 160.55 eligible violation/infraction convictions
  • CPL 160.58 eligible substance abuse and related convictions
  • CPL 160.59 eligible convictions granted by the court
  • CPL 720.35 youthful offender adjudications
  • Individual charges dismissed in court and the equivalent arrest charges, if the case was disposed on or after Nov. 1, 1991.

Personal Record Review – Suppressed

This response does not include sealed or suppressed information, as detailed above.

 

How to request a Personal Record Review Fee Waiver Application

How to request a Personal Record Review Fee Waiver Application

If you are unable to pay the fingerprint processing fee, the following steps must be taken in order to request a waiver of the $13.75 processing fee associated with a personal record review. You may contact DCJS to request a record review fee waiver application packet by doing one of the following:

E-Mail: RecordReview@dcjs.ny.gov. You must provide your current complete mailing address to obtain the application packet. 

OR

Surface Mail: Records Review Unit, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, 80 South Swan St., 5th Floor, Albany, New York 12210

Steps for completing the packet:

  1. Select the type of Personal Record Review response: Suppressed or Unsuppressed.

Personal Record Review – Unsuppressed
This response contains all criminal history records, including those suppressed or sealed under New York State Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), including:

  • CPL 160.50 dismissed cases
  • CPL 160.55 eligible violation/infraction convictions
  • CPL 160.58 eligible substance abuse and related convictions
  • CPL 160.59 eligible convictions granted by the court
  • CPL 720.35 youthful offender adjudications
  • Individual charges dismissed in court and the equivalent arrest charges, if the case was disposed on or after Nov. 1, 1991.

Personal Record Review – Suppressed
This response does not include sealed or suppressed information, as detailed above.

  1. Be sure to include the following documents:
    1. The Record Review Fee Waiver application form (DCJS 1894A 03/18).
    2. The completed fingerprint card: obtain fingerprints on the card you received in the packet and complete the demographic information on the card. Please do not fold the fingerprint card.
    3. One of the following to support your request for the fee waiver:

      A copy of a current and valid public assistance benefits card in your own name.This could include a SNAP (Food Stamp) card, a Medicaid Card, a New York State Public Assistance Benefits Card, or a public assistance benefits card from another state.

      OR

      The Record Review Fee Waiver – Notarized Financial Statement (DCJS 1894B 03/18). This form requires you to provide your annual gross (total) household income and your household size. You must complete the form, sign it and have the form notarized. The form must be complete and returned to support your request. This form will be included in the packet mailed to you.
  2. Mail the completed packet to:

    Records Review Unit
    New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
    80 South Swan Street, 5th Floor
    Albany, New York 12210

Upon receipt, DCJS will review your application and if approved, the Record Review Unit will process your fingerprint cards.

  • Please allow for up to 4 weeks for a fee waiver record review response. Once processed, the response will be delivered via U.S. mail. Record Review responses cannot be picked up at DCJS.
  • Responses may include one or more of the following: criminal history information, information about fingerprints submitted as required by law for employment, licensing, or other purpose, or a “no record” response.
  • Information explaining how to challenge the accuracy of any reported information will also be included in the response.

Contact the Record Review Unit at 518-457-9847, 518-485-7675 or RecordReview@dcjs.ny.gov with any questions about this process.

 

Note: Individuals who have submitted their fingerprints as required by law for employment, licensing or other purpose (for example, adoptions) also will see that information on their Personal Record Review response.

 

Additional information about CPL 160.59

Individuals who have no convictions on their record for at least 10 years and have no charges pending may apply to a court to request that certain New York State convictions be sealed: