How to Pull a Police Record

By Rita Radostitz

You may want a copy of your police record for a variety of reasons such as adoption, employment, school or scholarship purposes, or travel to a foreign country that requires a "certificate of good conduct." You can obtain your police record by being thorough in checking with local, state and federal police agencies. Each jurisdiction keeps their own records so you will need to check each jurisdiction where you have lived and think you might have a police record. Many jurisdictions will only allow you to pull your own police record. If you are seeking to pull a police record of another person, you will need to check first with the local police department to determine whether you are allowed to do so and what authorization you need to have in order to pull a police record on another person.

Begin with your local police department. Although each department has its own rules, generally, you will need to appear in person, with photo identification and fill out a form requesting your police or criminal record. You should be prepared to pay a small fee. You may want to call the department first to ensure that you have all the information needed to obtain the report.

Some local police departments will be able to provide a state-wide criminal or police record, but many departments will only be able to give you a copy of your arrests and convictions for the local jurisdiction. Therefore, you should also check with the state police in any state where you have been arrested to request a copy of your state-wide police record. Many states allow you to order your police record online. You can find the appropriate website by searching for "[your state] criminal records." If you are seeking to pull the police record of a person other than yourself, you may need special authorization or you may have to provide notice to the person whose record you are seeking. Because each state's rules are different, you should check for details with your local police department.

If you have been arrested by federal authorities or want to show that you have not been arrested by federal authorities, you will need to pull your federal police record by making a written request to the FBI, providing a copy of your fingerprints and paying a fee of $18. Full information about the forms and fees is available on the FBI website: www.fbi.gov. Generally, you are not able to pull a FBI or federal police record for another person.

About the Author

Rita Radostitz lives in Eugene, Oregon. She has written about human rights, health & fitness and interesting people for years. Her articles have appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Oregon Quarterly and on various websites. Radostitz holds a Masters of Science in journalism with distinction from the University of Oregon and a law degree cum laude from Villanova University.

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