Identity History Summary Checks
For a fee, the FBI can provide individuals with an Identity History Summary—often referred to as a criminal history record or a “rap sheet”—listing 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.
Under federal law, you can use your Identity History Summary to review, correct, or update your own personal record. Identity History Summaries are not to be used for employment or licensing. Questions on employment or licensing background checks should be directed to the State Identification Bureau for the state requiring the background check.
How to Submit a Request
The FBI offers three options for requesting your Identity History Summary or proof that one does not exist.
Step 1: Go to https://www.edo.cjis.gov.
Step 2: Follow the steps under the “Obtaining Your Identity History Summary” section. If you submit a request electronically directly to the FBI, you may visit a participating U.S. Post Office location to submit your fingerprints electronically as part of your request. You may go to any of the participating U.S. Post Office locations nationwide upon completion of your request. Additional fees may apply.
If you choose to use a U.S. Post Office location, you must complete your application and payment electronically prior to visiting a U.S. Post Office location to submit your fingerprints electronically as part of your request.
If you choose not to use a U.S. Post Office location to submit your fingerprints electronically, then you may still mail your completed fingerprint card, along with your confirmation email received when you started your electronic request, to the address listed on your confirmation email. The request will continue to be processed as an electronic submission once the completed fingerprint card is received.
Step 1: Complete the Applicant Information Form.
- If the request is for a couple, family, etc., each person must complete and sign a form.
- Include a complete mailing address. Please provide your telephone number and e-mail address, if available.
- Your results will be provided on standard white paper and returned to you by First-Class Mail via the U.S. Postal Service.
- Self-addressed envelopes will not be accepted. This includes pre-paid Priority Mail, FedEx account numbers, United Parcel Service, etc., foreign postage coupons, and requests to forward correspondence to the Department of State for the apostille process.
Step 2: Obtain a Set of Your Fingerprints
- Your fingerprints should be placed on a standard fingerprint form (FD-1164) commonly used for applicant or law enforcement purposes. The FBI will accept FD-1164 fingerprint cards on standard white paper stock.
- You must provide a current fingerprint card. Previously processed cards or copies will not be accepted.
- Your name and date of birth must be provided on the fingerprint card.
- You must include rolled impressions of all 10 fingerprints and impressions of all 10 fingerprints taken at the same time (these are sometimes referred to as plain or flat impressions).
- If possible, have your fingerprints taken by a fingerprinting technician. This service may be available at a law enforcement agency. The FBI recommends that red or purple ink not be used for fingerprinting.
- Fingerprints taken with ink or via live scan are acceptable. If your fingerprints are taken via a live scan device, a hard copy must be generated so the fingerprint card can be mailed to the FBI.
- To ensure the most legible prints possible, refer to the Recording Legible Fingerprints page. If fingerprints are not legible, the fingerprint card will be rejected. This could cause delays in processing and could also result in additional fees.
- The name on your response letter will match the name indicated on the fingerprint card when your application, payment, and fingerprint card are submitted via the mail.
- If the last four digits of your Social Security number are needed on your response letter, then please ensure the full nine-digits or last four digits of your Social Security number are on the fingerprint card when submitting your request.
- For more information, refer to the Recording Friction Ridges module.
Step 3: Submit Payment
- Option 1: Pay by credit card using the Credit Card Payment Form. Don’t forget to include the expiration date of the credit card that you are using.
- Option 2: Obtain a money order or certified check for $18 U.S. dollars made payable to the Treasury of the United States. Please be sure you sign where required.
- Important note: Cash, personal checks, or business checks WILL NOT be accepted and sending any of these will delay processing of your request.
- Payment must be for the exact amount.
- If the request is for a couple, family, etc., include $18 for each person.
- The FBI will provide one sealed response for each request received. You may make as many copies as needed upon receipt of your response. Note: If you need additional sealed responses mailed to the same address or separate address, you must submit an additional request with another payment of $18 for each sealed response requested. Also, if you need additional copies of your response that do not need to be in a sealed envelope, you may make as many copies as needed upon receipt of your response.
- If you are unable to pay the $18 fee, your request for a waiver of the fee must include a claim and proof of indigence, such as a notarized affidavit of indigence.
- The FBI will not accept additional payment to expedite your request.
Step 4: Review
- Review the Identity History Summary Request Checklist to ensure that you have included everything needed to process your request.
Step 5: Mail the Required Items Listed Above
Mail the required items listed above—signed applicant information form, fingerprint card, and payment of $18 U.S. dollars per person—to the following address:
FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
What Happens Next
If we find no Identity History Summary on file, you will receive a response by First-Class Mail via the U.S. Postal Service indicating that you have no prior arrest data on file at the FBI. If you do have an Identity History Summary on file, you will receive your Identity History Summary or “rap sheet” by First-Class Mail via the U.S. Postal Service.
The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division provides certification of fingerprints and/or Identity History Summary information to be used in court cases. Certified copies can only be requested by law enforcement entities.