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.
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.
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-258) commonly used for applicant or law enforcement purposes. The FBI will accept FD-258 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.
- Fingerprints taken with ink or via live scan are acceptable.
- 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.
- If the last four digits of your social security number are needed on your response letter, then please ensure your full nine-digit Social Security number is on the fingerprint card when submitting your request.
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.
- 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 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.”
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.