Identity History Summary Checks

FBIas Massive Crime Indexing Files

Current processing time is 12-14 weeks. Allow additional time for mail delivery.


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.

Option 1: Submit Your Request Directly to the FBI 


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

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.”

Option 2: Submit Your Request to an  FBI-Approved Channeler


An FBI-approved Channeler is a private business that has contracted with the FBI to submit your request on your behalf. FBI-approved Channelers receive the fingerprint submission and relevant data, collect the associated fee(s), electronically forward the fingerprint submission with the necessary information to the CJIS Division for a national Identity History Summary check, and receive the electronic summary check result for dissemination to the individual. An FBI-approved Channeler simply helps expedite the delivery of Identity History Summary information on behalf of the FBI.

The process for making a request through an FBI-approved Channeler is consistent with FBI submission procedures. Please note that an FBI-approved Channeler may have different methods or processes for submissions. Also, additional fees may apply above the FBI fee for requests submitted through an FBI-approved Channeler. Contact each Channeler for costs, processing times, and availability in your area.

An individual requesting an Identity History Summary or proof that a summary does not exist through FBI-approved Channelers should contact the Channeler directly for complete information and instructions.

Note: Please review the information below regarding the use of FBI-approved Channelers:

  • An FBI-approved Channeler may only process requests for a U.S. person (an individual who is a citizen of the U.S. or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.). A lawful permanent resident is any person not a citizen of the U.S. who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant (also known “Permanent Resident Alien,” “Resident Alien Permit Holder,” and “Green Card Holder”).
  • An FBI-approved Channeler cannot process a request for employment and/or licensing purposes within the United States. This type of request should be coordinated with the appropriate State Identification Bureau (or state police) for the correct procedures.

Identity History Summary Checks for Employment or Licensing 

If you are requesting a background check for employment or licensing within the U.S., you may be required by state statute or federal law to submit your request through your state identification bureau, the requesting federal agency, or another authorized channeling agency.

The FBI’s authority to conduct an Identity History Summary check for non-criminal justice purposes is based upon Public Law (Pub. L.) 92-544. Pursuant to that law, the FBI is empowered to exchange Identity History Summary information with officials of state and local governments for employment, licensing, which includes volunteers, and other similar non-criminal justice purposes, if authorized by a state statute which has been approved by the Attorney General of the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice has advised that the state statute establishing guidelines for a category of employment or the issuance of a license must, in itself, require fingerprinting and authorize the governmental licensing or employing agency to exchange fingerprint data directly with the FBI.

An Identity History Summary search obtained pursuant to U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 may not meet employment requirements. Governmental licensing or employing agencies covered by federal laws and/or state statutes may refuse to accept identity history record information directly from the subject of the record, as there would be no way to verify that the information contained on the record had not been altered. Also, an Identity History Summary provided to the subject for personal review contains only information maintained by the CJIS Division and may lack dispositional data and/or arrest records that are maintained only at the state level.

You should contact the agency requiring the fingerprinting or the appropriate state identification bureau for the correct procedures to follow.

Challenge of an Identity History Summary 

The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division is responsible for the storage of fingerprints and related Identity History Summary information for the nation and does not have the authority to modify any Identity History Summary information unless specifically notified to do so by the agency that owns the information. If you believe your Identity History Summary contains inaccurate or incomplete information, you have two options for requesting a change or correction:

Option 1: Contact the agency or agencies that submitted the information to the FBI.

Missing or Incorrect State (Non-Federal) Information

Most states require that changes to Identity History Summary information be processed through their respective state centralized agency (State Identification Bureau) before any changes can be made to your information. You may contact the respective State Identification Bureau for assistance, and, if applicable, request that they provide the FBI with updates to your Identity History Summary. Contact information for each state is provided on the State Identification Bureau listing.

Several states maintain their own record system. Record updates are made at the state level only, so the FBI cannot change its records. Instead, the FBI accesses the state’s system for authorized purposes to review the record. Contact information for states maintaining records at the state level is provided on the State-Maintained Records listing.

Missing or Incorrect Federal Information

For federal Identity History Summary updates, the FBI must receive a request directly from the original arresting agency, from a court with control over the arrest data, or from another agency with control over the arrest data.

Option 2: Send a written challenge request to the FBI’s CJIS Division.

Your written request should clearly identify the information that you feel is inaccurate or incomplete and should include copies of any available proof or supporting documentation to support your claim. For example, if your disposition information is incorrect or missing, you may submit documentation obtained from the court having control over the arrest or the office prosecuting the offense. The FBI will contact appropriate agencies in an attempt to verify or correct challenged entries for you. Upon receipt of an official communication from the agency with control over the data, the FBI will make appropriate changes and notify you of the outcome.

You may submit an Identity History Summary challenge to the FBI’s CJIS Division by writing to the following address:

FBI CJIS Division
Attention: Criminal History Analysis Team 1
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Does the FBI accept personal checks, business checks, or cash?

No. Do not send personal checks, business checks, or cash, as they are not an acceptable form of payment for Departmental Order (DO) requests. Personal and business checks submitted with a DO request will not be returned and will be destroyed.

2. Do I have to pay $18 for each copy requested if I need more than one copy of my results?

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 a 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.

3. Can someone else pay for my Identity History Summary?

Yes. They must complete the Credit Card Payment Form with the cardholder’s signature or obtain a money order or certified check for $18 U.S. dollars made payable to the Treasury of the United States. Please be sure to sign where required.  If paying by credit card, don’t forget to include the expiration date of the credit card that you are using. 

4. Do you have procedures for expeditious handling?

No. The CJIS Division does not expedite requests; however, an expedited response may be provided by an FBI-approved Channeler.

5. Where can I get my fingerprints taken?

If submitting directly to the FBI, your local, county, or state law enforcement agencies may take your fingerprints for a fee. Also, some printing companies offer this service; check the yellow pages in your telephone book or search online.

If using the Channeler option, please contact the FBI-approved Channeler for information on how to get your fingerprints taken.

6. What if my fingerprints are continuously rejected?

You should have multiple sets of fingerprints taken, preferably by a fingerprinting technician. (This service may be available at a law enforcement agency). Mail all fingerprint cards to the CJIS Division with your request. For more information on taking legible fingerprints, refer to the Recording Legible Fingerprints page.

Note: The FBI does not provide name checks for DO requests.

7. Can I use the fingerprint card I download from this site?

Yes, the FBI will accept FD-258 fingerprint cards on standard white paper stock, but if you go to a law enforcement agency or private fingerprinting agency to be fingerprinted, they may prefer to use a fingerprint card on standard card stock. You may use the fingerprint card provided by the printing agency.

8. Can I use the same fingerprint card I used for my previous Identity History Summary?

No. The FBI requires a current fingerprint card to process your Identity History Summary.

9. Will my fingerprint card be returned?

No. Due to concerns related to the protection of personally identifiable information, fingerprint cards are no longer being returned either for a “no summary” response or with an Identity History Summary.

10. How will my Identity History Summary be sent back to me?

The FBI will return all results, both foreign and domestic, by U.S. First-Class Mail via the United States Postal Service.

11. What name will be used on my response?

The name on your response letter will match the name indicated on your fingerprint card.

12.  Will the last four digits of my Social Security number be on my response?

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.

13. How do I notify the FBI if my address has changed since I submitted my request for my Identity History Summary or if I want to verify my correct address was submitted?

Please complete and sign the Address Change Request Form and fax it to (304) 625-9792, or scan the form and e-mail it to identity@ic.fbi.gov.

Note: Changes will not be made unless a signature is present on the form.

14. Can I send a self-addressed stamped envelope with my request?

Due to automation of the mailing process, the FBI does not accept return self-addressed stamped envelopes with Departmental Order requests.

15. Will I receive my Identity History Summary on blue security paper?

Due to automation of the mailing process, the FBI does not provide Identity History Summary results on blue security paper. All responses will be processed on standard white paper.

16. Does the FBI provide apostilles*?

(*An apostille is a certification that a document has been “legalized” or “authenticated” by the issuing agency through a process in which various seals are placed on the document.)

The CJIS Division will authenticate all U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 fingerprint search results by placing the FBI seal and the signature of a division official on the results at the time of submission.

Note: The FBI seal is no longer a raised seal. Documents authenticated by the FBI may then be sent to the U.S. Department of State by the requestor to obtain an apostille if necessary. Requests to authenticate previously processed results will not be accepted.

17. How do I challenge my FBI record?

Review the Challenge of an Identity History Summary to obtain information regarding your FBI Identity History Summary.

18. How can law enforcement entities request certified copies of fingerprints and/or Identity History Summary information?

Visit the Certified Copies of Fingerprint and/or Identity History Summaries page to obtain information on requesting certified copies of fingerprints and/or Identity History Summary information by law enforcement entities.

Note: An individual cannot request a certified copy of fingerprints and/or Identity History Summary information.

Departmental Order Information Packet 

Below is a Departmental Order Information Packet containing everything needed to assist with requesting a copy of your Identity History Summary (or proof that one does not exist). Please pay close attention to Item # 4, the Identity History Summary Request Checklist, which contains all the steps required by the FBI to process an Identity History Summary Check. Questions can be directed to 304-625-5590.

  1. Departmental Order Information Packet Cover Letter
  2. U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73
  3. Applicant Information Form
  4. Identity History Summary Request Checklist
  5. Credit Card Payment Form
  6. FD-258 Fingerprint Card

For Law Enforcement Only 

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.