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Iowa Criminal Record

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The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (IDCI) maintains records of criminal prosecutions and convictions within the state. The criminal records are public records and accessible for legitimate purposes, like conducting a criminal background check. The following information will help individuals to better understand how any potential criminal convictions might be made known to the general public and how to obtain criminal records.

What are Criminal Records?

Criminal records are public documents that list any criminal charges or convictions against an individual. Anyone charged with a misdemeanor or a felony and especially when convicted has a criminal record. If the charge is a state-level charge in Iowa, then the IDCI maintains a criminal record for that individual. The record only is for charges and convictions in Iowa courts and do not include charges or convictions in other states or federal courts.

How are Criminal Records Used?

Criminal records most often are used by prospective employers, community organizations and others to ensure they are not introducing a potentially dangerous individual into a particular situation. Criminal records are used for many reasons, but those requesting records must affirm they are doing so for valid reasons. In many cases, they must obtain approval from the individual to obtain a copy of his or her criminal record.

Employers need to know their workers, managers and supervisors are not prone to criminal acts – especially violent criminal acts. When someone applies to live in a neighborhood that has a homeowners association or similar community organization, a criminal background check helps to affirm they are not letting a potential threat into the neighborhood.

How Can Someone Access Your Records?

Iowa criminal records are available via mail, fax or by visiting an IDCI office and submitting a completed request form and a completed billing form. Both forms must be completed and submitted, or the IDCI will reject the request. A Criminal History Record Check Request is available online and requires the subject’s first and last name, date of birth and gender to initiate a request. The request form includes a release authorization section that the subject individual must sign. The billing form only applies to one record request. You must complete a separate billing form for each criminal record requested

How Can You Request a Criminal Record?

The same criminal history record check request form linked above will enable virtually anyone to initiate a criminal background check on another person. The request must include the subject’s signature, and you can mail or fax the completed form along with a respective billing form for each criminal record that you wish to obtain. If you do not obtain the subject’s signature, the state likely will turn down the request and keep the fee paid via the billing form. The fee for each request is $15 and is payable with a personal check, money order, cashier’s check, credit card or debit card.

Last Verified:
May 9, 2023