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Tennessee Criminal Record

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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation retains all criminal history records for the state and conducts background checks for the public and law enforcement agencies. On its website, it’s possible to seek records of various kinds.

What Are Criminal Records?

Criminal records are those that hold all of a person’s criminal history. This can include local, state, and federal criminal information. The record may also include information about the person, such as their address, date of birth, name, any aliases they have, fingerprints, and a photograph.

Your criminal records may include:

  • Past arrest information
  • Current and pending charges
  • Acquitted charges
  • Dismissed charges
  • Warrants

Any misdemeanors or felonies will also be listed in this report.

How Are Criminal Records Used?

Criminal records can be used in many ways. Usually, they are searched during a background check.

Background checks may happen for several reasons, such as:

  • Employment, where a company wants to know about a potential employee
  • School admittance, such as when you apply to a college or university
  • Property rental
  • Security clearance
  • The purchase of weapons or firearms, since felons cannot purchase or own weapons in most cases.
  • Military service
  • Fostering or adopting a child
  • Voter registration
  • International travel
  • For law enforcement purposes, like as a part of a criminal investigation

How Can Someone Access Your Criminal Records?

Most of the time, you will need to consent another person or organization to access your criminal record. However, law enforcement and those in the government may have open access. You may also have to permit certain kinds of purchases, such as purchasing a firearm.


The public can access some criminal records that are public records. For example, you can perform a background check and find out more about a person’s public records, such as their divorce or marital history, DUI records, and past addresses. A criminal record check is more specific and includes information like a person’s arrests, penalties, and convictions. Additionally, a criminal record check may include more information about their appearance, including their height, weight, tattoos, and other defining features. The public can obtain adult criminal records through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for $29 either online or by mail.

Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are relatively open to the public because of the sex offender registry. Visiting the state’s sex offender website, such as the Bureau of Investigation Sex Offender Registry Search, makes searching simple. In Tennessee, violent sex offenders will remain on the registry permanently, but nonviolent offenders may apply to be removed 10 years after serving their sentence.

How Can You Request a Criminal Record?

If you want to request your criminal record or another person’s, you can do so by going to the BI Criminal Record Search page. There, you will find specific instructions on obtaining a criminal record for yourself or someone else. BI only provides information about crimes a person committed as an adult. Juvenile records are sealed.

Last Verified:
Dec 28, 2022