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Washington D.C. Criminal Record

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Individuals and organizations conducting background checks for legitimate purposes can obtain copies of criminal history reports that are compiled and maintained in Washington D.C. About 95 percent of all people requesting criminal history reports are individuals who are seeking a police clearance, which is especially important given the numerous federal agencies located within the District of Columbia.

What Are Criminal Records?

Criminal records are multi-year histories of an individual’s arrests, prosecutions and convictions in Washington D.C. The District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department (DC MPD) maintains a database containing criminal history records that are available to the respective individuals for whom each criminal history applies and legitimate entities conducting criminal background checks.

How Are Criminal Records Used?

The vast majority of criminal records are used to obtain police clearances for individuals within the District of Columbia. The multitude of high-level federal agencies and sensitive information and activities within them make it especially important to conduct criminal background checks on individuals who might otherwise have access to sensitive and potentially damaging information.

About 95 percent of all criminal history requests are made by the respective individuals who need the reports to obtain security clearances. The remaining history reports mostly are obtained by entities performing criminal background checks on potential employees, potential community residences and investigations by law enforcement.

If you apply for residence in an apartment community or a planned community, those in charge have a legitimate reason to obtain a copy of your criminal history report. Such a report could inform them of possible violent crimes committed in the past or otherwise indicate a potential resident would pose a general threat to the local community.

How Can Someone Access Your Records?

The DC MPD’s Arrest and Criminal History Section fulfills requests for criminal history reports from residents and non-residents. A resident must complete and submit a form PD-70, get it notarized and then submit it along with a money order or cashier’s check for $7 to cover the processing fee.

Individuals can obtain a PD-70 form and submit completed requests for criminal history reports at the DC MPD Criminal History Report Division’s office. The office is located at 300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 1075, Washington, DC 20001. It will take at least 24 hours to fulfill requests made in person.

The DC MPD also fulfills requests made by mail and sent to:

Metropolitan Police DepartmentArrest and Criminal History Section
ATTN: Police Clearances
300 Indiana Avenue NW, Room 1075
Washington, DC 20001

All requests received by mail must include the subject’s full name, date of birth and Social Security number. The requests also must include the subject’s place of birth, race and exact street address. Mailed-in requests might take up to three weeks to process.

How Can You Request a Criminal Record?

A resident who wants to obtain a copy of his or her criminal history record or a local police clearance must complete and submit a form PD-70 at the Arrest and Criminal History Section’s office on Northwest Indiana Avenue. Residents also can mail-in requests along with the requisite form, fee and notarization to the Arrest and Criminal History Section.

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Last Verified:
Jun 25, 2022