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Wisconsin Criminal Record

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Wisconsin has a criminal records check system that holds fingerprint- and name-based records. The general public usually has access to name-based records for background check purposes.

What Are Criminal Records?

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Information Bureau, or CIB, manages the fingerprint-based record system that the state uses to hold all criminal history reports. This database includes:

  • Detailed information about arrests
  • Prosecution details
  • Findings by the court
  • State correctional system admissions/releases
  • Arrest charges
  • Sentences

Most criminal record searches in Wisconsin are name-based, not fingerprint based. As a result, they are less reliable than fingerprint-based records.

How Are Criminal Records Used?

Background checks in Wisconsin may be used to:

  • Determine if you can or cannot be hired to a position
  • For school admittance purposes
  • For security clearance
  • For property rental
  • For voter registration
  • For military service
  • When purchasing weapons, like firearms
  • Help law enforcement
  • For travel on airlines or internationally

If you have criminal records, it’s normal for employers, landlords and other individuals to search them through a name-based database.

How Can Someone Access Your Criminal Records?

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Information Bureau has all criminal records in its database. On the whole, people have two options to access the system. One is to seek the fingerprint-based data. The other is to seek out the name-based data. Most people in the public only have access to the name-based system.

General Public

The general public can search the Wisconsin Online Record Check System for people who are within the name-based system. They must sign up online and submit a background check request through the system.

There is a difference between public with only public access and those who are authorized users. Authorized users have access to more information.

It is possible to get a background check without registering, but you will need to write down the reference number at the bottom of the receipt to be able to retrieve the results at a later time.

To get a Police Certificate or Statement of Good Conduct, the appropriate request forms have to be filled out. Then, they should be mailed to the address listed on the form. These types of background checks cannot be completed online, often because they require fingerprint scans and further identification support to be as accurate as possible.

Sex Crimes

Wisconsin uses the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry. This website allows individuals to search for people who have committed sex offenses by:

  • Name
  • Geographical search

You may also sign up for community notifications if you want to be alerted if a sex offender registers a home address near you or in an area of interest to you.

How Can You Request a Criminal Record?

To request your criminal records, you need to visit the Wisconsin Online Record Check System. This system, called WORCS, allows you to submit your request online.

Last Verified:
Dec 28, 2022