Criminal History Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not see the answer to your questions in our FAQ's please email dcirecordchecks@dps.state.ia.us

Please do not call other numbers listed for the Department of Public Safety/Division of Criminal Investigation with record check questions.

For questions about a DCI business account please email dciaccounts@dps.state.ia.us

How do I request an Iowa Criminal History record check?

There are several ways to make a request through the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).

  • You may make a request by mailing, faxing, or emailing the completed request form and billing form (Request and Billing Forms) with your payment to DCI.  Our address and fax number is provided on the forms.  Our email address is:  dcirecordchecks@dps.state.ia.us

  • You may make a request in person at our office located at 215 E. 7th St., Des Moines, IA.  The walk in form is available at our office only.  Results for requests made in person, if on yourself, may be provided immediately as allow by law.  Requests made in person on someone other than yourself will be processed in date order.  Our walk-in processing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

  • We do not accept requests via phone.

What information is needed to make an Iowa Criminal History record check request?

You must be able to provide the last name, first name, and date of birth of the individual for whom you are requesting a record check.  The gender, social security number, and middle names are not required, however they help with resolution of common names and dates of birth, and are therefore recommended to assist in the process.

What is the fee for an Iowa Criminal History record check?

The fee is $15.00 per last name.  Each last name requires a separate request form and fee.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, check, money orders, and credit/debit cards (MasterCard, Visa, and Discover only).  Large volume users may wish to open a DCI pre-paid account for convenience.  For more information on establishing a DCI business/pre-paid account please email:  dciaccounts@dps.state.ia.us

Do I need a signed release authorization from the subject of my request?

No.  Iowa law does not require a signed release authorization.  However, without a signed release, you will not receive deferred judgment information if DCI has received notification of successful completion.  Also, you will not receive arrest information over 18 months old if we do not have a final disposition for that specific charge.  The signed release authorization must be on our request form.   

What is the turnaround time?

Turnaround time can vary significantly depending on volume of requests and staffing levels.  The average turnaround time for mailed, faxed, and emailed requests is 2-5 business days, excluding mail time.  Requests made through SING are instantaneous 75% of the time.  The remaining 25% that need additional research have an average turnaround time of 2-3 days.

Do I need an account number on the request form?

No, you do not need an account number on the request and/or billing forms.  Businesses with an account may use their DCI business account when submitting requests.  If you do not have an account please leave this field blank.

As an employer, can I provide a copy of the criminal history record check results to the applicant/employee? 

No.  Pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 692.2, only the Department of Public Safety may disseminate criminal history data maintained by the Department.

Can I provide a copy of my criminal history record check results to a potential employer?

No.  Pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 692.2, only the Department of Public Safety may disseminate criminal history data maintained by the Department.

Are fingerprints required to request an Iowa Criminal History record check?

No.  Iowa record checks are done using name and date of birth.  Fingerprints are not required, however, in certain instances the DCI may request fingerprints to confirm identity and ensure the correct record is provided.

Do you notarize the results of the criminal history record?

The DCI will notarize the results when required by other countries for applications for immigration, visas, etc.  We do it as a courtesy but is not standard procedure, so you must ask when making your request.

What is SING?

The Single Contact Repository (SING) provides authorized agencies internet access to Iowa Criminal History information held by the Department of Public Safety/Division of Criminal Investigation.  SING is only available to qualified agencies with DCI approval. 

How do I request a SING account?

Please email our office at:  dciaccounts@dps.state.ia.us.  Request the SING access form.

Where do I check my SING transactions?

SING users can view all SING transactions for the current month and the previous month by clicking on the View History button on the SING search screen.

I need by SING password/pin reset

Please contact the help desk at 1-800-532-1174.  We do not provide SING passwords/pins.  You must be able to provide your SING ID.

How do I set up a DCI business account?

Please email our office at:  dciaccounts@dps.state.ia.us to request the forms to set up a pre-paid DCI business account.

Who do I contact with questions about my DCI business account?

Please email our office at:  dciaccounts@dps.state.ia.us.  You must provide your DCI business account number.

I sent in the evaluation/2310 form and I haven't received a response.

Please contact the Iowa Department of Human Services at 515-362-7440.  The DCI does not process evaluations.

Why haven't I received the results of my criminal history record check?

Before contacting our office regarding results, please review the following:

If requested through SING:

  • Check the processing date on SING to make sure we have processed that date.  You can find the processing date on the request entry screen on SING, towards the bottom of the page.
  • Check the View History on SING to make sure it wasn't a "no record found" results, in which case you would not receive a fax or mailed copy.
  • Confirm you have a working fax machine to receive the results of the record check.  If the fax number has changed please contact our office and request an Update form.
  • Please check to confirm the results are not in another location in the office.

If requested by mail, fax, or email:

  • Please confirm the method of payment was processed.  If it hasn't been processed, we haven't received the request.
  • Confirm you have a working fax machine to receive the results of the record check.  If the fax number has changed please contact our office and request an Update form.
  • Please check to confirm the results are not in another location in the office.
  • If we are unable to successfully fax the results after two attempts, we will mail the results to the address provided on the form/account.
How do I obtain another copy of the results of a criminal history record check

Before contacting our office regarding results, please review the following:

If the request was originally submitted through SING:

  • Confirm through View History that the record check was completed and it says it was faxed or mailed.
  • Please check to confirm the results are not in another location in the office.
  • Email our office at dcirecordchecks@dps.state.ia.us with your account number, the applicant's name and the date SING shows it was faxed/mailed.
  • There will be a $5.00 charge for any requests we resend.  Please provide your pre-paid account number or make arrangements to contact our office with a credit card number.  Do not email credit card information.
    • We will only provide copies of results for 30 days from the original request date.

If the request was originally submitted by mail, fax, or email:

  • Confirm your method of payment was processed,  If it hasn't been processed, we haven't received the request.
  • Please check to confirm the results are not in another location in the office.
  • Email our office at dcirecordchecks@dps.state.ia.us with your account number (if applicable), your business name, the applicant's name and the date you submitted the request forms.
  • There will be a $5.00 charge for any requests we resend.  Please provide your pre-paid account number or make arrangements to contact our office with a credit card number.  Do not email credit card information.
  • We will only provide copies of results for 30 days from the original request date.
  • We are unable to send a copy of mailed results as we to not keep copies of mailed forms and results.  You will need to make another request and pay the $15.00 fee.
What if the person tells me it is not their record?

All Iowa criminal history records are supported by fingerprints.  The subject of the request would need to provide a set of fingerprints to the DCI for comparison to resolve the issue.

How do I correct a criminal history record that is incorrect?

Please notify the DCI via email at dcirecordchecks@dps.state.ia.us and we will take the necessary steps to correct any inaccuracies.

How do I set up a national account for submitting fingerprints.

Please email our office at dcirecordchecks@dps.state.ia.us.  Request a Qualified Entity Application and Iowa User Agreement

Where do I obtain more fingerprint cards?

Please email our office at dcirecordchecks@dps.state.ia.us to order more fingerprint cards.  You must provide your OCA.

What is Criminal History Information?

The Iowa criminal history record contains information based on arrest data reported to the DCI from Iowa criminal justice agencies, disposition information from the Iowa Judicial Branch, and custody information from the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Note:  If an arrest criminal fingerprint card is not submitted, the arrest charge, disposition, and biographical information will not be present on an Iowa criminal history record.  In some instances, a record of an arrest may be found at the court level, but not within the state criminal history record.  The Iowa criminal history database contains information on Iowa arrests only and does not include other state's records, FBI records, or subjects convicted in federal court.

Will completed deferred judgment information show on a criminal history record check?

Potentially.  The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation can provide completed deferred judgment information to the person who is the subject of the criminal history data, the person's attorney, or to another person with a signed release (usually comes in the form of consenting to a full background check from an employer) from the person who is the subject of the criminal history data authorizing the requesting person access to the criminal history data.

Currently, Iowa Code does not allow for completed deferred judgments to be expunged from an Iowa criminal history record, requiring this information to be on the criminal history record indefinitely.  Iowa Code Chapter 907.9 refers to the expungement of deferred judgments by the court.  These cases are expunged/sealed at the court level only.  Once the DCI receives the order showing successful completion of a deferred judgment, the charge is flagged as 'discharged from deferred judgment' and shows as a non-conviction on the criminal history record.

How long is the record check valid?

Criminal history record information is live data and changes continuously, with new information added as it is received.  In theory, we could receive arrest information the day after providing a "no record found" record check result.  Therefore, the record check is valid as of the day it is processed.

Will a charge that has been dismissed show on my criminal history record?

No.  A charge that has been dismissed will be removed from an Iowa criminal history record upon notification from the Clerk of District Court where the incident was tried, pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 692.17.

How long will information stay on my criminal history record?

Information remains on an Iowa criminal history record indefinitely unless expunged, dismissed, not filed, or acquitted per legal action and Iowa Code.

What is the process for expunging a charge from my criminal history record?

Iowa Code Chapter 901C.3 allows for certain misdemeanor convictions to be expunged after eight years from the date of conviction.

901C.3 Misdemeanor Expungement Instructions

901C.3 Misdemeanor Expungement Application

How do I request an FBI national check?

Only employers that are required by Iowa Code or through a federal statute qualify for an FBI national check through the DCI.  If you have been directed to start conducting FBI national checks for employment or licensing purposes please email us at at dcirecordchecks@dps.state.ia.us and we will provide you with the necessary forms and information.