Record Gathering

How To Obtain Your Complete Criminal Record

If you have ever been arrested or had a warrant out for your arrest in the District of Columbia for a suspected violation of D.C. law, you have a D.C. criminal record. To get a copy of your complete D.C. criminal record, you will need to go to both the Metropolitan Police Department and to D.C. Superior Court. 

D.C. Police Records

  1. Bring the following items/information:
  • A valid, government-issued ID (such as a driver’s license);
  • $7 cash or a credit/debit card to pay for the record; and
  • Your Social Security Number 
  1. Go to the office of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) located at:

Arrest and Criminal History Section
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)
441 4th St NW, Room 550 South 
Monday-Friday 9:00am - 5:00 pm

  1. Request the needed form
  • Get in line for the “Police/Background Checks” counter 

  • Tell the employee that you want to request a “Sealing” form. This is formally known as a “Request for Criminal Arrest History for Determining Record Sealing Eligibility of Filing Purposes Only”. 
    • If they ask if you want a background check, explain you are trying to seal your D.C. criminal record and that you need to fill out the background check paperwork for records sealing. 
    • Note: This is not the same form as a “Police Clearance” or “PD70” form, which is usually used for employment. Make sure that you receive the “Criminal Arrest History for Determining Record Sealing Eligibility of Filing Purposes Only” document, which includes more complete information. This form is intended to determine eligibility for record sealing, not just run a simple criminal history report/background check.

  1. The employee will give you a payment slip. Go to the kiosk in the back corner of the room and pay $7. Bring the receipt back to the window.
  2. The employee will give you a day to come back to pick up the document, likely within 2-3 weeks.
  3. When you receive a copy of your Criminal Arrest History for Determining Record Sealing Eligibility of Filing Purposes Only, hold on to this form – you will need it to determine your eligibility to file a motion to seal your arrest record.

D.C. Criminal Court Records

  1. Go to the criminal clerk's office at D.C. Superior Court, located at: 
    Clerk’s Information Office
    Criminal Records Division
    D.C. Superior Court, Room 4001 (on the 4th floor)
    500 Indiana Avenue, NW
    Monday-Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm
  2. Request your entire Superior Court criminal record:
  • Give your name and birth date to the clerk and request your entire Superior Court criminal record OR
  • Use the computers in Room 4001 and search for your records using the Court View software
  1. If the case does not have a number (usually if it is a “no paper” or a “Post & Forfeit”), you must ask the clerk to assign a case number to use in your Motion to Seal. You must have a case number in order to file the Motion.

How To Obtain Your Jail, Sentence Termination, and Release Records

Note: This step is only required if you are seeking to seal a conviction under §16-803. You will not need these records if you were not convicted or are petitioning to seal the record for actual innocence.

  1. First, gather the information you’ll need from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Court. 
    You will need the following information to get your records from the jail (and eventually to file the motion to seal your records):
  • PDID # (Police Department ID Number). This is a number assigned to you by MPD. If you have multiple arrests, this number will be the same in every case
  • Case # (or Docket #) and Charge(s)
  • Important dates in your case: 
    • When you were arrested
    • Disposition date (for example, when you were convicted)
    • When your probation ended
    • Name of Judge
    • Prosecuting Office – whether the prosecutor worked for the Office of the United States Attorney or the D.C. Office of the Attorney General (which used to be called D.C. Corporation Counsel). The name of an individual prosecutor is not needed.
    • Case Disposition – how your case ended or terminated:
      • No Papered (no charges brought against you in court or no case number)
      • No Conviction (dismissed by the prosecution, dismissed by the court, acquitted at trial)
      • Conviction Set Aside (such as under the Youth Rehabilitation Act);
      • Conviction (guilty after a trial, a guilty plea)
  1. Obtain your Sentence Termination Release Record (which will show when you finished serving any prison sentence or finished probation, parole, or supervised release). 
  • You may already have a sentence termination letter or jail release authorization paperwork. In order to use one of these documents for sealing a conviction record, it must include: lists the sentence for the offense that you are filing to seal. Also make sure that the document includes:
    • Your name;
    • The case number(s);
    • A description of your sentence AND;
    • The date your sentence was terminated
  • If you were sentenced to probation, served some or all of your DC sentence in a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, or were on parole or supervised release, you can get a Sentence Termination Letter by going in person to the Community Supervision Officer (CSO) at the Field Unit to which you last reported.
    • If you do not remember the name of your last CSO, but you do remember the Field Unit, go to the Field Unit and ask for the Supervising Community Supervision Officer (SCSO).
    • lf you cannot remember the name of your CSO or the Field Unit OR if your case was old enough that you did not report to a CSOSA Field Unit, then go to:
      Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency
      Offender Processing Unit
      300 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Room 2070
      Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm
      Or email the request to
  • Note: If you were convicted of felony Bail Reform Act violation (the only felony conviction you can get sealed under this law) and you were sentenced to prison time, you served your sentence either in Lorton (if you served time before 2000) or in a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.
  • If you served your sentence at the D.C. Jail or Lorton (misdemeanor sentences are served at the jail and felony Bail Reform Act violation may have been served in Lorton if it happened long enough ago), you must make a written request for a copy of your Release Record. To do so, you should send a request via email to Department of Corrections FOIA Officer Oluwasegun Obebe at 

    You can download a sample letter here.