Obtaining Criminal History Record Information

Obtaining Criminal History Record Information
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I obtain a copy of my Georgia criminal history record?
You can obtain a copy of your Georgia criminal history record from most Sheriff's Offices or Police Departments. Contact your local law enforcement agency for specific requirements to obtain a copy of your Georgia criminal history record.

What information is contained in a Georgia criminal history record?
The information contained in a Georgia criminal history record includes the person's identification data (name, date of birth, social security number, sex, race, height, weight, etc.), arrest data (including arresting agency, date of arrest and charges), final judicial disposition data submitted by a court, prosecutor or other criminal justice agency and custodial information, if the offender was incarcerated in a Georgia correctional facility.

What Georgia criminal history record information (CHRI) is released for employment or licensing purposes?
Georgia CHRI released for employment/licensing purposes includes the individual’s complete Georgia criminal history record minus any juvenile, restricted and sealed records. Juvenile arrest records are those where the offender was 16 years old or younger at the time of arrest, charged with a felony offense and was not treated as an adult. Restricted records are those arrest records restricted (not released for employment/licensing purposes) under the provisions of Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37); however, restricted records are available to criminal justice agencies for employment purposes. Sealed records include successfully completed first offender (FOA) sentences. O.C.G.A. § 42-8-60 states: A defendant sentenced pursuant to this article (First Offender Act) shall be exonerated of guilt and shall stand discharged as a matter of law as soon as the defendant: (1) Completes the terms of his or her probation, which shall include the expiration of the sentence by virtue of the time frame of the sentence passing, provided that such sentence has not otherwise been tolled or suspended; (2) Is released by the court under Code Section 42-8-37, 42-8-103, or 42-8-103.1 prior to the termination of the period of his or her probation; or (3) Is released from confinement and parole, provided that the defendant is not serving a split sentence… Additionally, O.C.G.A. § 42-8-63.1 provides circumstances when an exonerated first offender’s criminal record may be disclosed for employment purposes.

When a contractor, vendor, visitor or volunteer is requesting access to a secure facility, e.g. confinement facility, military base, etc., the facility – whether it be a local, state or federal agency – will receive the individual’s complete Georgia criminal history record, minus any juvenile records. Contractors and vendors are defined as carpet cleaners, cooks, individuals responsible for maintaining vending machines, janitors, painters, etc. Volunteers include individuals providing community or social services, rather than rehabilitative services or participants in community ride along programs.

Can I obtain a Georgia criminal history record of another person?
O.C.G.A. § 35-3-34 provides that private persons and businesses may obtain the Georgia criminal history record of another person by providing a signed consent of the person whose records are requested on a form prescribed by the center, which shall include such person's full name, address, social security number, and date of birth. Contact your local law enforcement agency for information on how to request the Georgia criminal history record of another person.

O.C.G.A. § 35-3-34 (d.2) provides public access to felony conviction records without consent of the person whose record is being checked. The person’s full name, race, sex and date of birth must be provided at the time of the request. Law enforcement agencies may also provide felony conviction records. Additionally, you can use the Georgia Felon Search web site (maintained by the Georgia Technology Authority) to request in-state felony conviction records. There is a transaction fee payable by credit card (see web site for details).

How do I obtain a name-based Georgia criminal history record check from the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) for employment, licensing, or any other non-criminal justice purpose?
The GCIC does not conduct name-based criminal history record checks. Please contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance with name-based checks.

How do I obtain a fingerprint-based Georgia criminal history record check from GCIC for employment, licensing, or any other non-criminal justice purpose?
O.C.G.A. § 35-3-35 provides that the GCIC is authorized to make criminal history records maintained by the center available to public agencies, political subdivisions, authorities, and instrumentalities, including state or federal licensing and regulatory agencies or their designated representatives, under the following conditions:

  • Public agencies or political subdivisions shall, at the time of the request, provide the fingerprints of the person whose records are requested in such manner prescribed by the center, which may include the electronic imaging of a person's fingerprints, or provide a signed consent of the person whose records are requested on a form prescribed by the center which shall include such person's full name, address, social security number, and date of birth; provided, however, that the provisions of this paragraph shall supersede any other provision relating to the submission of fingerprints to the center.

Any Georgia or out-of-state agency/business wanting a background check on Georgia applicants for employment, licensing or any other non-criminal justice purposes must use the on-line Georgia Applicant Processing Service (GAPS) (https://www.aps.gemalto.com/). Agencies/businesses wanting a background check for employment or licensing must obtain a GAPS account number. Visit the GAPS website at https://www.aps.gemalto.com/ and click the ‘Become a Requesting Agency’ tab for information on obtaining a GAPS account number.

Fixed GAPS fingerprinting sites for conducting Georgia criminal history background checks are located throughout the state. Results, including the Georgia criminal history record should be available for the agency to retrieve from the GAPS website within 24 to 48 hours after the applicant is fingerprinted and the transaction submitted to GCIC for processing. The GAPS website will handle collection of fees, which eliminates the need for agencies to collect and process fees for fingerprint-based checks. A valid photo ID is required at the fingerprint location. Visit the GAPS website https://www.aps.gemalto.com/ for details on the GAPS fingerprint background check process, fees, and print site locations.

How do I obtain a Georgia fingerprint-based background check for visa/immigration, out of state employment, or other personal requests?
Georgia residents may visit the GAPS website at https://www.aps.gemalto.com/ and click the ‘Applicant Registration’ tab.
You may also contact GCIC at (404) 244-2639, Option 2 or email GAApplicant@gbi.ga.gov for additional assistance with registration.

How do I request a correction or update of my Georgia criminal history record?
GCIC cannot correct or update inaccurate or missing Georgia criminal history record information without appropriate documentation and/or authorization from the submitting agency. As of December 1, 2008, a law enforcement agency must use the web-based Computerized Criminal History (CCH) User Interface to update or modify arrest and identification data submitted by the agency. All other criminal justice agencies such as courts, prosecutors and probation/parole offices are encouraged to transmit online updates or modifications, thereby reducing the time to complete the record update. Written requests submitted to GCIC must be on official agency letterhead, with the following information: full name of subject, date of birth, social security number, race, sex, and date of arrest; or State Identification Number (SID) and date of arrest or Offender Tracking Number (OTN) for that date of arrest; and the requested changes. The request cannot be processed if the above information is not included in the document.

How do I contest the information contained in my Georgia criminal history record if it is inaccurate or if my identity has been used in another individual's criminal history record?
To contest the accuracy of information in your Georgia criminal history record, or if your identification data was used in another individual's Georgia criminal history record, your fingerprints must be submitted to GCIC for comparison. A fee, payable by certified check or money order to the GCIC, is required. Click here for the inspection and fingerprinting fees. See the GCIC Contact Information on the last page to schedule an appointment.
If you are unable to come in person, the following information is required:

  1. A signed written request with a brief explanation for the request to include the specific data that is being challenged and a complete return mailing address.
  2. Two completed applicant fingerprint cards with all the applicant's personal information (name, date of birth, place of birth, etc.) and a current set of 10 rolled fingerprints and eight flat finger impressions. Fingerprints and impressions must be taken by a local law enforcement agency. Please include a photocopy of the applicant’s identification that was presented to the law enforcement agency that did the printing and provide its address and telephone number so that GCIC may contact the agency if there are any questions.
  3. A fee, payable by certified check or money order to the Georgia Crime Information Center is required. Click here for the inspection fee.

Information should be mailed to the address listed in the contact information. Your request will be processed and a certificate (letter) with the results mailed to you.

How do I obtain a copy of a criminal history record from a State other than Georgia?
Contact the State criminal justice agency (Bureau of Investigation, State Police, etc.) to obtain information on requirements and fees. Requirements may be listed on the agency’s website.

How do I obtain a copy of my national criminal history record?
Individuals may obtain a copy of their national criminal history record from the FBI. Visit the FBI website at https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks/us-department-of-justice-order-556-73 for information on how to request a copy of your national criminal history record.

What is Georgia’s First Offender Act (FOA)?
The Georgia FOA is outlined in O.C.G.A. § 42-8-60, which states that a defendant sentenced pursuant to this article (FOA) shall be exonerated of guilt and shall stand discharged as a matter of law as soon as the defendant: (1) Completes the terms of his or her probation, which shall include the expiration of the sentence by virtue of the time frame of the sentence passing, provided that such sentence has not otherwise been tolled or suspended; (2) Is released by the court under Code Section 42-8-37, 42-8-103, or 42-8-103.1 prior to the termination of the period of his or her probation; or (3) Is released from confinement and parole, provided that the defendant is not serving a split sentence…

If one of the three sentencing conditions are met, i.e. the terms of the first offender sentence are successfully completed and the probationer is discharged, the charge(s) would be sealed on the Georgia criminal history database as soon as the discharge is applied; however, such information may be available through other sources, including court docket books, criminal justice agency websites, or through “third party” vendors.

Georgia law no longer requires GCIC to change the first offender sentence to a conviction if, prior to successful discharge, the subject is arrested and convicted of another offense while still on first offender probation or the offender has received prior FOA treatment. However, courts may revoke a first offender sentence, indicate unsatisfactory completion of the first offender sentence or change to an adjudication of guilt.

Additionally, O.C.G.A. § 42-8-63.1 provides circumstances when an exonerated first offender’s criminal record may be disclosed to certain agencies for specific employment purposes; thus, the information will be disseminated to the prospective employer.

What is Conditional Discharge?
Conditional discharge is designed for offenders not previously convicted of 1) furnishing alcoholic beverages to, and purchasing, attempting to purchase, and possession of alcoholic beverages by, a person under 21 years of age (O.C.G.A. § 3-3-23.1), or 2) possession of controlled substances as first offense and certain nonviolent property crimes.

§ 3-3-23.1 (c) – Whenever any person who has not been previously convicted of any offense under this Code section or under any other law of the United States or this or any other state relating to alcoholic beverages pleads guilty to or is found guilty of a violation of paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 3-3-23, the court, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of such person, may defer further proceedings and place such person on probation upon such reasonable terms and conditions as the court may require. The terms of probation shall preferably be such as require the person to undergo a comprehensive rehabilitation program (including, if necessary, medical treatment), not to exceed three years, designed to acquaint such person with the ill effects of alcohol abuse and with knowledge of the gains and benefits which can be achieved by being a good member of society. Upon violation of a term or condition of probation, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed accordingly. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions of probation, the court shall discharge such person and dismiss the proceedings against him or her. Discharge and dismissal under this subsection shall be without court adjudication of guilt and shall not be deemed a conviction for purposes of this subsection or for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime. Discharge and dismissal under this subsection may occur only once with respect to any person.

§ 16-13-2 (a) – Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of any offense under Article 2 or Article 3 of this chapter or of any statute of the United States or of any state relating to narcotic drugs, marijuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drugs, pleads guilty to or is found guilty of possession of a narcotic drug, marijuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drug, the court may without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of such person defer further proceedings and place him on probation upon such reasonable terms and conditions as the court may require, preferably terms which require the person to undergo a comprehensive rehabilitation program, including, if necessary, medical treatment, not to exceed three years, designed to acquaint him with the ill effects of drug abuse and to provide him with knowledge of the gains and benefits which can be achieved by being a good member of society. Upon violation of a term or condition, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed accordingly. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against him. Discharge and dismissal under this Code section shall be without court adjudication of guilt and shall not be deemed a conviction for purposes of this Code section or for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime. Discharge and dismissal under this Code section may occur only once with respect to any person.

Individuals sentenced in accordance with the provisions of O.C.G.A. §§ 3-3-23.1 or 16-13-2 and successfully complete the terms and conditions of their probation will have that portion of their Georgia criminal history record information restricted for employment and licensing purposes.

What is Record Restriction?
O.C.G.A. § 35-3-37 allows for the restriction* of arrest charges by a local law enforcement agency when certain conditions are met (as outlined in this statute). If approved by the appropriate prosecutor, the arrest cycle is sealed on the Georgia criminal history record. Access to that arrest information is restricted to criminal justice agencies only.

* "Restrict," "restricted," or "restriction" means that the criminal history record information of an individual relating to a particular charge shall be available only to judicial officials and criminal justice agencies for law enforcement or criminal investigative purposes or to criminal justice agencies for purposes of employment in accordance with procedures established by the center and shall not be disclosed or otherwise made available to any private persons or businesses pursuant to Code Section 35-3-34 or to governmental agencies or licensing and regulating agencies pursuant to Code Section 35-3-35.

Examples of final court dispositions that qualify for record restriction include: Dismissed, Not Presented to Grand Jury, No Further Action Anticipated, Nolle Prossed/Prosequi, Dead Docket, or No Record on File. Guilty dispositions are not eligible for record restriction. It is recommended that you review a copy of your criminal history prior to submitting the Request to Restrict Arrest Record Application to ensure that all charges have a final disposition listed and the disposition qualifies for restriction. If a disposition is missing or incorrect, please contact the appropriate court; the court may transmit the disposition on-line. All applications must be approved or denied by the appropriate prosecutor.

To apply for a record restriction, contact the arresting law enforcement agency to obtain an application for Request to Restrict Arrest Record. Also, the application can be found on the GBI website at www.gbi.georgia.gov by clicking the ‘Services’ tab and then Georgia Criminal History Record Restrictions or click on this link Georgia Criminal History Record Restrictions.

The Request to Restrict Arrest Record form has three sections:
Section One – You will complete and return to the arresting agency.
Section Two – The arresting agency will complete and forward the request to the appropriate prosecutor (District Attorney or Solicitor).
Section Three – The appropriate prosecutor will review Sections One and Two and either approve or deny the request.
Once the prosecutor completes Section Three, all three sections should be forwarded to GCIC with the required processing fee payable by certified check or money order. Click here for the fee.

What is the process for an attorney to request a client's criminal history record?
O.C.G.A. § 35-3-34 (a) (2) provides that the GCIC is authorized to make criminal history records of the defendant or witnesses in a criminal action available to counsel for the defendant upon receipt of a written request from the defendant's counsel. Such request shall contain the style of the case, the case number, the full name and identifying information (date of birth, race, sex and social security number, if available) of each person whose records are requested. Mail the request to the attention of "attorney requests" at the address listed in the contact information. A fee payable to GCIC by business check or money order is required for each record requested. Click here for the attorney fee. Any fees shall be waived in cases where the court has determined the defendant to be indigent.

Disclosure of criminal history record information (CHRI) to the defendant's counsel shall be solely in such counsel's capacity as an officer of the court. Any use of such information in a manner not authorized by law or the court in which such action is pending where the records were disclosed shall constitute a violation of O.C.G.A. § 35-3-38.

In civil actions, Georgia CHRI is available with written consent of the person whose records are requested. Without written consent, only felony conviction CHRI is disseminated in compliance with O.C.G.A. § 35-3-34. This information may also be obtained from local law enforcement agencies; fees vary.

The GCIC no longer provides Public Defender Offices with CHRI. Public Defender Offices must either arrange with a local law enforcement agency to run criminal history records on its behalf or use the GCIC Computerized Criminal History (CCH) User Interface (UI). This requires each Public Defender’s Office to use a State-assigned Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) number. Any Public Defender’s Office that does not have an ORI must submit a written request to GCIC. Questions may be directed to (404) 244-2639, Option 3.

Other attorneys may submit requests via fax at (404) 270-8386. Questions may be directed to (404) 244-2639, Option 3.

Someone has been using my identity for financial (material) gain. What should I do?
Effective July 1, 1998, it is a felony in Georgia to use someone else's identity to obtain something of value (O.C.G.A. § 16-9-120).

1) Contact your local police department or sheriff's department to report the theft of your identity.
2) Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Georgia Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) to report the theft of your identity.

3) Contact the major credit reporting bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit report.

  • Equifax, P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, Georgia, 30374-0250 (800) 525-6285
  • Experian, P.O. Box 1017, Allen, Texas, 75013, (888) 397-3742
  • Trans Union, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, California, 92634, (800) 680-7289

4) Contact any company that provided credit or other intangible or tangible property to the person who stole your identity.

Contact Information
Georgia Crime Information Center
CCH/Identification Services
P.O. Box 370808
Decatur, Georgia 30037-0808

Fax: 404-270-8417

Email:
gacriminalhistory@gbi.state.ga.us (Criminal history updates/modifications)
GAApplicant@gbi.ga.gov (Employment, licensing, visa (travel) or any other non-criminal justice purpose)

Telephone Helpline: 404-244-2639
Option 1.             Criminal history inquiries regarding record restriction or updates
Option 2.             Applicant background information
Option 3.             Attorney or Public Defender
Option 4.             Live scan or identification services