For Employers/Licensing Entities
Criminal history record information maintained by DCJS may only be released to entities having statutory authority to access that information or pursuant to a judicial order or subpoena. Criminal history records are commonly referred to as rap sheets.
New York State Executive Law defines the “qualified agencies” that are eligible to access criminal history record information. Access to criminal history record information for employment or licensing is permitted only if there is a state law, federal law, or local law of a New York State village, town, city or county that specifically authorizes a fingerprint-based criminal history record background check.
Every agency or organization authorized to access criminal history record information has a contract with DCJS known as a Use and Dissemination Agreement. This agreement outlines the responsibilities of DCJS and the entity authorized to access criminal history record information.
Agencies or organizations seeking access to criminal history record information must submit a request in writing.
Please use this form to submit a request:
- Request for Access to Criminal History Record Information (PDF, 2 pages)
Questions about access to criminal history record information should be directed to the DCJS Office of Legal Services:
- Phone: (518) 457-8413
- E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use “Criminal History Record Information Access Inquiry” in the subject line.
- Surface Mail:
Office of Legal Services
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
RE: Criminal History Record Information Access Inquiry
Alfred E. Smith Building
80 South Swan St.
Albany, New York 12210
The public and agencies and organizations that do not have statutory authority to access criminal history record information maintained by DCJS can check the following for more information:
The New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA) provides court conviction records for a fee of $65.
- Visit www.nycourts.gov and click on the FAQs link or call the Criminal History Search Unit at (212) 428-2943 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday for more information.
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision maintains information about individuals who are serving or have served state prison sentences and those who are, or have been, on parole.
- Visit www.doccs.ny.gov to access the “Inmate Lookup” and “Parolee Lookup” search functions.
The New York State Sex Offender Registry maintains information about registered sex offenders.
- Visit www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor to search for Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders by one of the following: name, county or zip code.
- By law, only information about Level 2 (medium risk of re-offense) and Level 3 (high risk of re-offense) offenders is available online. Information about Level 1 (low risk of re-offense), 2 and 3 offenders, and offenders whose risk level has not yet been determined by a court, is available through a toll-free number: 1-800-262-3257, option 1. Callers must provide a full name and either an exact address, birth date, driver’s license number or Social Security number.
- Employers, volunteer organizations or operators of children’s camps also may submit a list of names to the Registry so those names can be checked against the Registry’s database. For more information, click here.