The Revised Washington Code Chapter 43 states that a crime information center be located in the state of Washington that functions under the chief of Washington State Patrol and acts as a source of datafor law enforcement agencies in the state, nongovernment establishments and individuals.
This central repository should store information on driver’s licenses, national and state crime information, arrest records, finger prints, motor vehicle registration and sex offenders.
Pursuant to this law, the CHRI (Identification and Criminal History section of Washington State) was established in the legislative sessions of 1972. All local law enforcement agencies are obligated to send crime related information collected by them to the Section. The CHRI repository consists of finger print as well as name based records which are disseminated to the public in the interest of community safety.
All information pertaining to complaints filed in misdemeanor and felony cases lodged across the state are stored in the Washington State Identification Database. When requested, the CHRI offers such data as the arrest warrants issued and served , charges filed against the individual, case verdict and correctional data like the center where the offender was/is being held.
While it is possible to seek information solely on the basis of a name check, the Washington State Patrol offers no guarantee for the accuracy of the data unless a more reliable finger print search is initiated.
Because Washington is an open record state, just about anybody can access this data through the WATCH program (Washington Access to Criminal History). When requesting the information, applicants can merely furnish the first and last name of the subject along with any ancillary information available like his/her age, gender, race and social security number that can narrow down the search and bring back more accurate results.
A name based online search initiated through the official website of Washington State Patrol at https://www.wsp.wa.gov/crime/criminal-history/
will cost an applicant $10 while applying for the same information through mail will set you back by $17. A finger print verification is charged slightly higher at $26 and notarizing the information will be an additional $10.
Although conviction data is offered to applicants, the general public cannot access arrest records that did not result in a conviction. Also, when seeking this information, you will need to provide personal details including your name, phone number and address. Washington State Patrol does not offer federal crime information to the public.
Applying for a background check
For conducting a criminal history search, visit the website of WSP at fortress.wa.gov/wsp/watch/ and furnish your credit card related information. Once this is verified, you will be directed to the search page where you can insert the first and last name of your subject to receive a background report. For every search initiated, you will be charged $10, this also includes inquiries that do not bring back conclusive results as well as those where a conviction record cannot be found.
If you would like to receive this information through mail, you will have to fill in the user form at fortress.wa.gov/wsp and mail it to Washington State Patrol at
Washington State Patrol CHRI Section
PO Box 42633
Olympia, WA 98504-2633
Include a money order or business check of $17 along with a self addressed envelope to receive the requested data. If you are interested in a finger print verification, you will need to submit finger print cards to the Olympia office of the agency. You can get the finger printing done at the local sheriff’s office or visit the WSP headquarters for this; you will be charged $13 for making the finger print cards.
Nonprofits that provide care for children and vulnerable adults can receive background checks from the WATCH program for free. Finally, remember that WSP does not provide information on records where an arrest was made but did not result in conviction, for such data, you will have to rely on third parties offering criminal history information.