Minnesota Criminal History


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Computerized Criminal History (CCH) system?
The Computerized Criminal History (CCH) System is the State central repository for data on subjects arrested for felony, gross misdemeanor, enhanced misdemeanor and some misdemeanor offenses. It is used by the criminal justice community for decisions regarding investigations, arrests, bail/bond, criminal charges, plea bargains, convictions, probation, and placement in correctional facilities. It is also used during mandated background checks on individuals seeking employment or licensing for various positions. CCH also contains valuable information for researchers.
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Q: What is included in a Minnesota criminal history record?
Minnesota criminal history records contain information on all arrests and convictions. State statutes require all law enforcement agencies in the state to report juvenile felony and gross misdemeanor arrests, and adult felony, gross misdemeanor, enhanced gross misdemeanor and targeted misdemeanor arrests to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). They are not required to report other misdemeanor arrests, but they may report them if they choose. The law enforcement agencies send a copy of each arrest fingerprint card to the BCA. The information from each card is recorded in the CCH record. Courts and Corrections report information regarding convictions, court dispositions, probation, and custody actions which are recorded in CCH.
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Q: How do I read a criminal history record?
Minnesota criminal history records contain information on all arrests and convictions.

State statutes require all law enforcement agencies in the state to report juvenile felony and gross misdemeanor arrests, and adult felony, gross misdemeanor, enhanced gross misdemeanor and targeted misdemeanor arrests to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). They are not required to report other misdemeanor arrests, but they may report them if they choose.

The law enforcement agencies send a copy of each arrest fingerprint card to the BCA. The information from each card is recorded in the CCH record. Courts and Corrections report information regarding convictions, court dispositions, probation, and custody actions which are recorded in CCH.
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Q: What does it mean if I receive a no record response on a public criminal history inquiry?
The CCH system will search for an exact match of the information the user enters. Sometimes the user will receive a "no record" response to a search. A "no record" response could mean a number of things. One possibility is that the subject does not have a criminal history record.

Other possibilities include the following:
-The subject's record is not public data.
-The subject's name was entered incorrectly.
-A nickname was entered, rather than the name associated with the record.
-Criminal data about the subject was not sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
-The subject's record is under a former name, such as a maiden name.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension may not have access to all criminal history information maintained by local police departments, courts, and federal agencies, such as the FBI.

It is also important to note that criminal data is subject to change; therefore, the outcome of CCH searches may vary over time. Refer to the brochure,
[Accessing and Reading Criminal History Records], for additional information about reading criminal history responses.
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Q: How complete is a criminal history record?
A criminal history record is only as complete and accurate as the information that is provided to the BCA by law enforcement, courts, and corrections. If fingerprints are not received for an offense the information related to that offense will not be part of a criminal history record even if it resulted in a conviction.

In addition, you may receive a conviction record but no confinement information if a fingerprint card was not received from the confinement agency.
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Q: Are fingerprints required for a criminal history record search?
Fingerprints are not required to conduct the CCH record search at the BCA. In some instances the BCA will request fingerprints of the subject of the record to ensure the correct record is disseminated. Since all CCH data is based on fingerprint identification, fingerprinting is the only method we have to guarantee the record belongs to a specific individual.
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Q: Can I obtain a record for a state other than Minnesota?
The BCA does not maintain records of arrests and convictions occurring in other states. You may contact other state bureaus regarding the procedures for accessing their records.
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Q: How do I request a federal criminal history record?
Federal records are available for the individual of the record or when mandated or allowed by state statute. For information regarding your own federal criminal history record, contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at 304-625-3878.
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Q: What if I believe the information in a record is inaccurate or incomplete?
Procedure to follow if an individual subject of the data believes the information is inaccurate or incomplete.

PROCEDURE:

1. Persons requesting to review their record must complete and sign a "Request for Review of Individual's Criminal History Record Information" form.

2. A search of the file will be made by name and date of birth.

3. If no record is found, no review can take place.

4. If a record is located by name and date of birth, fingerprints are taken to compare with the prints on file for that record.

5. If prints match, the record is presented for review.

6. If prints do not match, no review can take place. Refer to the
[Questioned Identity Information Sheet].

7. A copy will be supplied, if requested, for the established fee.

8. If the individual does not agree with the information maintained on the BCA file, he or she has the right to challenge that information by indicating in writing that part of the record which he or she is challenging as being inaccurate or incomplete (13.04, subd. 4).

9. Upon receiving notification of challenge, the BCA shall immediately flag the record in dispute. Data in dispute shall be disclosed only if the individual's statement of disagreement is included with the disclosed data (13.04, subd. 4)

10. Within 30 days, CJIS personnel shall examine the record and trace the data back to the source documents and/or submitting agencies, to determine the accuracy and completeness.

11. If CJIS personnel determine the record is in error, it shall immediately be corrected.

12. Should CJIS determine that information on the record is correct, they will notify the subject of the record that no change to the record will be made. CJIS will also notify the subject of their right to appeal (13.04, sub. 4 and Chapter 14, Contested Cases Procedures) along with the contested cases procedures.

Note: If data is correct, but still disputed, the subject may go to the source of the document to dispute the data.
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Q: What if I see my name on a record that isn't mine?

[Click here to be directed to the Questioned Identity Information Sheet]

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Q: What is considered public information?
Data on criminal convictions is public for 15 years following the completion of the sentence.

Public information includes: offense, date of the offense, court of conviction, date of the conviction, sentence, level of conviction and probation agency or place of confinement.

The public information does not include an individual's arrest history.


*Juvenile criminal history information is considered private, and can only be released as described in Minnesota State Statute 299C.095.
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Q: What is considered private information?
Private data includes all arrest information, all juvenile records*, all court information and convictions more than 15 years old.


* Juvenile criminal history information is considered private, and can only be released as described in Minnesota State Statute 299C.095.
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Q: Who can access public records?
Any person may obtain public information on anyone.

Records may be viewed at the BCA Office, using the public computer terminal in the lobby or through the
[internet application].
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Q: Who can access private records?
Only in certain situations may a person access private data on another person. Private record information may only be accessed by:
  • The subject of the record
  • Criminal justice agencies for criminal justice purposes
  • Individuals and organizations mandated to conduct background checks
  • Any individual that has a notarized Informed Consent Form signed by the adult subject of the record


When accessing private records thru informed consent, the BCA requires that its Informed Consent Form is used. Click
[here] to obtain a sample Informed Consent Form or call the BCA at 651/793-2400 to request a copy be mailed or faxed to you.

* Juvenile criminal history information is considered private, and can only be released as described in Minnesota State Statute 299C.095.
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Q: How can I obtain a copy of my own criminal history record?
You may request a printed copy of your own criminal history record by writing or visiting the BCA office. You will receive both public and private data. Written requests must include:

Full name with correct spelling, date of birth, and any other names used, including maiden and former married names.
Enclose a personal check, money order, cashier's check, certified or business check, for $8.00 made payable to the BCA. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Response time for mail requests is approximately two weeks. Our mailing address is:

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Criminal Justice Information Systems - CHA
1430 Maryland Ave. E.
St. Paul, MN 55106


If you wish to view your criminal history record the lobby hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed on holidays. You will need to provide some acceptable form of identification, e.g. driver's license. Fingerprints may be required to verify your identity. There is no fee charged to view your record, however there is an $8.00 fee for a printed copy.
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Q: How can I obtain a copy of another person's criminal history record?
To obtain a public criminal history record, you may do one of the following:

1) Access it via the Internet - The Public Criminal History Record Search Web site allows access to public criminal history information. A first and last name and date of birth is required for this search.
[Click here to access Internet site].

2) Request it via U.S. Mail - Your request must include the complete, correct spelling of the first and last names, middle name if available and date of birth. Enclose a personal check, money order, cashier's check, certified or business check, for $4.00 made payable to the BCA. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Response time for mail requests is approximately two weeks. Our mailing address is:

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Criminal Justice Information Systems - CHA
1430 Maryland Ave. E.
St. Paul, MN 55106


3) Visit the BCA Office in Person - You can check names and look at the records for no charge at a public terminal located in our lobby area; however, there is a $4.00 fee if you want a printed copy. Payment for criminal history searches is accepted through cash, personal checks, money orders, certified checks, or business checks. Our office is located on the corner of Maryland Avenue and Phalen Blvd. in St. Paul.

To obtain a full (public and private) criminal history record, you may do one of the following:

1) Request it via U.S. Mail - Your request must include the complete, correct spelling of the first and last names, middle name if available and date of birth. Enclose a personal check, money order, cashier's check, certified or business check, for $15.00 made payable to the BCA. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Response time for mail requests is approximately two weeks. Our mailing address is:

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Criminal Justice Information Systems - CHA
1430 Maryland Ave. E.
St. Paul, MN 55106


2) Visit the BCA Office in Person - Bring a notarized Informed Consent Form signed by the subject of the record along with a money order or check for $15.00** made payable to the BCA and a large manila envelope. You may pick up the completed criminal history record at the BCA in three working days.

**Fee for Charitable Nonprofit Organizations: The fee for charitable nonprofits is $8.00.
To qualify for the reduced fee you must provide a copy of the form issued by the IRS that designates your organization as a 501(c) 3 organization.
This form should be sent to the BCA, Attn: CJIS/Non-profit account.

We will then assign you an account number (those of you with accounts, your account number will remain the same). All subsequent submissions must contain the account number and "Nonprofit Organization" on the consent form. You will be eligible for the reduced rate upon receipt of the above documentation.

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Q: What is the Informed Consent procedure that needs to be followed when requesting another individual's private criminal history?
For a full criminal record you must have an
[informed consent document] including the notarized signature of the individual on whom the check is being run and you must correspond by mail to get the information.

You must also include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. The cost for this service is $15.00 per inquiry.

The BCA does not supply consent forms, however, a sample form which includes the required data can be viewed/printed from [here] Payment for criminal records searches is accepted through cash, personal checks, money orders, certified checks or business checks.

Checks must be made out to the BCA.
Mailing address is:

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Criminal Justice Information Section
ATTN: Record Checks
1430 Maryland Ave. E.
St. Paul, MN 55106


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Q: If I have additional questions, how do I contact the BCA?
Call the BCA at 651-793-2400 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., if you need additional information.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
CJIS Section
1430 Maryland Ave. E.
St. Paul, MN 55106

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Q: What are the BCA's lobby and business hours?
BCA Lobby hours 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
BCA Business hours 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Open Monday through Friday, closed holidays.

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Q: Issuance of Worthless Check Notice

* * * NOTICE * * *

 
 
A $30.00 service charge will be added to all dishonored checks. You may also be subjected to a civil penalty of $100.00 or 100% of the value of the check, whichever is greater, plus interest and attorney fees. (Reference MS §604.113)

 
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