A Washington State Patrol background check agency is the law enforcement agency in charge of background checks for the state. They allow unrestricted access to records to all law enforcement agencies through their WSP Identification and Criminal History Records Section. These records come from criminal justice organizations and the courts. They allow the general public limited records for non-criminal purposes using their online Access to Criminal History (WATCH) system. Requestors will need the name and date of birth for the subject. Each record request costs $12. Individuals can also get a copy of their own report using fingerprint matching through the mail. The cost for this service is $16 for each copy plus another $38 for fingerprinting. The copy can be notarized for an additional $10. Walk-in service is also available for $16 per report requested.
A Washington state background check used within law enforcement will be unlimited and include everything from all personal details to all criminal activity going back to the first incident. Publicly available background reports, however, will only show personal information like name, address, date of birth, age, gender, race, and physical description. Then it will detail convictions only (felonies and misdemeanors) as well as arrests going back just 1 year and any pending criminal issues that have not yet been resolved by the courts. They will also include information on sex offenders and kidnapping.
Employment is the most popular reason that a background check in Washington state are used. Other purposes are for tenant screening, adoption, foreign travel, insurance, credit, and financing, licensing, certification and security clearances.
Also available to the general public are other background reports that show a myriad of information pulled from various public and private sources. These reports are used for things like checking out a potential business partner or roommate or even someone you might be interested in romantically. They can also be used to find contact and address information or check your own records. They will generally show the following types of information:
Most Washington state criminal background checks are processefd through fingerprints. The state offers them in person at their Olympia office during regular business hours. The fee to be fingerprinted is $38. Individuals can request a Non-Conviction CHRI for employment or other purposes for only $12. This document certifies that the individual does not have a criminal record.
Washington is a partial point of sale, and gun dealers in the state must contact the State Patrol before the purchase of handguns to get a full Washington state gun background check on the buyer. In the case of long guns, gun dealers must comply with federal law and contact the FBI to use NICS for a background information before selling. Private sales must be conducted through a licensed deale0r so that the background report is legally performed. For 2018, Washington has completed 556,327 background checks for gun licensing and sales.
On average 627,301 gun checks annually are being conducted through NICS in California.
The state allows the general public access to background checks on any individual. When used by employers they must first get the person’s signed consent before requesting a copy of their background report. Vacated records are off-limits. The DSP website also includes information for offenders on how to get their records corrected or sealed and also identity theft and how to report it.
Washington state background check laws are strict protecting job applicants, and they observe the ban-the-box rule so employers cannot ask about someone’s criminal history before they determine if the applicant is right for the job. Employers can only ask about arrests that resulted in a conviction and happened during the past ten years. They can only ask about convictions if they directly relate to the job and have occurred within the past ten years. They cannot ask about vacated records. Employers are also subject to federal law and must comply with both The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when using background checks during the hiring process.
According to The Fair Credit Reporting Act, when using sites like InfoTracer to obtain a background check report, the information cannot legally be used to determine credit, employment, tenant screening or any other eligibility requirements for business or professional use.
In 2017, there have been 406 victims of online romance scams in Washington, resulting in $4.4 million adjusted losses associated with these complaints.
|Age Group||Count||Amount Loss|
|20 - 29||966||1,117,049|
|30 - 39||1,081||3,417,562|
|40 - 49||1,221||9,666,124|
|50 - 59||1,048||7,725,610|