Applicant Frequently Asked Questions

Unless you have a conviction/charge expunged, vacated, or sealed, it may still appear on your background check regardless of time passed. Contact the court or reporting source to find out how to have convictions and/or charges removed. 


The applicant may request a copy of their BCCU results from the entity that requested the background check or by sending a completed Request for Background Check Information Form to BCCU to Due to confidentiality reasons, BCCU cannot discuss the results over the phone with the applicant until the applicant has received their results. The applicant will need to have the results readily available when they contact BCCU to discuss the information.


BCCU does not have the ability to remove your criminal history directly. However, there are a number of methods of removing or minimizing the effects of criminal history, which may or may not be appropriate for you based on your particular situation. The common methods are: 

  • Have the non-conviction information Expunged/Deleted:
    • Under RCW 10.97.060, non-conviction information can be destroyed under certain circumstances, and will be unavailable. Please see WA State Patrol’s Expungement Checklist for more information.
  • Have the crime Vacated:
    • Effective July 28, 2019, the New Hope Act (HB 1041) modifies the criteria for vacating felonies and misdemeanors, making the eligibility requirements broader. Only certain convictions are eligible to be vacated under the act. For more information, see Vacating Record of Felony Conviction and Vacating Misdemeanor and Gross Misdemeanor Convictions.
    • Under RCW Chapter 9.96, courts are authorized to vacate the record of conviction by setting aside the guilty plea/verdict. While vacated convictions may still be discoverable, for purposes of BCCU a vacated crime is not used in determining results. A person whose conviction has been vacated may legally state they have never been convicted of that crime. Please see WA Courts guide to sealing/vacating records for more information.
  • Have a misdemeanor marijuana possession offense Vacated:
    • On May 13, 2019, Governor Inslee signed SB 5605, Concerning Marijuana Offense Convictions. Every person convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession offenses in Washington, who was 21 years of age or older at the time of the offense, may apply to the sentencing court to vacate his or her conviction record for the marijuana offense. Please see Marijuana Justice Initiative for more information.
  • Have the crime Sealed:
    • Under Washington state court rules, a court may seal a record to prevent access to the contents of the record. Sealing does not destroy the record or prevent the existence of the record from being reported, and the record may be subject to a future order unsealing it. For purposes of BCCU a sealed crime is not used in determining results. Please see WA Courts guide to sealing/vacating records for more information.
  • Obtain a Pardon:
    • Under the Washington state constitution the Governor may pardon an individual, which may restore certain civil rights and typically removes the conviction information from publicly-accessible data. While this information may still be discoverable, BCCU treats pardoned Washington State crimes as non-convictions if they are based on rehabilitation or innocence. Please see the Clemency & Pardon Board for additional information.
  • Obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation of Opportunity (CROP):
    • Under RCW Chapter 9.97, anyone may petition the courts for a certificate of restoration of opportunity. With a CROP, in many cases you may no longer be denied for a license based solely on your conviction. However, there are many exemptions to this process that apply to DSHS. Please see WA Courts Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity brochure for more information.

Review the Disqualifying List of Crimes and Negative Actions to see if you have criminal history information that appears on the program list that applies to your background check. If you have criminal history information under the applicable list, including negative administrative actions reported by state programs or agencies such as the Department of Health - DOH, Adult Protective Services - APS, or Child Protective Services - CPS, you may also be disqualified. All findings or negative actions must be addressed directly with the reporting source, like DOH or CPS. If a program is reporting a finding for you, the program’s contact information will be on your background check results. If you are still unsure why you are disqualified, you may contact BCCU.

There may be different reasons why the documents you provided to clarify a crime did not change the results:

  • The clarifying documents may still list the crime as being on the applicable Disqualifying List of Crimes and Negative Actions.
  • BCCU did not receive enough information, such as the specific month, date, and year of the crime, charge and/or degree of the crime, or other details.
  • The clarifying documents did not match the background check information BCCU received from a reporting source, such as the dates, details, degree, crime(s), and state the crime was committed. If the documents do not match, the differences will be interpreted as a separate crime.

BCCU may ask you for more information before completing your background check. If we cannot accurately determine a result (no record, record, or disqualify) from the criminal history information that is provided to us, the background check will stay in incomplete status until more information is provided.

This information is frequently used to clarify or to provide context to the crime. Although each additional information request is different, some of the common requests are:

  • For Theft, Larceny, Shoplifting, & Embezzlement charges: What property/services/items were stolen? What was the dollar value of the goods stolen?
  • For Assault, Domestic Violence, & Battery charges: Who was the victim(s)? What injuries did the victim sustain? What weapon(s), if any, were used?
  • For Burglary, Residential Burglary, & Robbery charges: What type of structure was burglarized? Were any weapons used? Did any assaults occur during the crime or while leaving the crime?
  • For Drug related charges: Explanation of circumstances including actions that led to the arrest, the nature of the substance, the purpose of the possession (personal use, sales, delivery, cultivation, manufacture).

BCCU's goal is to complete a review of submitted court documents and applicant affidavits and respond to the requestor within five working days of receipt. However, the processing time will vary depending upon staff availability. Please refer to our Turnaround Times page.

After reviewing the information submitted, BCCU will contact the applicant to let them know whether or not the result notification will be updated.  If the result notification is updated, BCCU will send out an updated notification to the entity.

Additional Information Packets are sent to applicants and must be returned by mail, fax, or attached in an email.  Information cannot be provided over the phone.  


An Applicant Affidavit is a legal form used to provide additional information regarding crimes, negative actions, and applicant self-disclosures. All required fields must be filled out and the form needs to be signed. If an Applicant Affidavit is electronically signed, a photo ID must be attached. View our YouTube tutorial on completing an Additional Information request.   

If you have not received your Additional Information Needed packet, please fill out the Applicant Request for a Copy of Background Check Information Form. If you have any questions about the information BCCU is requesting, please call BCCU Processing Staff at (360) 902-7538 or email