Criminal Justice Information Services FAQs

Q: What is the Central Repository and what do they have on file? A: The Central Repository maintains criminal records for the entire state of Missouri as reported to them by the different law enforcement agencies and courts of the state. The Repository not only maintains state charges (misdemeanors and felonies), but also maintains selected ordinance violations reported by municipalities. Q: Who maintains the Missouri Central Repository? A: The Missouri State Highway Patrol, Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division maintains the Central Repository per state statute 43.500 RSMo. The office is located on the first floor of the Highway Patrol Annex Building, 1510 East Elm Street, Jefferson City, MO Q: Who is responsible for reporting criminal information to the Repository? A: As mandated by 43.503 RSMo, all law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts, and the Department of Corrections are required to submit certain information related to all felony and aggravated misdemeanor arrests, including all alcohol and drug related traffic offenses. Q: Who may obtain a criminal background check? A: Any person may request a criminal background check on any individual for a fee. The Central Repository may release any open records that have been reported to them. Closed records may be released to those agencies designated by statute as authorized to receive them. See question "What is the difference between open and closed records" below for more details on open and closed records. Q: Where and when can I obtain a criminal background check? A: An individual requesting a background check may utilize the Patrol’s MACHS portal to request a name-based search or a fingerprint-based search. Go online at, click to “register with the name search portal”, or click to “register with the fingerprint portal.” Please refer to the CJIS Division Information Page for more information regarding MACHS. Q: How may I obtain a criminal background check and is there a fee?A: Two types of searches may be performed -- a name search or a fingerprint search.
A name search uses a 1) name, 2) date of birth, and 3) social security number to search the database. A fee of $14.00 is charged for this search. Only open records will be released with a name search. If mailing in the request, the name, date of birth, and social security number of the person on which the request will be done can be put into a letter format along with the return address where the results are to be mailed. A more formal "Request for Criminal Record Check" SHP-158 may also be obtained through our office.

A fingerprint search uses a set of fingerprints to search the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database. A fee of $20.00 is charged for this service. Positive identification can ONLY be assured by a fingerprint search. Closed records may be released with fingerprints only if the requestor is authorized by statute to receive them. Please refer to the CJIS Division Information Page for more information regarding MACHS.

A check or money order is required and must be submitted with the request. No cash will be accepted.
Q: What is the difference between open and closed records? A: Open records include convictions, pending charges within 30 days of the arrest, and suspended imposition of sentences during probation. Closed records are those records when the accused is found not guilty, charges were nolle prossed or dismissed, suspended imposition of sentence after probation is completed, and arrests after 30 days where no charges have yet been filed or reported by the prosecuting attorney. Open records are available to anyone who does a record check on someone. Closed records are only available to oneself, the sentencing advisory commission, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and court personnel, child care agencies, the Department of Revenue, in-home service providers, the Division of Workers' Compensation, criminal justice employers, child care employers, nursing home employers, and to federal agencies for such investigative purposes as authorized by law or presidential executive order. Q: How often are criminal history records updated? A: Criminal history records are updated daily as criminal justice agencies submit the data to the Central Repository. Q: How far back do criminal history records go? A: Records at the Central Repository date back to the 1940's. Prior to the Missouri State Highway Patrol being designated the Central Repository for Missouri, reporting was on a volunteer basis. Since 1987 the reporting has been mandatory. Q: What is the turnaround time for a criminal record check? A: The response for inquiries sent through the mail may take three to five weeks to be returned to the requestor depending upon the difficulty encountered in obtaining missing disposition information from the local courts needed to complete an arrest record. Q: Where can I go to have fingerprints taken for a criminal record search? A: Please refer to the CJIS Division Information Page for more information regarding MACHS. Q: How can I obtain a listing of the registered sex offenders in Missouri? A: The local Sheriff has authority to provide information on registered sexual offenders living in their county. Q: How can I check the sex offender registry on-line? A: Sexual offenders in Missouri are currently listed on the Internet. You can search the sex offender registry by name, county or zip code on our website. Q: How can I obtain information regarding outstanding warrants? A: Information regarding outstanding warrants may be obtained through the local Police Department where the subject resides. You will be required to disclose the whereabouts of the person in question and any other information you may have on this individual. Q: How may I obtain background information on someone I want to be a caregiver? A: The Caregiver Background Screening Service was created through an executive order to assist Missouri citizens in making more informed health-care and day-care choices for family members. The following web page provides general information and links about the various services available to the public to check the backgrounds of caregivers that serve children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.