UK Criminal Record Check Requirements & Information

  • The basic disclosure

    The UK criminal record basic disclosure certificate will show all convictions held which are unspent. Any spent convictions will not be shown on the certificate.

    What are spent and unspent convictions?

    Certain criminal convictions are ‘spent’ after a rehabilitation period as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974. Most rehabilitation periods are halved if the individual was under 18 when convicted; some convictions never become spent.

    Making an application

    Applications for criminal record checks are made by individual employees, not by you as employer. There are two ways of making applications for the UK and Northern Ireland:

    • each person who needs a disclosure can apply separately
    • you – as their employer – can send them in as a batch, as long as all the applicants have given permission

    Applicants from Scotland should apply online to Disclosure Scotland for a basic disclosure certificate.

    Applicants from England and Wales should apply online to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for a basic disclosure certificate.

    Applicants from Northern Ireland should apply via post to Access NI for a basic disclosure certificate.

    The fee for each disclosure is currently 25 (GBP) from Disclosure Scotland, or 26 (GBP) from Access NI. This is normally paid by the employee but employers can pay instead if they wish. To arrange this, you will need to contact Disclosure Scotland on Tel 0870 609 6006 or Access NI on Tel 02890 259100.

    Returned applications

    Both Disclosure Scotland and Access NI normally return basic disclosure certificates in response to a fully valid application within 10 working days.

    Applicants can choose to have their certificate sent to their employer’s address. If so, the envelope will be addressed to them. You, as their employer, must not open it. If you do so, any disclosures requested in the future will only be sent directly to the applicants at their home address.

    The applicant can pass the criminal record certificate to anyone they choose. You, as the employer, will have to ask them for their certificate, and get permission from the applicant to pass it on to a third party (for example, in aviation, to the airport manager if necessary.

Getting Police Clearance for UK

You can submit online application at

What you will need

1. Proof of your current address – You must provide ONE proof of your current address from this list. Your current address is where you live now and can be outside of the UK. The UK driving licence paper counterpart is not an acceptable proof of address, even if it shows your current address.

2. A recent passport style colour photograph – You must upload one high quality, recent passport style colour photograph that clearly identifies you (the applicant). This photograph will be included on your Police Certificate. Your photograph should meet the same standards required for a UK passport (approximately 45mm x 35mm). To view guidance on acceptable photographs, please click here.

3. Colour copies of your passport(s) / travel document / official photographic identity document – You must upload colour copies of your passport(s) / travel document which clearly show your photograph, personal information, expiry date, nationality, machine readable zone, extension pages and signature (if applicable). Copies of other official photographic identity documents should show as many of these features as possible. We will not accept black and white copies.

4. Copies of any necessary legal documents e.g. Power of Attorney, authorisation document, signed letter of authority etc (if applicable).

5. A valid email address.

6. Your address history – You must provide your address history for the last 10 years, including the dates you lived at the addresses. If you have lived outside of the UK for more than 10 years you will also be asked to provide your last UK address.

7. Endorser details – Your application must be endorsed by a suitable individual. We require your endorser’s full name, occupation, relationship to you (e.g. friend, employer etc. but NOT family), a telephone number, and their email address as we may send your passport photograph to them as part of our check. Click here for a list of possible endorsers.

8. UK National Insurance and Driving Licence numbers (if applicable).

PLEASE NOTE: Each file you upload must be no more than 2MB in size and must be in JPGGIFTIF or PDF format. Passport style colour photographs must be in JPGGIFor TIF only. Please note that if we cannot read your documents due to low image quality then your application may be delay


There are 2 services,

Standard service: It takes 10 working days.

Premium service: It takes 2 working days.


Getting DBS check for people living in UK and Wales


Apply for a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to get a copy of your criminal record. This is called ‘basic disclosure’. It’s available for people living or working in England and Wales.

There’s a different way to apply if you live or are applying for a job in Northern Ireland or Scotland.

The check will only show convictions that are not ‘spent’, for example some types of caution will disappear after 3 months.

It costs £25. You must be 16 or over to apply.

It usually takes up to 14 days for you to receive your certificate.

The service is available from 8am to 11:30pm.

What you’ll need

To apply for a basic DBS check you’ll need:

  • all your addresses for the last 5 years and the dates you lived there
  • your National Insurance number
  • a debit or credit card
  • your passport
  • your driving licence

Getting a Basic Disclosure for Scotland Citizens

Scotland citizens must submit an apostilled copy of a Basic Disclosure. This copy must have been issued within the last 6 months. The process takes at least 14 days so please apply for it ASAP!

Step 1: You can apply online, if your current address is in Scotland and if you have been living at this address for at least twelve months.

– Apply Online: – If you do not satisfy these criteria, you will have to apply using a paper application form. The fee for a Basic Disclosure is £23. You will need to pay using a credit or debit card. All major cards are accepted. This will appear as BT Disclosure Scotland on your account statement. Please have your card details handy before you proceed.   You will need the following information/documents on hand to fill out the online application:

  • Passport*
  • Driving Licence*
  • National Insurance Number*
  • Electricity Bill
  • Previous Disclosure
  • Address details covering at least the last five years
  • Employer’s address if your Disclosure is to be sent there
  • Credit or debit card

* You must be able to provide at least one of the following: Passport Number, Driving Licence Number or National Insurance Number.  

Step 2: Please send COPIES of the following:

  • A utility bill (e.g. gas, electricity or telephone) or another document issued by a government dept. or your local authority which confirms your current address, and
  • Either your passport, driving licence or birth certificate which confirms date of birth details.

You can email, fax or post the COPIES of these documents to Disclosure Scotland, see contact details below. Please do not post the original documents. When sending your supporting documents please ensure that you quote the 16-digit reference provided at the end of the online application process. Disclosure Scotland is unable to process your application until these supporting documents are received. Send the copies via:

If you want to check on the status of your application, you can contact:


Ireland Criminal Record Check Requirements & Information

Getting a Police Certificate for Ireland Citizens

Irish citizens must submit an apostilled copy of a Police Certificate obtained by the Gardai. This copy must have been issued within the last 6 months. The whole process takes at least 3-4 weeks so please apply for it ASAP!

Step 1: Apply in writing (by post) to the Superintendent in charge of the District where you live. Click here for a directory of Garda Stations.

  • If you go in person to your local Garda station and leave your application for forwarding to the Superintendent for the district, you should take note of the Garda’s name or shoulder number.
  • If you are an Irish citizen living abroad, write to the Superintendent of your police district here in Ireland and request a Police Certificate.

Include the following information in your application letter for a Police Certificate:

  • Full name as on birth certificate (including maiden/married name if applicable)
  • Date and place of birth (or copy of birth certificate)
  • Current address
  • All addresses at which you resided in Republic of Ireland
  • Place & Purpose (i.e. Embassy) for which Certificate is required
  • A copy of your passport, driving licence or similar for identification purposes
  • A stamped, self-addressed envelope for the return of your Police Certificate

*There is no fee for the issuance of a Police Certificate.