Disregards and pardons for historical gay sexual convictions

Application form and guidance notes on applying for a disregard and pardon of convictions for decriminalised sexual offences.


Disregarding convictions for decriminalised sexual offences - form and notes

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Men with historical convictions for gay sex may apply to have their convictions disregarded (deleted or where not possible annotated) and pardoned. Where the convictions are disregarded they will no longer be disclosed on Disclosure and Barring Service certificates or in court proceedings.

The offences covered are mainly sections 12 (buggery) and 13 (gross indecency) of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 as well as corresponding offences under earlier legislation, and equivalent military offences. Cautions, warnings and reprimands can also be disregarded.

The activity must have been consensual, with a person of 16 or over, and must not be an offence today - in particular sexual activity in a public lavatory is not eligible as that remains an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

The process is free of charge. To apply simply complete the application form above and provide proof of identity (such as a copy of a driving licence) and address (such as a copy of a bank statement). Where you do not remember the specific details please provide as much information as possible and officials will do their best to trace the records.

The application will be treated confidentially.

Please email the form to or post to:

Chapter 4 Applications
Safeguarding Directorate
5th Floor Fry Building
2 Marsham Street

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Note: Northern Ireland and Scotland. The disregard process applies to offences committed in England or Wales. However the Scottish and Northern Ireland administrations intend to introduce their own schemes.

Published 21 September 2012
Last updated 10 April 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated contact addresses on attached form

  2. First published.