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 aren’t ‘spent’, for example some types of caution will disappear after 3 months.

It costs £25. You must be 16 or over to make the request.

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, 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
  • proof of your identity, for example a passport, valid driving licence or birth certificate (if you haven’t used GOV.UK Verify before)

If you haven’t used GOV.UK Verify before it takes about 15 minutes to get set up. You can then use it to access other government services securely.

Start now on GOV.UK Verify

Before you start

Make sure a basic DBS check is the correct one for you. For certain roles, your employer may need to apply for a higher level of criminal record check.

Use the tool to see if you need a basic DBS check or ask your employer if you’re not sure.

Get help to use the online service

If you need phone or face-to-face support to apply online, call the DBS helpline on 03000 200 190 or email

Other ways to apply

You can also choose to apply through other companies. The Disclosure and Barring Service has a list of companies you can apply through.

Requesting your police record

You’ll need to request a police record instead if:

  • you’re applying for certain visas
  • you want to see your police file without receiving a certificate - this will show up any warnings or cautions that aren’t on your official criminal record