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 working in England and Wales.

This includes if you live in Northern Ireland or Scotland but the job you’re applying for is in England or Wales.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

There’s a different way to apply if you’re 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.

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.

Fees

It costs £25.

You can pay with a debit or credit card. You can also use Google Pay or Apple Pay.

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
  • your passport
  • your driving licence

Start now

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.

Find out 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 support to apply online, call the DBS helpline on 03000 200 190 and select option 2 and then option 1.

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.

Transgender applications

Contact the DBS sensitive applications team if you’re a transgender applicant and you do not want to reveal details of your previous identity to a potential employer.

DBS sensitive applications team
sensitive@dbs.gov.uk
Telephone: 0151 676 1452
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

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 are not on your official criminal record