Michigan Reentry Law Wiki

Obtaining Records: Criminal Records

From Reentry


Background Information

How and Why to Get Your Criminal Record

Provides an overview of different types of criminal records and how to get them. Includes sample letters to the Michigan State Police and FBI.

Laws Governing Public Criminal Records

A legal overview of public criminal records prepared by Community Legal Services, Inc., in September 2009.

Common Sources of Criminal Records

ICHAT Information and FAQs

The Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) provides criminal records for Michigan convictions.

OTIS Record Requests

The Offender Information Tracking System (OTIS) provides information about offenders previously or currently under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Michigan Sex Offender Registry

Information on registered sex offenders.

Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE) System

This site provides information about the custody status of inmates around the country. It is not a record repository, but rather an informational source for information about criminal cases and prisoner location.

Federal Bureau of Prisons website

This site provide information about the custody status and location of federal inmates.

Records from Private Companies

Many private companies sell criminal record information. This information is usually considered a credit report, and is subject to laws governing the use of credit reports. Contact the credit reporting agency that produced the record to obtain a copy of your criminal background check.
Credit Reports
This document provides information on how to obtain and correct your credit report.
LexisNexis Personal Reports
Information on how to order a copy of your LexisNexis personal report. LexisNexis is a provider of background checks, and your personal report will contain all information LexisNexis has about you in its files. LexisNexis is not a credit reporting agency.

FBI Records

In order to correct an FBI record, you need to contact the state agency responsible for the conviction and ask them to contact the FBI. Below is information that will help you through the process.

FBI Record Requests

FBI records are not generally available to individuals outside law enforcement, though they are used for employment purposes in certain areas, such as long-term care and education. Individuals can obtain copies of their own FBI records, called identity history summaries, for personal review. Additionally, you can request specific information from the FBI by filling out a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or the Privacy Act.

Sample Letter Requesting FBI Background Check

A sample letter to the FBI requesting a criminal history background check and correction of a dismissed offense.

Affidavit of Indigence

Affidavit explaining that the person requesting the background check is unable to pay the fee to receive a copy of his/her fingerprints. Please attach this to the letter requesting an FBI background check if you are unable to pay.


MCL 28.242a

Spells out what Michigan criminal history information is disseminated to the public.

MCL 712A.28

Statute providing that most Michigan juvenile records are open to the public.

Policy Issues

Expanded Use of Criminal Records and Its Impact on Re-entry

Over the past decade, criminal records have become available and used for non-law enforcement purposes to an unprecedented extent. Several trends have dovetailed, with catastrophic effect for persons with criminal records.
Other pages in this section: Criminal Records - Court Records

Section overview: Obtaining Records

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