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A Clearance Letter is a service offered to citizens, providing a document to indicate a clear criminal record in King County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. These letters are used for various reasons such as for visas, travel purposes, adopting a child, etc. Please note that King County Sheriff’s Office WILL NOT furnish a Clearance Letter if the requestor has:
  • An outstanding warrant(s)
  • A felony conviction
  • Not resided within our jurisdiction

The most effective way to receive this information is through Washington State Patrol’s (WSP) WATCH system. The information provided by WATCH will include conviction criminal history record information, and arrest offenses within the year, for the entire state of Washington. You may access WSP’s WATCH system at http://www.wsp.wa.gov/crime/chrequests.htm.

The King County Sheriff’s Office can provide Clearance Letters for citizens who currently reside, or have once resided, in our jurisdiction ONLY. You may submit a request in person or by mail as follows:

  • In Person - turn in your request at the public service counter in downtown Seattle. Citizens will be able to walk out with the Clearance Letter the same day.
  • By Mail - send your request to: King County Sheriff Records
    516 Third Avenue, Room W-150
    Seattle, WA 98104

 Please include a completed Clearance Letter Request form, all applicable fees (see below), and a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage to return your completed Clearance Letter. Due to the volume of other requests with time sensitive deadlines mandated by law, all endeavors are made to complete mailed requests within 10 business days of receipt.

What You’ll Need:

The Clearance Letter Request form lists the required information to process a Clearance Letter request. This includes:

  • Your current name, and any previous names, aliases, AKAs, nicknames, etc. you use or have used
  • Your complete date of birth
  • Your current address, and/or your most recent address in King County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction
  • A phone number where you can be reached during our normal business hours
  • A copy of your current ID (WA State driver’s license or ID card preferred)

Form To Download

Clearance Letter Request form(214K)

Fees and Payment Methods

The fee for a Clearance Letter is $10 per letter, plus an additional $10 certification (notary) fee per document, if applicable. Fees may be paid by cash, personal check, or money order. Please note that we do not accept second party checks, and are unable to process payment by cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc).

Personal check/money order requirements:

  • Both will need to be made payable to King County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Both require verification by two (2) pieces of identification, with one being a WA State driver’s license or ID card with a photograph.
  • Checks must be preprinted, listing name, address, and phone number.
  • Information on the check must match with details of customer’s ID.
Special Notice Effective December 9, 2015:
Due to an increased volume of requests for CPLs and other fingerprinting services, you are asked to arrive by 2:00pm at the downtown Seattle courthouse location for any original CPL application and any other fingerprint services.  Please arrive by 4:00pm if you need a replacement or renewal CPL.  Please note, for fingerprint services (whether for CPL or other reason) wait times may exceed two hours.  Thank you for your patience.

Locations and Times

Records Unit
King County Courthouse
516 Third Ave, Rm W-150
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 263-2626
Hours: 8:30am - 4:30pm, weekdays  **License applications are accepted only until 4:00pm. 
Closed weekends and holidays