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King County Sheriff

Leadership, Integrity, Service, Teamwork

   King County Sheriff

Emergency: Call 9-1-1

Call (206) 296-3311 24-hours to report a neighborhood problem or a crime that is not an emergency.

King County Courthouse
516 Third Ave
Room W-150
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 296-4155
TTY Relay: 7-1-1












Clearance lettersA Clearance Letter is a document that contains information about your clean criminal record. These letters are sometimes needed when applying for a visa, other travel purposes, or when adopting a child.

The most effective way to get this information

is through Washington State Patrol’s WATCH system. The information provided by WATCH will include criminal history conviction information for the entire State of Washington, including King County. Contact WSP at the following:

Otherwise, to receive a Clearance Letter for King County ONLY:

You can receive this service in person or by mail.

  • If you report in person, expect a wait of no longer than 60 minutes, except at times of extremely high customer volume.
  • If you make your request by mail, please put ATTN: Records Unit in the address on the envelope. You should receive your clearance letter within five days when applying by mail.

What You’ll Need:

You will need to provide the following information:

  • Your current name
  • Any previous names or nicknames you've used
  • Your complete date of birth
  • Your current address
  • A phone number where you can be reached during our normal business hours
  • At your option, your social security number
  • A copy of your current ID (Washington State driver's license or ID card preferred).
  • Completed Clearance Letter Request form  if by mail (214K)

Payment and Fees

The fee is $10.00 for each clearance letter plus a $10.00 per-document certification (notary) fee. Fees may be paid by cash, a personal check,  or money order. Personal checks or money orders should be made payable to the King County Sheriff's Office. Please note that we do not accept second party checks.

Personal Checks must be:

  1. Preprinted, listing name, address, and phone number.
  2. Verified by two (2) pieces of identification. One of these must be a Washington State Driver’s License or I.D. card with a photograph or a major credit card. The customer’s I.D and the information on the personal check must match.
  3. Made payable to KING COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE.


Clearance Letter Request form (214K)

Locations and Times

Records Unit
King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 263-2626
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. weekdays
(Phones go to voicemail from noon to 1:00 p.m.) 
Closed holidays

Please note: effective January 2012, the Records Unit will be closed between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m., on the 4th Wednesday of every month.