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Records & Identification Bureau

Fees for Reports & Services

Frequently-Asked Questions
Applicant Processing Unit (APU) This unit responds to requests from law enforcement and authorized agencies for access to criminal records maintained by our department for employment, licensing, and certification purposes.  There are approximately 6,900 requests processed annually and the release of this local summary criminal history information to these agencies is determined by authorization given under the California Penal Code Section 13300 et al. 
Correspondence Unit (CU)

This unit processes responses to approximately 5,600 written requests, annually, for access to criminal records maintained by our department from various clients such as the general public, representatives from insurance companies or law firms, as well as representatives from other Department of Justice Authorized Agencies.  Police clearances, incarceration information, copies of reports to victims, or copies of traffic/accident reports are a few examples of the types of services provided by this unit to the general public.  In general, local criminal summary information release is determined by the California Penal Code Section 13300 et al or California Government Code Section 6254 et al.  Release of traffic/accident reports is determined by the California Vehicle Code Section 20012 et al.  Release of juvenile records is determined by the California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 827 et al.

Public Services Unit (PSU)

This unit services approximately 10,900 clients annually, who seek incarceration information, police clearances, copies of reports, registration for Arson and Narcotics Offenses, Live Scan for employment, licensing, or certification. 

In general, local criminal summary information release is determined by the California Penal Code Section 13300 et al or California Government Code Section 6254 et al.  Release of traffic/accident reports is determined by the California Vehicle Code Section 20012 et al.  Release of juvenile records is determined by the California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 827 et al.

Additionally, this unit releases booking photographs and other related information to Bail Bonds in accordance with the California Penal Code Section 11105.6. 

Information Retrieval Unit (IRU)

This unit provides direct access to our department’s criminal records and local summary criminal history information by the justice agencies such as Police Departments, District Attorneys, California Attorney General, Probation, Homeland Security and Correctional Institutions.  Approximately 7,500 requests are processed annually for access to these records and release is determined by the California Penal Code Section 13300 et al.  Release of juvenile records is determined by the California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 827 et al.  Law Enforcement Agencies within United States and internationally also contact this unit for access to criminal records required for their investigations.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Audits/
Pre-Inspection of Stations

The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system maintained by Federal Bureau of Investigation contains information about stolen vehicles and boats, stolen firearms, missing persons, wanted persons as well as protective/restraining order information for justice agencies nationwide.  Our agency is required to ensure that data entered into this system is current, accurate and valid on a monthly basis.  A compliance check is conducted by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) through monthly lists of all entries for our agency.  Records and Identification Bureau disseminates this information to the various stations, bureaus, and specialized units for validation responses to these lists.  A department response is coordinated through Records and Identification Bureau back to the California Department of Justice.

Additionally, the California DOJ and the FBI conduct official audits with their findings reported to the Sheriff.  Record and Identification Bureau, Data Systems Bureau JDIC Section, and Court Services Division, Civil Process Branch liaison with DOJ and FBI for these audits.  Internal pre-inspections are conducted by RIB, periodically, for compliance.

Subpoena Control Unit (SCU)

Approximately 1,500 court orders, criminal subpoenas, as well as civil subpoenas are processed by this unit annually.  The Subpoena Control Unit will coordinate the receipt and dissemination of criminal subpoenas as well as court orders for criminal records on behalf of the Department.  Once the custodian of the specific record requested is determined, staff will either process the subpoena and/or forward it to the custodian in possession of the record(s) requested.  Records certified and released by this section are copies of reports and booking information which have already been archived centrally.  There are times when records requested under the Criminal Discovery Process (Penal Code Section 1054.5(a) and 1054.5(b)) are denied and this section works closely with County Counsel for these cases.

Civil Subpoenas for access to reports of booking records are handled by this unit once the subpoena has been filed with Civil Process Branch and the appropriate fees submitted.  Additional processing fees are collected when allowed under Section 1563 of the California Evidence Code and California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1985 et al.

Document Processing Unit (DPU)

This unit is responsible for the archival of crime reports and booking jacket packages on behalf of the department.  Once these records have been archived, this unit reviews them to ensure the quality and accuracy of these records.  Approximately 15 million records have been digitally archived and each month approximately 112,000 new records are generated. 

Assists departmental personnel in digital archiving records into the Sheriff’s Electronic Criminal Documents Archive (SECDA) System.  Departmental SECDA User liaison to Data Systems Bureau for notifications of maintenance, reporting problems with the system, or communicating account set-up requests.

This unit acts as a “records detective” for those departmental records which are more difficult to locate due to the various decentralized locations for records which are in transition prior to central archive.

Responsible for the distribution of courtesy reports from outside law enforcement agencies to Sheriff’s Stations, Custody Facilities, Court Services Bureaus, Specialized Units, and outside agencies.  Approximately 1,700 courtesy report letters are processed per year.

Fingerprint Unit (FPU)

Responsible for identifying arrestees by comparing fingerprint cards received from sites throughout the County to fingerprints in the Cal ID (DOJ database) system based upon previous arrests. In some cases, fingerprints are compared with hard copy fingerprint cards in our own files.  AFIS Technicians perform approximately 20,000 arrestee fingerprint searches annually. These searches include criminal arrestees and criminal registrants.

Responsible for providing identification and expert testimony whenever a defendant's identity is challenged in the Los Angeles County Superior Courts, or the Federal Courts. AFIS Technicians perform this function between 4-9 times per month.

Verifies and combines the fingerprint- based records of subjects who have duplicate SID and MAIN numbers. Forwards the information about such records to various agencies, including the California Dept. of Justice.

Removes data from the AFIS database to comply with legal orders to seal fingerprint records.

Assists with identification of warrant/ wants from arresting agencies and give identification notices to booking locations and law enforcement agencies throughout the County and Nation.

Provides timely suspect identification notifications to booking locations and investigative units throughout the County.

Inputs fingerprint information of offenders into the AFIS for use in future comparisons.

Countywide Warrant
System (CWS) Countywide Warrant
System (CWS)

Responsible for providing a point of contact for warrant inquiries and confirmation information to agencies throughout the County, the state and all out-of-state agencies. This unit processes approximately 36,000 inquiries per year.
Responsible for providing an automated repository for more than 1.7 million warrants issued within the County of Los Angeles and providing the CWS user community with a variety of services. These services include training, procedural support, and the maintenance and distribution of various management and statistical reports, including agencies' specific listings of warrants in need of "due diligence" activity, as well as warrants that are statutorily mandated to be entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) System.
CWS accommodates user entry of numerous information attachments to warrant records through its Investigation Information Screens. These attachments record all "due diligence" efforts, and publish officer hazards, exonerations, and "risk management" cautions associated with the warrant record.
Responsible for furnishing on-site maintenance of hardcopy warrants from all Superior Courts that were issued before the court assumed its own warrant entry capabilities through the implementation of the Trial Court Information System (TCIS). The architecture of CWS was adapted to accommodate the Conditions of Probation System (COPS) for probationers. This allows officers in the field checking for warrant information to also have timely access to the probationary status and terms imposed upon offenders through the incorporation of COPS into CWS.
The CWS Unit performs three primary functions: Audit Verification/Inquiry, Recall/Create, and State Prison Inquiry.
Audit Verification/Inquiry includes disseminating monthly management reports to participating county agencies. Also, enters explanatory information (due diligence reminders) into investigative information segments of the automated warrants, and receives 15-20 error messages daily from the Justice Data Interface Controller (JDIC) System. These error messages reflect data entry errors made by court clerks which prevent warrants from being entered into State and Federal systems. A letter is generated, along with the JDIC error messages, to the Superior Court’s Trial Court Information System Manager identifying these problems and requesting their intervention. Responsible for responding to telephonic requests for Warrant Information Sheets (WIS), reactivating warrants, and sending second abstracts.
Recall/Create includes creating and recalling out-of-county, adult, and juvenile warrants into and out of the system. This unit processes approximately 8,300 warrant recall/ create transactions per year. Additionally, to ensure quality input, responsible for verifying warrants for sufficiency and validity before entry.
Research telephonic inquiries from California State Prisons and mail responses to them.
Authorization: Department Manual Of Policy and Procedures for Records Retention and Records Management.  Authorization for electronic warrants 850 PC.


Responsible for sealing and destruction of criminal records, as directed by court order or petitions approved by station detectives. The unit seals approximately 5,700 records annually.
The Consolidated Criminal History Reporting System (CCHRS) unit is responsible for maintaining a database, which went on-line at Records and Identification Bureau on August 20, 1997, replacing the Personal History Index (PHI) for historical and subject-oriented data. The CCHRS database is also the repository for information from three other existing systems: the Automated Justice Information System (AJIS) for new arrest data; the Trial Court Information System (TCIS) for case management and disposition data; and the Juvenile Automated Index (JAI) for juvenile data. CCHRS interfaces with the Department of Justice's Automated Criminal History System (ACHS), Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) tables, Probation Detention System (PDS), Countywide Warrant System (CWS), Adult Probation System (APS), Prosecutors Information Management System (PIMS), the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and mug-shots.  Authorization: Department Manual Of Policy and Procedures for Records Retention and Records Management.  Authorization to seal records:   851.8 PC, 781 WIC, 781.5 WIC, and 793(c) WIC.