CNCS provides this state by state guide for informational purposes only and makes reasonable efforts to ensure the quality of the information. You are responsible for determining the suitability of the information and your use of the information in this guide, and for compliance with NSCHC requirements (45 CFR 2540.200 - .207). CNCS makes no express or implied warranty, no representation, nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness, timeliness, or completeness of any information in, or available through, this guide. The information in this guide is presented in good faith and believed to be correct. You assume the risk of relying on the information contained in this guide. Links to non-CNCS websites are provided for informational purposes only.

CNCS is not responsible for the content of non-CNCS websites. CNCS neither endorses the information, content, presentation, or accuracy nor makes any express or implied warranty regarding external websites or any commercial product or service.

If you identify information that is outdated, please notify us at

Iowa is an open records state.
Some form of criminal history information is open to the public in “open records” states. In “closed records” states, access to criminal history information is not generally available to the public, but is available to authorized entities (e.g. law enforcement agencies).

Contact Information

Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Investigation
Phone number: 515-725-6072

State Checks 

General Information on State Checks:

  • While two options for types of state checks are listed below, name-based and fingerprint-based, only one type of state check is required. CNCS does not recommend one of these checks over the other. Either the name-based state check or the fingerprint-based state check is acceptable.
  • Please note that to be in compliance with CNCS requirements, recipients may have to conduct checks in up to two states: the  state of service/work check on individuals in covered positions, as well as a state of residence check (i.e. if the state of residence is different from the state of service/work at the time of application).

Name-Based State Checks

Available from: Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Investigation
What is released: This information is used in a variety of critical areas, including sentencing determination, parole and probation recommendations, issuance of weapon permits, and decisions by prosecutors.
Criminal history records contain information regarding arrests, court dispositions, custody data and movement within Iowa's correctional institutions.
Cost: $15
How long does it take to obtain results? 24 hours; 2-5 business days if mailed or faxed 
Additional Information: There are several ways to request an Iowa criminal history record check through the DCI.
You may make a request by mailing or faxing a completed request form and billing form, provided on this website, with your payment to DCI. Our address and fax number is provided on the forms. 
You may make a request in person at our office located at 215 East 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa. Requests made in person, if on yourself, may receive an immediate response, as allowed by law. However, requests made in person on someone else will be processed with all other requests.
You may make a request through our Iowa Criminal History Record Check website. 
Please note: The criminal history data obtained through the Iowa Criminal History Record Check website is limited to what is releasable without a signed waiver from the subject of your request, pursuant to Chapter 692.2 of the Code of Iowa. The Iowa Criminal History Record Check Website will not provide criminal history on any arrest information that is older than 18 months without a final disposition or any completed deferred judgment information. However, this website will provide all other arrest and conviction information on file with the DCI for that individual.

Approved Alternative Repositories 

State repositories are institutions that house and maintain the arrest and disposition (or outcome) information for cases handled in that state. Each state has a central repository, and CNCS has designated one in each state that grantees must use. In some cases, generally when a different institution is able to provide information that is equivalent to what is provided by the state repository, CNCS may designate them as an Approved Alternative Repository.
None at this time. 

FBI Checks 

State Repository Provides FBI Checks: No
CNCS FBI Channeler: Organizations that cannot successfully use the state repository for FBI Checks may use CNCS’s FBI-approved Channeler, Fieldprint, for FBI checks. 
Cost: The cost for one FBI check through Fieldprint is $27.50. 
How long does it take to receive results? The majority of checks conducted electronically take no more than two business days from the date the fingerprints are captured. If an applicant does not live near a Fieldprint livescan location and fingerprints must be taken manually and mailed, it will take longer to receive the results. See the Fieldprint Guide and FAQ (linked below) for more information.
View these links for more information
Fieldprint Guide and FAQs: (see document, “Using Fieldprint as an FBI Channeler – A Guide for CNCS Recipients”)
Fieldprint website: 

NSOPW (National Sex Offender Public Website) Check

A required component of the NSCHC is a nationwide check of before an individual begins work or service in a covered position. Please note that a compliant nationwide NSOPW check must include reports from all states, territories, and tribes. If any state, territory, or tribe is unavailable at the time the NSOPW check is conducted, you must either run a nationwide NSOPW check again through and ensure that all entities are reporting, or run a separate check for each entity that is not reporting through the state sex offender registry website.

Please note that a check of a single state’s sex offender registry alone is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the nationwide NSOPW check requirement. The information provided in the State Sex Offender Registry Information section is for reference purposes only in the event that a single state sex offender registry check is necessary to supplement an incomplete nationwide NSOPW check.


State Sex Offender Registry Information

Iowa Sex Offender Registry:

Individuals Requesting Criminal History Records (versus Organizations)

1. Please visit Iowa’s Division of Criminal Investigation’s Website.
2. Agree to the terms and conditions on the first two pages.
3. Complete and submit your personal information on the third page. 
4. After your submission, you will receive a Request ID (SAVE THIS ID), and the website will then redirect you to the payment page. The fee for requesting a criminal background check is $15. You must pay by Credit/Debit card. 
5. You will receive the results within 24 hours of the submission. 
6.  Bring sealed results to program to ensure chain of custody. 

Revised as of 2/24/2017

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