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Under The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552, any person has the right to request access to public records: criminal records, arrests & warrants, inmate records, vital records & more.

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How to Request and Understand Information in Maine Criminal Records

Maine criminal records are maintained by the State Bureau of Identification, a division of the Maine State Police. These are documented accounts of reported criminal activities. The data is sourced from the courts, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and correctional units. These records also include information on juvenile criminals, and can be accessed for information related to an individual’s background. 

Searching for Maine Criminal Records

The criminal records search system in Maine offers the options of a fingerprint-based check and a name-based check system.  If you are looking to search the criminal history of an individual, you need to submit his or her name and personal information like a date of birth or Social Security Number if you have it with you. Name-based checks often become a bit confusing or misleading in cases of same and similar names occurring. Fingerprint checks are resorted to in such cases. The fingerprints need to be submitted to the State Bureau of Investigation, and the background check results are mailed back directly to the one who sought the information.

Maine criminal records are available online through websites such as In special cases, the criminal records information related to other states and the ones maintained by the federal government are available through the State Bureau of Identification website as well. For this, it is necessary to check whether the request has been processed in compliance with the statutory authority. 

Charges to Search Maine Criminal Records

The charges applicable for Maine criminal records search have been divided into two categories. A governmental entity has to pay a fee of $31 for a criminal records search, provided the search is conducted for a licensing process. The charge may also be transferred to the applicant from the government entity by the statute 25MRS§1541(6). 

In cases where the criminal history records are not used for licensing, no process fee is required. In the case of a non-governmental unit such as the general public, a fee of $31 is charged. No matter whether the check is based on fingerprints or on the basis of personal information, the fee remains the same.

Accessing Criminal Records

The availability of Maine criminal records for non-criminal and criminal justice purpose has been approved by the Maine Juvenile Code and the Criminal History Record Information Act.  The non-criminal justice units need this access to find the criminal records related to juvenile crimes and other convictions. Access to such records for the administration of justice, child or adult protective investigations and criminal justice employment are not charged under 22MRSA§3480(1)(B) and §402(1)(B).

A notarized form is one of the prerequisites when it comes to applying for a search, and is available with the State Bureau of Identification for an additional $10. An individual also has the right to challenge his or her own criminal record subject to 16 MRSA §620. An application form stating the details of the criminal records, the changes required and the reasons for such should be included and forwarded to the State Bureau of Identification. The details of the records would then be re-examined and changed accordingly.



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