Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH)

The PATCH system allows users to request criminal history background checks online. 


PSP established the Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History, or PATCH, for agencies, companies, and others to request criminal background checks on individuals.

The information provided by the requestor will be checked against the criminal history database maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository.

If the subject's information does not match any information in the database, the requester will receive the results instantly and the requester can print a "No Record" certificate. “No Record” certificates are returned immediately 85% of the time.

If the subject's information matches any information in the database, the requester receives an immediate "Request Under Review" response. A "Request Under Review" response does not necessarily mean the individual has a record. A manual review of the information will occur. After the review, the status will be updated to “No Record” or “Record”.

An email will be sent to the requestor when the status has been updated. All “No Record” and “Record” checks must be printed from the requestor’s computer. It may take up to two weeks for a status to be updated from a “Request Under Review” to a “No Record” or “Record”.

Registered users and unregistered users

Registered users

Registered Users are defined as companies, agencies, or offices that routinely need criminal record checks. The company, agency, or office can contact the PATCH help desk at 888-783-7972, option #4. Registered users are placed into a billing cycle that is invoiced every 30 days. Registered users may use an approved credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express) and submit up to 10 requests during any one session. A request "Under Review" will be updated to the status of “No Record” or “Record” within two weeks. All “No Record” and “Record” checks must be printed from the requestor’s computer.

Non-registered users

Individuals are considered non-registered users. They will not be accepted as registered users. Companies, agencies, or offices can use the system as a non-registered user if they so desire. Non-registered users navigate to the PATCH site and select "Submit a New Record Check". The non-registered user can submit up to 10 record checks during one session. They must provide the requestor’s name and mailing address; information on the individual they want to make the check on; and credit card information. A request "Under Review" will be updated to the status of “No Record” or “Record” in 2-4 weeks. All “No Record” and “Record” checks must be printed at the requestor’s computer. PATCH does not maintain requester and credit card information for non-registered users; therefore, this information must be entered each time a non-registered user logs onto PATCH.

Validating criminal history results

The information on a “No Record” or “Record” certificate can be validated by accessing the PATCH Record Check Status screen and submitting a search request that contains: the control number assigned to the request; the subject's name as entered on the original request; and the date the request was submitted. PATCH will find and display the corresponding record check request. Details on the request can be viewed by clicking on the control number. A copy of this certificate can be obtained by clicking on the Certification Form hyperlink provided on the request details screen.

PATCH glossary

See Chapter 91 of Title 18, Crimes Code for additional definitions.

Access and Review

A review of an individual's entire criminal record. It includes convictions as well as all non-convictions. Any individual is permitted to request his or her entire criminal record history. Many times an A&R is requested for court proceedings by attorneys, for an expungement or partial expungement of the individual's record, or a governor's pardon.

Central Repository

The central location for the collection, compilation, maintenance, and dissemination of criminal history record information.


Criminal History Record Information - Information collected by criminal justice agencies concerning individuals and arising from the initiation of a criminal proceeding, consisting of identifiable descriptions, dates and notations of arrests, indictments, information or other formal criminal charges, and any dispositions arising therefrom. The term does not include intelligence information, investigative information, or treatment information, including medical and psychological information, or information and records specified in section 9104 (relating to scope).

Control Number

A tracking number assigned by PATCH which identifies a specific request.


Information indicating that criminal proceedings have been concluded, including information disclosing that police have elected not to refer a matter for prosecution, that a prosecuting authority has elected not to commence criminal proceedings or that a grand jury failed to indict and disclosing the nature of the termination of the proceedings; or information disclosing that proceedings have been indefinitely postponed and also disclosing the reason for such postponement. Dispositions of criminal proceedings in the Commonwealth shall include, but not be limited to, acquittal, acquittal by reason of insanity, pretrial probation or diversion, charge dismissed, guilty plea, nolle prosequi, no information filed, nolo contendere plea, convicted, abatement, discharge under rules of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, demurrer sustained, pardoned, sentence commuted, mistrial-defendant discharged, discharge from probation/parole or correctional supervision.


The oral or written transmission or disclosure of criminal history record information to individuals or agencies other than the criminal justice agency that maintains the information.


The security code provided by PSP which allows you to enter the system.


Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History.


Pennsylvania State Police.

Query Status

The transaction allowing users to view the progress of a submitted request, verify it has been received, and check on the status of the request.

Rap Sheet

A form listing an individual's criminal charges, the court dispositions of those charges, and any court sentences received as a consequence of those charges within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


A name submitted for a criminal history record check. (See also submission.)


The person, agency, organization or business making the request.

R & I

Bureau of Records and Identification in the Pennsylvania State Police.


A name submitted for a criminal history record check. (See also request.)

Under Review

The response received when identifiers submitted match identifiers in the PSP criminal history database.  This does not necessarily mean there will be a "Record" response.  This request must be reviewed manually to determine whether it will be a "Record" or a "No Record".  Only "Record" responses will be mailed to the requester.  "No Record" responses must be retrieved by the requester via the PATCH website.


The security code provided by PSP to identify individuals or agencies entering the system.


An individual above the age of 13 who is required to have a background check to become an unpaid volunteer.