Will I Pass the Criminality Checks?

If you have a criminal record, it does not necessarily mean that you will not get a licence. We will make our decision according to:

  • Whether we consider your offences relevant to our decision;
  • The actual sentence or disposal given to you for the offence; and
  • How recent the offences were.

Our criminal record indicator provides a 'no cost' way of determining whether or not you will pass our criminality criteria. The logic of the indicator mirrors that which is used by members of our licensing team when they make their decision.

Try our criminal record indicator

If you live in Scotland

If you are applying for or are renewing an SIA licence and you currently live in Scotland, our procedure is to request a criminality check from Disclosure Scotland. Disclosure Scotland uses a paper based process, which is therefore reliant on the speed of the postal service.

The first stage of this process is that you will receive a Disclosure Scotland application form. Please complete this carefully and return to us as soon as possible.

Read more about this

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Access to a person’s criminal record is restricted under the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. However, as it is in the public interest for us to be able to assess a person's suitability for a licence, we are exempt from many of these restrictions. Subject to legal provisions about protected convictions and cautions, we are able to consider all offences on record including spent convictions.

Charges Awaiting Trial

You must declare to us if there are outstanding charges against you for relevant offences. We will wait until the courts have decided the outcome of the charges before making a decision on the application. To help us assess the relevance of the offences and when to next review the application, you should provide us with documentary evidence such as a solicitor's letter or court document confirming all of the offences that you have been charged with and when the case is due to be heard in court.

If the charges against you have not been resolved one year after your application was made, then the application will be withdrawn by us.

Overseas Criminal Record Checks

If you live overseas or you have spent six continuous months or more outside the UK, you must provide evidence of a criminal record check from the relevant country or countries. The checks need to cover the five years prior to your application.

More about overseas criminal record checks

If you were in military service during this time you may submit an extract from your military record instead.

Information for military/ex-military personnel


Get Licensed Booklet

Cover of the 'Get Licensed' booklet

'Get Licensed' (download size: 604 kb) contains the criteria we use to make licensing decisions.

Changes from the previous edition are detailed here.



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