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 or outside the UK
If you are applying for or are renewing an SIA licence and you currently live in Scotland or overseas, 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 usually restricted under the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. However, as it is in the public interest for us to have full disclosure of a person's criminal record in order to assess their suitability for a licence, we are exempt from this restriction and are allowed full access to your criminal record. We are able to consider all offences on record including spent convictions.
Charges Awaiting Trial
If, when we process your application, there are outstanding charges against you for relevant offences, we will wait until the courts have determined the outcome of the charges before making a decision.
If your charges have not been resolved after one year your application will be withdrawn. You are reminded that the licence fee is non-refundable.
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