Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History Fact Sheet
The Pennsylvania State Police established a web-based computer application called “Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History”, PATCH for short. Using this system, a requestor can apply for a criminal background check on an individual. Eighty-five percent of the time, “No Record” certificates are returned immediately through the Internet to requestor.
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 hit on any information in the database, the requester will receive the results instantly over the Internet and the requester can print out the "No Record" certificate. If the subject's information hits on something in the database, the requester receives an immediate "Request Under Review" response. A "Request Under Review" response does not necessarily mean that the individual has a record. At this point the information is manually reviewed. After the review, the status will be updated to “No Record” or “Record”. The requestor should check the PATCH website periodically for updated statuses to their requests. For all “No Record” statuses, the certificate must be printed out at your computer. All “Record” responses will be mailed to the requester at the address provided by the requester. It may take up to two weeks for a status to be updated from a “Request Under Review” to a “No Record” or “Record”.
PATCH accepts both registered users and unregistered users.
REGISTERED USERS: Registered Users are defined as companies, agencies, or offices that routinely have a need to make criminal record checks. The company, agency, or office logs onto https://epatch.state.pa.us and then completes and submits the registration form. The requester will be notified within one to two business days if they meet the criteria to become a registered user. Registered users are placed into a billing cycle that is invoiced every thirty days. Registered users also have the option to use an approved credit card. Approved credit cards are Visa, Master Charge, Discovery, and American Express Card. They can submit up to ten requests at $10.00 per request during any one session. If a request goes "under review" it will be updated to the status of “No Record” or “Record” within two weeks. All “No Record” status requests must be printed out at your computer. All “Record” status requests will be mailed to the address of the registered user.
NOTE: Currently the Pennsylvania State Police are not accepting any NEW registrations for registered users at this time.
NON REGISTERED USERS: Individuals are considered non-registered users. They will not be accepted as registered users. Companies, agencies, or offices can also use the system as a non-registered user if they so desire. Non-registered users log onto https://epatch.state.pa.us and select "Submit a New Record Check" under credit card users. The non-registered user can submit up to ten 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. If a request goes "under review" it will be updated to the status of “No Record” or “Record” within a minimum of two weeks but could take up to 4 weeks. For all “No Record” statuses, the certificate must be printed out at your computer. All “Record” status requests will be mailed to the address provided by the requester. 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 form can be validated by accessing the PATCH Record Check Status screen (https://epatch.state.pa.us/RCStatusSearch.jsp) and submitting a search request that contains: the Control Number assigned the request; the Subject's Name as it was entered on the original request; and the date the request was submitted to PATCH. 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 certification form can be obtained by clicking on the Certification Form hyperlink provided on the request details screen. Actual criminal records will not be displayed, only the status of “Record” will be displayed. Record responses will be mailed to the mailing addressed provided by the Requester.