FBI flagWhat is an FBI background check?

The FBI can “provide individuals with an Identity History Summary—often referred to as a criminal history record or a ‘rap sheet’—listing certain information taken from fingerprint submissions kept by the FBI and related to arrests and, in some instances, federal employment, naturalization, or military service.”

FBI background checks are also called Identity History Summaries, criminal history records, rap sheets, or federal background checks.

What is an FBI background check apostille?

An FBI background check apostille is a certification process that validates your FBI-reported criminal record so that it can be legally recognized by foreign governments and entities. Overseas parties may require an apostilled copy of your background check for matters that include your application to live, work, or study abroad.

How do I get my FBI background check apostilled or authenticated?

1. Place an order with the FBI

To obtain your Identity History Summary, you can mail in FBI Form FD-258 with an inked fingerprint card, or you can submit an electronic request with Live Scan fingerprints.

To start the application process, visit the FBI Electronic Departmental Order website. When choosing how to receive your results, select E-mail with a secure link and personal identification number.

Within a few days of being fingerprinted, you will be able to retrieve an electronic PDF copy of your FBI background check. The link and PIN will come from [email protected], and the email looks like this:

FBI Background Check Email Message Link PIN

Shown above: FBI Background Check email message from DOJ with link and PIN you can use to download a PDF of your background check.

2. Email us for a price quote.

Pricing varies depending on what country it’s going to, your location, the turnaround time needed, and the shipping destination. For a quick price quote, send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

  • Your name, address, and phone number
  • The name, address, phone number, and email address of the recipient (if you’d like us to ship it to a third party)
  • The destination country

We will respond ASAP with a price quote and payment instructions.

3. Get the background check to us.

A few days after you are fingerprints are processed, an electronic PDF of your background check will be ready to download using the link and password you will receive from [email protected]. We can print the downloaded PDF and submit it to the US State Department for apostille processing within one business day. All you have to do is email it to us at [email protected] to get started.

 If you only have the paper background check the FBI sent you by mail, we can work with that, too. Please ship it to us at:

SF Notary + Apostille
315 Montgomery St, Floor 10
San Francisco, CA 94104

(415) 655-9455

4. We’ll take it from there.

We will obtain an apostille from the US Secretary of State in Washington, DC. Some countries require apostilles plus additional certifications, details of which we will provide in the price quote. Once the document is apostilled (or apostilled and authenticated/legalized), we’ll ship it via FedEx Priority Overnight Service (USA destinations) or FedEx International Priority Service (overseas destinations).

That’s the whole process of apostilling an FBI Identity History Summary. Questions? Please email [email protected] or call +1 (415) 655-9455.

Disclaimer: Information on this website is for informational purposes only. These instructions are based on our knowledge and experience and are meant to be helpful; however, they might contain errors. Please let us know if you encounter mistakes so that we can promptly correct them. SF Notary + Apostille is not a law firm, and its agents are not attorneys. Please contact a licensed attorney or your local bar association for counsel on legal matters.