Record Clearing Fees and Waivers

8/14/2020

Record Clearing Fees and Waivers

The typical process for an individual to clear criminal conviction records, as opposed to arrest records, requires the individual to petition the court for relief if they meet eligibility requirements. Although a person may be eligible, fees are sometimes required to clear records. These fees take many forms, such as filing fees, docketing fees, administrative fees, issuance fees, certificate fees, or a combination of fees.

Some states charge different fees based on the type of conviction an individual seeks to clear. For example, felony convictions may cost more in fees than misdemeanor convictions. In certain states, fees may also be waived if the court finds the petitioner is eligible for waiver. Typically, waivers are reserved for indigent individuals.

Not every state has established the fees associated with record clearing through statute. In those states, fees are often established through rulemaking authority of the agencies or judicial branches in charge of record clearing. Fees established through rulemaking are more likely to change frequently.

Recently, some states have introduced automated record clearing which takes place without individuals needing to petition the court for relief. For example, Pennsylvania has an automated system which clears the records of eligible convictions without the individual needing to petition for relief or pay a fee. Often, they do not require judicial hearings which, in part, account for the costs associated with record clearing that many states attempt to recover through fees.

Below is a table with information on the fee states’ have established through statute for record clearing. The table does not include non-statutory costs associated with record clearing, such as attorney fees or fees that are created from grants of rulemaking authority. As such, the chart may be an underestimate of the total cost to seek record clearing for criminal convictions.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.

 

Record Clearing Fees and Waivers

State and Citation

Fees

Limits

Waivers/Payment Plans

Notes

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Alabama
§ 15-27-4

$300 plus cost of court or docket fee for filing petition.

No fee limit described in statute.

A person may apply for indigent status by completing an Affidavit of Substantial Hardship and Order. If successful, the court may set forth a payment plan, which shall be paid in full, prior to any order granting an expungement.

Proposed Legislation to prohibit any court costs or filing fees (S.B. 208).

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Alaska
§ 12.62.180

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

A person may submit a written request to the head of the agency responsible for maintaining past conviction or current offender information, asking the agency to seal such information about the person that, beyond a reasonable doubt, resulted from mistaken identity or false accusation.

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Arizona
§ 13-905

$0

The clerk of the court may not charge a filing fee for an application to have a judgment of guilt set aside.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Arkansas
§ 16-90-1419

$0

The circuit clerk or district court clerk shall not collect a fee for filing petition.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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California
Penal Code
§ 1203.45,
Penal Code
§ 236.14

$37.50 (cannabis offenses, if not automatically done); $0-150 to the court, county and/or city for actual cost of services (certain misdemeanor offenders).

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

California fees for record clearing are complex and based on individuals' specific situations and cannot be generalized. Factors that may change fees include: age at conviction; status as a victim of human trafficking at conviction; and type of conviction.

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Colorado
§ 24-72-705,
§ 18-13-122

$65; Cost of criminal history to be attached to petition (Underage possession of ethyl alcohol or marijuana convictions).

No fee limit described in statute.

Waived upon determination of indigency.

 

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Connecticut
§ 54-142a

$0

No fee shall be charged in any court with respect to any petition when found not guilty, pardoned or guilty of an offense which has subsequently become decriminalized.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Delaware
11 Del. C. § 4373, 11 Del. C. § 4374

Reasonable fees.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 Mandatory expungements: fee set by the State Bureau of Identification. Discretionary expungements: "reasonable fee" set by the Superior Court and Family Court.

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District of Columbia
§ 16-804

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Florida
§ 943.0583,
§ 943.0585,
§ 943.0595

$0 (under automatic sealing for individuals who were adjudicated not guilty, never prosecuted following arrest or arrested contrary to law or by mistake); $75 fee for a certificate of eligibility (under petition procedure, excluding petition of victims of human trafficking).

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Georgia
§ 35-3-37

Reasonable fees.

Such fee shall not exceed $50.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Hawaii
§ 706-620 et seq.

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

A written application is required.

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Idaho
§ 67-3014

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

Limited to victims of human trafficking.

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Illinois
20 ILCS 2630/5.2

Applicable fee.

No fee limit described in statute.

Waiver available for indigency, upon application.

 

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Indiana
§ 35-38-9-8

Filing fee required in civil cases.

No fee limit described in statute.

May be reduced or waived if the person is indigent.

 

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Iowa
§ 901C.3

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

Supreme Court may create rules governing process.

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Kansas
§ 21-6614

$176

Such charge shall only be established by an act of the legislature and no other authority is established by law or otherwise to collect a fee.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

In addition to $176, supreme court may charge $19 per case to fund the costs of non-judicial personnel through June 30, 2025.

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Kentucky
§ 431.073,
§ 431.078

$50 (certain felonies with an additional $250 fee upon issuance); $100 (misdemeanors & traffic offenses).

No fee limit described in statute.

Installment payment plans available.

A portion of fee goes to the trust and agency account for deputy clerks.

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Louisiana
C.Cr.P. Art. 983

$250 (to the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information); $50 (to the Sheriff); $50 (to the District Attorney); $200 (to cover the clerk's costs of the expungement).

May not exceed $ 550.

A juvenile who has successfully completed any juvenile drug court program shall be exempt from payment of the processing fees.

If an application for an expungement of a record includes two or more offenses arising out of the same arrest, including misdemeanors, felonies, or both, the applicant shall be required to pay only one fee.

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Maine
 

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

Maine has no authority for sealing or expunging adult convictions.

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Maryland
Crim. Proc. § 10-101 et seq.

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Massachusetts
276 § 100G

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Michigan
 § 780.621

$50

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Minnesota
§ 609A.03

$285

No fee limit described in statute.

Fee waived in cases of indigency.

No fee if prosecutor agrees to the sealing of a criminal record.

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Mississippi
§ 99-19-72

$150

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Missouri
 § 610.140

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Montana
§ 46-18-1102 et seq.

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

Rulemaking authority granted to the department of justice.

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Nebraska
§ 29-2264

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Nevada
§ 179.271

$0 (for decriminalized convictions)

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

No fee prescribed by statute for other convictions.

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New Hampshire
§ 651:5

$200 (for conviction report); $100 (for police department to remove records).

No fee limit described in statute.

May be waived for indigency or not guilty verdict.

 

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New Jersey
§ 2C:52-5.4

Automated process being developed.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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New Mexico
HB 370 (not yet codified)

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

The administrative office of the courts and the department of public safety shall develop rules and procedures to implement the Criminal Record Expungement Act.

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New York
Crim. Proc. Law § 160.59

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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North Carolina
§ 15A-145

$175

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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North Dakota
§ 12-60.1-01 et seq.

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Ohio
§ 2953.32

$50

No fee limit described in statute.

Waived upon indigency.

 

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Oklahoma
22 Okl.St. § 18a

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

Fill in the blank form provided through statute.

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Oregon
§ 137.225

$85 + $281 (Filing Fee)

Prosecuting attorney may not charge the defendant a fee.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Pennsylvania
18 Pa.C.S. § 9121

$0

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

Automated.

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Rhode Island

§ 12-1.3-2

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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South Carolina
§ 22-5-910 et seq.

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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South Dakota

§ 23A-3-28

Fee equal to filing fee for a civil action (arrest records).

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Tennessee
§ 40-32-101

$100

$0 if the charge has been dismissed; a no true bill was returned by a grand jury; a not guilty verdict; or the person was arrested and released without being charged.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Texas
Gov’t Code
§ 411.0745

$28 plus any other fee that generally applies to the filing of a civil petition.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Utah
§ 77-40-106

Application and Issuance fee for a certificate of eligibility.

No issuance fee if arrest did not lead to a conviction.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Vermont
32 V.S.A. § 1431

$90 (DUI convictions); $0

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Virginia
§ 19.2-392.2

No fee described in statute.

$0 (misidentification cases)

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Washington
§ 9.96.010 et seq.

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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West Virginia
§ 61-11-26

$100 (to the records division of the West Virginia State Police) + $200 filing fee.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Wisconsin
§ 973.015

No fee described in statute.

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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Wyoming
§ 7-13-1501,
§ 7-13-1502

$100 (certain misdemeanors); $300 (certain felonies)

No fee limit described in statute.

No waiver/payment plan described in statute.

 

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