City, town and village > Procedures > Cleaning You Criminal Record: How To Delete a Historic Conviction


How to delete a historic conviction

A negative criminal record can be a significant hindrance when you want to travel for leisure or experience a new country for a fresh start. If you have a few things you would wish to crap off your criminal record, here’s how to go about doing this in the UK.

How to delete a historic conviction

What is a criminal record

A criminal record is a collective record of arrests, offences, and prosecutions. In the UK, your criminal includes cautions, reprimands, final warnings, and convictions. A police report is mandatory for individuals wishing to immigrate to other countries for better employment opportunities or travel for leisure.

Unfortunately, no alternative document can substitute for a criminal record. You must submit the most recent printout or soft copy of this document before you travel outside the UK. However, you can use a DBS instead of a criminal record if you are sourcing for employment. You should check to ensure the laws of each country before submitting a BDS in place or a police certificate.

ACRO is responsible for checking the records of individuals intending to immigrate to foreign countries. If you want to erase a few items from your rap sheet, you must consult this government office for further deliberation regarding your clearance.

Why You Need to Remove any Offence from Your Criminal Record

A negative rap sheet isn’t something immigration officers from a foreign country would smile about. If you present a criminal document packed with offences you’ve been part of, it is more likely that you will not gain access to the country you intend to move to or visit.

Clearing your historic conviction, arrests and reprimands by your local police also increases your chances of enjoying lucrative employment opportunities in and out of your native land. Adopting children, renting or leasing property, owning firearms, driving, or gaining custody of children can be out of your reach when you have an unpleasant rap sheet. You must clear your criminal record to enjoy these and more privileges in and out of the UK.

Who Can Request It?

Anyone can request a police certificate, but not every person is eligible to apply for clearance of their criminal record. If you want to have your record deleted, here is how you know you qualify:

  • • You have a penalty notice for disorder
  • • You have been given a final juvenile warning
  • • You’ve not been convicted or charged for an adult or juvenile offence
  • • You have an adult caution or conditional caution
  • • You are a holder of a youth caution (juvenile)
  • • You have a juvenile reprimand
  • • You were charged with a serious offence without conviction (adult and juvenile)
  • • You have a discontinuance for a minor offence for an adult or juvenile arrest

Requirements And Documentation Needed

Before beginning the application process, you must have the following documents:

Where And How to Apply

You can apply to delete your criminal record online. The ACRO website provides all relevant information and additional resources to help determine your eligibility and smoothen the application. Once you complete the application forms, you can email them to If you would rather use the paper application option, you can download the forms, fill them out, attach relevant documents and mail them to the deletion’s office via post.

Cost, Validity, And Processing Time

How much you spend depends on the kind of request. Standard applications cost £55 while premium ones cost £95 per person. If you opt for a standard clearance, it will take up to 12 working days to process your request, while the premium version takes 4 weeks. A police certificate is valid for 12 months from the day it was issued, so you may want to apply for a new one once this period lapses.