Criminal Information and Identification

The SBI is North Carolina's central repository for Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) based on fingerprint identification.

We receive, process, and store this information based on fingerprint cards received from law enforcement agencies and prison systems. We link the final disposition information provided by the courts to each entry.

We enter fingerprints into our Computerized Criminal History File (CCH) and index them to the FBI's criminal history files. These fingerprint prints and associated criminal records are accessible to criminal justice and non-criminal justice agencies nationwide.

Specialized Units

To provide critical analysis and coordination of essential resources to North Carolina criminal justice agencies, ten specialized units are coordinated by an assistant special agent in charge and/or supervisor.

  • AFIS & Technical Search Unit
  • DDE/NICS Research Unit
  • Applicant Processing Unit
  • Expungement Unit
  • Compliance Unit
  • Sex Offender Coordination Unit
  • CCH/Triple I Processing Unit
  • Traffic Stops Unit
  • Crime Reporting / Criminal Statistics Unit
  • Training Unit

For further information about the Criminal Information and Identification Section or to request assistance, contact us.

AFIS & Technical Search Unit
Fingerprint technicians perform analysis, comparison, evaluation, and verification of fingerprint images to determine identity.

Fingerprint technicians establish criminal history records during the evaluation phase if there is no prior criminal history record. The SBI's fingerprint technicians provide Statewide Automated Fingerprint Identification System (SAFIS) network support and edit electronic fingerprint submissions. SAFIS links a statewide network of Live Scan devices that electronically capture and submit fingerprint images to us.

Applicant Processing Unit
The SBI processes non-criminal justice name and fingerprint background checks for more than 3,000 non-criminal justice agencies.

To access our criminal history records, North Carolina law requires an ordinance, federal mandate, state statute or Governor's executive order for non-criminal justice agencies to have access to our criminal history records.

We process criminal justice applicant fingerprint cards for law enforcement agencies in North Carolina. We also provide information for petitioners seeking restoration of firearms rights. Petitioners must complete a consent form for a criminal record check which we process for the restoration of firearms rights. (Form is available in two formats.)

Compliance Unit

The SBI audits records which are entered, modified, cleared, and canceled in the SBI-maintained Division of Criminal Information Network (DCIN) which further links to the FBI-maintained National Criminal Information Center (NCIC). Our unit audits the use of certain criminal justice information obtained through DCIN by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to make sure the information is complete, accurate, and up-to-date.

DCIN information audited includes stolen vehicles, stolen guns, missing persons, wanted persons, and computerized criminal history record dissemination logs. Non-criminal justice entities which have access to criminal justice information are also audited.

CCH/Triple I Processing Unit

We verify and maintain criminal history data for all Live Scan fingerprint submissions that are electronically added to the Computerized Criminal History File (CCH).

We manually enter modifications to Live-Scan and mailed-in fingerprint submissions. State and federal records are reviewed and compared, records are verified as belonging to North Carolina, and we take ownership of the records.

Crime Reporting / Criminal Statistics / Traffic Stops Unit

We administer crime reporting standards for North Carolina and provide support for the 475 law enforcement agencies that participate in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

Our crime statisticians collate and analyze data collected by the SBI to assure quality control. The data is then compiled into the Uniform Crime Report and disseminated throughout the state and country. This information about crime reporting statistics is used by the media, the legislature, local governments and the public.

We maintain and analyze all traffic stops data by local law enforcement in North Carolina. SBI special agents who make traffic stops based upon a motor vehicle violation pursuant to Chapter 20 of the NC General Statutes also participate.

Participants in the Traffic Stop Reporting Program include: all state law enforcement officers; law enforcement employed by county sheriffs or county police departments; officers employed by police departments in municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more persons; officers employed by police departments in municipalities employing five or more full-time sworn officers for every 1,000 in population, as calculated by the division for the calendar year in which the stop was made.

DDE/NICS Research Unit

We process criminal arrests, custody information, and applicant card submissions from mailed-in inked fingerprint cards to a Descriptive Data Entry (DDE) screen for electronic submission to the FBI. Each fingerprint card is manually edited for clarity and mandatory fields to ensure that the charges meet qualifications under NCGS § 15A-502. We process and categorize juvenile fingerprint cards under NCGS § 7B-2102 and NCGS § 7B-2200. We also research final dispositions for the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Expungement Unit

We process expungement petitions and orders, reviewing each petition to determine if information is accurate and statutory requirements are met. See NCGS Article 5: Expungement of Records.

We check criminal history files in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and forward the completed petitions to the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. A checklist is directed to the presiding judge if we find issues or additional information pertaining to the expungement.

When a court order is received, the designated criminal history information is expunged from the North Carolina computerized criminal history files and the record is removed from the State Automated Fingerprint Identification System. An expungement of North Carolina computerized criminal history will not affect any criminal history originating in another state.

Sex Offender Coordination Unit
The SBI manages the content on the N.C. Sex Offender Registry website and ensures compliance with state and federal regulations. Every week, this unit mails individual verification letters to registered offenders and conducts quality assurance checks of data entered into state and federal databases.

The Sex Offender Coordination Unit provides support to North Carolina county sheriffs with registration and management of sex offenders. This unit also works closely with other states to track and monitor offender movements nationwide.

Training Unit
The Criminal Information and Identification Section (CIIS) Training Unit is responsible for developing and teaching courses to law enforcement and criminal justice personnel. Training includes operation and use of the state's criminal information network (DCIN).

Training specialists serve as regional instructors assigned to each SBI District Office to assist local, state, and federal agencies. They serve as coordinators for various CIIS programs and manage state certifications which allow law enforcement agencies to review SBI and FBI criminal records.

Services include evaluating training needs, researching course content, designing course objectives, constructing outlines, composing course narratives, compiling measures of evaluation or testing, scheduling training sessions, assimilating course materials, and presenting classroom instruction.

Training Specialists also assist with on-site criminal justice agency audits.

Criminal Information & Identification Section: Special Agent in Charge Wyatt Pettengill