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Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

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  • Writer's pictureParviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

How to Get Your Pennsylvania State Background Check

By Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq

You can request your own Pennsylvania state level background check from the Pennsylvania State Police easily by mail. 

The Pennsylvania background check may be of use to you if you want to review your own record. You may also need it if you are or were a Pennsylvania resident and are now applying for certain foreign visa, residency or citizenship applications. 

Here’s how you do it. 

Step by Step Instructions

First, go to the Pennsylvania State Police website

Then you scroll down to "Submit a Request by Mail"

The higher red arrow pointing to “SP4-164” is the request you make if you may want to submit your background check to some domestic or foreign agency. 

The lower red arrow pointing to “SB1-170” is the request you can make if you just want to review your background yourself (individual access and review).  

→ Click on one of those two application forms to continue. For the purposes of this article, we’ll proceed as if you’re requesting an SP4-170 for individual access and review.

Sample SP4-170 form

→ Complete the SP4-170 form shown above. 

Make your payment of $20 payable to “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” 

Make sure to include a copy of your government issued ID such as a driver license or passport, as shown in the requirement below.

Your completed Pennsylvania background check application package should have three items: 1) your completed SP4-170, 2) payment, and 3) copy or your government issued ID. You do not need to include a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

Mail the application package to: 




HARRISBURG, PA 17110-9758

Then you wait. 

Receiving the PA Background Check 

In our experience at Malakouti Law, the Pennsylvania state police process these background checks quite quickly. You can usually expect to get the report back via mail within 2-4 weeks for a report for a person with no criminal history. 

Here’s what it looks like: 

Sample Pennsylvania Background Check (for individual review)

Good luck! 

Consult with Malakouti Law 

At Malakouti Law, we only complete Pennsylvania background checks for our own citizenship and residency clients. However, if you have questions about requesting or getting your own Pennsylvania background check, you can book a consultation with us here.

If you are interested in assistance in applying for second citizenship, you are also welcome to book a consultation with us at Malakouti Law. This is what we do.

Each immigration and citizenship case is particular and you should consult with a qualified immigration and citizenship lawyer about your case before taking any steps. The Law Office of Parviz Malakouti does not guarantee the accuracy of information presented nor assume responsibility for actions taken in reliance of this information. The information in this page could become outdated. Attorney marketing. 

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