Your convictions are automatically concealed under the Clean Slate scheme if you are eligible.

The best way to find out if you have a clean slate is to ask for a copy of your criminal record

When you do this you don’t have to ask for a Clean Slate check. This happens automatically.

When the Clean Slate scheme applies

You’re said to have no criminal record (criminal conviction history) if all of the following are true. If you have:

  • had no convictions within the last 7 years
  • never been sentenced to a custodial sentence (such as prison, corrective training or borstal)
  • never been convicted of a sexual offence (‘specified offence’)
  • fully paid any fine, compensation, reparation or costs ordered by the court in a criminal case
  • never been banned from driving until further notice (indefinite disqualification)
  • never been held in hospital by the court in a criminal case instead of being sentenced, due to your mental condition.

Find out more in section 7 of the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 (external link)

What the Clean Slate scheme means for your criminal record

If you meet all of the requirements:

  • your criminal convictions are automatically concealed
  • you can say you have no convictions if you are asked about your criminal record in New Zealand. (Note that there are some cases when you will have to provide your full record. Read about these below.)
  • you can still see your convictions if you ask for your full record of convictions
  • no one can ask you to give your full record, except in the cases covered below.

All your convictions will show on your record again if you:

  • get another conviction
  • don’t fully pay any court-ordered fine, compensation or costs
  • get permanently banned from driving.

Then you’ll need to give all your convictions when asked. This will apply until you meet all the requirements again.

Cases when you may have to provide your full record

Even if the Clean Slate scheme applies to you, you may sometimes need to give your full record.

Travelling or living overseas

The Clean Slate scheme does not apply outside New Zealand. When you travel to some countries you may need to give your full record. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you want to travel to. You can get embassy contact details from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade website (external link)

Applying for jobs in New Zealand

You’ll need to agree to give your full record when you apply for certain jobs, for example:

  • police roles
  • prison or probation roles
  • judges, justices of the peace or community magistrates
  • national security roles.

In these cases you may be asked to fill in this form:

Request a full criminal conviction history for someone else (Clean Slate exception) [PDF, 263 KB]

It is against the law in New Zealand for anyone to ask or make you reveal your full record unless the above specific cases apply.

Apply to have a conviction disregarded

You can apply to have convictions disregarded so that you do have a clean slate. You can only do this in 2 cases:

  • the crime has since been decriminalised (is no longer a crime)
  • you got a non-custodial sentence for a sexual offence (a ‘specified offence’).

You must apply to the court where that conviction was heard.

You should ask a lawyer if this applies to you.

Get this information in other languages

You can read a summary about the Clean Slate scheme in Māori, Samoan and simplified Chinese.

Māori
Samoan
Simplified Chinese

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