Clearance Letter

Plan Review
Not Required
Not Required
Not Required
Processing Time
1 to 5 business days
Houston Police Department

1002 Washington Ave., Basement
Houston, TX 77002

8 am to 4 pm


Effective October 1, 2021:

The Identity Verification Unit will no longer provide Clearance Letters. All individuals needing documentation of any criminal history, or proof of no criminal history, will be referred to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

For Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal History requests:

Please contact the Identity Verification Unit with questions.

Conditions & Exceptions

Applicants for ARA Commercial Permitting and HPD Auto Dealers may not use this service. Please use the State authorized vendor for background checks.

Statutory Authority
What You Need
  • Clearance Letter Application - English or Spanish (phone number or an e-mail address must be provided)
  • A valid form of identification (expired and copies of identification are not valid):
    • state-issued identification with a current address 
    • certified birth certificate 
    • passport 
    • permanent residence card 
    • work authorization card 
  • Method of payment: cash, check, cashier's check, money order, or debit/credit card  
  • If you have been arrested by the Houston Police Department, you must include a legible set of fingerprints (all 10 rolled fingerprint impressions). The fingerprint card must:
    • come from a law enforcement agency 
    • have the fingerprint technician's or officer’s signature that rolled the prints 
    • have the law enforcement agency's stamp.
Apply in Person
  1. Bring the completed application, supporting documents and payment to the Houston Permitting Center. 
  2. Obtain a numbered ticket from the Information Desk and make your way to the basement.
  3. Scan your ticket at the reception desk to activate your place in line. Please wait in the lobby until your number is called.

Payments can be made at the Cashier Station on the first floor.