This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Spent convictions and amending the record

Information about when and how to challenge a criminal record in Victoria and about what a spent conviction is.

When a record can be removed

If a person believes that their criminal record is wrong, it could be that the police or the court has made a mistake. If the outcome is wrongly stated check the court documents to see if there is a discrepancy. The court can provide a certified copy of the order on request. The person will need to attend the court that heard the matter to do this. The person can then apply to Victoria police if there is a mistake on their criminal record. If the court documents prove that the outcome has been wrongly recorded, the police should amend the police record. Applications must be made in writing.

The Victoria police policy document has information about how to apply to have a mistake corrected.

If police refuse to amend the document, a person can try making a complaint to the Commissioner for privacy and data collection.

See Victoria Police—Release policy(opens in a new window) and What information is released?

The Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre publication, 'Getting past your past' has information to assist a person who is trying to have a mistake on their record corrected.

See Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre—Getting past your past: Moving on from a police record in Victoria(opens in a new window).

Spent convictions

A spent conviction is when a person's criminal record is not disclosed and the person is treated as if they have never been found guilty of the offence.

See Spent convictions scheme in Victoria.

Other states and territories also have spent conviction schemes. If a person has old interstate offences, they should speak to the legal aid commission where their records originated from to find out details of the scheme in that other state.

Old convictions for homosexual offences

The Human Rights Law centre may be able to assist clients who need help applying to have their historical homosexual convictions expunged.

See An overview of sentencing—Expunging a conviction.

More information


Victoria Police

The police website has information about their policy about releasing criminal records. There is also a link to the national police check application form.


Human Rights Law Centre

This centre protects and promotes human rights in Australia and in Australian activities overseas. They do this by a combination of legal action, advocacy, research and capacity building.

See Human Rights Law Centre(opens in a new window).

Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre

This community legal centre has a publication that explains the process of getting a police record.

See Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre—Getting past your past: Moving on from a police record in Victoria(opens in a new window).

Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner

The commissioner has oversight of the Victorian Government's collection, use and disclosure of information.

See Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner—Complaints(opens in a new window).