Sealing of Juvenile Files FAQs
Why have a Juvenile Record sealed?
To insure that adults will not be adversely impacted by their juvenile criminal history.
Where do I go to get a Juvenile Record sealed?
A sealing application can be submitted to the Probation Department in the County where the violation and/or jurisdiction occurred. For San Mateo County, that location is 222 Paul Scannell Drive, San Mateo.
How do I get a Juvenile Record sealed?
In San Mateo County any person may apply to have their juvenile record sealed, provided he/she has met the basic requirements listed on the first page of the application.
How much does it cost to get a Juvenile Record sealed?
A non-refundable fee for the sealing of juvenile/traffic records is $150.00 (this amount is subject to change). Once the sealing investigation has begun, there will not be a refund of the fee. A Financial Hardship document with proof of income may also be submitted with the application.
How long does it take to seal a Juvenile Record?
That depends on a number of factors; the complexity of your case, the number and nature of previous offenses, the number of law enforcement agencies involved, the court calendar schedule, and possibly other factors. It may take four to six months to complete the investigation, obtain a sealing order from the Court, and confirm the sealing of records by all agencies involved.
Where can I get a copy of the Sealing of Records application?
What if I can't remember exact dates or police agencies?
Do the best you can. However, we have your record and can verify the information. Once that is done, we will request the Court seal your juvenile record in San Mateo County.
If I am not eligible for sealing will I get my money returned?
No, so please read carefully the information on the application prior to sending your check or money order to the San Mateo County Probation Department.
What is the effect of a Sealed Record?
Following the order for sealing, all records, exhibits, documents, etc. in the possession of any agency are ordered sealed by the Judge. This, in essence, means that the Court, Probation Department, police agencies, and any other agency having information about the individual must physically seal the record and report that they have no record whenever a request for information is received.
The applicant may respond to any inquiry regarding a juvenile record that he has none. Do not indicate that your record is sealed.
Please note: The actual destruction of your records will not occur until you are 38 years old, if the juvenile offense was a violation of Section 602 WIC or 23 years old, if it was a violation of Section 601 WIC.
Can the Record be unsealed by anyone?
Sealed records can be unsealed for three reasons only:
- The individual can make a request to the Court.
- The Court may order a record opened in an action or proceeding based upon defamation. The information may be entered into evidence, after which the Court orders the record sealed.
- Insurance companies can obtain copies of the Department or Motor Vehicles records in order to set premium rates.
How does sealing my record affect my auto insurance rates?
It does not. As noted above, insurance companies are authorized by law to obtain copies of DMV records in order to set your automobile insurance premium rate. Sealing your records in San Mateo County does not prevent insurance companies from accessing your driving record through the State Department of Motor Vehicles.
What will I receive when the sealing process is complete?
You will receive a copy of the petition.