National Crime Information Center (NCIC)

National Crime Information Center (NCIC)

An automated database of criminal justice and justice-related records maintained by the FBI.

The database includes the “hot files” of wanted and missing persons, stolen vehicles, and identifiable stolen property, including firearms.

Access to NCIC files is through central control terminal operators in each state that are connected to NCIC via dedicated telecommunications lines maintained by the FBI. Local agencies and officers on the beat can access the state control terminal via the state law enforcement network.

Inquiries are based on name and other non-fingerprint identification. Most criminal history inquiries of the III system are made via the NCIC telecommunications system.

NCIC data may be provided only for criminal justice and other specifically authorized purposes. For criminal history searches, this includes criminal justice employment, employment by federally chartered or insured banking institutions or securities firms, and use by state and local governments for purposes of employment and licensing pursuant to a state statute approved by the U.S. Attorney General. Inquiries regarding pre-sale firearm checks are included as criminal justice uses.