Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP)

Getting a CROP can make it easier for you to get work, housing, and/or an occupational license if you have served your criminal sentence. This has general information about CROP. #2952EN

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Should I read this?

Yes, if both of these are true:

  • You have a criminal conviction history, especially one that caused you to lose an occupational license.

  • You have finished your sentence for this crime.

What does a CROP do?

It can make it easier to get work, housing, and/or an occupational license if you have served your criminal sentence.

*If you want to get or get back an occupational license, you must also be otherwise qualified for the license. 

How does a CROP work?

You file a court petition asking a judge to sign a Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity for you. After the judge signs it, the Superior Court Clerk sends the Certificate to State Patrol. State Patrol notes it in your records.

Employers, licensing agencies, or landlords doing a criminal history check on you will see the CROP, and:

  • A licensing agency cannot then deny you an occupational license just of your criminal record.

*There are some exceptions to this. See Does a CROP apply to all licenses, below.

  • Employers and landlords can (do not have to) consider a CROP when deciding to give you a job or housing.

Does a CROP guarantee I will get a job?

No. Employers do not have to hire you even if you have a CROP.

Does a CROP seal my criminal record?


Will a CROP apply to any future criminal problems I might have?


Can I get back my right to have a gun?


Am I eligible for a CROP?

Yes, if all these are true:

  • You have no class A felonies. Check your judgment and sentence paperwork if you have a felony conviction. The paperwork should say what type of felony it is.

  • Your criminal record does not include sex offenses. (See RCW 9.94A.030.)

  • Your criminal record does not include certain other crimes under RCW 9.94A.835, 13.40.135, or 9.94A.535(3)(f).

  • You have met all your sentencing requirements.

  • You have had no new arrests, convictions, or pending charges since completing your sentence.

*RCW stands for Revised Code of Washington. This is our state’s laws.

Can I get a CROP for juvenile offenses?

We do not recommend a CROP for juvenile offenses. It costs more and unseals the record.  Instead, you should seal your juvenile records using Sealing Juvenile Court Records (printable forms and instructions) or interview (asks you questions, creates forms from your answers).

The judge ordered as part of my sentence that I pay the court and/or the victim. I am not done making payments. Can I still get a CROP?

Yes, if one of these is true:

  • You are up-to-date in your payments.


  • You have good cause to not be done.

Does a CROP apply to all licenses?

No. It does not work for these occupations, among others:

  • Law enforcement

  • Lawyers

  • Firearms dealers

  • Many licenses involving financial responsibility or fiduciary duty (examples: accounting, bail bond agents, escrow agents)

  • Many licenses involving work with vulnerable people such as seniors, young children, or people with disabilities

  • Some licenses related to health care (examples: nursing, doctors, physicians assistants)

The full list is here: RCW 9.97.020(a).

When can I get a CROP?

There is a waiting period, depending on what your conviction was for:

  • Misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor with no jail time – one year from sentencing

  • Misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor with jail time –one and a half years from release

  • Class B or C felony – two years from sentencing or release

  • Violent offense – five years from sentencing

RCW 9.97.010(1)(a).

Where do I get a CROP?

From one of these:

  • The Superior Court where you live

  • The Superior Court where you were sentenced/adjudicated (if this happened in a court of limited jurisdiction like District Court, you must go to the Superior Court in the same county)

*If you file in the county where you live, that court can decide not to hear your case. RCW 9.97.020(7). You can re-file in another county.

How do I get a CROP?

Where can I read the CROP law?

Here: RCW 9.97.


This publication provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice.
This information is current as of May 2019


© 2019 Northwest Justice Project — 1-888-201-1014.
(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non-commercial purposes only.)


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Last Review and Update: May 02, 2019
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