Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP)
Authored By: Northwest Justice Project
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
- Should I read this?
- What does a CROP do?
- How does a CROP work?
- Does a CROP guarantee I will get a job?
- 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?
- Can I get a CROP for juvenile offenses?
- 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?
- Does a CROP apply to all licenses?
- When can I get a CROP?
- Where do I get a CROP?
- How do I get a CROP?
- Where can I read the CROP law?
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.
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.
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.
No. Employers do not have to hire you even if you have 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.)
You have met all your sentencing requirements.
You have had no new arrests, convictions, or pending charges since completing your sentence.
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.
No. It does not work for these occupations, among others:
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).
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
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.
Use File a Petition for Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity. It has forms and instructions. Or get the forms yourself from the state courts’ website: www.courts.wa.gov/forms.
File your case. Pay the filing fee or, if you cannot afford to pay it, get the judge to waive (excuse) it. Ask the Court to Waive Your Filing Fee has the forms and instructions. Or use our do-it-yourself interview program, Washington Forms Online, to complete the forms at WashingtonLawHelp.org.
Give the prosecutor in the county where you are filing notice of your case.
Go to a hearing if the court schedules one.
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.)