Conduct a Free Washington Warrant Search (Resource)

Free Washington Warrant Search
Find out if you or someone else has a warrant out for their arrest in Washington, free of charge.

Perform a free Washington warrant search using this clear and streamlined resource to guide you.

Various courts and law enforcement agencies issue warrants — sometimes weeks or months after an incident — so it’s important to be aware if you, a family member, or a friend have active arrest warrants in Washington.

While it’s vital to know the process to find out if you have an outstanding warrant in Washington, rest assured that the information and links in this resource will provide you with step-by-step instructions to help you conduct a free warrant search throughout the state. Further insight for federal warrant lookups will be provided as well.

Are Warrant Records Available to the Public?

The large majority of warrant records in Washington state are available to the public, as U.S. citizens have a constitutional right to be informed if they have been charged with a crime by the government.

The Washington State Code of Criminal Procedure specifies that arrest warrants are public information, and a copy of the warrant and the related affidavit must be provided for public inspection in the local county clerk’s office.1

The only notable exceptions to this policy are unexecuted search warrants or where knowledge of the pending arrest would interfere with an active law enforcement investigation. These kinds of warrants are often referred to as “sealed”, and will eventually be “unsealed”.

An Overview of Vital Information for Locating Warrants in Washington

Running a warrant search in the state of Washington requires knowing some personal information, and having a good bit of personal information at hand makes it much quicker and simpler to find out if you have one.

You will need to know the full name of the individual for whom you’re searching for a warrant at the least. It is also definitely helpful to know his or her middle name and/or a current or recent address.

If you know the city or county where the alleged incident occurred, then you’re already halfway there, as the local municipal police department or county sheriff’s office will almost always have details relating to active warrants in their jurisdiction.

In the state of Washington, the individual courts that issue the warrants are the best place to get current, up-to-date information regarding a specific situation.

How To Perform a Free Washington Warrant Search Online

The quickest and easiest way to make a free arrest warrant check for probation and parole violations is to use the warrant search feature on the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) website.2 You just type a first and last name into the search form and hit Enter, or you can choose to search by DOC number, county, or crime.

A screenshot displaying an inmate search results information such as the DOC number, full name of the inmate, location and age from the Washington State Department of Corrections website.
Source: Washington State Department of Corrections2

In order to complete a warrant search or get up-to-date information about felony warrants, bench warrants or failure-to-pay warrants in the state of Washington, you must contact the court that issued it.

The Washington State Court Directory – allows you to locate the court that issued the warrant and from there, you can look up warrants that were issued in a given area.3

After you accept the disclaimer, follow the instructions to search by case. First, select whether to search district and municipal courts or superior courts. Note you can search by individual name, business name, or case number.

After you determine in which court a case was filed, then you can contact the court clerk to find out if there are any active warrants relating to that case.

If you’re uncertain about which court issued the warrant in question, then take some time to consider where the incident occurred.

Let’s say you were in Seattle or Tacoma or another city in Washington, then your case will be listed in Municipal Court files, or else it will be listed in the District Court cases for the particular county. If the incident occurred outside of city limits, then the case should be listed in the District Court for that county. However, if the incident involves a felony charge, then it will be listed in the cases of the Superior Court for that county.

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) – also maintains a web page listing the top 30+ most wanted fugitives in the state. This WSP most wanted list includes details about the crimes the suspect is charged with, warrant type and number, last known address, date of birth, as well as a photo and description of the suspect.4

A screenshot showing the Washington State Patrol most wanted fugitives showing their preview image, full name and a clickable online file with their personal information and complete description.
Source: Washington State Patrol4

You can also order a copy of your criminal history records from the WSP.

Also keep in mind that Washington Criminal Code 9.94A.716 authorizes the Washington Department of Corrections to issue arrest warrants for individuals in violation of any condition of community custody (probation and parole), those who have violated the terms of a protective order, as well as non-US-citizen inmates who have been released to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation before the end of their sentence (RCW 9.94A.685).

Look Up Warrants Through County Government Agencies in Washington

You can also accomplish a free Washington warrant search using information provided by county government agencies. The county court system and the sheriff’s office are the government agencies responsible for servicing and maintaining records about warrants in the state of Washington.

The King County Sheriff’s Office – is responsible for serving felony and civil arrest warrants issued by the municipal, district or superior courts.5

Note that the King County Sheriff’s Office will not give out any information about warrants over the phone or by email because it may violate personal privacy regulations, or result in misidentification leading to a potential false arrest.

The King County Sheriff’s main office is located in the county courthouse and hosts warrant information for the City of Seattle too.

King County Sheriff’s Office
516 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

Phone: 206-296-4155

The King County Superior Court Clerk’s Office maintains a warrant search tool that you can use to get more information about criminal cases and individual warrants.6

A screenshot showing a warrant search results from the King County Superior Court Clerk's Office website showing details such as record number, filing date, record title, charge or cause of action, warrant type and other details.
Source: King County Superior Court Clerk’s Office6

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office – is responsible for service of warrants in the county.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office
1st Fl., 930 Tacoma Ave. S.
Tacoma, WA 98402

Phone: 253-798-7530

Pierce County maintains a Legal Information Network Exchange (LINX), where you can get information about past and current criminal cases and related warrants.7

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office – bears responsibility for service of all types of warrants, and are located at:.

Clark County Sheriff’s Office
707 West 13th St.
Vancouver, WA 98660

Phone: 564-397-2211

The Clark County website provides a “Criminal Records and Warrants” page with information about public hours and a telephone tip line.

Check With Municipal Courts & Law Enforcement Agencies in Washington for Warrant Information

You can learn more about searching for and resolving various types of warrants by checking with the local municipal courts and law enforcement agencies. A few brief examples of how to complete these warrant lookups in specific cities can be found below.

The Seattle Municipal Court maintains a Resolving a Warrant tool.8

You can learn about warrant hearings and infraction hearings in the City of Tacoma from the Court Dates & Hearings web page.9

For more information about searching for and clearing a warrant in Vancouver, you can check the Clark County FAQs.

Expand Your Search Beyond Washington & Access Federal Warrants

You can try expanding your warrant search to see if you or a friend or family member have an outstanding federal warrant.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) maintains a Fugitives Search Tool listing the “most wanted” fugitives in the United States.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) also provides a Fugitives Lookup that displays the “most wanted” drug fugitives in the U.S. Note this DEA web page also features a “Submit a Tip” link at the top right.10

A screenshot displaying a fugitive information such as name, race, sex, height, weight, hair color, eye color, year of birth, last known address, NCIC#, jurisdiction and notes from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration website.
Source: United States Drug Enforcement Administration10

The U.S. Marshal’s Service also features a 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list.11 This useful listing also provides a telephone tip line as well as an online form to submit a tip if you have any information about these dangerous fugitives.

Individuals can also use the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service, which allows public access to federal court records through an electronic database, to find out information about federal warrants.

Using PACER, you can find federal arrest and search warrants by searching the person’s name, then clicking “Case Number” and choosing the “Docket Sheet”/”Docket Report” or “History/Documents” query.

Keep in mind that using the online PACER service costs $0.10 a page to access documents, with a maximum of $3 regardless of the length of the document. If you are a party to a case, you can access the PACER service for free during business hours at a publicly available terminal in every federal courthouse in the U.S.12

Paying a retainer to engage the services of a good criminal defense attorney is also a very good idea when dealing with federal warrants, as he or she can file a FOIA request through the U.S. Marshal’s Service for more information on your warrant status.

Note you may be required to pay processing fees for your USMS FOIA request, depending on the size of the documents requested.

The U.S Marshal’s service provides a useful webpage with more details regarding making and following up with a FOIA request.

Common Types of Warrants in Washington & When They’re Issued

The U.S. legal system has gradually added different types of warrants to meet the evolving needs of the system. More than a dozen types of warrants can be issued by U.S. judges and magistrates today, and it can help to familiarize with these prior to performing a warrant search.

The various types of warrants issued in the state of Washington are described below (please note this is a non-exhaustive list):

  • Arrest Warrant: General term for most types of warrants described in this section
  • Misdemeanor Warrant: Issued by a court when an individual is charged with a more serious misdemeanor offense
  • Felony Warrant: Issued by a court when an individual is charged with a felony offense
  • Traffic Warrant: Less serious warrant relating to unresolved traffic violations
  • Bench Warrant: Bench warrants are issued by a judge, and most commonly relate to failure-to-appear for a court hearing violations
  • Secretary’s Warrant: Warrants issued by the Washington DOC relating to community custody (probation and parole) violations
  • Failure-To-Pay Warrant: Warrants issued for failure to pay child support (for a “contempt of court” charge).13 You must receive official legal notice of failure to pay before this type of warrant can be issued
  • Tax Warrant: A tax warrant related to unpaid taxes is issued by a Superior court as a civil case14
  • Search Warrant: Search warrants are granted by judges when a representative of a law enforcement agency presents probable cause creating a reasonable suspicion that a crime is being/has been committed

Actions To Consider if You or Someone Else Faces an Arrest Warrant in Washington

The absolute best thing you can do if you have an active warrant in Washington is to hire a criminal defense attorney. Turning yourself in to a law enforcement agency before you get an attorney is generally not a good idea (with some exceptions), as a good attorney will be able to get details on all outstanding warrants against you, and possibly even get them quashed or dropped.

If you can’t afford an attorney, then the first step you should take is to try to get the warrant in question quashed yourself.

Quashing is a legal term for canceling a current outstanding warrant and giving you another chance to appear in court as ordered.

Given the general overcrowding of the legal system, almost every city and county in the state of Washington has established a process for taking care of bench warrants in this manner to alleviate both court and jail overcrowding. The links below provide you with more information about quashing warrants in King County (Seattle) and Pierce County (Tacoma).

If you have an outstanding bench warrant in King County and you want to resolve it as soon as possible, then you should sign up to appear on the recall calendar.15

You can learn more about Quashing a Warrant in Pierce County on the county website.

Keep in mind that if a warrant cannot be dealt with immediately, in many cases it is possible to pay a fine or pay a bail bond to have the situation taken care of so you don’t actually have to go to jail.

For all warrants involving probation or parole violations, you can also call the Washington State DOC at 866-359-1939, or submit an anonymous tip using an online form.16

A screenshot showing an online absconder or escapee information form requiring details such as absconder or escapee name, first and last name, alias, maiden or other names, DOC number, date and time of sighting.
Source: Washington State Department of Social and Health Services16

Don’t take the chance of you or a friend or family member getting arrested for a warrant you don’t know about or just blew off. A Washington warrant search only takes a few minutes of your time, and making the effort to take care of it now could prevent a trip to jail in the future.


1Washington State Legislature. (n.d). Title 10 RCW: Criminal Procedure. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

2Washington State Department of Corrections. (n.d). Search Tools Disclaimer & Terms of Use. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

3Washington State Courts. (n.d). Court Directory. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

4Washington State Patrol. (n.d). WSP Most Wanted. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

5King County, Washington. (n.d). Criminal warrants. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

6King County Superior Court Clerk’s Office. (n.d). Search Warrant. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

7Pierce County, Washington. (n.d). Legal Information Network Exchange (LINX). Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

8Seattle Municipal Court. (n.d). Resolving a Warrant. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

9City of Tacoma, Washington. (n.d). Court Dates and Hearings. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

10United States Drug Enforcement Administration. (n.d). All Fugitives. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

11US Marshals Service. (n.d). 15 Most Wanted Fugitives. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

12Public Access to Court Electronic Records. (n.d). PACER Pricing: How fees work. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

13Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. (n.d). What actions can DCS take to enforce a child support order? Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

14eService Center & Washington Courts. (2022, August 01). Tax warrant. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

15King County, Washington. (n.d). Warrant Information. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>

16Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. (n.d). Report Tips and Leads. Retrieved December 19, 2023, from <>