BCI processing times and government fees were both impacted by HB 392, a law that sunsetted on June 30, 2023.
HB 392 went into effect in May 2022, and until June 30, 2023, created a pilot program to reduce all government fees related to expungement to one reasonable fee of $65. Unfortunately, legislative efforts to make these fees permanent failed, and the year-long pilot-program introduced in HB 392 came to an end. This means that those who submit a BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification) application on or after July 1, 2023, have had to pay much higher, and in some cases unexpected, government fees to get their record expunged.
In the weeks leading up to HB 392’s expiration, BCI received a flood of applications from Utahns wanting to clear their record and take advantage of the lower government fees. An increase in applications, as well as limited staffing and insufficient funding at BCI has caused significant processing delays. Because of this, those who have submitted applications recently have been waiting over 5 months to receive a determination letter from BCI.
As of July 1, 2023, applicants are required to pay a $65 application fee, a $65 certificate fee, and a $150 court filing fee per case.
Since this change went into effect, many seeking expungement have found themselves unable to pay these increased fees. Rasa has received questions about whether there is any possibility to lower these fees. Unfortunately, BCI does not currently offer any waivers for either the application or certificate fees. However, there is an opportunity to get the court filing fee waived, if you meet any of the following criteria:
- You receive government assistance (including SNAP, SSI, etc.).
- You are working with a pro bono attorney through the Utah State Bar or Utah Legal Services.
- Your household income is 150% of the federal poverty line or below.
- You are able to make a case to the courts that the burden of the fees is too great (in this case, you will be required to fill out a form detailing income and expenses).
If you are unsure whether you qualify for a fee waiver, Rasa can help.
Understandably, a months-long waiting period to get your eligibility results can be overwhelming and frustrating — especially because it is an essential first step in the expungement process — but the sooner you submit your application, the sooner your eligibility can be determined, and the sooner you can begin the expungement process to obtain a clean slate.
The recent expiration of HB 392 introduced new challenges to people with records that include longer wait times at BCI and increased fees. Next legislative session, Rasa will be up on the hill advocating for a system that charges reasonable fees, that both allows the government to cover the cost of expunging a record while being low enough that it is affordable for everyone to pay. In the meantime, Clean Slate Utah may be able to help individuals cover the cost of their BCI fees and court filing fee waivers are available to those who qualify.