- Laws for spent convictions
- Convictions covered by the Act
- Exemptions that permit disclosure of a spent conviction
- Learn more about the Act
- Information for the community and employers
On this page
Laws for spent convictions
The Spent Convictions Act 2021 provides rules about when a person’s criminal history can be disclosed (revealed).
The Act will remove the unfair barriers faced by Victorians who previously committed an offence but have since demonstrated their ability to rehabilitate.
For some kinds of convictions, if a person does not reoffend again for a period of time, disclosure will be protected. When this happens, the conviction is described as being ‘spent’.
- spent convictions will not show up on a police record check (unless an exemption applies)
- a person cannot be asked to disclose information about their spent conviction, except in a small number of circumstances where another law permits the question
- a person does not have to disclose they have a criminal record if their only convictions are spent, except in circumstances where another law says that the spent convictions scheme does not apply.
Discrimination because of a spent conviction is also prohibited because of changes to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.
There are penalties for unlawful collection or disclosure of a spent conviction.
Convictions covered by the Act
The Act applies to Victorian convictions for offences that occurred in the past, as well as convictions a person may get in the future. Some overseas convictions can also be spent if they have an equivalent offence in Victoria.
Lots of different convictions can be spent, depending on a person’s age at the time of offending, the type of offending and when it occurred, and the outcome decided by the court. Not all convictions can be spent.
Exemptions that permit disclosure of a spent conviction
Full criminal histories will continue to be disclosed to police, courts and other law enforcement agencies for the administration of the justice system and to protect community safety.
Convictions that are spent will also show up on a police record check in certain circumstances where the check is conducted for specific types of employment, licensing, accreditation for certain occupations and screening such as Working with Children Checks.
Learn more about the Act
Information for the community and employers
A range of factsheets have been developed for community members and employers.
These factsheets explain:
- when and how different convictions are spent
- when a spent conviction can be disclosed
- what employers can ask in relation to spent convictions
- what to do if you feel you have been discriminated against because of a spent conviction
- offences for unlawful collection or disclosure of the spent conviction.
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