What is a spent conviction?

A spent conviction is a conviction that (unless an exemption applies):

  • will not appear on your police check
  • you do not have to disclose to anyone
  • no one is allowed to ask you about.

The Spent Convictions Act 2021

The Spent Convictions Act 2021 (External link) (the Act) provides rules about when you do and don't need to disclose the convictions on your criminal history.

The Act removes the unfair barriers faced by Victorians who commit an offence but then rehabilitate.

For some types of convictions, if you do not reoffend again for a specific period, you no longer have to share the conviction, even on most police checks. When this happens, the conviction is known as ‘spent’.

This means:

  • spent convictions do not show up on a police check (unless an exemption applies)
  • no one can ask you to disclose information about your spent conviction (except in a small number of circumstances where another law permits the question)
  • you do not have to disclose that you have a criminal record if you only have spent convictions (except in a small number of circumstances where another law says that the Act does not apply).

The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (External link) prohibits discrimination because of a spent conviction.

There are penalties for unlawful collection or disclosure of a spent conviction.

The seriousness of a conviction determines whether it can be spent or not. For more details see Convictions that can be spent.

Learn more about the Act

You can learn more about the Spent Convictions Act 2021 (External link) by downloading the following factsheets and flow charts:

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