Here's how to get record clearance in Santa Barbara County

  1. Visit Fresh Start on ThriveSBC to fill out an online form that will ask you a few questions about yourself and your record in Santa Barbara county, that will then be sent straight to the Public Defender’s Office. Or you can visit the Santa Barbara County website, print out a pdf and mail it back to the Public Defender’s Office or drop it off at one of our offices in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, or Santa Maria.

    Contacting the Public Defender is safe and confidential. They are not part of law enforcement and will not share your information with anyone. We know it can be difficult to talk about your conviction history, but the Public Defender will only use this information to move your record clearance application forward.

  2. The Public Defender will contact you by phone or email

    The Public Defender will contact you within 2-6 weeks and ask you to fill out a short application to start the process. If you do not hear back from the Public Defender within 2-6 weeks, reach back out to them to check on your case’s progress. They will also screen you to determine whether you meet their income requirement. If you do not, you can contact legal aid organizations that serve the Santa Clara Barbara. The Public Defender will start the process of getting your full CA DOJ RAP sheet to see all your cases. They may also ask you to submit a personal statement or letters of recommendation.

  3. Work with The Public Defender to complete your request

    If you are eligible, attorneys will help you put together a petition which you can send to the court to clear your record. Your public defender will update you with the final decision and official documents. You may have to go to court, but the public defender will let you know if you have to attend the court hearing.

  4. Submit application and fees to the court and receive decision

    In Santa Barbara County, you’ll need to pay fees to the court that range from $125-$175 per motion, but most folks are eligible for a fee waiver. The Public Defender can help you apply for a fee waiver if you meet the requirements.

  5. Wait 90 days for the court and Department of Justice (DOJ) record to be updated

    If your petition is accepted, you will have to wait at least 90 days after the petition was granted for changes to be reflected on your DOJ RAP sheet. If you want to see if your record has been fully updated, you can get a copy of your CA DOJ RAP sheet or your local court records by going to the courthouse. If you are still having trouble with cases showing up, contact the public defender for assistance. You can also read more about what happens after clearance.

All set? Apply on the Santa Barbara Public Defender Website

The Public Defender will be able to provide personalized help to start your record clearance process. They are a safe, confidential resource and are not part of any law enforcement agency and will not share your information with anyone.

Santa Barbara Public Defender Contact Information

The Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office helps people with arrests or convictions in Santa Barbara County.



Santa Barbara Office phone number

(805) 568-3470

Santa Barbara Office mailing address

1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Santa Maria Office phone number

(805) 346-7500

Santa Maria Office mailing address

312-P East Cook Street Santa Maria, CA 93454

Lomoc Office phone number

(805) 737-7770

Lomoc Office mailing address

115 Civic Center Plaza Lompoc, CA 93436