Generally available, reliable. Persons should apply for a certificate of no criminal record at the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) (or certain types of employers such as state owned enterprises), then make application to the notary office for a certificate based on the PSB document. Persons without a criminal record will be able to obtain a certificate to that effect. Certificates for individuals with one or more criminal convictions will list all convictions for which records still exist. The certificates purport to reflect all criminal convictions during residence in China. Police records are generally not available for the period prior to 1949. Notarial police certificates are based in part upon records from an individual's employer. If an employer refuses to release records, the notarial office is not able to issue a certificate. This is the case for persons sent abroad for education by the Chinese Government who fail to return to China.
According to a 1957 state council ruling that is still in force, the imposition of a re-education through labor (Lao Dong Jiao Yu) term does not result from a criminal conviction. Administrative organs, rather than courts, impose re-education through labor. It is important to distinguish re-education through labor from labor reform (Lao Dong Gai Zao), which is a sentence meted out for criminal offenses.