Requesting Evidence Examinations

For guidelines for how to package and ship evidence, see Packaging and Shipping Evidence.

All requests for evidence examinations should be in writing, addressed to the FBI Laboratory Evidence Control Center, and contain the following information:

  1. Format for Letters to the FBI Laboratory Evidence Control Center
  2. The submitting contact person's name, agency, address, and telephone number;
  3. Previous case identification numbers, evidence submissions, and communications relating to the case;
  4. Description of the nature and the basic facts concerning the case as they pertain to the Laboratory examinations;
  5. The name or names of and descriptive data about the individual or individuals involved (subject, suspect, victim, or a combination of those categories) and the agency-assigned case identification number; and
  6. A list of the evidence being submitted herewith (enclosed) or under separate cover.
  7. Herewith is limited to small items of evidence that are not endangered by transmitting in an envelope. Write on the envelope before placing evidence inside to avoid damaging or altering the evidence. The written communication should state: Submitted herewith are the following items of evidence.
  8. Separate cover is used to ship numerous or bulky items of evidence or both. Include a copy of the communication requesting the examinations. The written communication should state: Submitted under separate cover by (list the method of shipment) are the following items of evidence.

State what types of examinations are requested.

  1. State where the evidence should be returned and where the Laboratory report should be sent.
  2. Attach a statement if the evidence was examined by another expert in the same field, if there is local controversy, or if other law enforcement agencies have an interest in the case.
  3. State the need and reason or reasons for an expeditious examination. Do not request an expeditious examination routinely.
  4. Submit a separate communication for multiple cases.

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