How To Do A Criminal Background Check

You may be trying to rent your apartment, and few tenants applied for it. You can not just randomly choose one of them. Before finalizing your decision, you have to know a little bit about them, especially their background. You can do that by doing a criminal background check on them. This is one of the most critical sections of background history checking. You may need this for various reasons.

In another situation, you may be trying to hire employees for your company. It would not be pleasant for you if later you found out he or she has a criminal background. There are many other reasons you have to run a background check on someone before finalizing your decision.

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Note: This article is part of a series on totally free background check no credit card required.

How To Do The Criminal Background Check

You can run a background check on your own or through a company. It all depends on what checks you want to use. Here are a few methods that you can use on your own. However, it is recommended that you take help from some professionals.

  • Searching Online Public Records Databases

Public records databases reveal whether the name you searched for has a criminal record. A criminal record may also show up if the name is similar to a convict’s, which could confuse you. While public records databases don’t have all records, they still contain a lot of valuable information. You can search for online public records.

You need to check all available national databases and public records. This includes national sex offender registries, the global terrorism database, the FBI’s fingerprint database, and state and federal criminal databases. You can find county and state criminal records by searching the county’s or state’s court records. For federal cases, you can use the online index for federal court records.

The majority of this search is free. However, the FBI’s fingerprint database and some state websites charge a fee for access. The federal court’s index also charges a fee if you view too many documents.

  • Searching Court Records

As lovely as it’d be to have a national criminal database containing every criminal record, it doesn’t exist. Many individual courthouses have criminal records unavailable anywhere else. That makes comprehensive criminal record checks a priority for both employers and employees.

For search court records, you have to compile a list of courthouses with the jurisdiction where he or she lives. Check if the relevant courthouses have their records available online. If not, then you have to visit each courthouse in person to request the record. Inspect the records. Review the details to ensure everything is correct.

Some courts charge access fees for criminal records, but fees are economical. It’s more complicated than the other background checks. Visiting individual courthouses in person takes time and effort.

  • Getting Help From Professionals

Not all the work is possible for a single individual who is not an expert in the field. It is best to seek professional help on some occasions. When you are doing a criminal background check on someone, you might miss some crucial information that could have been the game-changer. But the professionals have been doing this type of work for a long time, and they know what to look for.

Background check websites

GoodHire uses an e-consent tool to get the candidate’s consent to run a background check. Its Checks are fully compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Results are delivered via a mobile-optimized dashboard that can also be used to order new checks.

Three pricing packages are offered if you need to run fewer than 25 checks per year. You’ll have to request a custom quote if you need more. Additional services can be purchased as add-ons, including alias names, global watch lists, federal criminal databases, and statewide criminal records searches. All packages require a one-time setup fee of $49.99.

Basic Plan

$29.99 per search

Turnaround time: 1 business day

Social Security number verification

National criminal database search

Sex offender search

 

Standard Plan

$39.99 per search

Turnaround time: 1 to 3 business days

All Basic Plan features

Domestic watch list

Premium Plan

$79.99 per search

All Standard Plan features

7-year county criminal court search


AccurateNow offers affordable pricing, pay-as-you-go plans, and user-friendly online reports. You can also purchase FCRA-compliant background checks on an individual basis with no monthly minimums.

Its reports are clear and easy to read, with color-coding to indicate where there are issues and where there are none. The online dashboard is mobile-friendly, so you can order and review the status of your background checks from a mobile device.

AccurateNow offers three search plans. Add-on services are $9.95 each. You’ll need to pay a $25 setup fee and a $5 pre-adverse and adverse action notice fee.

Basic Plan

$29.95 per search

Turnaround time: 1 to 2 business days

Social Security number verification

National criminal database search

Sex offender search

Standard Plan

$59.95 per search

Turnaround time: 3 to 4 business days

All Basic Plan features

Global watch search

Premium Plan

$74.95 per search

Turnaround time: 3 to 4 business days

All Standard Plan features

Education and employment verification


InfoMart has an average turnaround time of one business day, competitive pay-as-you-go pricing, 30 years of industry experience, and the broadest range of screenings and services for the money. InfoMart offers the best value of all the options we reviewed. InfoMart provides a full range of background check services. It makes it easy to access forms and background check updates online. InfoMart offers three search plans.

Simple Plan

$28.95 per search

Turnaround time: average one business day

National Social Security search

Multistate criminal history search

Multistate sex offender search

Popular Plan

$53.95 per search

Turnaround time: average one business day

All Simple Plan features

County criminal history search

Verified watch list

Classic Plan

$78.95 per search

Turnaround time: average one business day

All Popular Plan features

Education and employment verification


HireRight provides more than 150 background screening services in 200 countries and territories. It features a user-friendly interface. Its basic search plans are in-line with other providers in this space, and comprehensive search plans are generally less expensive than other top-shelf competitors.

While HireRight is more geared toward big businesses, it does offer our test group’s most affordable plans for small businesses through their backgroundchecks.com service. HireRight offers three search plans.

Basic Plan

$29.95 per search

Turnaround time: 1 to 3 business days

Criminal database search

Non-hit and alias links search

Better Plan

$49.95 per search

Turnaround time: 1 to 3 business days

All Basic Plan features

County criminal search: 1 county

Premium Plan

$64.95 per search

Turnaround time: 1 to 3 business days

All Better Plan features

County criminal search: Unlimited counties (going back up to 7 years)


SterlingOne offers a wide range of pre-employment services. Requesting a criminal background check through SterlingOne is a bit more cumbersome than with some of the other companies. First, you need to submit info about your business, including the legal name of your company. Once your account is set up, you can order the screenings you need.

While SterlingOne’s services are geared toward major brands and agencies, it offers three screening packages perfectly suited to small businesses. You can add additional services to fit your needs, such as a driver’s record check for $9.95 each, and education or employment verification for $19.95 each. Custom packages are also available. SterlingOne offers three search plans.

Basic Plan

$29.95 per search

Turnaround time: 1 to 3 business days

Social Security number trace

Multistate instant criminal check

Sex offender search

County criminal search: 1 county

Preferred Plan

$59.95 per search

Turnaround time: 1 to 3 business days

All Basic Plan features

Federal criminal district search

OFAC terrorist watch list search

Pro Plan

$79.95 per search

Turnaround time: 1 to 3 business days

All Preferred Plan features

County criminal search: Unlimited counties (up to 7 years)

Federal criminal district search (up to 7 years)

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