I know a lot of people have been in different situations where they needed one or several different background checks. Some employers require certain background checks prior to making a final hiring decision; however, typically the employers arrange the checks and pay the fee for it to be completed, so it’s a pretty simple process for a prospective employee. However, when it comes to conducting background checks for personal reasons or if you run your own business, then the process becomes a little more complicated. Hopefully, reading this blog will make the process a little bit easier for you.
The first thing that you will need to understand is that you’re not going to get most background checks done for free. There is no place that offers that service; however, police agencies are able to request and complete background checks, but only as part of official police business. There is one simple exception to this and that is information related to sexual offenders. If someone is registered as a sex offender, you can see their information, the crime they were convicted of, their current address, and typically a photo by searching the National Sex Offender Registry. You can also search for your state’s sex offender registry on any search engine.
There are also several other different types of background checks that employers can select from and use to determine whether a person is a suitable candidate for the job. A county criminal records check will reveal whether a person has been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime within any of the nation’s county courts. State criminal records checks reveal crimes that a person committed in their normal residential state. A national criminal records search complements the state and county checks by providing information about crimes that may have been committed by a person while they were travelling or were not in their normal home state.
Federal crimes that are prosecuted in federal court include tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement, mail fraud, and most other “white-collar” crimes. You can usually discover these records with a federal criminal records search. These types of crimes usually won’t be on the local and state checks because they were prosecuted in a federal court.
If you’re going to hire people to drive company vehicles or transport clients, you may want to have background checks run on their Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records. This type of check will help you find out if a person has a history of automobile accidents, traffic violations, or reckless behavior. It is highly recommended that you run one of these checks if the person is going to be driving a corporate vehicle or transporting clients, because employing someone with a poor driving history can subject your company to lawsuits in the future.
Finally, there are individuals that you should not, and legally cannot, hire because of their placement on certain lists. These are called prohibited and restricted parties and they include terrorists, money launderers, drug dealers and traffickers, and known illegal arms dealers. These people may not show up on any other background checks; however, you can get in serious trouble if you are caught hiring someone on this list. Typically, government agencies maintain the lists of prohibited and restricted parties.
Background checks can be complicated; however, they don’t have to be. If you know what you are looking for, there are many third parties that offer background checks for reasonable prices. You can search one type of record or you can search them all depending on the type of need that you have.