Alabama Background Check (Warning: Read New Laws Before AL Check)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | June 5, 2024

Alabama background check document on the right while two people examine the document that comprises a background check in Alabama, including Alabama criminal history searches for 7 years, gun background check, and explains laws with the state of Alabama on the left.

Free Alabama Background Check
Alabama background check to search all criminal records, background history, court documents, and public records in Alabama.

When researching what is required for a background check, Alabama is one that that may surprise many people, because there is more than just one kind of Alabama background check.

Like many states, there are different kinds of background checks used in Alabama for different purposes. And, all have unique requirements that are based on updated laws, such as the Open Records Law.

Be warned that the laws regarding background searches are constantly changing. Failing to understand the newest, most up-to-date laws (explained below) can result in penalties, or simply receiving an Alabama background check report that doesn’t include all records.

For these reasons, knowing what’s in these laws and which background checks to use is the key to performing a legal Alabama background check that is comprehensive and leaves no stone unturned.

How To Find Official Alabama Background Check Info and Public Records

Like most states, records in Alabama are held in several different places. Which source should be used will depend on a variety of factors, such as who is requesting the information, what the information is for, and what information is needed.

Some common checks include:

Many types of background checks will overlap. For example, in a caregiver background check, criminal records, sex offender registries, and history will be searched.

Find Public Records for an Alabama Background Check

In general background checks and the retrieval of background check-related information, such as obtaining personal criminal record, will involve one of two government agencies: The local county clerk’s office or the Alabama State Police.

Man's hand holding a folder in an open filing cabinet.

In Alabama, both the county clerk’s office and the state police will have access to any criminal history information for the state. This includes arrest records, convictions, and any other information that was part of the criminal proceedings. Due to the Alabama Open Records Law, public records in Alabama can be viewed by anyone with a few exceptions.

In general, the most common exceptions that would cause certain information not to be available to the public include records that are sealed due to expungement or due to the fact that the crimes were committed by a juvenile and the criminal records were sealed, as well as records that are part of ongoing investigations.

Find Alabama Public Records Through County Clerks

When obtaining information for a background check, Alabama records can most easily be accessed through the various county clerk offices throughout the state. This is especially useful for individuals trying to find criminal history information on a specific individual or for those who need to check their background history.

Keep in mind that the county clerk will only have criminal history information, so individuals who need a complete background check should go through the state police. Information on getting an Alabama background check through the state police is outlined further down.

Finally, the last thing to consider before attempting to find public records through the county clerk is that each clerk will only have criminal history information for the specific county. Knowing what county the individual being searched has lived in, is essential. Performing an address lookup or who lives here search can be helpful in finding the right county to search.

Detailed steps for obtaining criminal history information through the county clerk include:

Step 1: Locate the Correct Circuit Court

The state of Alabama has a district court specific to each county. In order to obtain criminal history information for an individual, the first step is to identify the court where the case was held.

Step 2: Contact the Court Directly 

The final step is to contact the court by mail or email with the records request. In general, case information and/or the name of the individual should be enough for the clerk to perform the search and return the findings back to the requester.

Below is a list of the county clerk websites for every county in Alabama

Alabama CountyAlabama County Clerk Website
Autauga CountyAutauga County Clerk Website
Baldwin CountyBaldwin County Clerk Website
Barbour CountyBarbour County Clerk Website
Bibb CountyBibb County Clerk Website
Blount CountyBlount County Clerk Website
Bullock CountyBullock County Clerk Website
Calhoun CountyCalhoun County Clerk Website
Chambers CountyChambers County Clerk Website
Cherokee CountyCherokee County  Clerk Website
Chilton CountyChilton County Clerk Website
Choctaw CountyChoctaw County Clerk Website
Clarke CountyClarke County Clerk Website
Clay CountyClay County Clerk Website
Cleburne CountyCleburne County Clerk Website
Coffee CountyCoffee County Clerk Website
Colbert CountyColbert County Clerk Website 
Conecuh CountyConecuh County Clerk Website
Coosa CountyCoosa County Clerk Website
Covington CountyCovington County Clerk Website
Crenshaw CountyCrenshaw County Clerk Website
Cullman CountyCullman County Clerk Website
Dale CountyDale County Clerk Website
Dallas CountyDallas County Clerk Website
DeKalb CountyDeKalb County Clerk Website
Elmore CountyElmore County Clerk Website
Escambia CountyEscambia County Clerk Website
Etowah CountyEtowah County Clerk Website
Fayette CountyFayette County Clerk Website
Franklin CountyFranklin County Clerk Website
Geneva CountyGeneva County Clerk Website
Greene CountyGreene County Clerk Website
Hale CountyHale County Clerk Website
Henry CountyHenry County Clerk Website
Houston CountyHouston County Clerk Website
Jackson CountyJackson County Clerk Website
Jefferson CountyJefferson County Clerk Website
Lamar CountyLamar County Clerk Website
Lauderdale CountyLauderdale County Clerk Website
Lawrence CountyLawrence County Clerk Website
Lee CountyLee County Clerk Website
Limestone CountyLimestone County Clerk Website
Lowndes CountyLowndes County Clerk Website
Macon CountyMacon County Clerk Website
Madison CountyMadison County Clerk Website
Marengo CountyMarengo County Clerk Website
Marion CountyMarion County Clerk Website
Marshall CountyMarshall County Clerk Website
Mobile CountyMobile County Clerk Website
Monroe CountyMonroe County Clerk Website
Montgomery CountyMontgomery County Clerk Website
Morgan CountyMorgan County Clerk Website
Perry CountyPerry County Clerk Website
Pickens CountyPickens County Clerk Website
Pike CountyPike County Clerk Website
Randolph CountyRandolph County Clerk Website
Russell CountyRussell County Clerk Website
St. Clair CountySt. Clair County Clerk Website
Shelby CountyShelby County Clerk Website
Sumter CountySumter County Clerk Website
Talladega CountyTalladega County Clerk Website
Tuscaloosa CountyTuscaloosa County Clerk Website
Walker CountyWalker County Clerk Website
Washington CountyWashington County Clerk Website
Wilcox CountyWilcox County Clerk Website
Winston CountyWinston County Clerk Website

Find Alabama Court Records (Just One Look Alabama)

Alabama court records can also be accessed through the Alabama Public Access to Court Records Portal. Detailed steps to use the online court records system are outlined below.

Graphic showing steps on Finding Alabama court records (Just One Look Alabama), showing Access the Just One Look Website, Create an Account, and Perform Search and Pay Search Fees.

Step 1: Access the Just One Look website. 

The Alabama online court records system can be accessed through the website of any district court or by using the Just One Look link.

Step 2: Create an Account

In order to search the online court records portal, individuals must first create an account. Only basic contact information is required to create an account such as a name and email address.

Step 3: Perform Search and Pay Search Fees

With an account created, simply perform the search on the homepage of the online portal. Searches can be completed using the first and last name of an individual or by entering the case number, if a specific case is being searched for. (Knowing the middle name of the person can also help narrow search results.)

Both a case number search and a name-based search cost $10 to complete. Images of the information can also be purchased for $5 for the first 20 pages and an additional $0.50 per page thereafter.

There is also the option to receive updates on a case for the lifetime of the proceedings for $19.99 for a district case and $29.99 for a circuit case.

Criminal Background Check: Alabama Fingerprint Process

Certain jobs may require more extensive background checks that require fingerprints. The Alabama state police is in charge of these checks and provides the required fingerprinting services.

In most states the local sheriff’s department will be able to provide criminal history information for the county, however, Alabama Sheriff’s departments refer individuals to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency for all records requests.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is in charge of all criminal history information for the state. Detailed steps on how to obtain Alabama Criminal History Record Information is outlined below.

Step 1: Access the Website of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency 

Once the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency website has been accessed, simply navigate to the services page and select the “criminal history information,” link.

Step 2: Fill out the Provided Form

Selecting the “Criminal history information,” link will take users to the ALEA Application to Review Alabama Criminal History Record Information (CHRI). The form can be printed and filled out by hand.

Step 3: Provide Required Information and Submit Application

The application has detailed instructions on page 3. These instructions include what information to include on the form, where and how to get fingerprinted, information regarding paying the application fee, and how and where to submit the completed form and accompanying documents.

Alabama Background Check for Employment

Many jobs in the state require a specific background check Alabama. Jobs such as those relating to child care or jobs involved with other vulnerable groups require additional and specific checks compared to those on traditional pre-employment background checks. Specific checks that are required for various jobs in the state of Alabama are outlined below.

Background check, Alabama employment requirements graphics showing the checks required for state of Alabama employment in education, healthcare, and childcare.

Background Check Alabama Teachers

Teachers in the state of Alabama must go through a background check that is mandated by the Alabama Department of Education. The check includes a typical national criminal history information check as well as several other checks specific to teachers, such as child abuse and neglect registry checks and others.

Background checks are performed through a 3rd party company, more information can be found on their website. In general, basic contact information such as a name, address and social security number will be required as part of the check. Fingerprints are also required as part of the check with specific information as to how and where to get official fingerprints outlined in the provided link.

The background check application fee is $48.15

Healthcare Background Check AL

Individuals who work in the healthcare field in Alabama must also undergo a background check that is specific to their profession. This check includes all of the basic checks as well as checks of additional databases such as the FDA Debarment List, as well as several other databases that keep track of abuse and fraud in the healthcare industry.

Specific details and steps for a background check in Alabama that is specific to the healthcare field can be found here. 

Education Background Check Alabama

Individuals who work in education are generally subject to the same background check as teachers. Information for specific checks and how to submit an Alabama Department of Education background check can be found here.

Alabama Child Care Background Check

Child Care background checks are generally one of the most thorough in the entire country and Alabama is no different. There are specific federal laws that dictate specific checks that anyone will be unsupervised with children must undergo. These checks include the normal criminal history checks as well as the following:

  • FBI Identity History Summary Check
  • National Sex Offender Registry Check
  • State Criminal Registry Check
  • State Sex Offender Registry Check
  • State Child Abuse and Neglect Registry Check

Detailed steps for how to submit a child care background check in Alabama can be found on the Alabama Department of Human Resources website. 

Searching for inmate information in the state of Alabama is extremely easy due to the well-maintained inmate search portal that is maintained by the Alabama department of corrections.

Pink sticky note with the words 'sex offender' written on it under a magnifying glass.

Detailed steps on how to search for an inmate are provided below:

Step 1: Access the Alabama Department of Corrections website.

On the website’s homepage, simply select the “inmate info” tab and select inmate search to gain access to the search portal.

Step 2: Perform Search

On the inmate search page simply enter in the first and last name of the inmate to get access to inmate information such as where they are being held, sentencing information, and criminal information.

A sex offender registry search in Alabama is one of the easiest searches to perform and is completely free. Detailed steps on how to perform a state-wide sex offender registry search are provided below:

Step 1: Access the Alabama Sex Offender Registry website. 

The sex offender registry search website can be accessed through the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency website.

Step 2: Perform Search

Follow the onscreen prompts on the Sex Offender Registry website to perform a search. Searches can be performed using the name of an individual or an email address. There are also additional search options available that allow users to view sex offenders within a certain geographical range using and address or zip code.

Alabama Gun Background Check

Alabama gun background checks are performed the same way they are in many states, through an FBI database. Firearms dealers are required by federal law to conduct a background check through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System before the transfer of firearms takes place.

There is also an additional law that requires firearms dealers to view the purchaser’s identification prior to the transfer of the firearm.

The above laws only apply to licensed firearm dealers in the state of Alabama and private sellers are not required to perform background checks prior to the transfer of a firearm.

Alabama Background Check Laws

Alabama has very few laws regarding background checks compared to the rest of the United States. In general the only background check laws that are applicable in Alabama are those required by federal law, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

How Long Does a Background Check Take In Alabama?

A background check in Alabama will normally take less than a week, but in some cases can take several weeks in case someone is wondering, “What causes the delay in background check processing?” Additional checks and background checks that require fingerprints will almost always take longer.

In general, a typical pre-employment background check should not take more than a week in Alabama, assuming that only standard information is being checked such as state criminal history information and basic identity verification.

Requesting criminal history information from the state or a county clerk can sometimes take over a month, especially if the request is made by mail.

An Alabama background check is not that different from most other states. Although the state government has background check requirements for certain jobs, these checks are all performed by the state, which makes getting a background check Alabama a reasonably simple and streamlined process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Alabama Background Check

How Do I Get a Background Check in Alabama?

Background checks in Alabama can be obtained through several sources. Background checks can be obtained through reputable background check companies or through an online background check. Official state background checks are performed by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

Background checks that are specific to the job field, such as education, are performed through a state-contracted third party, which can be accessed through the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

What Shows Up on a Background Check in Alabama?

There are few laws that determine what can show up on an Alabama background check. Generally, criminal history information from the last 7 years will be available. Beyond this, typical background check information can be expected such as an address, education information, etc.

How Long Does a Background Check Take in Alabama?

Alabama background checks generally take less than a week. Fingerprint-based checks will take longer but should take less than two weeks.

How Many Years Can an Employer Go Back on a Background Check in Alabama?

There are currently no laws that limit how far back a background check can go in Alabama.

What Is Gemalto for Alabama Background Check?

Gemalto is a third-party background check company that is contracted with the Alabama state government to perform specific background checks, such as those required by the department of education.

How Long Does An Alabama Background Check Go Back? 

There are no laws for how far back an Alabama background check can go.

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