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When searching for information in conjunction with a background check, Miami has three agencies which provide official records search access: the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts,1 and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Each agency has slightly different processes for obtaining official records. Although the process can be somewhat time consuming, public records searching in Miami generally requires requesting specific information online, by email, phone, or mail, and the county outlines the process for every request, using clear, simple instructions to make any official records search easy.
How To Get Miami Dade Criminal History Information and Official Court Records
Miami Dade County Clerk of the Courts provides access to criminal history information, public records and official court records at the government website, making the request process straightforward and easy to navigate.2 Court records may be requested online or by mail using PDF forms available on the site. In addition to criminal background check records, users can search and request a variety of official public records, including:
- Some affidavits
- Judgments Delivered
- Financial statements
To conduct a background check, Miami Dade County, Florida, offers direct and easy to use links. To find Miami Dade criminal history information:
Step 1. Navigate to the Court of Clerks, Miami Dade Criminal Records Request Page4
Step 2. Choose to Search By Case or Calendar Option
Step 3. Enter the Available Information
When performing the criminal history search for a background check, the “defendant” information tab allows the user to enter the person’s name, (including middle name), date of birth, race and sex. There is also a feature allowing users to be granted disposition letters, if the search is being performed for a background check.
In addition to defendant information, users can provide case numbers, dates, citation numbers or jail numbers.
Step 4. Choose “Search” and Obtain Results
If the search proved in adequate, there is an option to allow users to return to the information page and narrow the focus and search.
If an advanced search is required, the fee is $.50 per search, which can be purchased through the Miami-Dade clerk website. Mail requests were previously an additional option available to obtain information from the Clerk of the Courts.2 However, that option has since been disabled.
DIY Background Check Process for Miami-Dade Police Department
How to get a background check from the police in Miami-Dade county is a relatively straightforward process.
Step 1: Access the Miami-Dade Police Department Website
The first step is to navigate to the Miami-Dade County website and access the Miami-Dade Police Department home page. This page will display information on crime maps, careers in the department, traffic incidents and police records.
Step 2: Access the Police Records Page
Navigate to the “Police Records,” tab. On this page there is more specific information pertaining to police records. This includes substantial information on each of the kinds of requests that can be made and what will be included when the request is fulfilled. Additional information involving such as what kind of records can be requested and when they can be requested is also accessible on this page via the drop down menus.
At the top of this page is information on how and when to obtain information in person, including a link to make an appointment request to receive any information in-person. There are currently special steps in place due to COVID-19, which is also displayed on this page, as well as office hours and a phone number to call with any questions.
Step 3: Navigate to the Public Records Request Portal
Following the link labeled “Public Records Request Portal,” will take users to the Miami-Dade County Public Records System. On this page there are links to request various kinds of public information. Aside from public records requests you can also make media requests, attorney records requests, and access other services that are offered by the county such as Victim Advocate Services.
Step 4: Access the Public Records Request Page
This page will display more specific information regarding the kind of records that can be requested. Here there are links to request police body-cam footage, 911 call center requests, incident reports, traffic crash reports, and course Background/Clearance letter requests. For those interested in obtaining a background check, Miami this is the proper link to follow.
Step 5: Create an Account
In order to access and make records requests an account must be created, users should be sure to provide as much personal information as possible. Once the account is set up, specific records can be easily requested by providing specific information on the individual or the case number of the incident you are requesting the records on.
Through this portal record requests can be made, the progress of these requests can be tracked and the portal allows for several different ways to receive the requested documents.
Step 6: Request Records & Check Progress
With your account created records can be requested and the progress can be checked. Simply click the “Log in to my request center” tab at the top of the page to login and view any progress.
Keep in mind that although record requests can be made through this portal at any time, the requests will only be processed during the normal office hours of the agency. For those wondering what is needed for a background check, most agencies require a name and date of birth and possibly a social security number, depending on the level of background check, Miami.
Another common question that people have is ‘how long does a background check take?’ This will depend on the kind of check being done but it usually takes 1-5 days.
Find Active Warrants In Miami Dade County
Anyone may also search the active warrant tool provided by the Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD). The Crime Information Center conducts the search online, using the following information:
- First, Last and Middle Name (how to find someone’s full name if you don’t have it)
- Date of Birth
- Warrant Type
Keep in mind that searching federal warrant databases is also recommended to find outstanding and served warrants at the national level.
County Information Services
There are numerous other ways to check various public records in Miami. These methods include searching information through the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers or obtaining records through the Florida Department of Health.
The Florida Department of Health website has order forms for various records including:
- Birth Certificates
- Death Certificates
- Marriage Certificates
- Divorce Certificates
Moreover, the county website offers detailed request instructions for:
- Body-Worn Camera Video Recordings
- Recordings of 911 Calls
- Police Clearance Letters
- Incident Reports
The cost for obtaining official police records and documents is $.15 for each single sided page, $.20 for a double sided one, as well as $1.00 for every certified copy, and $5.00 for each police clearance letter.
Check Miami Police Records (Arrests and Pending Charges Information)
State law makes is possible to access official Miami Police records, including finding recent arrests and information showing pending charges. This is especially useful for those who need to perform a background check, Miami, on themselves. The two easiest ways to request specific information on arrests and pending charges are done through the Miami-Dade Clerk of the Courts and through the Justice Information Services Department which is a division of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Both of these methods are relatively easy but also have distinct drawbacks, depending on the speed at which the information is needed, what offices are accessible, and whether or not certified copies are needed. The quickest way to find this information is through FDLE’s Criminal History Search Overview.
Step 1: Access the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Website
The first step in obtaining criminal record information in the state of Florida is to access the website for the FDLE. On this page information about the department’s mission, news and other information such as resources for unsolved cases as well as crime statistics are displayed.
Step 2: Access the ‘Request a Criminal History’ Page
On the top of the home page for the FDLE website, there is a link titled ‘request a criminal history.’ This link will navigate to a page with information on the process for obtaining criminal history information in the state of Florida. This page also mentions that a fee of $24 is required for each search.
The bottom of this page also contains links to other services such as searching for wanted persons and a sex offender search.
Step 3: Access the Florida Criminal History Record Check
In the middle of the page is a link to the Florida Criminal History Record Check page. This page gives the option to choose between an instant search or a certified/non-certified search.
The instant search is an internet search that will allow the results of the search to be displayed immediately. This search still costs the aforementioned $24 fee, and any results will not be certified. The search results are able to be emailed or printed by the user as well. This is a great option for those looking to get results instantly, especially if they have no need for certified and notarized results.
The Certified/Non-certified Search option allows the customer to provide demographic information to a member of the FDLE staff. The staff member will then conduct the search on the customers behalf. When the search is complete there is an option for the search results to be notarized and mailed to the customer. This method takes significantly longer than the instant search with non-certified results taking as long as 5 business days and certified results taking as around 6 or 7 business days. In the case of certified and notarized results being mailed, the FDLE asks customers to expect up to a month’s delay due the mail process being outside of their control.
Miami-Dade Laws Governing Background Checks
Ban-the box laws have been implemented in Miami-Dade county to prevent individuals from being excluded from employment that they would otherwise be qualified for. To be clear, this is unique to Miami and Dade county as ban the box laws are not in effect across the state and instead are limited to a handful of cities across the state.
The law aims to eliminate the box on employment applications that asks applicants if they have ever been convicted of a crime. This would essentially disqualify many applicants without giving them a chance to defend themselves, or explain the charges that were brought against them.
There are many different agencies in the state of Florida and in Miami-Dade county that offer various record services that can be helpful for background checks. Any information regarding a background check, Miami Florida can be easily accessed through the website of the proper agency. Just be aware that any checks conducted within the city or state are considered level 1 background checks and will not include federal-level records.
1Miami Dade County Clerk of the Courts. N.d. Records. Miami Dade Clerk 30 December 2021. Web. <https://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/clerk/records.page>
2Miami Dade County Clerk of the Courts. N.d. Certified Copies. Miami Dade Clerk 30 December 2021. Web. <https://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/clerk/certified-copies.page>
3Miami Dade County Clerk of the Courts. N.d. Public Records Requests. Miami Dade Clerk 30 December 2021. Web. <https://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/clerk/public-records-requests.page>
4Miami Dade County Clerk of the Courts. N.d. Criminal Records. Miami Dade Clerk 30 December 2021. Web. <https://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/clerk/criminal-records.page>