How Long Is a Level 2 Background Check Good For? (Years)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | September 14, 2022

Man on the right shrugs his shoulders with his hands up asking how long is a level 2 background check good for while looking at a computer screen that shows a level 2 background check portal and a calendar on the left that has a date circled in red.

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How long is a level 2 background check good for?

A level 2, fingerprint background check only remains valid for a certain period of time, and the number of years it’s good largely depends on the type of profession that requires the check, based on federal, state, and industry regulations.

Indeed, the answer to ‘how long is a level 2 background check good for,’ will depend on a number of factors, but most are good for at least 2 years or more.

This comprehensive guide explains which industries require fingerprint background checks more frequently than others, so that employees can be careful to check their background for any surprises before the official check is performed.

How Long Does a Level 2 Background Check Last?

The answer to, ‘how long is a level 2 background check good for,’ will have a different answer based on the state that the background check was performed in. Although the term level 2 background check is one that is used quite often, only the state of Florida has a specific legal distinction for this term.

In most states, a level 2 background check is a term used to refer to a comprehensive background check, which uses fingerprints to search national records, as opposed to the basic level 1 background check that only searches local jurisdictions.

Standard Fingerprint form 258 for using with level 2 background check reports that use fingerprints.

A level 1 background check is what individuals can expect when applying for jobs with companies like Amazon, the Home Depot, Walmart, UPS, etc. These are major companies that are screening employees with the intent to protect their own assets and the safety of their customers and other employees. A level 1 check will usually consist of a basic identity verification check as well as a name-based criminal history check that is performed at the state and local levels.

Level 2 background checks tend to be comprehensive checks that will include a national name-based criminal history check at the very least. However, level 2 background checks will usually involve a fingerprint-based criminal history check, such as the Identity History Summary Check that is performed by the FBI.2 In addition to the more thorough criminal history check, level 2 checks will also include credit history checks in some cases, as well as various other checks that will be specific to the industry the job is in.

Keep in mind that Level 1 and Level 2 background checks do not have a specific meaning, and will change slightly based on who is performing the background check. The levels are often used as marketing terms for background check services to advertise more comprehensive checks. The one exception to this is Florida, where level 1 and level 2 background checks have specific legal distinctions.

In Florida, specific jobs and industries are legally required to perform either a level 1 or level 2 background check on all their employees.3 Level 1 is still a basic check and involves a name-based state criminal history check, whereas a level 2 requires a fingerprint-based criminal history check that will check criminal information at the state, national and federal levels. Level 2 checks are required for industries that deal with sensitive groups such as the elderly or children and other industries that have a higher level of responsibility or trust.

What Does Level 2 Mean on Background Check Requirements?

Level 2 on a background check simply means that the background check will be more comprehensive than most pre-employment background checks. It typically indicates a fingerprint-based criminal history check will be performed, rather than the typical name-based state criminal history check.

In Florida, a level 2 background check has a legal distinction and is required by law to be performed on employees in certain industries. This is also the case for many professions, such as healthcare, childcare, and people who work for the public education system.

How Long Does a Level 2 Background Check Take?

A common question besides how long is a level 2 background check good for, is how long does a level 2 check actually take? Although the test is more comprehensive, it shouldn’t take much longer than a standard background check. The gathering of fingerprints and subsequent fingerprint-based check will add several days to the process, but it still should take less than two weeks to complete.

All the databases being checked are still electronic, so there is no need for any of the information to be gathered manually, which is often the main cause of background checks taking longer.

Related Reading: How long does a fingerprint background check take?

What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of? (All 50 States)

Only the state of Florida has specific legal requirements for what a level 2 background check must consist of. These include a fingerprint-based criminal history check performed by the FBI, a state-wide criminal history check, and a warrant check.

FL Crime Information Center Screenshot portal for searching people who are wanted by state law enforcement with yellow arrow pointing to the submit button.

Outside of Florida, a level 2 background check has no specific definition, however, there are industry standards amongst background check services, so a level 2 background check will generally consist of the following in each state.

What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of?Requirements
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Alabama?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Alaska?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Arizona?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Arkansas?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in California?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Colorado?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Connecticut?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Delaware?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Florida?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
FBI national criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Georgia?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Hawaii?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Idaho?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Illinois?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Iowa?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Indiana?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Kansas?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Kentucky?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Louisiana?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Maine?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Massachusetts?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Maryland?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Michigan?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Minnesota?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Mississippi?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Missouri?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Montana?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Nebraska?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Nevada?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in New? HampshireIdentity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in New Jersey?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in New Mexico?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in New York?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in North Carolina?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in North Dakota?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Ohio?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Oklahoma?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Oregon?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Pennsylvania?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Rhode Island?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in South Carolina?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in South Dakota?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Tennessee?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Texas?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Utah?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Vermont?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Virginia?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Washington?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in West Virginia?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Wisconsin?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)
What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of in Wyoming?Identity verification
Fingerprint-based criminal history check
Credit History Check (Sometimes)

How Long Are Fingerprints Valid?

Fingerprints are generally valid for as long as the background check they accompanied. In most cases, this will be several years but will vary depending on the industry. Many industries and companies will require employees to get fingerprinted and undergo a background check every 2-5 years.

Related Reading: How long does a background check take for a government job?

How Many Years Are Background Checks Good For?

How long a level 2 background check is good for is an extremely common question, due to the background check being more thorough and requiring more involvement from the individual because of the fingerprint requirement. There is not a set number of years a background check is good for, however many industries will require that employees undergo a background check after a set amount of time.

Sex offender registry search screenshot with yellow arrows pointing to seach by name and search by address options.

Most of the industries that require frequent background checks on existing employees due to federal requirements. For example, individuals that work in the child care industry are required to undergo a background check every 5 years at the very least.1

Many states will have laws that require background checks even more frequently. Unless the job involves security clearance, a background check will usually be good for at least 2 years.

How Long Is a Level 2 Background Check Good for in All 50 States (Table)

State Level 2 CheckHow Many Years Background Check is Good For?
Alabama2-5 Years depending on industry
Alaska2-5 Years depending on industry
Arizona2-5 Years depending on industry
Arkansas2-5 Years depending on industry
California2-5 Years depending on industry
Colorado2-5 Years depending on industry
Connecticut2-5 Years depending on industry
Delaware2-5 Years depending on industry
Florida2-5 Years depending on industry
Georgia2-5 Years depending on industry
Hawaii2-5 Years depending on industry
Idaho2-5 Years depending on industry
Illinois2-5 Years depending on industry
Iowa2-5 Years depending on industry
Indiana2-5 Years depending on industry
Kansas2-5 Years depending on industry
Kentucky2-5 Years depending on industry
Louisiana2-5 Years depending on industry
Maine2-5 Years depending on industry
Massachusetts2-5 Years depending on industry
Maryland2-5 Years depending on industry
Michigan2-5 Years depending on industry
Minnesota2-5 Years depending on industry
Mississippi2-5 Years depending on industry
Missouri2-5 Years depending on industry
Montana2-5 Years depending on industry
Nebraska2-5 Years depending on industry
Nevada2-5 Years depending on industry
New Hampshire2-5 Years depending on industry
New Jersey2-5 Years depending on industry
New Mexico2-5 Years depending on industry
New York2-5 Years depending on industry
North Carolina2-5 Years depending on industry
North Dakota2-5 Years depending on industry
Ohio2-5 Years depending on industry
Oklahoma2-5 Years depending on industry
Oregon2-5 Years depending on industry
Pennsylvania2-5 Years depending on industry
Rhode Island2-5 Years depending on industry
South Carolina2-5 Years depending on industry
South Dakota2-5 Years depending on industry
Tennessee2-5 Years depending on industry
Texas2-5 Years depending on industry
Utah2-5 Years depending on industry
Vermont2-5 Years depending on industry
Virginia2-5 Years depending on industry
Washington2-5 Years depending on industry
West Virginia2-5 Years depending on industry
Wisconsin2-5 Years depending on industry
Wyoming2-5 Years depending on industry

Understanding Florida’s AHCA Background Check (AHCA Background Screening, AHCA Fingerprints)

As mentioned, most states have specific background check requirements for various industries. One of the industries that has specific background check requirements is the healthcare industry. In order to ensure that all healthcare employees are screened the same way, the state of Florida developed a specific background check that is administered by the AHCA.4

Florida AHCA website screenshot for performing background checks on health care personel.

The AHCA operates similar to background check agencies, but only performs checks on Florida health care workers. Although the AHCA meets the minimum requirements of a Florida Level 2 background check, there are additional requirements that must be met as part of the background check that is specific to healthcare employees in the state.

How Often Should You Update Background Checks?

There is generally no need to update your own background check. Many industries will require employees to undergo a background check after a set amount of time, usually 2-5 years. However, in certain industries, there are requirements involving when an employee commits a disqualifying offense while employed, such as being convicted of a felony. In this case, the employer is generally notified when it happens and the necessary action will be taken. Also, many employers will have policies that require individuals to notify management of arrests, convictions, etc.

Many people who are wondering how long is a level 2 background check good for are worried about having to get checked again, in most cases the employer will notify individuals if they need to undergo the check again.

The amount of different background checks available these days can be intimidating when job hunting. This is especially true for individuals with criminal records who don’t know what kind of checks will be run and have questions like How long is a level 2 background check good for?

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Is a Level 2 Background Check Good For

What Is a Level 4 Background Check?

Level 4 background check has no legal diction but usually refers to an extremely comprehensive background check, such as those required for positions involving security clearance.

How Long Does a Level 2 Background Check Last?

Level 2 background checks usually last 2-5 years before the individual is required to be checked again.

What Does Level 2 Background Check Include?

A level 2 background check consists of identity verification, a state-wide criminal history check, and a fingerprint-based national criminal history check at the very least.

How Many Years Do Background Checks Go Back?

Most background checks go back 7-10 years. Some states have limits as to how far a background check can go back, in states with no limits it is possible for a background check to go back indefinitely.

How Long Does a Level 3 Background Check Take?

A level 3 background check should take around 2 weeks unless additional checks are performed such as extensive reference checks.

How Much Does a Level 2 Background Check Cost?

Most level 2 background checks will be paid for by the employer, but shouldn’t cost an individual more than $50.

What Is the Difference Between a Level 1 and Level 2 Background Check?

A level 1 check usually consists of a state-criminal history check, whereas a level 2 check involves a fingerprint-based national check.

What Do They Look For on a Level 2 Background Check?

Any criminal history information will be found such as charges, convictions, and more. Disqualifying offenses will depend on the industry.

How Far Back Do Level 2 Background Checks Go in Florida?

Florida background checks can go back indefinitely, however certain information will be removed after 7 years.

What Are Disqualifying Offenses for Level 2 Background Check?

Disqualifying offense will depend on the industry, but most violent felonies will be disqualifiers.

What Is a Level 2 Background Check For Healthcare Workers?

Healthcare workers have specific checks performed such as fingerprint-based criminal history checks as well as checks of abuse, and pharmaceutical databases.

What Does a Level 2 Background Check Consist Of?

Level 2 background checks consist of a fingerprint-based criminal history check at the national level.

Can You Pass a Level 2 Background Check With a Misdemeanor?

Yes, although it depends on the misdemeanor, it is possible to pass with a misdemeanor depending on the crime and the industry.

Can You Pass a Level 2 Background Check With a Felony?

Sometimes, passing a level 2 background check with a felony is possible but will depend heavily on the crime and industry.

How Long Does a Level 2 Background Check Take?

A level 2 background check should take less than two weeks to complete.


References

1Child Care. (2022). Background Checks: What You Need To Know. ChildCare.gov. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from <https://childcare.gov/consumer-education/background-checks-what-you-need-to-know>

2FBI. (2022). Identity History Summary Checks. FBI. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks>

3FDLE. (2022). Criminal History Record Check. Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Retrieved 7 2022, July, from <https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Background-Checks/VECHS-FAQs/Definitions.aspx>

4Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. (2022). Background Screening. Agency For Health Care Administration. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from <https://ahca.myflorida.com/mchq/central_services/background_screening/index.shtml>

5The Florida Legislature. (2022). The 2021 Florida Statutes. Online Sunshine. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from <http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0435/Sections/0435.04.html>

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