Can You Get A Background Check On Yourself?
Yes. Anyone can conduct a background check on themselves by looking through the resources and platforms mentioned above such as background checking software.
Table of Contents
Knowing how to get a background check on yourself for employment is one of the best ways to avoid any surprises that might result in a failed background check.
Depending on the type of job being applied for, there are specific checks that are run. For example, if someone is applying for a government position that requires a security clearance background check, there are a number of areas examined.
However, when applying for a retail position, such as a Home Depot background check or a Walmart background check, the screening is less intense.
First, determine the type of employment background checks that will be run, and then perform the steps yourself first to identify any records that may present a barrier to a job offer.
There are two ways to learn how to get a background check on yourself:
The following steps outline how to get a background check on yourself for employment easily and quickly, depending on the type of job.
Many people wonder, can I do my own employment background check,’ and the answer is, absolutely.
Applicants just need to have the know-how.
Although applicants may not submit their results to a company, the benefit of a self-check is knowing exactly what shows up on a background check before a potential employer sees it.
There are different platforms that have the relevant information needed to run a successful employment background check. Some of these platforms and methods include:
Online Public Records
Public records include address histories, tax liens, marriage and divorce records, professional license verification searches, and others.
Social Media Profiles And Posts
Social media profiles are often checked during an employment screening, except in states where it is prohibited by law.
Court records are public, and show convictions, sentences, and dates when criminal and civil punishments were issued.
Personal And Professional References
When learning how to get a background check on yourself for employment, don’t neglect to check both personal and professional references.
A person’s criminal history includes arrests and other incidents that occurred with law enforcement. When fingerprints are used, the check is usually nationwide.
Driving records (MVR report) are often checked when a potential job involves transportation or machinery operation.
The credit report is usually checked for management and c-level positions but can be included in another level 2 background check report (like a nursing background check or a tech job) to ensure the applicant’s responsibility.
Social Security Number Verification
The SSN verification is used to ensure that a person is eligible to work in the U.S.
Sex Offender And Child Abuse Registry Checks
These free services can be checked by anyone, using a person’s name.
When learning how to get a background check on yourself for employment, there are specific steps to follow.
Before running any reports, know what types of background checks should be conducted. The following table outlines which jobs require which areas of search:
|Industry Type||Employment Checks to Perform|
|Retail and Service||Criminal History, SSN verification, Court Records, Offender registries, Social Media (Sometimes)|
|Professional (Accountants, Real Estate, Architects, etc.)||Criminal History, SSN verification, Court Records, Offender registries, Social Media, Credit Report, Professional License Verification, Public Records|
|Healthcare||Nationwide Criminal History, SSN verification, Court Records, Offender registries, Social Media, Professional License Search, Mental Health Screening|
|Child and Personal Care||Nationwide Criminal History, SSN verification, Court Records, Offender registries, Social Media, Professional License Search, Mental Health Screening|
|Government||Nationwide Criminal History, SSN verification, Court Records, Offender registries, Social Media, Professional License Search, Mental Health Screening, Personal interviews, and lifetime character, depending on the Security clearance required|
|Construction / Warehouse / Factory||Criminal History, SSN verification, Court Records, Offender registries, Social Media (Sometimes), MVR report|
Before any potential employer can run a background check, they must obtain consent and conduct searches that are in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act guidelines.3
FCRA is the body responsible for governing the appropriate handling of consumer information by reporting agencies as a way of ensuring accuracy, fairness, and privacy.
Depending on the industry, a criminal history report will search local or national records. The process can be accomplished online. To obtain a fingerprint, do a nationwide criminal history search, navigate to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Identity History Summary website8 and follow the steps outlined to fill out the applicant information form.9
The following steps outline how to get a statewide criminal history check on yourself if living in Maine:
This is a fairly standard process for all fifty states.
Depending on the specific type of employment industry, state websites offer record requests that can be easily obtained. Determine which records are required and reach out to the appropriate agency to compile a report.
This is done by manually contacting previous employers and any agencies that maintain licensure for professionals.
To check social media accounts and profiles, use an “in private” or “incognito” tab to search for the full name.
Click on any accounts that are active and view what can be seen by the public.
If some information or old accounts need ‘cleaned up,’ log in to those accounts and remove any offending or potentially job-disqualifying information.
The process for checking for court records varies from state to state with some collective systems such as the PACER systems allowing for central access. PACER documents cost ten cents each and can be obtained once an account has been set up.
To conduct a local court records search, navigate to the website of the county where you reside and search for “records requests.” Smaller counties will require a personal visit or phone call to make the request using a form.6
U.S. law makes provision for all citizens to check their credit reports for free once each year. To obtain a free credit report, follow the steps outlined on the website.13
Both the sex offender registry and the inmate search options are free to use when learning how to get a background check on yourself for employment.
Individuals who know they aren’t on these lists shouldn’t skip this step because data entry errors within the government DO happen, and it’s better to search these first before a potential employer does.
|State||Free Sex Offender Lookup||Free Inmate Search|
|Alabama||Sex Offender Registry||Alabama state prison records|
|Alaska||Alaska Sex Offender Kidnapping Registry||Alaska Inmate Search|
|Arizona||Arizona sex offenders list||Arizona department search|
|Arkansas||Arkansas sex offenders registry||Arkansas department of corrections|
|California||Registered California sex offenders||CDRC public inmates register|
|Colorado||Colorado Convicted Sex Offender||Find an inmate in Colorado|
|Connecticut||Criminal records||Inmate search|
|Delaware||Delaware Department of correction||Delaware court records|
|Florida||Sexual offenders list||Offender information search|
|Georgia||Find an offender in Georgia||Georgia department of corrections|
|Hawaii||Offenders search||Hawaii prisons inmate search|
|Idaho||Idaho Department of correction||Offenders and crime|
|Illinois||Illinois state police search||Individuals in custody search|
|Indiana||Indiana corrective services||Indiana offender database search|
|Iowa||Iowa Board of parole||Iowa inmate search|
|Kansas||Kansas bureau of investigation||Locating an inmate|
|Kentucky||Kentucky offender search||Kentucky inmate search|
|Louisiana||Louisiana department of public safety||Inmate information for Louisiana|
|Maine||Maine state bureau of identification||Adult community corrections site|
|Maryland||MD department of public safety and correctional services||Maryland inmate search|
|Massachusetts||Criminal offender record information||Inmate records|
|Michigan||Sex offender registry||Inmate searches for Michigan|
|Minnesota||Minnesota offender search||Minnesota inmate search|
|Mississippi||Mississippi offender search||Mississippi inmate search|
|Missouri||Missouri sex offender sex registry||MODOC offenders’ search|
|Montana||Violent offender registry||Montana department of correction|
|Nebraska||Sex offender registry||Nebraska dept of correctional services|
|Nevada||Nevada department of corrections||Inmate records and information|
|New Hampshire||Criminal offenders NH DOS||NH department of corrections|
|New Jersey||Sex offender internet registry||New jersey department of corrections|
|New Mexico||NMCD offender search||New Mexico courts and correctional facilities|
|New York||Sex offender registry||NYS Department of correction|
|North Carolina||NCSBI sex offender registry||Criminal offenders search|
|North Dakota||North Dakota sex offenders website||Resident lookup|
|Ohio||sex offenders search||Ohio Offenders search|
|Oklahoma||Oklahoma inmate lookup||Offenders search|
|Oregon||Department of corrections||Oregon offenders search|
|Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania information||Department of corrections|
|Rhode Island||Sex offender registry||Rhode island department of correction|
|South Carolina||Offender research||SCDC department of corrections|
|South Dakota||SD Dept. of corrections||South Dakota e-courts|
|Tennessee||Sex offender registry||FOIL offender search|
|Texas||Offender search||Texas inmate search|
|Utah||Sherriff’s office offenders registry||Utah department of corrections|
|Vermont||Sex offender registry||Offender Locator|
|Virginia||Sex offenders registry||Offender Locator|
|Washington||Washington state court records||Washington state department of corrections|
|West Virginia||State police sex offender registry||Offender search|
|Wisconsin||Court system and records||DOC offender information|
|Wyoming||Sex offender registry||Wyoming inmate search|
In addition to the above-mentioned searches, an employment background check will also look for the following information.
The addresses that are associated with an individual’s name and social security number can be identified during an employment background check, typically the last seven years of residence at the address.
The addresses found can be used to cross-check other records and that is why it is important for them to be accurate.
Job and Education History
Background checks also confirm the education and job history that is outlined on the resume. This can be done by double-checking the information that has been given in terms of schools and companies against the institution’s databases. This certifies the truth of the resume information.
Background checks can also have specialized records that are not available to the general public such as those pertaining to watch lists for suspected terrorists that are maintained by the federal government.
Background checks can be classified into level one and level two checks. Knowing how to get a background check on yourself for employment involves knowing the different levels to conduct your search.
A level one background check is when the checks are done are name-based or involve an employment history check. Level 2 background check refer to those checks that involve state and national fingerprint-based checks. Level 2 checks also involve considerations of disqualifying offenses by law when holding positions of responsibility and trust.
This check is done on people going through the process of adopting or enrolling in foster parent systems. It is also done on people who work in highly vulnerable positions such as caring for elderly people, children, and people with disabilities among other vulnerable groups.
Any volunteer work that involves working with these vulnerable groups will also require a level 2 background check. It includes the following checks:
The applicants will be checked through different databases to retrieve information on arrest information, violent crimes, and behaviors related to crimes against children and other vulnerable groups. This level 2 check also includes records that courts including those under juvenile convictions have sealed.
Level 2 background checks are done in the form of FBI identity history summary checks. This summary check is a rap sheet that provides information taken from a fingerprint submission as recorded in FBI records. The processing time is dependent on whether the submission is done electronically or manually with electronic submissions taking three to five business days after the fingerprint card has been received. Mail submissions take 2-4 weeks to be processed. The information gotten from the search includes arrest information, federal employment, military service, and naturalization.
There are several methods that can be used to make requests to the FBI for a level 2 background check. FBI official website has outlined the instructions on how to obtain an identity history summary14 which includes:
Direct electronic submission: In this method of application, the requests are made by7 filling out online forms with the required information. These forms can be obtained on the FBI website. After filling out the forms, applicants can then submit their fingerprints through post offices or mail them directly to the FBI.
There are several post offices that partner with the FBI to carry out the fingerprint recognition process. For individual submission, mailing of the fingerprint card (FD-1164) can be done after doing the process alone or with the help of third parties such as police officers/stations that are well versed with the standard print form.15
Direct Mail submission: After filling out the applicant information for the relevant parties, the next step is outlining the correct and complete mailing address to where the results will; be sent back. Other information that may be needed on the envelope includes the e-mail address and phone number if they are available.
The results registered under mail are sent back to the applicants via the U.S postal services as first-class packages. Fingerprints are sent as part of the package and should be done following the relevant fingerprint guidelines and regulations.16
Payments for direct mail submissions come up to $18.00 and payments can be done through credit card.
Submit a request via an FBI-approved channeler: to make it easy to connect applicants with the FBI, FBI-approved channelers17 are private businesses that have been contracted by the FBI to submit requests on behalf of citizens.
The application process through a channeler is similar to that of applying directly to the FBI. The FBI will then give back the results to the applicant through the channeler.
Employers use background search information to vet potential employees based on the industry type and laws required. When learning how to get a background check on yourself for employment, examine the areas that are likely to be checked first, and then take steps to erase or correct any information that may cause a problem.
Yes. Anyone can conduct a background check on themselves by looking through the resources and platforms mentioned above such as background checking software.
To get a background check that is self-initiated, all that needs to be done is input the relevant details into a background check site and wait for the results to be retrieved.
The period varies from one state to another, but the longest period that is allowed is seven years. FCRA can allow checks to go further when positions pay more than 75,000$.
Yes, there is. Free background checks can be done by doing free trials on background check sites or using free sites to conduct background checks.
The best background check brings up the results that give a comprehensive history of an individual. This will include credit report checks, criminal record checks, and motor vehicle checks in a single background check.
1eKnowID. (n.d.). How to Get a Background Check on Yourself. eKnowID. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from <https://www.eknowid.com/getting-a-background-check-on-yourself>
2Zip Recruiter. (2022, April 30). Running Your Own Background Check When Job Hunting. ZipRecruiter. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from <https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/the-how-and-why-of-running-your-own-background-check-when-job-hunting/>
3Juneau Empire. (2022, May 2). Want To Conduct A Background Check on Yourself? Here is How. Juneau Empire. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from <https://www.juneauempire.com/national-marketplace/want-to-conduct-a-background-check-on-yourself-here-is-how/>
4Business News Daily. (2019, February 4). How Can You Run an Employment Background Check on Yourself? 4 Feb 2019. Trusted Employees. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from <https://www.trustedemployees.com/learning-center/articles-news/self-background-check/>
5National Conference of State Legislature. (2021, November 18). State Social Media Privacy Laws. National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved June 13, 2022, from <https://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/state-laws-prohibiting-access-to-social-media-usernames-and-passwords.aspx>
6Background checks. (n.d.). Personal Background Check: Run a Background Check on Yourself Now. Backgroundchecks.com. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from <https://www.backgroundchecks.com/personal/criminal-background-check>
7Akin, J. (2021, May 5). How to Run a Background Check on Yourself. GoodHire. Retrieved June 10, 2022, from <https://www.goodhire.com/blog/how-to-run-a-background-check-on-yourself/>
8Identity History Summary Checks. (2022). FBI.gov. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks>
9Identity History Summary Checks Review. (2022). FBI.gov. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://forms.fbi.gov/identity-history-summary-checks-review>
10Department of Public Safety Maine State Police. (2022). Maine.gov. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://www.maine.gov/dps/msp/>
11Investigative Records and Record Requests. (2019). Maine.gov. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://www.maine.gov/dps/msp/investigation-traffic/records>
12Incident Investigation Report Request Form. (2022). 4-08 Request Form Inv. Records. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://www.maine.gov/dps/msp/sites/maine.gov.dps.msp/files/inline-files/FOAA_request_form.pdf>
13Credit Reports and Scores. (2022). USA.gov. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://www.usa.gov/credit-reports>
14Overview. (2022). Identity History Summary Checks. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://www.edo.cjis.gov/>
15Documents. (2022). FBI.gov. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/fd-1164-identity-history-summary-request-110120.pdf/view>
16Recording Legible Fingerprints. (2022). FBI.gov. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/fingerprints-and-other-biometrics/recording-legible-fingerprints>
17List of FBI-Approved Channelers for Departmental Order Submissions. (2022). FBI.gov. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks/list-of-fbi-approved-channelers-for-departmental-order-submissions>