One Time Background Check: How To Get Best Results in 2023 (Legally)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | May 16, 2024

One time background check options a man considers while looking at a green dollar bill floating in the air and wondering how to get one time fee background check without applying for a subscription as a membership option shows on a computer screen that can be declined for various types of background check reports with no membership.

Free Single Time Use Background Check
Background check allows one free search of criminal records, employment history, public records, and more.

Trying to find the best one-time background check? Getting the best results can be tricky with so many different types of background checks available and dozens of laws to navigate.

Who will be performing the check? What kinds of checks are being run? What will the background check eventually be used for?

All of these questions play a role in how to get the best, and legal, results from a one-time background check

For example, FCRA compliance is required for any employment background check, which means that consent of the person being checked and tons of additional legalities must be observed.

Alternatively, if the background check is being run for personal reasons the rules are less stringent (like finding the best dating background check, knowing how to find someone’s birthday, learning how to find charges on someone, or how to know if someone is a felon). However, it can be easy to miss important information if someone doesn’t know how to use the most comprehensive background check options.

Besides trying to do everything legally, there is also the issue of picking the right kind of background check for the right situation.

Things like how to find someone’s name by phone number for free, or how can you discover the reason for someone’s arrest are all specific types of one-time background check options.

Likewise, users can learn how to find out if someone is a felon, how to discover someone’s middle name, or how to know where someone works.

Knowing the laws concerning these types of background checks is crucial for avoiding penalties, fines, and charges, and this guide provides all the information needed for conducting a one-time background check that gets the information needed and complies with local and federal privacy laws.

One-Time Background Check Report: Types of Checks

There are tons of different types of background checks that can be run these days. The type of checks that an employer may run on an applicant is different from the one that a landlord will run on a potential tenant and different from the check that an individual might run on someone they met online.

Furthermore, the legality of all these checks is slightly different as well. Some background checks may require certain procedures to be followed to comply with various laws, such as obtaining written permission from the individual that the check is being run on, or that the information that is gathered is used in a certain way.

In short, there is a lot to consider, so going through a background check service that can be trusted to not only perform the checks properly but also comply with federal and local laws is an absolute necessity. In regards to laws, there are a few key ones to always keep in mind.

Any kind of check that deals with an individual’s social security number will require special permission from the individual to perform. Performing a background check using an individual’s social security information without their permission is highly illegal.

Major background check companies that perform these kinds of checks will simply not perform the check if written permission from the individual is not divided, otherwise, they would risk violating the FCRA.1

With employment background checks, there are other laws to consider such as social media background check laws, anti-discrimination laws, fair hiring practice laws, and more.

Many individuals may be hesitant to use an online background check service that offers tons of information that can be done without the other party knowing. Oftentimes these are aimed at individuals who are unsure of someone they just met. Although it feels odd, this is usually completely legal.

These companies simply use the name provided and return all information from public databases and online profiles that match that name. No confidential or private information is used, and the company simply does all the work for the customer, rather than an individual having to comb through thousands of internet pages to obtain the same information.

One-Time Criminal Background Check

When most people think of a one-time background check, they are probably thinking of a criminal background check. Although a criminal background check can be seen as the most important aspect of most background checks, in most cases it is just one aspect of the check.

A criminal background check, when done properly, will reveal all of an individual’s criminal history information from the last 7-10 years and sometimes even more. Everything from felony and misdemeanor convictions to arrest records can often be viewed as part of a criminal background check. However, there are different levels to criminal background checks as well.

All background checks cost money to perform, the more intensive and thorough the search, the more it will generally cost. In order to save money, many businesses will perform slightly less thorough criminal background checks.

This kind of check is extremely common and the one most people are familiar with. A basic criminal background check will be a name-based search through local court records. This will yield any misdemeanor or felony convictions. In most cases, this is enough, but some businesses may find it necessary to run more thorough background checks.

Companies wanting a more thorough criminal background check will sometimes require a fingerprint-based check. Not only is the fingerprint check more likely to find criminal information that does not show up on a name-based check, it often includes checks of national databases maintained by the FBI2 as well, which will show results for convictions from the entire country.

These more thorough fingerprint-based checks tend to require special permissions, an additional cost, and more time to complete. For these reasons, they aren’t really used for reasons other than employment.

Individuals looking to run a criminal background check on someone they met online, or are otherwise unsure of, will need to go through an online background check service. This service will be able to run a name-based check that can turn up convictions and even arrest records, without having to acquire written permission and can be performed without the individual knowing.

One-Time Background Check for Employment

Employment background checks vary on a few factors: The company, the job duties, and

the industry. However, regardless of these factors, there are a few checks that are seen as standard and most companies will perform these at a bare minimum:

  • Identity Verification
  • Name-based Criminal Background Check

Virtually every job these days will run the above checks, from Home Depot employees to nursing jobs. Any further checks will depend on what job is being applied for.

One-Time Background Check: Employment Types

As mentioned there are a few other factors that may result in additional checks being run for a one-time background check for employment.

The company that is being applied for may have additional checks that are standard for them to perform on applicants. A good example of a background check that is performed simply because it is company policy to do so is a drug test. Some jobs require drug tests and others simply don’t. Checking sex offender registries also falls into this category, although this type of information tends to show up on a criminal background check as well.

The job duties will be another major factor as to what kind of background checks are performed. These generally have to do with various laws and protect the company from certain legal issues.

For example, almost any job that requires extensive driving will require a DOT record check to ensure the individual does not have a history of reckless driving. Special licenses and certifications also fall into this category as they are required sometimes and need to be checked properly to avoid anyone from claiming they completed certifications that they have not.

Finally, certain industries will have background check practices that are required by law. One of the best examples of this is the child care background check law used most often for background checks on daycares and other positions that involve working with children. Childcare background check laws apply to anyone who works with children without supervision.3 The checks required are extensive and include a few databases that aren’t used for any other jobs, such as checks of child abuse and neglect registries. Plenty of other industries have similar practices as well such as teachers, healthcare jobs, etc.

Another factor when it comes to what to expect from an employment background check is what information the individual will have access to. For example, jobs that allow individuals to access large amounts of company money, or even just information regarding a business’s financial records will likely require additional checks.

Most often, credit checks will be performed in order to ensure the individual has not recently declared bankruptcy, as well as criminal checks to ensure they do not have a history of embezzlement or other kinds of fraud.

One-Time Background Check: Name-Based Checks

Besides a one-time background check that is performed as a condition of employment, a new kind of background check has also become more prevalent in recent years. With the rise of online background check services, name-based checks are becoming increasingly common. Name-based checks are a little bit different than what is typical as part of an employment or tenant background check.

In general, most name-based checks aren’t looking for one kind of information, but rather as much information as possible. Many of these companies will only require the name of an individual and possibly the city in which they live in order to turn up all kinds of information on that individual using various online databases.

One of the biggest reasons that these are becoming popular is because they search databases for public information exclusively, so no special permission is required, meaning the individual that is being searched may not even know. Many people have the idea that these checks are unreliable or won’t turn up anything useful, however, these days this is far from the truth.

Name-based online checks can turn up criminal history information, addresses, phone numbers, relatives, social media profiles, tax records, and more. The biggest downside to this is that in general, this information can’t be used for anything official.

However, if the purpose of performing the background check is to learn more about someone and essentially make sure they are who they say they are, this is a great option to explore.

One-Time Background Check: How Much?

How much does a background check cost? It depends on the type of information being searched.

Is There a One-Time Fee Background Check? (One-Time Fee Background Check)

Almost all background reputable background check websites will offer slightly different services and pricing packages. There are several options available for individuals who are looking to pay a one-time fee to perform a single background check.

Keep in mind that most online background check services use a subscription model so some searching may be necessary to find one that fits your needs.

Individuals who are looking for specific information such as criminal history may be better off going through local court records to find out if the individual has ever been convicted of a felony or had other issues with the law.

Can You Get a One-Time Background Check Free?

Some background check services will offer free trial memberships. Although there is no reputable background check service that is completely free it is possible to get a background check through an online background check service for free if they offer a 7-day free trial background screening which can be subsequently canceled once the check is complete.

Just be sure to read the fine print to avoid any unexpected charges.

How Much for a Background Check, One-Time Charge?

Background check costs vary widely, especially when it comes to individuals running a basic name-based check. Most background check services that are marketed toward individuals rather than businesses will use a monthly subscription model.

The cost will vary but is generally $20 per month at the low end. However, many offer various deals and trials that will help drive the cost down, especially when committing to a 3-month membership, etc.

One-Time Payment: Background Check Options

Very few companies offer a one-time payment background check option. Individuals looking to perform a one-time background check without getting tied down to a month-long membership should look around for companies that offer free trials.

Cheap One-Time Background Check

Many background check services will be far cheaper than others, depending on how much information is turned in. However, the overall cost for online background checks doesn’t vary a whole lot when it is, so it is usually worth it to simply sign up for a free trial.

One-Time Background Check No Membership

Almost all background check companies work on a membership model. The easiest way to get around this is to perform the check yourself, which is especially easy when trying to find things like criminal history information. There are several ways to obtain criminal history information, however, going through the local courts is usually the most reliable.

One-Time Background Check: No Subscription

The best way to get a one-time background check with no subscription is to use the DIY method to perform the check. This can be done in a few different ways such as contacting the local court clerk with the name of an individual you wish to check. Keep in mind this will require a small fee, usually less than $10.

Background checks are confusing, but understanding how they work as well as any relevant federal and local laws can help significantly. Although there are plenty of options available, be sure to know exactly what information is needed before performing a one time background check to avoid wasting money.

Frequently Asked Questions About a One Time Background Check

What Is the Best One Time Background Check?

The best one time background check will depend largely on what information is needed. However there are several options that allow individuals to perform an unlimited amount of checks in a certain period of time, for a one-time fee.

What Is the Most Trusted Background Check?

There are plenty of trusted background check options, however each one will cater themselves to a slightly different market. Some may be geared more towards individuals, others small or large businesses and others will offer services aimed at landlords. So long as the individual knows what information they want, any FCRA approved service will be a fairly safe bet.

What Is the Most Trusted Background Check?

The best free background check is the one that can give the information you are looking for. Each background check company will operate a little bit differently, mainly checking different databases as well as finding other useful information that is available in public databases and online. Be sure to know exactly what is needed and then pick a background check service that offers those checks.

What Is the Most Trusted Background Check?

A one time charge background check refers to companies that charge for background checks by the check, rather than offering a membership that allows for infinite checks for a flat flee. Unfortunately this is fairly rare and most background check services want customers to commit to a certain amount of time or a certain number of checks.

Is There a Cheap One Time Background Check?

Many background check companies offer their services for extremely cheap, especially during the first week or first month. Keep an eye out for companies that offer free or heavily discounted trials, which allow individuals to perform multiple checks during a certain period of time. As always, besure to read the fine print to avoid being automatically charged for a service that you no longer have a need for. 

What’s a Common One Time Fee for Background Check?

There are multiple options available and many background check companies change the deals and pricing by the day. The best thing to do is search around for various well-known services and see what current deals that they are offering. 


1Fair Credit Reporting Act. (2022). Retrieved May 28, 2022, from <>

2Identity History Summary Checks. (2022). Retrieved May 28, 2022, from <>

3Background Checks: What You Need To Know. (2022). Retrieved May 28, 2022, from <>

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