UPS Background Check: Stop & Read This Before You Apply (Full Guide)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | May 16, 2024

UPS background check on a computer screen in lower right while UPS worker wonders what does UPS look for in a background check while hiring a new worker and whether fingerprint background checks are used still with UPS building located in the upper left corner and a blue magnifying glass hovering in the top right.

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For anyone seeking a position with United Parcel Service (UPS), a UPS background check is part of the process…and there are some “must-know” things before applying.

Before applying at UPS, candidates should know how to obtain background checks on themselves in order to prepare…and should read the following information in order to avoid having negative background check results after receiving a job offer.

Running your own criminal history allows applicants to identify any offenses that might cause UPS to turn them down.

UPS is a worldwide shipping and logistics company with over 100 years in business, serving 300 countries and employing millions.3

The sheer size of UPS ensures a large and widespread hiring pool, which is good news for individuals with a less-than-squeaky-clean record, but before jumping into the application process, there are some specific things to understand.6

This comprehensive guide to all the ins and outs of the UPS background check and hiring process prepares aspiring UPS employees to succeed, even before they apply.

Does UPS Hire Felons?

Yes, UPS does hire people with a criminal record, making them a felon-friendly company. However, the type of position dictates whether or not a person is qualified for the job.

Like felon-friendly apartments, UPS looks at criminal records and makes hiring determinations based on the sort of job being applied for, and whether or not a previous conviction will impact its role.

Does UPS Background Check Before Hiring? (Does UPS Background Check?)

Candidates for employment undergo UPS background checks routinely during the applicant screening process.12

All applicants, regardless of the specific job applied for, must consent to a background check (criminal history check) and often a drug test as part of the pre-employment process.

Furthermore, persons applying for driving jobs must also have their driving history examined (an MVR report).13 For persons undergoing a pre-employment background investigation, what shows up on the report may be a source of anxiety, which is why knowing how to conduct a criminal records check on yourself first can be beneficial.

Understanding UPS Hiring Process Background Check

The hiring process at UPS may seem intimidating at the outset for any hopeful candidate. There are several steps and processes involved, not least of which is the UPS background check. Beginning a career with UPS starts with the application.

Step 1: Choose a position and complete an application.

UPS is almost always hiring full-time, part-time, or seasonal employees, so after deciding which of these options and which position is the best fit, complete the application. Be sure, to be honest in answering application questions, as dishonesty can reflect negatively upon a candidate later in the employee screening.7

Step 2: Set up an interview time and prepare for the interview.

After submitting the application, candidates are typically contacted by phone to schedule an interview. The interview is a really big deal, so it’s imperative that applicants prepare for the interview questions and environment. Give extra focus to any potential problem areas, such as a past criminal record, that will need to be explained to the interviewer. Honesty is always the best policy.9

Step 3: Follow instructions from UPS’ Human Resource Dept. to complete applicant screening procedures.

This step always includes a UPS background check for identity verification and criminal history review.3 It often entails a drug screen as a precondition for hiring, but this is dependent upon location and management.8

Regardless of the job an applicant is seeking, it is always crucial to have a clean drug test for a chance of being hired.

Step 4: Follow-up communication from UPS.

Within one to three weeks after completing applicant screening, a candidate for employment should receive follow-up communication. The candidate is informed of whether the background check and drug screen were passed or failed, and a position may be offered by the company.12

Background Check: UPS Criteria (What Does UPS Look for in a Background Check)

Now that the steps in the UPS hiring process have been outlined and detailed, what does UPS look for in a background check?

In general, UPS looks for evidence that an applicant is honest, trustworthy, and hard-working.3 The company seeks to identify individuals who may pose a risk to the integrity or safety of the workplace.7 Vice versa, UPS also looks for persons who can and will uphold their reputation and values.12

The following section breaks this down further to look at how a UPS background check can work for or against a potential employee.

Common levels of background checks include level 1 background check and level 2 background check, which searches national criminal records using fingerprints.

Identity Verification

The first information a company looks at on a background check is the identity of the applicant. The background check should verify that an individual is a person claimed.

Education and Employment Verification

At this step, UPS looks to confirm that an applicant has been honest and forthcoming in reporting their education and work history. The background check should confirm that an individual attended the schools and was employed by the places claimed.

UPS Criminal Background Check

Once an employment candidate’s self-reported identity, education, and employment history have been verified, UPS delves into the criminal history portion of the background check. The fingerprint background check accesses all criminal records at the state and federal levels.9,13

This segment should focus primarily on the most recent decade of an applicant’s history. Misdemeanors are often overlooked, but incidents of violent behavior, drug use, reckless driving, and theft will draw an employer’s attention.12

Does this mean that individuals with negative marks on their criminal records are immediately excluded from consideration? No, not necessarily. Most organizations understand that people make mistakes.

That’s why UPS looks at both the severity of a crime and whether it was a single or repeated offense, as well as how it bears upon the job in question. Individuals with a history of violent crimes are much less likely to be hired for a public-facing job or package delivery job.

UPS Personal Vehicle Driver Background Check

If a candidate is applying for a position operating a company vehicle, such as a freight driver or delivery truck driver, the employer can be expected to examine the applicant’s personal and work-related driving history closely, particularly the most recent three years.4, 8, 13

Any incidents of reckless driving, driving under the influence, or excessive speeding, will be weighed against the application and may preclude the candidate from being chosen for the position.3

Drivers are also required to pass a drug and alcohol screening test prior to being hired.4

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration14 details the types of offenses that may disqualify a commercial driver.

The Code of Federal Regulations15 provides tables with specific driving violations and the corresponding disqualification periods. Individuals can obtain their own MVR report to stay informed.

UPS Background Check DUI

DUIs are particularly troublesome for individuals seeking to be hired as commercial drivers. Anyone with a DUI, particularly a recent offense, on their record, should consider applying for a non-driving position.3

UPS Background Check Information

A final part of the background check involves a look at the candidate’s financial history, including debts owed, credit score, and any history of financial fraud or bankruptcy. Financial history is given more consideration with salaried jobs than with entry-level positions.

Note that the depth of the background check correlates with the position applied for, so if an individual’s criminal history is concerning, an entry-level warehouse or seasonal position will provide the best opportunity for hiring.

It is important for individuals with background check concerns to understand how to perform a background check on themselves to stay informed and prepared for the results of the report.3

What Background Check Does UPS Use? (UPS Level 2 Background Check)

UPS conducts level 2 fingerprint background checks and provides Live Scan fingerprinting ($25) and traditional ink fingerprinting ($35) services at UPS stores.

The fingerprints are submitted to state and federal authorities to obtain criminal records.10

How Long Does UPS Background Check Take?

The UPS background check is a complete look at crimes committed at the state and federal levels. Given the comprehensive nature of these criminal history checks and individual variance between states, results may take anywhere from a few days to three weeks to generate.12

How Far Back Does UPS Background Check Go?

Criminal records span an individual’s entire lifetime unless a record was expunged. Hence, background checks can technically report an individual’s entire criminal history.12

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA),16 companies should only be allowed to look back seven to ten years in an individual’s criminal and financial history. Though most states do not have official laws limiting lookback periods, seven to ten years is a typical benchmark for background checks.

In other words, while an individual’s entire criminal history may be viewable in a background check, a UPS background check will likely focus on the previous seven to ten-year period.7

UPS Background Check Disqualifiers (What Disqualifies You From Working for UPS?)

UPS seeks to be an equal-opportunity employer for individuals with criminal records who may struggle to find work post-rehabilitation. However, UPS also needs to protect the integrity and safety of the workplace and company.3 For this reason, UPS considers each application and situation on a case-by-case basis.

While minor convictions on an individual’s criminal record may be overlooked during the hiring process, there are some violations that will automatically disqualify an applicant.7,12

  • A failed drug test during pre-hire screening (many positions and locations mandate drug screens)13
  • Serious driving violations in the past three years (applies to individuals seeking a driving job)
  • Non-violent crimes, such as:
    • Drug trafficking or distribution
    • Theft, embezzlement, or robbery
    • Forgery, fraud, or extortion
  • Violent crimes, such as:
    • Homicide
    • Rape
    • Physical or sexual assault
    • Hate crimes
    • Child abuse

An individual with any of these charges on their criminal record in the past ten years should be prepared to address these crimes during the hiring process.

What Can Fail You on a Background Check?

The likelihood of failing a background check and the reasons for failure depend in large part upon the position applied for. In general, the most problematic issues on a background check include:10

  • Inaccurate reporting of employment and/or education history
  • A significant criminal record, particularly violent crimes
  • A failed drug test
  • Poor credit history or history of bankruptcy
  • A problematic driving history

Various offenses hold different weights depending on the position applied for. For example, a history of drug use, particularly in the workplace, will adversely affect an application for a job operating dangerous machinery. An individual seeking a driving or delivery job needs to have a clean driving record for at least the previous three years. Serious or multiple driving offenses will disqualify an individual from this type of job. It is highly unlikely for an individual with a history of violent crimes or theft to be hired for a delivery job making stops at customers’ homes. For a higher-paying position, such as one in management, credit, and financial history are likely to be given more consideration.7

What Happens With a Failed UPS Background Check?

Disclosure of failed background checks to the subject of the background check is mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).16 When an individual receives a background check report, he or she can examine the report for errors and respond to the report.1 Individuals can report errors to the reporting agencies and have the errors corrected. Additionally, minor offenses may be expunged from a record by petitioning the court.4

How Hard Is It To Get a UPS Job?

For individuals hoping to secure a job with UPS, the good news is that UPS is a huge company, perpetually hiring for a vast number of roles. UPS looks at each candidate individually, examining suitability for the job the applicant is seeking.6 Therefore, UPS does have opportunities for individuals with criminal records. However, it is important for applicants to be conscious of the job they are most qualified for.

UPS offers entry-level warehouse jobs that are not public-facing and may be an excellent opportunity for persons with a felony record. Additionally, seasonal hiring is also a great way for individuals to get a foot in the door and prove their trustworthiness.3

UPS often hires full-time employees from seasonal or part-time employees within the company, so this is an ideal venue for people with a less-than-perfect record.9

There is also an indication that as of summer 2021, UPS may have a less stringent, more streamlined hiring process for entry-level warehouse positions which does not include a drug screen.4

Whether an individual is applying to an entry-level or management position within UPS, there are many factors to be considered. This guide to the UPS background check provides all the necessary information for prospective candidates to succeed in the employment process.

Frequently Asked Questions About UPS Background Check

How Long the Background Check Takes at UPS?

In general, background checks can be processed in a few days to a week’s time. However, depending on how many applicants are being screened for employment at a given time, the turnaround time may take up to two weeks.8UPS likely conducts bulk background checks to screen their vast applicant pool.

What Is a Red Flag on a Background Check?

The most immediate red flag on a UPS background check is any sign of dishonesty, such as inconsistency in reported employment or education history with actual records.10 Indications of drug use, particularly work-related drug use, raise red flags on background checks. Additionally, felony charges, especially violent crimes, theft, and drug trafficking, will also come to attention on a background check.9

What Company Performs UPS Background Check Services?

UPS’ fingerprint background checks are conducted through the company PrintScan, with Live Scan locations at UPS stores across the nation.10,11 UPS formerly had a contract with the company First Advantage.2 First Advantage may still conduct background checks for UPS contractors.5


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2Casetext. (2020, September 30). Wilson v. First Advantage Background Servs. Casetext. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

3 Casey, E. (2022). Does UPS Run Background Checks? Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

4Eric, R. (2022, April 29). UPS Background Check. Hire Felons. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

5First Advantage. (2022). XtdForce. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

6Gomez, R. (2021, May 29). Does UPS Hire Felons? Can a convicted felon work for UPS? Jobs for Felons. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

7Gomez, R. (2021, November 23). Does UPS Run Background Checks? Jobs for Felons. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

8Goodwin, J. (2022). UPS Hiring Process Guide. Daily WorkHorse. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <> (2022). Does UPS Hire Felons? Jobs That Hire Felons. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

10MotivationJob. (2021, December 18). What Disqualifies You From Working at UPS? MotivationJob. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

11PrintScan UPS Store Fingerprinting. (2022). PrintScan. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

12Thomas, M. (2022). UPS Background Check (What They Check, How Far Back + More). Query Sprout. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

13Worsham, R. (2018, December 27). What Kind of BAckground Checks Does UPS Do? Career Trend. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from <>

146.3.12 Common Violations. (2022). United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 01, 2022, from <>

15Title 49 383.51. (2022). Code of Federal Regulations. Retrieved June 01, 2022, from <>

16Fair Credit Reporting Act. (2018). Fair Credit Reporting Act. Retrieved June 01, 2022, from <>

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