USPS Background Check: GIS or NACI? Which To Choose (2023 Guide)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | June 8, 2023

Postal service carrier holds out a letter while looking at his USPS background check document that includes USPS background check disqualifiers and NACI background check USPS results.

Many individuals applying for positions with the United States Postal Service (USPS) have questions about undergoing a USPS background check, especially regarding a General Information Services (GIS) or a National Agency Check with Inquires (NACI) checks.

How does an applicant choose?

As a federal agency operated under the Office of Inspector General, the USPS background check requires both checks to be performed.

This complete guide outlines the requirements involved in applying for a job with the postal system, what to expect from the USPS background check process and how to ensure that the results don’t disqualify an applicant.

USPS Background Check Overview

Compared to many other federal employment background checks, the USPS background check is somewhat unique.

Most background checks for jobs in the federal or state government involve a background check performed by the FBI, the USPS instead relies on a private company to perform its background checks.1

However, although the main pre-employment background check is performed by a private background check agency, USPS still requires that individuals undergo a NACI check, which is performed by the FBI.

There is a common misconception about USPS background checks that individuals are able to choose which kind of check they undergo, or that whether individuals undergo a NACI check or GIS check depends on the position being applied for. However, neither of these things is true.

Screenshot of United States Postal Service website page for screening process with yellow arrow on nationwide employee background screening.

The United States Post Office is administered under the Office of Inspector General and employs a nation-wide employee background check screening process for applicants.

All USPS background checks will involve a check performed by GIS as well as a NACI check, regardless of the position being applied for.

Basically, the GIS check is what many individuals will expect from a pre-employment check. The USPS uses this check to screen employees to determine if they have the basic qualifications, are a good fit for the position, and ensure they do not have a troubling criminal history.

On the other hand, the NACI check is required for all government employees that will not have access to classified or sensitive information.

All low-level government employees that meet this description will be required to undergo and pass a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI) in order to work for the federal government.2 This check will include a criminal history check performed by the FBI as well as employment and education verification and local law enforcement inquiries.

USPS Background Check Disqualifiers

The main thing that many individuals are concerned with before applying for a job with the United States Postal Service is the USPS background check disqualifiers.3 Surprisingly, there are very few things that will automatically disqualify an individual from working for the USPS.

While many private companies and government agencies will have a list of criminal history-related disqualifiers like felony convictions and certain misdemeanors, there is hardly any criminal history information that will result in an automatic disqualification with the USPS.

Screenshot of United States Postal Service website page for employee handbooks with yellow arrows on negative eligibility or suitability decision.

The USPS outlines 523 disqualifying conditions on its website that can help applicants decide whether or not to apply.

The USPS prides itself on helping to rehabilitate individuals with criminal records, so any individual that is actively working towards rehabilitation will have a fairly good chance of being hired even with felony convictions on their criminal records.

With that being said, USPS does still run background checks for a reason and there are a few things that will very likely lead to an individual not being hired.

The most common reason for disqualification is because the applicant lied about something on their application.

Between the GIS fingerprint check and the NACI check, any kind of dishonesty on an application will be discovered and reflect poorly on an applicant. This will be a major problem if the individual indicated they had a degree that they didn’t or lied about their previous work experience.

However, individuals shouldn’t stress too much about getting every detail perfect, small mistakes will be mostly ignored. The checks are trying to determine the individual’s honesty and integrity so small mistakes like the dates an individual was employed at a previous job will not be a major cause for concern.

Another common reason for failing the USPS background check is individuals who fail the drug test that is required as a condition for employment. Individuals who are applying for jobs that require driving such as a mail carrier will be required to pass a drug test as a condition of employment.

Besides the drug test, those applying for driving positions will also be required to pass a driving record check. The following information will result in disqualification.

  • Reckless driving offenses (more than 1 in the last 3 years OR more than 2 in the last 5 years)
  • A driving offense involving drugs or alcohol (Any conviction)
  • Other moving violations (more than 1 in the last year OR 3 or more in the last 3 years OR 5 or more in the last 5 years)
  • At-Fault accidents (2 or more in the last 5 years OR any accident resulting in a fatality)
  • Hit and Run (Any conviction)

Finally, some less common disqualifiers involve issues that would prevent the individual from working for the government in any capacity. This includes individuals not registered for the Selective Service and those who can not speak English adequately.

USPS Background Check Red Flag

Although there are relatively few background check disqualifiers, there are plenty of things that would be considered a USPS background check red flag. Most of these will involve an individual’s criminal history and attitude towards their criminal record.

Generally, the following crimes will be considered red flags and will require additional consideration as well as a discussion about the records with the applicant before any decisions are made.

  • Violent crime convictions (Felony or Misdemeanor)
  • Sex crime convictions
  • Crimes against children

USPS Fingerprint Background Check

Some individuals will be curious about the USPS fingerprint background check and how this differs from pre-employment background check they have undergone before. While most companies rely on private background check companies to perform name-based checks on their employees, the USPS and all federal government employers will rely on a fingerprint-based background check.

The USPS is somewhat unique amongst government agencies as they rely on a private fingerprint-based background check as well as a fingerprint-based background check performed by the FBI as part of the NACI check.

Screenshot of FBI website page for forms with yellow arrow on identity history summary request.

The Identity History summary form can be completed and submitted online, but the fingerprints will need to be performed at an approved location.

As mentioned, assuming that all the information on the application is correct, individuals should probably worry more about the GIS background check than the NACI check as the NACI check deals more with national security and public trust, as opposed to the individual’s ability to fill the position.

A fingerprint-based check is only slightly different from a name-based check and will likely return the same information as a name-based check. Whilst most private employers screen their employees for liability reasons, government employers do it for reasons of national security.

Since the risk of someone slipping through the cracks is slightly higher with a name-based check, government agencies such as the USPS rely on the more thorough fingerprint-based check.

Individuals will be fingerprinted by the hiring manager once they reach the background check phase of the hiring process.

After the fingerprints and requested information has been submitted to the proper agencies, the applicant will simply need to wait for the results the same as if it was a name-based check.

How Far Back Does USPS Background Check Go?

The questions of how far back does USPS background check go, are extremely common due to the fact that USPS policy on this issue is somewhat confusing.

The USPS describes their background check as a 5-year background check that is performed by examining court records of every county the individual has lived, worked, or attended school in during the last 5 years.

To many individuals, this would indicate that the background check will only go back 5 years and that any and all criminal history that is older than 5 years would be irrelevant and would not appear on the check, however, this is not the case.

The background check will examine all court records, regardless of age for every county that the individual has lived in during the last 5 years.

This means that if an individual was convicted of a crime 20 years ago, if the county where the charges were filed is one of the counties checked because the individual has lived in that county in the last 5 years, then there is a very good chance that this information will appear on the background check report.

The NACI check is similarly confusing. Official NACI checks will also go back 5 years.

However, the NACI check also includes an FBI criminal history check which will go back forever. This means the criminal history check portion of the NACI check goes back forever and it is only the reference checks and verifications that only go back 5 years.

With all that being said, the USPS background check will not look too closely at the information that is older than 5 years, and criminal history information that is older than 5 years will likely not factor into the hiring decision very much if at all.

However, what is important is if the individual claimed they have not been convicted of a crime on their application when this is not true. This is a common mistake that many individuals make upon hearing the check only goes back 5 years.

It is extremely important that individuals are honest about their criminal history on their application and assume that the check will go back forever. Although a criminal conviction will not be an automatic disqualifier, failing to list an existing conviction, no matter how old, will result in disqualification in many cases.

How Long Does USPS Background Check Take?

Some individuals will be eager to get through the background check phase of the hiring process so they can get to work as soon as possible. However, when it comes to how long does USPS background check take, many individuals will be disappointed.

A USPS background check will take less than two weeks in most cases, however many individuals have reported significant delays when it comes to the GIS check. Some people have even reported the check taking over a month to complete.

The NACI check can take far longer. Generally, a NACI check will take several months to complete.

However, this is not always a major issue as many individuals will be able to receive interim job offers so that they can work while the NACI check processes.

USPS Background Check Hiring Process

The USPS background check hiring process is fairly simple. After the initial interview has been completed and the initial assessment completed, the next step is for the individual to schedule a time with their hiring manager to get fingerprinted.

This will be done at the USPS office, and once done the individual should receive an email from the manager with a link to submit the information needed for the GSI background check. This includes basic personal information and the last 5 years of addresses and employer contact information.

Screenshot of the National Agency Check website page about screening with yellow arrows pointing to approval certifications.

The GIS background check verifies work eligibility, work history, previous addresses and other general information.

With the GIS check completed, the hiring manager will then contact the individual again to submit their NACI check as well as offer them a conditional job offer in some cases.

USPS Background Check Company

Currently, the USPS background check company is GIS.

GIS is a major background check service that provides background check services to thousands of employers across the country.

Screenshot of CFPB website about employment screening with yellow arrow ppointing ti General Information Services Inc.

As an approved vendor by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, GIS background checks do not impact a person’s credit rating.

The NACI check that is required is performed by the FBI.4

USPS Fingerprinting Appointment for Employment

The USPS fingerprinting appointment for employment will be discussed with the hiring manager. In most cases, the hiring manager will contact the applicant via email to discuss a time when the individual can go to the post office they are applying to submit their fingerprints.

Even for the NACI check, individuals should not need to go to a private fingerprinting service provider, such as those used by the FBI.5 All fingerprinting services will take place at the USPS office.

USPS Background Check Before Interview

Individuals might be confused about getting an invite for a USPS background check before interview.

However, this is fairly standard for government jobs who tend to ensure the individual is eligible to work for the government before going through the rest of the hiring process.

What Happens After USPS Background Check?

In regards to what happens after USPS background check, it will depend on a few different factors. After the initial GIS check, individuals will then be asked to submit information for the NACI check.

Once this is done, individuals will either have to wait for the check to clear or receive an interim job offer while the check processes.

USPS Background Check Status

Many individuals will be trying to figure out their USPS background check status, especially if the check is taking a long time. Individuals can check the status of their GIS background check using the same website and login where they submitted their information to GIS.

As long as the status of the check shows that the check is in progress, there is nothing to worry about. Individuals will only need to keep an eye out for status updates that indicate more information is needed.

USPS Failed Background Check

Some individuals might be confused as to why they had a USPS failed background check status. Although this can be frustrating, there are still a few options available. Most notably, the FCRA requires that background check agencies notify individuals who failed checks of the information that was found that resulted in the failed check.

Should this information be incorrect, GSI will provide instructions on how to dispute the results of the check.

This is one of the reasons that performing a background check on yourself is so important as it gives individuals a chance to fix any mistakes in their criminal history. Individuals can easily perform a background check on themselves using the search bar at the top of this page.

NACI Background Check USPS

The NACI background check USPS may seem intimidating but the check shouldn’t be a major issue so long as the individual was honest on their initial application.

Screenshot of Personnel Security website with yellow arrows pointing ti investigation types.

Federal employment checks vary in intensity and are more thorough for the higher levels of security clearance.

The main items that will be checked are the employment and education listed on the application. Investigators will contact all those that are listed to confirm the information.

NACI Background Check USPS Status

With the check taking so long, many individuals will be trying to figure out their NACI background check USPS status. Unfortunately, there is no way for individuals to check the status of this check, and will have to simply wait until the check is complete to find out the results.

NACI Background Check Disqualifiers

When it comes to NACI background check disqualifiers, the main thing that individuals should be worried about is how accurate the information that they submitted is. The main disqualifier for a NACI check will involve information that can not be verified such as a fake degree or previous employer.

NACI Background Check Timeline

The NACI background check timeline varies significantly. Individuals should expect the check to take at least a month and some individuals have claimed that the check can take up to a year to complete.

USPS Background Check

The USPS background check may seem intimidating but individuals should know that it is easier to pass a USPS background check than it is to pass many private employer checks. Individuals should double or triple-check all the information they submit for the USPS background check to avoid any issues that make them look dishonest.

Being prepared for a background check is the best thing that individuals can do for themselves when it comes to increasing their chances of getting hired. Although the USPS background check can be overwhelming, the check is not as complicated as it may seem.

Frequently Asked Questions About USPS Background Check

What Is a Pangea Background Check?

GIS uses a hiring portal known as Pangea to process many of its background checks.

USPS Background Check Takes How Long?

USPS background checks will take around a month for the initial GIS check, and the NACI check will take around 3 months to complete.

What Is the NACI Background Check USPS Phone Number?

There is no way to contact the NACI check investigation team at the FBI. Questions regarding the NACI check should be directed to the hiring manager.

What Is New in the USPS NACI Background Check 2022?

There are currently no new updates for 2022 that affect the NACI check.

Are There Post Office Fingerprinting Locations?

Most US post offices will offer fingerprinting services for various purposes.

What Are the USPS Fingerprinting Hours?

Individuals should contact their local USPS office to learn about fingerprinting services and hours.

When Will I Receive the USPS Fingerprinting Appointment Email?

The hiring manager will reach out to individuals for their fingerprinting appointment sometime after the initial interview and check are completed.

Do I Need an Appointment for USPS Fingerprinting?

Individuals are usually required, or at least encouraged to make an appointment for USPS fingerprinting services.

What Is the USPS Hiring Process After Fingerprinting?

After being fingerprinted, individuals will need to submit their information to GIS for the background check and await the results.

What Is the USPS Background Check Time?

USPS background checks will take over a month to complete in many cases. NACI checks will take several months to complete.

What Is a GIS USPS Background Check?

GIS is a private background check agency that performs background checks for the USPS.

What Is the USPS Background Check Time Frame?

USPS background checks are usually completed in less than a month, but can sometimes take far longer.

How To Make a USPS Background Check Appointment?

Individuals will be contacted by their hiring manager regarding background check procedures and appointments.

What Is a GIS Background Check USPS?

GIS is a private background check company that is currently contracted with the USPS to perform background checks on employees.

How Long Does a NACI Background Check Take USPS?

The NACI check will take several months to complete in most cases can take up to a year.

What Is My NACI USPS Login?

Individuals will receive instructions on how to log in and submit their NACI background check from their hiring manager.

What Is My USPS Careers Login?

Individuals will need to create a USPS careers login so that they can submit their applications and other important documents.

What Is My NACI Background Check USPS Login?

Individuals will receive an email link with their NACI background check login information.

What Is My NACI Background Check Login?

The NACI background check login can be used to access your NACI check and submit all information that is required for the check.

How To Find Out My NACI Background Check Status?

There is currently no way to learn your NACI background check status.

What Is the NACI Background Check Phone Number?

There is currently no way to contact the NACI investigation team by phone. Individuals should direct questions to their hiring manager.


1United States Government. (2022). Rap Sheets (Identity History Summary Checks). FBI. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <>

2Personnel Security. (2022). Investigation Types. Personnel Security. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <>

3United States Postal Service. (2022). Job Search. USPS. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <>

4Yale Law School. (2022). Before You Apply: Understanding Government Background Checks. Yale Law School |. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <>

5United States Government. (2022). List of FBI-Approved Channelers for Departmental Order Submissions. FBI. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <>

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