Every single background check service claims they are one of the best, whether they are consumer centered or for employment and tenant screening. They can’t all be right, and don’t forget that.
Make sure you check exactly which records you’ll be receiving when selecting a background check product. It’s not always going to be obvious and will ensure your expectations are in line with what’s available.
- Not all addresses and phone numbers are going to be accurate; that’s simply a given. Due to the mobility of the population, privacy, etc.
- Civil Judgments, Evictions, Liens, State and Federal Tax Liens and Small Claims are generally available in all states and easily attainable.
- Criminal records availability varies by state, and onsite county searches may be needed. Often these can be obtained online, but cost more.
- Sex offender searches are available for all states at the FBI Sex Offender Registry. Never pay for a sex offender search at a records website.
Employers, landlords and other professionals:
Employers, landlords and others who have access to professional background check services should familiarize themselves with the service to ensure they are using it correctly and within FCRA guidelines.
- Don’t go for the cheapest option, e.g. a nationwide search will not do an adequate job and is only a starting point. (E.g. onsite court records searches).
- Always get permission and verify applicants with Social Security Numbers as you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a negligence lawsuit.
- Be aware of the of the latest FCRA guidelines, especially concerning criminal background checks and their use in hiring, so as to limit your liability.
- A good employment screening company will help you with hiring compliance so make sure you ask.
See the state directory below for links to specific state resources. These are often free, direct from the state, and definitely not advertised online. If you have a state resource that should be known about, please send it to us.