How Are Criminal Background Checks Performed?

By Michael Klazema on 8/28/2018

How criminal background checks are performed depend on the type of check and the source it is checking. At, we offer four types of criminal background screenings: county checksstate checksfederal checks, and multi-jurisdictional/database checks.

For a complete picture, county, state, and federal criminal history searches need to be performed with the direct involvement of a source—in other words, a source associated with the court in question needs to conduct the search and pull relevant records. Some courts have online systems that allow authorized users to search names and determine if a person has been convicted of a crime in those areas. Others have terminals at courthouses that criminal record researchers can use to conduct searches. Some have record systems that can only be searched by court clerks, necessitating background check professionals to fill out record search forms and wait for checks to process.

All these variations in how courts manage their systems have an impact on how criminal background checks are performed. The record system a court maintains can also impact how long the background check process takes. Records that can be searched via a website or terminal can be gathered more easily and quickly than records that are only searchable with court clerk assistance. The easier the records are to search, the faster the background check.

At, we manage our own database of background information gathered from many different criminal record data sources. Customers can search our database using the US OneSEARCH background check service. This background check is instant since it involves searching criminal records we have already gathered and assembled into a far-reaching central database. In total, our US OneSEARCH database includes 600 million criminal records from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.

All criminal background check services at require employers to input several data points about the person they are searching, including name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. SSNs are a crucial part of our criminal background screenings because they allow us to uncover the names and addresses associated with that Social Security Number.

Since most criminal background checks involve name-based searches, it can be essential to know a person’s past aliases for a complete process. It could be the name a candidate provides doesn’t ping any criminal record search results, but their maiden name or alias does. As for address histories, knowing where a candidate lived in the past makes it easy to order additional county or state criminal searches in the areas where he or she used to reside.

Are you interested in learning more about how we conduct our criminal history searches at Feel free to get in touch with us today.

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • January 15 A viral news story at The Cleveland Clinic has reignited the debate over social media background checks. The hospital recently fired a medical resident with a history of anti-Semitic tweets.
  • January 10 To remain a competitive employment option for retail workers, Best Buy will begin offering childcare options for parents. 
  • January 07 The rise of the "gig economy" was rapid, and questions about safety for users of these new services grew along with the industry. Background check policies in the gig economy can be unclear or unevenly applied, leading to barriers for some seeking jobs.
  • January 04 A new service that offers background checks for babysitters has come under fire for racial bias, invasion of privacy, and non-compliance with FCRA requirements. Predictim has paused its launch due to controversy.
  • December 20 Trust between patient and practitioner is a critical part of a strong healthcare system. An investigation uncovered hundreds of doctors practicing in new locations after giving up their licenses following serious mistakes.
  • December 13

    As the food truck fad proves it has staying power, many local governments have looked for ways to protect their communities without constraining economic activity. The effort to strike the right balance is ongoing.

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 11 What are education verification checks and why are they important? We look at why and how employers confirm the education histories of the people they hire.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.