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How Much Does a Criminal Background Check Cost

By Michael Klazema on 11/27/2019

If you are conducting a criminal background check—whether on yourself or a prospective employee—one of your top questions is probably, “how much does a criminal background check cost?” Because there are so many different types of criminal history checks, it can be challenging to find a quick answer to the question. A county criminal history check will carry one cost while a national criminal background check might have a completely different sticker price. The most thorough criminal background checks are often assembled from multiple criminal history searches, meaning that the final price will be a combination of the costs of individual checks. 

Here is what to expect regarding the cost of a criminal background check. 

  • The cost of running a background check on yourself: Want to see what employers are seeing when they order a criminal history check on you? Run a background check on yourself with our Personal background check service. This national criminal background check is a search of our US OneSEARCH criminal history database, which includes over 650 million criminal records from all 50 states, plus U.S. territories such as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam. The search also looks at sex offender registries from all 50 states. A self-check costs $12.50.
  • The cost of a county criminal history check: Employers will often start by running county criminal history searches in the geographic location where their premises are located. Since most criminal records are initially filed at the county level, county courthouses often offer the most up-to-date version of a person’s criminal history, albeit without the geographic reach of a nationwide check. Our cost for one county criminal history check is $12, though additional court fees may apply—and those court fees can be substantial. In New York, for instance, the fees stack up to $95. Many businesses use address history checks to find out where their job candidates have lived in the past, and then use those addresses to conduct county criminal history checks in multiple areas. We offer an address history search called US OneTRACE that costs just $3.50.
  • The cost of a state criminal history check: State criminal history checks involve a search of state criminal repositories in which different counties throughout that state report into semi-regularly. While not all counties are vigilant about reporting to such a repository, a state search can yield information from several counties in the state for about the cost of a county check. At backgroundchecks.com, our state-level checks start at $10, though additional court access fees may apply.
  • The cost of a federal-level criminal history check: Not to be confused with a multi-jurisdictional/national criminal check, federal-level checks involve conducting searches of individual U.S. District Court indices. This check works similarly to a county criminal history check for finding criminal records that have been federally prosecuted (traditional county or state checks will never return information about federal crimes). Our federal criminal history check begins at $15 with additional court fees.
  • The cost of a multi-jurisdictional search: Employers regularly make use of our US OneSEARCH database. A search of the database for business use, landlord access, and other professional purposes costs $23.95 with instant results.

In addition to these prices, backgroundchecks.com offers several bundles for employers who want to incorporate multiple checks into their pre-employment screenings. To ask about how to get the maximum value out of your next background check investment, contact us today.


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