What Does a National Criminal Background Check Include?

By Michael Klazema on 1/14/2020

The “national criminal background check” is one of the most misunderstood components of the background screening process. Often, when conducting background checks on potential hires, employers will start with county criminal history checks. Since most crimes are tried and filed at the county level, a job candidate’s criminal history—if there is one—is often on file near where he or she lives and works. However, there is an inherent shortcoming to county checks: they only offer a snapshot of a person’s criminal history in one small area. What if that person has been convicted of a crime in another city, county, or even state? 

There lies the appeal of the national criminal background check. Employers, landlords, and other entities seeking to streamline the background check process are naturally drawn to the idea of a background check that can offer a full, national view of a person’s criminal history. 

The bad news is that there is no universal criminal history database in the United States. Criminal records are scattered across the more-than 3,000 counties that make up our country.

However, numerous companies have compiled and maintained their own national criminal history databases, also known as multi-jurisdictional databases. These databases compile records from all 50 states and United States territories, including Guam, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. They are an effective way of widening the scope of a background check. 

At, we are proud to maintain our own proprietary multi-jurisdictional database. This database, US OneSEARCH, consists of more than 650 million criminal records. It also contains data from sex offender registries, national and international terrorist watch lists, and other critical sources. 

We have worked tirelessly to put this registry together. We now offer the industry’s number-one criminal conviction database. Since we organize all this information in a single database, our customers can get instant background check results by inputting a person’s full name, birthdate, and Social Security Number. US OneSEARCH is available for both official background check purposes (employment, housing, etc.) and for personal use or self-checking. 

In addition to US OneSEARCH, we offer our US AliasSEARCH, which uses the same national criminal history database with a different aim. By inputting a name and Social Security Number, you can find other names associated with a person, including maiden names and criminal aliases. 

If you don’t require a full national criminal background check, you can also work with to access certain segments of our database. For instance, with a National Security OneSEARCH check, you can search just the national security data included in our database. Similarly, US Offender OneSEARCH only peruses sex offender registries from throughout the country. These checks cost less than a full US OneSEARCH check. 

Have questions about national criminal background checks or the US OneSEARCH database? Contact today.

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