General Questions

Can a Background Check Reveal Past Employers?
There is no background check that provides a list of places a candidate has worked. However, we can individually verify the workplaces that a candidate lists on their resume.
Can Background Checks Be Shared?
You should consider background check records a part of candidates or employees’ private files and not share these checks beyond your company’s hiring team, aside from sharing them with the candidates or employees themselves.
Can Background Checks Verify Salary?
Yes, salary is one of the pieces of information that a work history verification check can verify.
Do arrests show on background checks?

One of the most common questions about criminal background checks is whether reports will show arrest records. 

The answer depends on the state. Some states have laws prohibiting employers from asking about arrest records or using them for employment-related decisions. Since arrests themselves are not proof of guilt, they are unreliable and often unfair when used as a barrier to employment. 

At, we always exclude arrest history information from our background check reports to protect our customers from compliance issues. To learn whether your state legally allows the use of arrest records for hiring, read our white paper on the matter.

Do dismissed cases show on background checks?

Similar to arrests, dismissed cases are not proof of guilt. However, a dismissed case may appear on a candidate’s background check. An arrest that never led to a criminal charge is one thing, but a criminal charge stays on the person’s record even if the charges are dismissed, or the case ends in a not guilty verdict. 

Just because dismissed charges may show up on a background check doesn’t mean employers need to consider them. In most cases, employers recognize the difference between a formal conviction and a charge that ultimately didn’t go anywhere. To learn more about this subject, read our full post about dismissed cases and background checks.

Do expunged or sealed records show on background checks?

If a candidate has successfully petitioned to have their criminal records sealed or expunged, those convictions should no longer appear on a background check report. An expunged record is essentially scrubbed from existence, while a sealed record should only be accessible to law enforcement. 

Does your business have candidates whose criminal histories make hiring or providing specific benefits challenging? At, we designed a program called MyClearStart to help employers get information about expungement into the hands of their applicants.

Do I need an account to run a background check?
Before you order any searches from us, you’ll need an account with Under various laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you must prove that you have a permissible purpose to order a background check before you access the content of the reports. This process is easy and 100% online through our platform. If you don’t have an account, don’t worry. It’s fast and easy to set one up. To see what information you need, go here:
Do I need an account?
Before you order any searches from us, you’ll need an account with Under various laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you must prove that you have a permissible purpose to order a background check before you access the content of the reports. This process is easy and 100% online through our platform. If you don’t have an account, don’t worry. It’s fast and easy to set one up. To see what information you need, go here:
Do Previous Legal Names Appear on Background Checks?
We incorporate Social Security Numbers into many of our checks—particularly criminal history—so that we can find past names associated with those SSNs. If a candidate has previous legal names, we will note this information and recommend running additional checks on those names.
Do traffic tickets show on criminal background checks?

In most cases, traffic tickets or other driving-related infractions will not be included in criminal background check reports. Most speeding tickets are considered civil infractions rather than misdemeanors or felonies, and civil infractions rarely show up on criminal history checks. 

That’s not to say that employers cannot find traffic citations with a background check. Motor vehicle record checks offer a way to find this information and are common for jobs that involve operating vehicles or heavy machinery. 

Of course, there are driving offenses considered misdemeanors or felonies, including reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. These convictions will appear on a criminal background report. 

To learn more about what information may appear on a driving history check – from traffic tickets to license classification – visit our driving record background check product page.

Do you have information on juveniles in your criminal record database?
Juvenile records are not part of our coverage. Information on most juvenile offenses is not released and most courts and states do not provide information on people under 17.
Do you provide financial records, such as bank account information?
No, bank account information is considered private and is not publicly available. However, we do provide reports that may include bankruptcy information which is publicly available and may be viewed as a financial record. For interested customers we can purchase credit reports from a credit bureau.
Do your criminal reports include credit history?
No, we do not provide results on an individual's credit in our criminal reports. Credit history is not publicly available and is considered private information. For interested customers we can purchase credit reports from a credit bureau.
Do your reports provide Date of Birth and Social Security Number information?
No, social security number information is not usually publicly available. However, date of birth information is commonly found in public records. Many of our criminal record data sources include date of birth in the information they provide.
How can I talk to someone?
We'd love to talk to you to answer your questions!. Contact our sales team.
How current is the data I am searching?
We collect publicly available information from hundreds of data sources which include county courts, state administrative Office of the courts, state departments of corrections and many more. We have limited control in their update frequency as it is set by and varies by each data source. However, data strength is one of many aspects that sets us apart from our competitors and we go to great lengths to acquire and maintain our data. We are continually evaluating our processes to ensure timely and quality results.
How do employment history checks work?

An employment verification check is mostly meant to check the validity of the work history information a candidate provides on their resume. It’s not uncommon for job applicants to embellish their work history to make it look more impressive to a prospective employer. That might mean tweaking a job title, changing a start or end date, or listing job responsibilities outside the scope of the position. Employment verification checks involve contacting previous employers—usually HR staff—and verifying the accuracy of these key information points.

On the subject of employment history checks, one common question is what employers can or cannot say about a previous employee. If you are an employer, you may be wondering what you can ask a former employer about a job candidate or what you are allowed to say if an employer contacts you about a past employee. 

Contrary to popular belief, no federal law restricts what employers can disclose about past employees. For instance, if the candidate you are screening was fired from a previous job, the employer can share that detail and explain the reasoning behind the decision.

However, just because there is no federal law on the subject doesn’t mean employers are always open to discussing anything and everything about their ex-employees. Most employers tread carefully here for fear of defamation lawsuits. 

As a result, employers don’t typically want to comment too much on things that might be deemed subjective – such as the character or work ethic of past employees. Especially if the employer doesn’t have anything nice to say about their ex-worker, they don’t want to put themselves in a situation where they could feasibly be taken to court for slandering that person. 

So, instead of asking questions that focus on an employer’s opinions about a past employee, most employment verification checks focus on objective and easily verifiable details. These details include verifiable employment dates, job titles, duties or responsibilities, and salary information.

How do reference checks work?

In most cases, job seekers have a list of 2-3 professional references that they submit alongside their resume, cover letter, and job application. These references, theoretically, are people who are willing to speak favorably about the job seeker’s skills, abilities, work habits, and more. However, since job seekers ask references to speak on their behalf, reference checks can touch upon subjective topics that work history verifications usually cannot, including personality, character, and work ethic. 

Read on to find out how we can check your candidate's references.

How far back do background checks go?

How far back a criminal background check goes depends on the state. No federal law regulates the lookback period for criminal history checks. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does have rules limiting the “adverse information” a credit bureau can report about a consumer. 

However, that part of the FCRA only applies to credit history checks. There is no corresponding rule for criminal history checks. 

Instead, most states decide on this matter on their own. Most commonly, criminal background checks are allowed to look back seven years.

How far back does a Driving Record Report go?
This varies by state but will go back at least 3 years.
How fast can I receive a background check?
For many checks, it takes less than 3 minutes to place an order. You can get most criminal checks in about 2 minutes if you already have an account with us. Some checks take more than 2 minutes. Here's more on this.
I didn’t get the records I was expecting to find on myself.
There are several reasons why 0 records might be found. You entered incorrect information like a misspelled first or last name and/or the incorrect date of birth. You entered a hyphenated name, middle initial in the first name box, a suffix such as JR, SR II, III, IV at the end of the last name or a special character in the first or last name box. The search was conducted by name and date of birth; but available public records do not associate this name and/or date of birth with the record. The subject searched is a minor and we do not search juvenile records. You entered a hyphenated name. Our database does not provide results for hyphenated names, therefore, you must enter the last name with a space rather than a hyphen (-) or you may use the last part of the hyphenated name for the best results. Do not add any generations such as Jr. Sr. II or III. You entered two first names. We are referring to names like Bobbie Sue, Amy Lynn and Billie Joe - please do not use them. Use only the first part of the two-part name as any extension of the name will be reported. Example, if you are searching Amy Lynn - Just use Amy and if there is a match with Amy Lynn it will come back. You entered a nickname. Court records use the subject's full legal name, not nicknames. You entered a middle name as a first name. Court records use the subject's first name, not a middle name that the subject goes by.
In what states can I have my record expunged?
MyClearStart currently supports the free eligibility test in the following states: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington. For other states click here.
Is anyone notified of my search?
No one is notified that you have ordered a report on yourself.
Is there another way to get an address history or list of aliases?
The ins and outs of social security number driven name and address history The US OneTRACE check is the fastest, easiest and most cost effective way to retrieve the best possible address history for a subject, aside from asking the subject for the information and relying on their comprehensive listing of their past address history. Employers frequently desire to order county criminal record searches in all counties where the subject lived in the past seven years. If you want to make that selection based on an independent listing of addresses, the US OneTRACE is your best option. The US OneTRACE check is included as part of our US AliasSEARCH or US AliasVERIFY instant criminal database searches. Additional benefits of providing a social security number as part of an instant criminal database search: When you provide a full name including first, middle and last name, and the social security number (SSN), we report the state and the approximate date of issuance of the SSN for Social Security Numbers issued prior to the Social Security Administration's (SSA) randomization initiative started in June 25, 2011 and we run the SSN through the SSA Death Master Index and alert you if the SSN belong to a deceased person. This allows you to better identify and prevent identity fraud.
My case is deferred, dismissed or discharged. Why is it still available to the public?
Court records are generally public records. Even if your case is dismissed, deferred or discharged, your offense is still publicly available. Which means your prospective employer, landlord or school may discover the court case.
The information reported in your reports is wrong. Can I update it?
Yes, please visit our disputes page for this answer.
What are public records and publicly available information?
Public records is information that has been filed or recorded by local, state, federal, or other government agencies, such as corporate and property records. Public records include vital records, immigration records, real estate records, driving records, criminal records, voter registration, etc. Most essential public records are maintained by the government and many are accessible to the public. Availability is determined by federal, state, and local regulations.
What Are Verification Checks?

Criminal history searches are just one part of a thorough pre-employment background check process. In addition to looking at criminal records, most employers take time to verify the information their candidates provide on resumes and job applications. 

Lies, half-truths, or embellishments are unfortunately common in today’s job market. Because a criminal background check doesn’t reveal anything about a person’s past employment or education. It ultimately isn’t an effective tool to help employers flag lies about work history or college degrees. 

These details must instead be checked using verification checks. There are a few different types of verifications available from, including employment history, education, professional licensing or certification, and reference checks.

What costs are involved in criminal record expungement?
Each state charges different fees. If you take the free eligibility test, all fees will be shown prior to you making any commitment.
What do education history checks show?
Similar to employment history, education history is a resume detail that employers may want to verify about their candidates. Education verification can be crucial for pre-hiring due diligence, especially in academia or in jobs requiring specific degrees or credentials. You can check our product page for education history checks to learn more about how they work and why they are important in the background check process.
What does it take to set up a new account with
You can register a new account online now. Registration takes minutes. Then you can get your first instant report about 2 minutes later.
What is a background check?

When most people think of a background check, they think of a simple criminal history check. In truth, though, most background checks entail much more than that. 

Defined simply, a background check is the tool employers use to vet their candidates as thoroughly as possible. This process involves looking at criminal records, but it can also entail education and employment history, civil records, professional references, etc. A good background check shows a wide variety of information. Note that background checks can take several days to process, so planning and knowing what information you want to check is essential for ensuring a timely service.

Why is each of these types of information important? In the case of a criminal history check, learning about a person’s background may be vital to keeping your company, your employees, and your customers safe. Employment and education verifications help ensure that applicants have the skills and experience necessary to perform the job at hand. Some background checks can even verify whether applicants are truthful about their identity – and whether they are wanted internationally. 

Call these processes what you will: background screenings, background checks or pre-employment screenings. Regardless of the name, these tools are always there to help protect your company from the risk of a bad hire. Those risks can include bad press, negligent hiring lawsuits, and other liabilities. Most employers believe detailed background checks are worth the cost of admission to minimize these risks.

One important thing to note here is the importance of identifying information for background checks. Most criminal records are filed by name, which can be a stumbling block given how many people share common names. Knowing other details about a candidate – such as their birthdate, Social Security Number, or where they live – is vital to help make sure records belong to your applicant. These extra pieces of identifying information can also help background check providers pull records associated with a candidate’s aliases or prior names, including maiden names.

What offenses can be cleared with MyClearStart's expungement service?
Each jurisdiction is different so take the free eligibility test to find out.
What shows on a civil history check?

A civil history background check is an entirely different matter than a criminal background check. Where criminal cases are brought to court by the state, civil cases are brought instead by the alleged victim. For instance, if someone sues their neighbor over a property damage claim, that case becomes part of the civil court history for both the plaintiff and the defendant. A civil background check would therefore turn up information about that case.

Note that there are two types of civil history background checks: county and federal. To understand what shows on these different civil history records, read our blog post on the matter.

When I order a standard package, can I add other reports and checks?
Yes. During your automated ordering process, we suggest optional reports and checks you may want to consider. You can add them to your order before you complete it.
Who does your data come from? has the #1 criminal conviction records database in the industry, based on a comparison of the number of sources of conviction data for online criminal conviction databases that make their source list publicly available. Our sources include hundreds of direct sources such as county courts, state administrative office of the courts, state department of corrections and many more. We also use third party data providers which allows us access to billions of records, thus improving the quality and volume of your results.
Why does my record still show up on a background check report even after the judge ordered it expunged or sealed?
Since many courts and agencies do NOT proactively inform the public of expungements, a person may obtain a court order expunging or sealing a record but that order may never be received by the criminal record database companies, who are a source of criminal record information to many of the background screening companies in the US. Consumers that engage with the MyClearStart program and the attorneys from our partner can rest assured that, once the offense has been officially expunged or sealed, the lawyer also works to remove the records from proprietary criminal databases at the nation's largest criminal record database providers that have joined forces in the Expungement Clearinghouse. And for people that already have an expungement, our partner can now offer you an additional service that will expedite the removal or modification of your criminal record. The Expungement Clearinghouse expedites the updating of information provided to over 500 commercial background screening providers in the U.S. by securely sharing data about expunged criminal records with participating member companies. The clearinghouse provides a faster and more coordinated approach for consumers, their attorneys, courts and other sources to efficiently disseminate information about criminal records that have been cleared or updated by the courts to the commercial background screening industry. Having MyClearStart handle your case means that you will have the security and confidence in knowing that you have an experienced and licensed attorney working to make sure your record is cleared by the court to the fullest extent possible as fast as possible and removed from private criminal databases. We have partnered with The Law Firm of Higbee & Associates to offer you this service.
Why must I pay a fee to set up an account?
When you order reports, we must certify that you are a business with a permissible purpose to request such data. To check your credentials, we have to order verification information from sources that charge us a fee. Our registration fee pays for those charges.

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