Products FAQs

Are instant criminal searches accurate and thorough?
An instant criminal search is only as accurate as the state, local or federal agency reporting the data. We have limited control in their update frequency as it is set by and varies by each data source’ this ranges from as frequently as daily to semi-annually. For a source specific update frequency we recommend you explore our interactive coverage map, which lists the update frequency in the source descriptions. With that said, 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 and pride ourselves on typically updating our database with new records within five days of receipt. Moreover, criminal records and subject demographics will vary based on the data source. For instance, some data sources provide full dates of birth while others may only provide year of birth or none at all. Information associated with criminal records also varies such as: plea, disposition, degree of offense, etc… In some cases the data source provides obscure or very few details about the record.
Can you just search the web to find all past employers?
No, such search options do not exist.
Can you just search which school my applicant attended?
You may refer to the learning center here.
Can you provide a CDL report?
Yes, as part of a driving record report, we report the license class, which could be CDL.
Can you verify all past education on their resume with one search?
You may refer to the learning center here.
Do I need permission for a reference check?
You may refer to the learning center
Do I need to have a copy of the license or certificate to order a verification?
No, you do not need a copy, but we do ask for the name of the issuing organization, the license number, license type, state of issuance, date the license or certificate was issue and when it expires.
Do I require an account to receive an Instant Criminal+ report?
Yes. We do require all businesses to register for an account before a report can be sent. You can read more about registering for an account here. Once your account has been verified, your instant report will be accessible in your portal.
Do you have a comprehensive overview of all state and local restrictions on credit checks and credit history inquiries?
You may refer to the pdf here
Do you have an overview of the access costs that each state charges?
No, these vary by state and are subject to change without notice. These access charges range from a few dollars to over $20. Before you finalize your order, we will show the exact access fee for that state at that time.
Do you report divorces?
No, divorces are not reported on any criminal history search.
Do you report traffic violations as part of civil searches?
No, we do not.
Do you search the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or a different system?
We carry out a system-based real time multi-jurisdictional warrant search.
How do I start promoting the MyClearStart program?
Anybody wanting to promote the program can simply link to Upon request, we also provide a sample set of promotional banners and the MyClearStart logo that you can use on your site. You are free to share this promotional material with others who wish to promote the program. For more information, contact MyClearStart by email
How long does it take to receive a report?
The typical turnaround time to return a county criminal report ranges from 1 to 3 business days. In some instances, it may take longer.
How many references should I check?
You may refer to the learning center
Instant Criminal+ and Instant Criminal+ Local County screen for similar things. How are the 2 different?
Both searches are instant in our database, but Instant Criminal+ Local County also includes the option to search in a criminal database of a local jurisdiction where the subject has lived most recently. We recommend Instant Criminal+ Local County because it’s more thorough than Instant Criminal+.
Instant Criminal+ Local County and Instant Criminal+ All Counties screen for similar things. How are the 2 different?
Both searches are instant in our database, but Instant Criminal+ Local County also includes the option to search in a criminal database of a local jurisdiction where the subject has lived most recently. Instant Criminal+ All Counties will allow you to search more criminal databases, typically 1-3 different jurisdictions. We recommend Instant Criminal+ All Counties because it will confirm more local results with the county criminal courts than Instant Criminal+ Local County.
Is a verified search still instant?
Because California, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota and Indiana currently require us and other consumer reporting agencies to verify criminal matches found during our instant database search directly with the source before reporting them, we are prevented from providing criminal records instantly in these four states. Is a verified search still an instant search? Yes and no. A criminal record search using our US OneVERIFY search option, will still return clear results back instantly, but when we discover criminal records that are a possible match, the system automatically changes the status to ‘in progress’ while our quality assurance department verifies each hit with the respective source. Depending on the number of hits and the response time from each search this can take a few days. Our average turnaround time for a verified search that initially has hits, is 1-3 business days.
Is the MyClearStart program really free?
Yes, the program is free to use for background screening firms and their customers. We will not charge any costs to you to participate in or promote the program.
Packages for industries or sectors?
If your organization is in healthcare, transportation, or construction / manufacturing, you may be more interested in an industry-specific package.
What do you do if the past employer does not exist anymore?
As a last resort we can contact the subject of your search and ask them provide us with a copy of their W-2 for the period of their employment and use that to verify the key aspects of their employment history.
What do you do if the past employer refuses to speak to you?
As a last resort we can contact the subject of your search and ask them provide us with a copy of their W-2 for the period of their employment and use that to verify the key aspects of their employment history.
What do you do if the school refuses to release the information?
You may refer to the learning center here.
What happens when I press the button to place an order for one of the 3 standard packages?
First, we’ll ask if you have an account. If you don’t have one, we’ll show you how to set one up. Here’s what to expect when you place order: You click on a button to start your automated process. You enter the information about the person whose background you’re checking. We call this person the subject of your search. You’ll need your subject’s First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, and Social Security Number (SSN). We’ll run a fast check of the subject’s SSN and verify their prior addresses. If you’re ordering the Instant Criminal+ Local County or Instant Criminal+ All Counties package, we’ll recommend county court criminal searches in and near the counties where the subject has lived. We’ll recommend other optional searches and checks that may be of interest. Before you place your order, you can upgrade to these added searches. We’ll show you the total of running the check.
What is the scope and typical turnaround time on a state criminal record search?
The time it takes to fulfill a criminal search at the state court varies wildly, from one business day to several weeks. Before finalizing the order, you can view a typical turnaround time for each direct court search in our shopping cart. By default a statewide search covers 7 years of criminal record history, but customers can select from a variety of different time spans (such as 10, 20 or 30 years) when they submit their search, provided state law does not restrict such time spans. Do take into account that while our goal is to update our instant database with new counties and new county records regularly, it is possible that a traditional on-premise court house search would provide more up-to-date information and could, for example, show that a criminal record with a pending case status in our instant data base has been recently dismissed.
What should I do when I see an outstanding warrant reported for my subject on your report?
You should contact the agency listed on the report details section of the report and take no further action.
What’s the cost of a county criminal search?
The fee is $12.75 for a search of one county. Sometimes county courts charge added fees. Their fees range from a few dollars to a current high of $95 in New York. Before you enter your order, we tell you how much your search will cost – including all local fees.
What’s the scope of the search?
All of our county criminal searches include convictions for felonies and misdemeanors within the jurisdiction of the county court. All of our criminal searches go back at least seven years. When you place your order, you can choose to extend the search to go back 10, 20, or 30 years. You can extend the search unless laws in the state limit searches to seven years.
Where can I promote the MyClearStart program?
As an employer, you could decide to promote the program in consumer notices that the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires, such as pre-adverse and adverse action letters. But you could equally well decide to present MyClearStart on your site’s career section and application forms or even develop call scripts or email templates for HR staff to use in response to applicant inquiries.
Which county should you order?
Before you place your order, you enter the subject’s full name, address, and social security number (SSN). Our system instantly checks the name and address history of that SSN. From the address history we find, we suggest that you run searches in the counties where the subject has lived. We present these suggestions to you in real time. Then on the order screen, you can choose whether to search in the counties we’ve suggested.
Why are federal criminal records not included in an instant database search?
The federal courthouses do not make their criminal records available to private criminal database operators.
Why do bankruptcy records not show up on a regular federal civil search?
US federal districts handle bankruptcy cases in a separate court. We can carry out a search for any bankruptcy associated with an applicant that is recorded in the specific US District Court that you request. The information returned may include case or file number, date filed, type of bankruptcy (i.e. Chapter 11, Chapter 7, etc.), discharge date, and names listed as petitioners.
Why do county searches take longer than instant searches? And why do search times vary from county to county?
To speed up your delivery, we always try to get electronic access to county criminal records. However, some counties offer electronic access to court records, and others don’t. For the courts that limit electronic access, someone must go to the courthouse in person. For such situations, we’ve assembled a nationwide network of experienced criminal record researchers. Our researchers know the local courthouses and court clerks, and they go on site to retrieve court records. In other counties, our researcher can perform the record search on a public terminal at the courthouse. In some counties, researchers must fill out a record search form, then wait for a court clerk to perform the search. That’s why the duration of the search varies.
Why do I need to sign a special release form to order driving record reports?
Because driving record information is not public record information and we retrieve the information directly from the respective state institution.
Why do the Instant Criminal+ Local County and Instant Criminal+ All Counties packages take 1 to 3 days to deliver reports?
Because we must get records from county courts who do not all provide electronic access to their court records. Some require an in-person visit to the court house which results in more time.
Will a DUI show up on a driving record report?
No, a DUI is not expected to show up. If you specifically want to order a search to uncover possible DUI offenses, we recommend you order a criminal search.

Can't find what you are looking for?

Need Help Choosing the right checks for your organization?


Questions about our products & platform?