Overview

How long do Background Checks Take?

As with anything, how long the background checks take depends on which specific service you choose and how that service is done. Many searches simply require the company to enter the relevant information into a database, yielding instant results. However, most services take longer due to the need for a live record search. A few services require a combination of database and live searches and some take a more unique approach.Instant, database-driven searches include criminal history searches, credit history, name and address history, national security lists, sex offender registry and SSN verification/trace searches, while live searches include county, state and federal criminal history.

An important factor to consider is which company you choose. A company that has an interface with a county will take less time to search that court than a company that has to send someone to the physical courthouse. Then you have to consider where you are requesting the information from. Records from a Department of Motor Vehicles can be accessed instantly in many states, but can take three days in others.

Instant criminal searches

backgroundchecks.com offers you the #1 criminal conviction database in the industry (Based on comparison of the number of sources of conviction data for online criminal conviction databases that make their source lists publicly available). The results are returned instantly, unless the order contains a request to verify matching records with the source before reporting them.
Because California, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota and Indiana currently require us to verify criminal matches found during our instant search directly at the source before reporting them, we are prevented from providing criminal records instantly in these five states. Read more about our US AliasVERIFY check.

Live court house searches

Traditional direct court record searches like county, state and federal criminal history searches take place at the source. For courts that limit record access to on-premise access, we have a nationwide network of experienced criminal record researchers who know the local courthouses and court clerks and actually go on site to retrieve the county records you are searching for. In some counties such a “court runner” can perform the record search on the counties public terminal at the courthouse, but in some other counties the court runners have to fill out a record search form and wait on the court clerks to perform the search. To speed up turnaround time, we access county criminal records through electronic court interfaces wherever possible.
The typical turnaround time for the most common searches are listed below:

County Criminal: 1-3 days (exceptions exist for some limited access areas)
Statewide Criminal: Varies by state (due to limited access areas)
Federal Criminal: 1-3 days
National Wants and Warrants: 1-2 days
County Civil: 3-5 days
Federal Civil: 2-3 days
Bankruptcy Reports: 1-2 days

Other searches

Some services require phone interviews. Those include education and employment verification as well as reference checks. How long each of these services takes also depends on a few other factors. The average we have been able to achieve for the most common verifications are listed below.

Employment Verification: 2-3 days
Education Verification: 2-3 days
Professional License Verification: 2-3 days
Reference Checks: 2-3 days

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