Alabama State Background Check

State-based criminal record searches are a valuable tool for employers as they choose safe, qualified, and reliable candidates. These background checks rely on government-created and maintained databases or repositories of court records, police filings, and other data on criminal proceedings. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency maintains this repository for the state and a service called ABC, or the Alabama Background Check System. This system requires the submission of fingerprint data for a subject undergoing a background check. can process state background checks for 45 states, including Alabama.

Why Do Alabama Employers Use Background Checks?

There are several key reasons why employers rely on background check products during the pre-employment process. In some cases, it is a matter of law, such as when employers fill positions involving the oversight of children or large amounts of money. In other cases, it is a matter of due diligence. Employers use a criminal history screening to:

  • Better understand an applicant’s history
  • Avoid potentially unsafe hires if an applicant’s history includes crimes related to the type of job 
  • Meet legal obligations

What may be reported on a state criminal history search?

  • Jurisdiction where record is recorded
  • Case number
  • Defendant
  • Charge
  • Filing date
  • Degree of offense, like misdemeanor
  • Disposition
  • Disposition date
  • Sentence

This search consults records from the entire state and includes coverage of counties such as Jefferson, Mobile, Madison, Baldwin, and Montgomery.

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.

State Rules Regarding Criminal History Inquiries for Employment

Many states implement restrictions on when or how employers may use background checks, including “ban the box” laws. Alabama does not have any such rules in place. Only one city, Birmingham, has a ban the box rule, and it only applies to the city’s internal hiring procedures. Otherwise, employers have the freedom to consult any criminal history records that they obtain and make employment decisions based on that information. 

Alabama citizens receive the protections afforded by federal legislation such as the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The FCRA is a federal law passed in 1970. Originally designed to protect consumer rights when dealing with creditors, the FCRA today includes guidance and restrictions on how employers can use background checks. These mandates include stipulations such as:


  • Employers must provide a standalone notice to applicants that they may need to complete a background check.
  • Employers must obtain written consent for the check.
  • Employers must alert applicants of adverse action before it takes place, provide a copy of the report, and give applicants enough time to dispute the report, if necessary.

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