Minnesota State Background Check

Careful hiring practices can contribute to a safer and more productive workplace, and performing state-level background checks on prospective employees can be an important aspect of this process. Some job roles require these checks by law; in other situations, employers simply wish to work with all the facts available about an applicant.

Be mindful that using these records for employment must occur in accordance with the regulations of your state. Employers in Minnesota can request these checks but must do so in line with a series of restrictions. backgroundchecks.com can process state background checks for 45 states, including Minnesota.
Data Coverage Map

What may be reported on a Minnesota criminal history search?

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

Within the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension acts as the state’s central criminal history repository. The BCA processes all applications for a Minnesota state background check. Such reports will contain statewide information, including data from Ramsey, Hennepin, Anoka, and Dakota counties.

Criminal Record Restrictions

The primary restrictions surrounding record usage in Minnesota concern a statewide ban the box law, described below, which pre-empted some similar local regulations and established a broad framework for the state. Several restrictions apply to certain classes of sealed records and certain criminal circumstances. Employers requesting a background check for the purposes of determining eligibility should be aware they must clearly alert the applicant of their intent to conduct such a check. Please consult the following guide for applicable restrictions.

Sealed Records

Certain criminal records, including all classes of misdemeanors and a small subset of felonies, may qualify for sealing under Minnesota state law. These expunged records become unavailable for employers and will generally not appear on background checks. Information contained in these records is considered inadmissible for employment decisions. In addition, other actions may be expunged as well. Arrests or convictions in which the applicant chose to participate in a pre-trial diversion program may be expunged, as can juvenile convictions and “not guilty” adjudications.

Arrest & Conviction Records

Employers may consider arrests and convictions but only in accordance with the state’s law banning the box. Employers may not request any information on these types of records on an application except for positions for which the law mandates a criminal background check, such as for a property manager’s maintenance team or police work.

Ban the Box Legislation

Initially, restrictions on criminal background checks for employers were limited to the public sector by a law passed in 2009. In May 2013, the governor of Minnesota signed into law a sweeping expansion that brought private employers into the fold, unified the law regarding background checks across the state, and established stiff penalties for violators. Checks may only be made after an initial interview or after an employment offer if you choose not to undertake an interview process. Other requirements still on the books include considering the relevance of a conviction to the position at hand. As with the other regulations in the state, these limitations are overruled in cases where the law mandates a background check.


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