New York State Background Check

A state criminal history search is a type of background check. These tools access a state-maintained database or repository of criminal records. Most states have a database that compiles records reported by individual county courts. This database provides a broader perspective than a county criminal history check.

This New York State background check uses the NY Office of Court Administration database. Employer soften use county searches in local areas for vetting. They  then flesh out their criminal record checks with state searches.

Data Coverage Map

This check returns any criminal records from New York counties that regularly report to the OCA. Such counties may include:

At, we're proud to process state criminal history searches in 44 states, including New York.

Restrictions and Limitations

Always review your responsibilities under federal, state, and local law. As you prepare to vet job applicants, it is vital to understand the regulations employers face in this state. You may have responsibilities beyond those outlined in federal law, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Many states or their cities enact their own employment laws. New York has numerous rules employers should know before screening any candidates. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most significant regulations.

Ban the Box

“Ban the box” rules change how and when employers ask criminal history questions.

In 2015, New York’s governor signed a law banning the box for state agencies. Concurrently, New York was the fourth state to adopt “fair chance” employment policies. This law applies only to state employers and determines that state agencies can't ask candidates about criminal histories until after conducting an interview.

While the state limits policy to public agencies, other areas have additional rules. If you're hiring within such an area, study the rules. You must abide by those rules when using this product, especially in New York City.

Since New York City passed the Fair Chance Act, city employers, private companies, and licensing agencies with more than four employees are prohibited from criminal history questions on job applications. Further, a conditional job offer was required before employers could conduct a New York State criminal record check. In 2021, New York City amended this law further.

Employers in NYC may not use a criminal background check until they complete other screenings. To check a candidate's job history or educational credentials, you must do so through a background check. Employers must use a list of criteria to evaluate criminal records. NYC employers must consider facts such as:

  • The relationship between the conviction and the specific job.
  • Whether the individual was 25 or younger at conviction.
  • How severe the crime was.
  • Evidence of good behavior or rehabilitation.

New York City has some of the most restrictive measures in the state. However, they aren't the only place to adopt a ban the box law. Other counties and cities have their own ban the box regulations, too. These include:

  • Albany County
  • Duchess County
  • Suffolk County
  • Tompkins County
  • Westchester County
  • Ulster County
  • Buffalo (also applies to private companies)
  • Ithaca
  • Kingston
  • Newburgh
  • Rochester (also applies to private companies)
  • Syracuse
  • Yonkers

Ensure you've complied with local laws before ordering New York state court records.

Credit History Check Limitations

This New York state criminal history check does not include credit data. Such reports require a separate order. New York state does not broadly restrict using credit histories for hiring purposes. However, New York City does. Employers in NYC can't use credit reports for hiring.

Arrests and Convictions

Employers in New York may not consider non-conviction arrests when hiring. At, we do not include arrest records in our database, including this New York background check. Employers should only consider conviction information instead—non-conviction arrests do not indicate guilt.

Employers can use conviction histories in their hiring decisions. However, there are restrictions for all employers with ten or more employees. State law prohibits denying a job based on a conviction except in some circumstances. The qualifiers include:

  • Whether the type of conviction directly relates to the job.
  • Whether the individual would pose an “unreasonable risk” to the public, employees, or property.

To make such determinations, employers must look at numerous factors. These factors are similar to the more detailed factors laid out in New York City. They include elements such as the age of the conviction, its severity, and subsequent history.

What Shows Up on a New York State Background Check?

What may be reported on a New York State Office of Courts Administration Background Check? Our reports may include the following information.

  • Jurisdiction of record
  • Case number
  • Defendant
  • Charge
  • Filing date
  • Degree of offense, such as misdemeanor
  • Disposition
  • Disposition date
  • Sentence

How Far Back Does a New York State Criminal History Check Go?

By law, New York state only provides records of convictions younger than seven years. If the job pays more than $25,000 or more per year, however, this restriction does not apply. There is no restriction on how far back employers may look for many jobs. Unless sealed or expunged, convictions remain indefinitely on an individual's criminal record. For roles worth more than $25,000 annually, applicants should expect all convictions to appear in their report.

Strengthen Hiring Processes in New York

Employers can learn more broadly about job applicants with a New York state background check. After checking local county records, expanding to the entire state is prudent. Ensure you do not miss any important or potentially relevant records in your search. Get started today and improve your background screening processes with fast, reliable tools.


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