Virginia State Background Check

A hiring decision is among the most essential choices an employer makes. Assembling a team for a Virginia-based business that can achieve your mission requires careful selection. Documents, from job applications to individual resumes, play a role in deciding whether applicants are suitable. However, you should look beyond the basics of someone’s qualifications and education. Confirming they don’t pose a risk to your business or others is advisable. A Virginia state background check is a helpful tool to achieve that goal. Here’s what to know before you conduct background checks.

Data Coverage Map

What’s Involved in a Criminal Background Check in Virginia?

Crimes within a state undergo prosecution by county courts, not the state itself. Courts prosecute crimes within their jurisdictions, usually within each county’s borders. These circumstances mean job applicants could have a record in different places. Employers usually order or use an address history trace to see all counties an applicant has called home. These locations are ideal for criminal records searches associated with the individual.

However, you can’t be sure that this step alone will reveal all of an individual’s records. A broader Virginia criminal records check often helps. These county courts in most states, including Virginia, report conviction records to a state-level database. Here is the repository database run by the Virginia State Police. All counties in Virginia report to this database, including Fairfax County, Virginia Beach, and Prince William County. At, we offer state criminal checks in 44 states, including Virginia.

Know the Rules About Virginia Background Check Regulations

Like other states, Virginia regulates how employers may use background checks and public record elements reported by them. There are federal, state and local rules to know, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Employers should be aware of these laws when the job warrants a credit history check. Before you order a Virginia background check for employers, you must be sure you have a compliant policy. Here are a few primary areas where you’ll need to develop procedures.

Arrest Records

Virginia does not prohibit employers from considering non-conviction arrest records in pre-employment background checks. However, it is rarely sensible to do so. Many human rights organizations and even the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission caution against basing decisions solely on arrest records. Non-conviction arrests don’t represent guilt. They may also disproportionately affect some groups. Their usage in the hiring process may constitute discrimination; even careful use is too risky. Therefore, never reports non-conviction arrests and does not include them in our database.

Expunged Records and Criminal Records Checks

State law prohibits employers from asking candidates about expunged criminal or arrest records. Employers requiring candidates to disclose information about expunged records may be found guilty of a misdemeanor crime. At, we do not report sealed or expunged records on a Virginia criminal history check.

Ban the Box and Fair Chance

Virginia has no local or state level ban the box laws relating broadly to criminal convictions. Only public employers in the state are subject to some local ban the box rules. Otherwise, employers are generally free to use job applications to ask questions about prior convictions. The only exception currently relates to cannabis usage. Employers can’t ask applicants to disclose whether they have ever been convicted of marijuana possession. This rule includes job applications, interviews, and when the individual is in your employ.

How Much Time Does it Take to Get VA State Police Criminal Background Check Results?

The turnaround time on a background check in Virginia may vary, and different employers may have different experiences. When going directly through the State Police to run a fingerprint background check, results may take 30 days to arrive.

However, fingerprint background checks are not inherently more thorough or reliable than other types of screening. Instead, they’re usually legislated requirements for specific jobs. While you should still achieve compliance in this area when required, other, faster options are available.

For example, the instant criminal history search scours over 650 million records and photographs for matches to your subject. This report is ready within minutes or even seconds—letting you quickly develop an initial impression of a job applicant.

In virtually every case, these results are as fast as you need them to be. However, there may be times when delays beyond our control occur. When searching state databases directly, technical and logistical problems may create delays. We always advise customers of any potential delays.

How Far Back You Can Find Criminal Records in Virginia

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, some non-conviction information cannot appear on consumer reports after a specific time. In general, this is known as the seven-year rule. Non-conviction arrests and other information won’t appear on a report after seven years. However, this rule does not apply to convictions. Likewise, Virginia has not enacted laws prohibiting acknowledging convictions older than seven years. Therefore, employers may consider an applicant’s entire record, regardless of the age of the oldest convictions.

Be aware that the current EEOC guidance may warn against such actions. The EEOC encourages employers to consider the age of the conviction as a factor in its relevance to the job. A conviction from 15 years ago without any subsequent crimes may not be as relevant as one that is the start of a long rap sheet.

What Shows Up on a Virginia Background Check?

Different county court records may include varying levels of detail about crimes charged and convicted in their jurisdiction. Here’s a quick list of some of the standard terms and items you may see on an individual background check report:

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

Use this information to evaluate your job candidates optimally.

Build Your Screening Process Today

When hiring in Virginia, a state background check is an essential tool in your kit. These solutions can help cast a wider net to uncover information you may otherwise miss. When combined with other background check services from, building a comprehensive approach to your hiring process is simple and easy.

With online resources about the types of background checks to learn and built-in compliance support within our tools, using background checks legally and effectively is within easy reach today. Find out more about how to get started today and place your first order at your convenience.



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