Background checks have become an almost essential step in hiring new employees. These checks may also be conducted when someone applies for a position in certain fields, such as governmental areas, that require security clearance. Adoptive parents and students or workers going abroad may also submit to background checks.
Some companies conduct FBI background checks that take a look at official information collected in national databases. The information in one of our checks may include any of the following.
Citations and Fines
Whether a legal citation or fine is included in your background check depends on the type of citation and how the information was processed. For example, most parking fines are processed locally and therefore would not appear on a national check.
A court-ordered fine as part of a criminal sentence may appear on an FBI background check.
Credit History and Reports
Credit history is not automatically included in most FBI background checks. However, if your prospective employer runs a credit check simultaneously, he or she would receive your current credit reports.
A bankruptcy is a matter of public record and may appear on a background check.
Criminal Convictions
Generally, the primary reason background checks are run is to check the applicant’s criminal history. An FBI background check includes a list of all public federal misdemeanor and felony convictions. The check may include basic information about the charge, conviction, and any resulting incarceration.
Convictions that have been expunged or sealed by a judge are not part of your official criminal history and will not show up on a background check.
Additionally, any outstanding warrants will show up on your background check.
Criminal Non-Convictions for the Last Seven Years
In addition to any criminal convictions, recent arrests that did not result in a conviction are also part of your criminal history. These non-convictions are included for seven years, after which they are cleared from your criminal history.
If you were put on probation for a crime rather than convicted, this probation will appear on background checks for seven years. A violation of this type of parole that resulted in legal consequences is treated the same as a conviction.
Housing History
While an FBI background check does not technically offer a complete housing history, it may give your employer a picture of your housing situation for the last several years. The check may include any contact information, including addresses and phone numbers that you used in an official capacity, such as on tax forms.
In some cases, the contact information of your family members may also show up on the check, especially if you have lived in a residence owned by a loved one recently.
Official Personal Information
To establish your identity, an FBI background check includes all the personal information tied to your fingerprints. This information may include:
  • Date of birth
  • Divorces and marriages
  • Current driver’s license or state ID number
  • Legal name
  • Other names, including criminal aliases
  • Property owned
  • Tax liens
If you have gone through the legal process to change any of this information, such as taking your spouse’s surname after marriage, the check will include both the current and former personal information.
Because FBI background checks come from a national database, they may include any information that’s linked to your fingerprints. However, certain minor offenses, like traffic tickets, and any information only reported in the local jurisdiction will not appear because they are not included in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database.
But you don’t have to guess at what your prospective employer sees when they order a background check. You can also obtain your own background information in order to check for any mistakes in the database information.
If you have additional questions about FBI background checks, call a professional company that specializes in background checks and fingerprinting.