What Shows up on My Background Checks?

I really wanted to know what would show up on my background checks. I also personally believe that everybody should know this, because it is increasingly likely that someone will check your background as well. That could be an employer, a provider of finance, a landlord, or even a potential date. However, exactly what will show up depends entirely on the type of screening and why it is being done. Let’s take a closer look!

What Could Show up on My Background Checks

One of the checks that people often request is the criminal record check. This will show:

  • Past arrests, up to seven years ago.
  • Convictions following arrests.
  • Court records such as judgements, decrees, orders, and dockets.
  • Outstanding warrants.
  • Sex offenses.
  • Incarceration records.

These checks are regulated by the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act), however. As a result, a criminal background check cannot include non-conviction arrests older than seven years or civil suit results. Criminal convictions, however, are usually on record for life. However, certain states, including California, will hide them from employer background checks after seven years for most jobs.

Another important check is the SSN (Social Security Number) validation. Employers will use this to determine that someone is in fact allowed to work in this country. This check will show the address history and name associated with an SSN.

Then, there is the sex offender registry. This register is maintained in every state and the information contained on it is publicly available. Additionally, there is the national sex offender registry in which details about sex offenders in every territory, tribe, and state is maintained. Of course, these offenses will also show up during a criminal background check.

It is also possible to have a credit report checked. However, employers can only do so with explicit permission in writing from the applicants. They will not be able to see a credit score, but they can see:

  • Whether any accounts are up for collection.
  • Past bankruptcies.
  • Outstanding loans.

The FCRA also regulates this, which means that bankruptcies older than 10 years or collection accounts older than seven years are hidden.

Driving records can also be checked. Exactly how that can be done varies from one state to the next. Sometimes, checks can be run for the past 10 years, sometimes only up to three.

Other records that can be checked include work history, educational records, character references, drug test records, and so on. Every state has its own rules in place in terms of what can and cannot be shown, however.

So What Will Show up?

What will show up on your personal background check depends on where you are, who is checking, and what the check is for. Sometimes, every available check will be made, whereas others are often only interested in a criminal history or finance check. If you are being subjected to a background check, therefore, it is very important that you find out why and what will be looked at.