Background checks can reveal a wide range of information about a candidate’s past, including their work history, education, criminal history, and more. Each organization has different requirements, which means each organization may have different screenings with different scopes to help make an informed choice. For example, ride-sharing companies may order a motor vehicle record screening in addition to criminal record screenings.
Information that may be included in your pre-employment background check includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Reportable criminal records, according to state and federal law,
- Reportable Motor Vehicle Reports (MVRs): MVRs return data from at least 3 years back, though some state agencies report older violations,
- Employment verifications: verification of employment over the past 10 years, and
- Education verifications: verification of the highest degree obtained.
Select a frequently asked question to view each answer.
The organization you applied to determines how far back to search for records on your background check. Organizations can ask Checkr to look back seven years, ten years, or even more.
If you have questions about the lookback period for your background check, contact the organization you applied to. Checkr prepares background reports for organizations and does not make hiring, engagement, or retention decisions.
Seven years begins at the "context date," which can vary based on what information courts and other sources of records include.
Most states allow the reporting of convictions indefinitely. A report can include convictions no matter how old.
The states below generally limit the reporting of convictions to only the last seven years:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
In some of the above states, reports for certain companies include convictions older than seven years because of rules that affect reports for regulated industries.
Most states limit the reporting of non-convictions to only the last seven years.
A non-conviction could include the case statuses and outcomes below:
- Alternative adjudication
- Deferred adjudication
- Dismissed cases
- Not-guilty verdicts
- Formal abandonment of prosecution
The states below prohibit the reporting of non-convictions:
- New Mexico
- New York
Additional state-specific guidelines
- Marijuana misdemeanors: Non-felony (misdemeanor) convictions for marijuana possession in California can only be reported for two years from the disposition date.
- Transportation network or rideshare companies: In California, background checks for transportation network and rideshare companies can report convictions older than seven years.
Background checks for transportation network and rideshare companies in Maryland search the person's "entire adult history," including convictions older than seven years.
In Kentucky, pending criminal cases are never reportable. Background checks in Kentucky never include pending cases.
Under the FCRA, arrests can show up on a background check for seven years from the date you were arrested. However, some states entirely prevent arrests from being reported. These states include California, Kentucky, New York, and New Mexico.
Checkr cannot determine what the organization you applied to will do if arrest information appears on your report. Remember that Checkr is not involved in the hiring process and does not evaluate the information returned on your report. Please contact the organization you applied to with questions about how it uses the information returned on your report.
If you have an arrest or conviction record, Better Future by Checkr gives you the opportunity to request a free background check about yourself.
The short answer to this question is “it depends.”
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is considered a criminal offense in many places. That also means that it may appear on a criminal background check or motor vehicle record (MVR) check.
Whether or how a DUI shows up in a background check report can depend on whether there has been a conviction for the DUI or if it is still a pending case. Criminal searches can show pending cases. DUIs are less likely to appear on an MVR if the case is still pending.
Better Future by Checkr
If you have an arrest or conviction record, Better Future by Checkr allows you to request a free background check about yourself.
We believe that everyone has a right to know what information about them could come up during the employment process. Better Future is the first and only online product that allows people with arrests or conviction records to preview what an employer might find on a background check.
To get your free background check today, visit BetterFuture.com.
Background check reports provided through Better Future are intended only for people who have arrests or conviction records. These reports can't be used to determine eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you’re a business and need to order a background check, use our business product provided through Checkr Inc.