Checkr runs a National Criminal Database search as a routine step in background checks. This search queries 1,800 databases and over 30 million records, to cast a wide net and find potential offenses. However, the records returned are often incomplete, lacking identifying information and/or the final disposition of what actually happened -- for example, whether the case was dismissed.
Because these records are often incomplete, Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) like Checkr and end-users of background reports must perform additional steps when processing results from a National Criminal Database search. Namely, they must either:
- Pull the record from the reporting jurisdiction (usually a county courthouse), or
- Alert the subject of the report (the candidate) that potentially adverse information exists and may be delivered to their would-be employer
These obligations are outlined in Section 613 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Most CRAs comply with Section 613 by pulling the court record at the source.
Unlike other CRAs, Checkr surpasses the requirements by both pulling the court record and notifying the candidate that potentially adverse information exists. The notification that we send is known as a “Contemporaneous Notice” or “613 Notice.”
Additionally, once a "hit" is identiifed in the National Criminal Database, Checkr automatically upgrades the report using County Level Verification. This means that Checkr dispatches researchers to the county where the national criminal search shows a possible record to obtain:
- Additional identifiers to confirm it belongs to the individual in question
- Complete and up-to-date case information (e.g., disposition, status)