A state search is used to discover criminal records in a specific state. Adding a state search to a background search package can provide you with additional coverage to find potential criminal records outside of a candidate’s home county.
Information returned in a state search can include the following:
- Defendant’s Name
- Case Number
- Charge Classification (Felony/Misdemeanor)
- Charge Type
- Disposition (Guilty, Dismissed, etc.)
- Disposition Date
- Sentencing Information
State record quality
When looking at a report, you may see a state search with results reading: More research was conducted due to state record quality.
Why would you see this message? In some states, Checkr may need to kick off a county search based on incomplete information in the state search.
The extent and quality of the state search varies by state:
- True Parity: Some states search every single county within the state.
- Partial Parity: Some states search most counties, but not all.
- Non-Parity: Some states search only a few counties within the state.
Due to varying state laws and practices, not every single county within a “Partial Parity” or “Non-Parity” state reports to a statewide repository. Each state database also functions differently.
The county courthouse, not the state database, is the source of truth for most criminal records. Each of the 3,200 counties in the US decides how to make its records public. In most states, many counties do not make their data available for an aggregate true statewide search.
For maximum thoroughness, we recommend running this search in addition to, rather than instead of, a county search. The best practice is to search county by county and add statewide searches where there is either true or partial parity.
Not all states have publicly available records. Checkr will not run state searches on the following unavailable states:
- New Hampshire
- West Virginia
US territories American Samoa (AS), Guam (GU), Northern Mariana Islands (MP), Puerto Rico (PR), US Virgin Islands (VI) are available as part of the state search. A US territories search is not enabled by default. If you wish to enable these searches for your account, work with Checkr Customer Support to add these territories to your package. When configured on your package, Checkr will trigger a US territory search when indicated by the candidate’s postal code, or addresses returned by the SSN trace.
The state search must be run in conjunction with the basic report package. The state search is unavailable as a standalone search.
Candidates will be asked to provide Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including their full name, date of birth, social security number, email address, and phone number.
They will then be presented and asked to acknowledge receipt of applicable forms and notifications, including a Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and an Acknowledgement and Authorization for Background Check.
After the candidate consents, Checkr will initiate the search.
If a US territories search is required, an exception will be triggered to gather additional candidate information, which may include:
- Government ID
- Current address
- Address in country
- Place of birth
- Mother’s maiden name
If you've applied for a job and want to know your background check’s status, log in to the Checkr Candidate Portal.