This article will help you:
- Understand what happens in a US State Criminal Records Check
- Decide when to include US State Criminal Records Checks in your background check package
- Pair State Criminal Records Checks with County Criminal Records Checks for maximum thoroughness
- Understand how to enable a search of US territories
- Understand your candidate's experience
What happens in a US State Criminal Records Check?
A State Criminal Records Check is used to discover criminal records in a specific state. Adding a State Criminal Records Check to a background screening package can provide you with additional coverage to find potential criminal records outside of a candidate’s home county.
Information returned in a State Criminal Records Check may include the following:
- Defendant’s Name
- Case Number
- Charge Classification (Felony/Misdemeanor)
- Charge Type
- Disposition (Guilty, Dismissed, etc.)
- Disposition Date
- Sentencing Information
What is state record quality?
When looking at a report, you may see a State Criminal Records Check with results reading: More research was conducted due to state record quality. See county searches.
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 Criminal Records Check 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. For example, New York's state database includes reports from all counties, but California's does not.
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.
Does a State Criminal Records Check include US territories?
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 Criminal Records Check. 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 zip code, or addresses returned by the SSN Trace.
The State Criminal Records Check must be run in conjunction with the basic report package. The State Criminal Records Check cannot be run as a standalone Screening.
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 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 Check.
- Government ID
- Current address
- Address in country
- Place of birth
- Mother’s maiden name
If you've applied for a job and are looking for more information on your background check’s status or progress, please log into the Checkr Candidate Portal.