• Disclosure and consent for background checks

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    Before initiating a background check, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires you do the tasks below:

    • Certify to the consumer reporting agency (CRA) your permissible purpose to order background checks.
    • Provide a standalone disclosure to the candidate explaining the scope of the background check you're ordering. States and localities might also require you to provide certain disclosures before ordering a background check.
    • Obtain the candidate's written authorization to order a background check for them. This authorization is also called a consent form.

    Consult your legal counsel about your compliance responsibilities under relevant federal, state, and local laws.

    Provide proper disclosure

    Before ordering a background check, the FCRA requires you to provide certain documents to candidates. These documents include a standalone disclosure explaining the scope of the background check you're ordering. The document should be clear and conspicuous to the candidate and include only the disclosure. You should avoid adding the examples below to the standalone disclosure:

    • Application effectiveness periods
    • Disclaimers of accuracy
    • Liability waivers
    • The candidate's consent to the background check

    Adding content to the standalone disclosure is a common legal risk.


    Some states, such as California, might require standalone disclosures or other specific disclosures, notices, and formatting.

    Consult your legal counsel to confirm your disclosure complies with laws relevant to your operations.

    Obtain the candidate's consent

    How you obtain consent depends on how you order background checks. Select a section below:

    When a candidate begins the background check process through a Checkr invitation link, they enter personally identifiable information. Checkr provides template disclosure notices and consent language on 3 separate screens in the order below:

    1. A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act: This document explains the candidate’s rights.
    2. Disclosure Regarding Background Investigation: This document is the default standalone disclosure under the FCRA.
    3. Consent form: This document is where the candidate provides written consent to the background check process. The candidate electronically signs with their full name. The name the candidate signs must match the one they entered earlier in the process. Checkr stores a PDF of the signed form.

    Evergreen consent is a candidate's ongoing permission to order background checks while they’re with your organization. For candidates with evergreen consent, you don't complete the full consent process for every background check you order. Checkr’s template consent form includes evergreen consent language. Consult your legal counsel to confirm your consent form complies with laws relevant to your operations.

    Checkr recommends configuring your implementation of the Checkr API to collect the information below:

    • A unique user name and password associated with the candidate
    • The candidates full name from a signature field
    • A PDF with the data below:
      • Candidate's IP address
      • Date
      • Timestamp

    In an audit, you might need to provide copies of each candidate’s consent form for at least 5 years.

    Evergreen consent through the Checkr API

    Evergreen consent is a candidate's ongoing permission to order background checks during their time with your organization. For candidates with evergreen consent, you don't have to complete the full process for every background check you order.

    The consent form often includes evergreen consent. As a courtesy to customers, Checkr offers template consent forms with evergreen consent language. States and localities might have different evergreen consent requirements. For example, you might consider obtaining consent for every background check you order for California candidates. The FCRA allows for evergreen consent, but California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) is more ambiguous. Consult your legal counsel to confirm your consent form complies with laws relevant to your operations.

    Withdrawn consent

    Checkr won't order a background check on a candidate who withdrew their consent to background checks.

    Sometimes a candidate wants you to order a background check after they already withdrew consent. The candidate must sign a new consent form.

    Candidate experience

    The candidate provides the personally identifying information (PII) below:

    • Birth date
    • Email address
    • Full name
    • Phone number
    • Social Security number (SSN)

    The candidate then reads and acknowledges receipt of applicable forms and notifications:

    • A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
    • Disclosure Regarding Background Investigation
    • Other state and required disclosures as applicable
    • Consent for a background check

    After the candidate signs the consent form, Checkr starts the search.

  • Order a candidate's report

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    How you order reports depends on whether you're ordering a candidate's first report or you're ordering a report for an existing candidate.

    New candidates

    Use the steps below to invite new candidates by email:

    1. Select "Order background check."
    2. Set the candidate's location.
    3. Select the radio button for "The candidate."
    4. Enter up to 200 email addresses, and select Continue. Checkr sends emails with invitation links.
    5. Select a package and optional additional searches.
    6. Review and then submit your order.

    If your account has a hierarchy and at least one node, you can invite candidates by node.

    By default, Checkr sends the invitation every day for 7 calendar days until the candidate takes an action below:

    1. Authorizes the background check.
    2. Unsubscribes from the invitation.

    To change the frequency of sending invitations, contact Checkr.

    After 7 days, the invitation expires. You can cancel an invitation before it expires.

    Existing candidates

    To order another report for a candidate, use the steps below:

    1. At the top right of the report, select "Order new report."
    2. Select a package for the new report and request a new report for this candidate. New reports use the same candidate-provided PII as the original report and can't include packages that need more information.

    You can order a maximum of 3 reports for the same candidate in a 24-hour period.

    Duplicate candidate information

    Checkr checks for duplicate personally identifiable information (PII) for the reasons below:

    • Help prevent multiple candidates from using the same PII.
    • Help identify mistakes in candidate-provided PII.

    Duplicate SSNs

    Checkr blocks multiple submissions of the same SSN within 30 days.

    To submit the same SSN twice within 30 days, contact Checkr to remove the SSN block. You can then create a maximum of 2 candidates with the same SSN in a 24-hour period. To re-enable the SSN block, contact Checkr.

    Duplicate driver licenses

    You can create a maximum of 2 candidates with the same driver's license within a 24-hour period.

  • Manually order a candidate's report

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    Checkr doesn't enable manual orders by default. To enable manual orders, contact Checkr.

    To manually order a background check from the Checkr Dashboard, use the steps below:

    1. Select "Order background check."
    2. Set the candidate's location. Candidates must be in the United States.
    3. Select the Myself radio button.
    4. Select Continue.
    5. Select a package and optional additional searches.
    6. Review and then submit your order.
    7. Enter the candidate's information, and select Continue.
    8. Select whether to send the completed report to the candidate.
    9. Select the checkbox to confirm that your background check order complies with applicable laws and your agreement with Checkr.
    10. Select Submit.
  • Manage continuous searches

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    The Continuous checks page of the Checkr Dashboard has three tabs:

    • Bulk action
    • Ineligible persons
    • Driver record reports (DL 414)

    The "Ineligible persons" and "Driver record reports (DL 414)" tabs appear only for accounts with Continuous MVR (motor vehicle record) enabled.

    Bulk action

    Use the "Bulk action" tab to perform bulk actions, check their status, and download processing errors.

    Start a bulk action

    To start a bulk action, use the steps below:

    1. From the "Bulk action" tab, select "Start bulk action."
    2. Select a continuous product and an action to perform.
    3. Confirm that your CSV file meets the requirements below:
      • Case-sensitive column names in the first row
      • A column called “candidate_id”
      • Each row with the individual's Checkr-assigned unique candidate ID
      • Fewer than 500,000 rows
      • No personally identifiable information (PII)
    4. If your account uses nodes, confirm that the CSV file also meets the requirements below:
      • A column called, “state code,” for 2-character United States abbreviations (example: TX)
      • A column called, “custom_node_id” (also known as a custom ID)
    5. Select the Submit button to upload your CSV file. If the file doesn't meet the formatting or size requirements, an alert appears.

    If you’re enrolling or updating individuals, select the checkbox that certifies the tasks below:

    • You provided required disclosures to all individuals.
    • You received proper consent from all individuals.

    Some states charge a fee for each driver enrollment.

    After the bulk action finishes processing, you receive a confirmation email.

    Enrollment history

    The "Enrollment history" section lists the status of each bulk action:

    • Processing: The bulk action is processing.
    • Complete: The bulk action finished processing with no errors.
    • Review: The bulk action finished processing with errors.

    When the bulk action has errors, you can download an errors CSV file from the Errors column. The errors CSV file has the information below:

    • The individual's Checkr-assigned unique candidate ID
    • Error reason

    You can download the original bulk action CSV file from the File column.

    Ineligible persons

    The "Ineligible persons" tab lists drivers removed from Continuous MVR because of an error.

    When you enroll a driver in Continuous MVR, the driver license information comes from a previously completed MVR report (Continuous MVR prerequisites). States can remove enrollments for invalid or outdated personally identifying information. Continuous MVR errors can happen immediately after enrollment or up to 30 days later.

    The Ineligible persons tab shows all individuals removed from Continuous MVR in the last 30 days and the information below:

    • Removal date
    • Candidate ID (Checkr-assigned unique ID for the individual)
    • Individual’s name
    • Error reason

    You can download the last 90 days of your account’s error history. If you need more than 90 days of errors, contact Checkr.

    California drivers only: Driver record reports (DL 414)

    Checkr interacts with the California Employer Pull Notice (EPN) program so that you can monitor the driver’s records of people who drive for you.

    A driver’s record, also called driver license (DL) printout (DL 414), has the information below:

    • Abstracts of convictions
    • Accidents
    • Driver license application information

    You can search for DL 414 documents by candidate ID and DL 414 creation date.

    To download a PDF of a candidate's DL 414 documents, click the Download link in the "DL 414 Form" column.

    For compliance purposes, Checkr provides an audit log of each time someone downloads a DL 414 document. To download an audit report log, select "Download audit report."

  • Subscribe to recurring background checks

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    If your Checkr account has a partner integration, this feature might be unavailable. To determine whether your account supports this feature, contact Checkr.

    With subscriptions, you can order recurring reports on a candidate. You can create subscriptions only for candidates in the United States.

    To use subscriptions, you must first obtain evergreen consent from the candidate. This one-time consent informs the candidate that you'll order ongoing background checks. Many organizations include this information in their initial consent form. Other organizations use a new disclosure each time. Check with your counsel for state-by-state guidance.

    After you obtain evergreen consent, use the steps below:

    1. Open the Candidates page of the Checkr Dashboard.
    2. Select the report or invitation you want to add a subscription to.
    3. In the "Post-hire safety" section, select "Add subscription."
    4. Select the checkbox to certify that you received evergreen consent from the candidate, and then select "Add subscription."
    5. Select a package.
    6. Enter a start date for the subscription.
    7. Enter the monthly interval for the subscription. To order a package annually, enter 12. The next occurrence automatically populates based on your monthly interval.
    8. Check your work, and select Save. To add more subscriptions, select "Add subscription" and complete the information for each new row.

    After you enable subscriptions, you can track candidates with active subscriptions from the Candidates page in the dashboard. From the advanced filters in the Search section, select Subscription as the monitor type.


    From the dashboard, you must manage subscriptions individually. You can mass subscribe or unsubscribe candidates from a subscription only using the Checkr API.

  • How long do most background checks take?

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    Are you applying for a job or undergoing a background check? If so, please visit our Candidate FAQs to see answers to our most common questions or get help with your background check. This article is for employers who use Checkr.

    The industry average turnaround time for most background checks is between 3-5 business days. However, some database screenings, such as National Criminal Records Checks and Sex Offender Registry Checks, may be returned in minutes. The number of screenings, employer and candidate location, and required searches (such as fingerprint checks) may also affect the timing. You can use the Checkr Dashboard to track the progress of a candidate's report.  

    Below are approximate timelines for how long common background checks take. For more details about the turnaround time for each search, refer to How long does a background check take? 

    Type of search

    Average turnaround time

    Employment background check
    (a more comprehensive report that typically includes multiple screenings)

    >1 hour to 1-5 days

    Criminal background check

    1-3 days

    Employment verification


    1-3 minutes (quick verification) to 2-7 days (manual entry)

    Reference checks

    2-5 days

    Driving record (MVR) check

    >1 hour to 1-3 business days

    Drug testing

    10 minutes (onsite) to 3-10 days (lab-based)

  • Can I cancel a background check?

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    A background check cannot be canceled or deleted once a candidate has given consent and authorization. To avoid the cost impact of unintended background checks, be certain to define an escalation process to use when your team requests the cancellation of an outstanding invitation.

    If you would like to cancel a background check that has not started processing yet (an invitation), Admins and Requesters can do this from the Checkr Dashboard. Refer to the How do I cancel an invitation? article on the Help Center. 

    Related articles:






  • How do I cancel an invitation?

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    I sent an invitation to an incorrect email address. Can I cancel it?


    Reports with an Invitation Sent status can be canceled by users with access to the report (Users, Requesters, Admins, Restricted Admins). To cancel: 

    1. Open the candidate’s report in the Checkr Dashboard.
    2. Select Cancel Invitation.

    Once the invitation is canceled, the candidate will no longer receive background check invitation email reminders. Checkr is unable to cancel reports once the background check has started processing. To send a new invitation to the correct email address, refer to the Order a Report Help Center article. 


    The “delete candidate data” feature is designed in accordance with the CCPA and should be used only when a candidate requests that their data be deleted. See When should I use the delete candidate data feature for more information.

    Related articles: 

  • What does the background check invitation look like?

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    Email invitations will be sent from support@checkr.com and will look like the example image below:


    For more information, refer to Checkr's Candidate Experience Overview.

  • Can I edit the emails sent to candidates?

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    Checkr can assist in editing the following:

    • Welcome message
    • Disclosures
    • Authorizations
    • Adverse Action pages

    Please note that Checkr is unable to edit the email invitation that is received by your candidates. Refer to What does the background check invitation look like? for details regarding the content of the invitation email. 

    Checkr is also unable to customize drug screen consent forms.

    To update any of the areas in the bulleted list above, we'll first need to gather authorization. Contact Checkr Support to initiate your request. We’ll send you an authorization addendum to your customer agreement and forms that will allow you to outline the changes you would like to make.

    When submitting your initial request to Check support, please ensure you let us know who will be signing the authorization addendum by including their:

    • First Name, Last Name
    • Email Address
    • Title

    Once the authorization addendum has been completed and edits have been shared with Checkr support, we'll pass your updated forms to our Compliance Operations team for review.

    To learn more about the apply flow, see Disclosure and authorization: gaining consent to run background checks


    Checkr does not provide legal advice and we encourage you to consult your legal counsel to ensure compliance.

    Related article:



  • Can Checkr expedite the background check process?

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    We need a background check expedited. Can Checkr fast-track the report?


    Checkr is unable to expedite a background check.

    When the background check is taking longer than expected, the likely culprit is a pending county criminal records check. Some courts are inundated with thousands of requests daily and lack electronic records systems. 

    Checkr is subjected to the same due process as any other consumer reporting agency or member of the general public. Keep in mind that courts are closed on weekends, holidays, or for inclement weather.

    While we have reduced turnaround times significantly with our proprietary software, we may not receive preferential treatment when waiting for public records. 

    For more information, also see Why is the background check taking so long?



  • What should I put in the work location field?

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    A candidate's work location is required for international searches and for all Checkr accounts that have a hierarchy with at least 1 node. Providing the work location helps ensure compliance with the applicable local or state regulations when sending background check authorizations to your candidates.

    Domestic searches

    For domestic searches, the work location is the city-state pairing where your candidate will be performing their work. However, there are a few scenarios that may require consideration: 

    • My candidate will be relocating upon hire. When choosing a work location, should I select their current or future work location?
    • If the candidate works remotely, do I select the business location or the candidate’s home location when choosing the work location?

    For the bulleted scenarios listed above, we recommend selecting the location with the strictest reporting requirements. For example, New York typically has more stringent reporting requirements than Connecticut and may report less. If you have a candidate who works remotely in Hartford, Connecticut, but will sometimes travel into an office in New York City, New York, select New York City, New York, as the Work Location. For more information on state-specific reporting requirements, refer to How do background check reporting requirements vary by state?

    Checkr will already have the candidate’s home address as part of the candidate flow, either because the candidate completed Checkr’s hosted flow or because you imported the ZIP code using the API. With that information, we can apply the proper compliance filters based on their home address and the organization’s business location.

    Legal disclaimer

    This information doesn't constitute and isn't intended as legal advice. Consult your legal counsel about your compliance obligations and best practices.

    International searches

    For international searches, the work location is the country where your candidate will be performing their work.

    Related articles:

  • Why is a Social Security Number (SSN) required, and what does Checkr do with it?

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    A Social Security Number (SSN) is required to identify addresses or aliases that a candidate has used, and to serve as pointer information for additional searches. Using the SSN, Checkr can find locations where candidates have lived or worked, using existing data from credit bureaus and other databases. 

    If there is an SSN-related exception, then Checkr will reach out to the candidate to collect additional information. The most common reason an exception would be generated is when the candidate submits information with a typo.

    Lastly, the SSN can sometimes assist in determining whether a particular record belongs to the candidate if the SSN is available in the court file. 

    The SSN trace is not the same as SSN verification. In other words, while SSN traces can identify the candidate’s addresses and aliases, it does not ensure that the candidate is the person whom they say they are. Identity verification is best performed by the company that directly engages the candidate (e.g. the employer or contracting company).
  • What does the "SSN already taken" error mean?

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    By default, Checkr prevents the creation of duplicate candidates with identical Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for 30 days. If you try to create a duplicate candidate where SSN has been collected, Checkr will issue an error message: SSN Already Taken.

    To submit the same SSN twice within 30 days, contact Checkr to remove the SSN block. You can then create a maximum of 2 candidates with the same SSN in a 24-hour period. To re-enable the SSN block, contact Checkr.

    Related article:


  • What if a candidate does not have a Social Security Number?

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    There are screenings that do not require a candidate to have an SSN, such as Motor Vehicle Records and Education Verifications. However, if your candidate is a U.S.-based individual and they do not have a valid SSN, Checkr is unable to complete a criminal background check. Additionally, Checkr cannot accept an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).


    This response is specific to domestic (US) background screenings. For more information about international screening requirements, visit the International Screenings section of the Checkr Help Center.

  • What if a candidate doesn't have their physical Social Security card?

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    If the candidate is asked to provide a photo of their physical Social Security card, and the candidate does not have their Social Security card, they must contact their local Social Security Administration (SSA) office and request one of the following:

    • A new copy of their SSN card, or 
    • An ‘SS-5 - Numident record,’ which can be used in place of the Social Security card

    Once either of these documents is obtained, candidates may upload an image via the Candidate Portal.

  • The "Order background check" button in my dashboard is not working - what is wrong?

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    New accounts must be credentialed by Checkr’s Customer Support team before they will be allowed to run background checks. We use the information provided in the signup process to assess the validity of the business and its permissible purpose. The invite candidate button will be disabled until the credentialing process completes, which usually takes less than 1 business day.

    See Get credentialed to run background checks for additional details.


  • How do candidates submit documents for their background check?

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    If Checkr is unable to complete a background check with the credentials that a candidate provided (such as their name, date of birth, driver license or other important identifying information), candidates may be required to submit a form of picture ID or social security card to continue processing their background check.

    In Checkr, this is known as an Exception.

    To protect candidate's sensitive information, Checkr cannot accept documents via email. Instead, Checkr automatically emails candidates when a document is required. We provide a secure link to a secure website (Checkr's Candidate Portal) where the candidate can upload a photo of the required document.

    If candidates' reports are suspended due to a discrepancy, please do the following:

    1. Ask the candidate to check their email for the secure link to upload their document, or to visit the Candidate Portal to upload it at any time.
    2. If they cannot locate the email, log into the Checkr Dashboard and go to that candidate's report. Look for the verification link found beneath the exception on their report.
    3. Once a sufficient photo of the required document is submitted, it will be reviewed and the report will be updated within 24 hours.


  • Lookback periods and reportability: How far back are criminal records searched, and what records will appear?

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    This article will help you:

    • Recognize what is included in the scope of a lookback period for criminal searches
    • Understand why you might see a longer or shorter time period for certain records

    One challenge of interpreting a background check is understanding the “lookback period” for the scope of a search versus what is reported on the criminal history section of the report. In other words, the question you may ask is, “How far back are records searched during a background check, and why would or wouldn’t I see certain information on the report?”

    The answer to this question depends on the process used to search for records in multiple jurisdictions (such as county and federal jurisdictions), as well as the applicable legal requirements for that jurisdiction.

    What’s included in the scope of a county criminal search?

    Most of the United States’ 3,000+ counties make their records publicly accessible dating back at least seven years. Here “publicly accessible” means the records are available to be searched through a digital Public Access Terminal (PAT), a year-by-year index, or with assistance from a court clerk.

    A common lookback period for county criminal court searches is to search for possible records that date back the last seven years, although in most states, a company may request searches that look for records beyond seven years.   

    What’s included in the scope of a federal criminal search?

    Federal records are searched using the Federal Judiciary’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. Records are typically available dating back indefinitely, depending on the electronic-record keeping practices of a particular jurisdiction. 

    Why might the records that appear on the report be different from the lookback period?

    There can be limitations in the age of the publicly available records. Each court jurisdiction maintains (and makes available) their records based on their own procedures, so the records that are available can vary depending on the court. For example, some county courts might only provide only 7-10 years of record information, while other county courts provide much older records. 

    There are also rules that affect what records can be reported on a background check. For example, there are rules for reporting convictions vs. dismissed records, or records that were ultimately expunged or sealed. 

    Some states limit the searching or reporting of criminal record information to seven years depending on the candidate, job, or employer/partner location. That means that even if the search looks for records going back indefinitely, only records from the last seven years can appear on a report. States that generally have a seven-year limitation include:

    • California
    • Kansas
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Montana
    • New Hampshire
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • Washington

    For these states limiting the scope of how far back records can be searched or reported, the question of “what defines X years” can be complex to answer. For example, "seven years" could be defined as:

    • Seven years from the date of disposition (like the conviction date); or 
    • Seven years from when the person was released from incarceration.

    Depending on the availability of information, the seven-year counting period often begins on the later of these occurrences.

    Can the lookback of a search or what is reportable change based on industry?

    Certain regulated industries, such as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), may be  required to enhance their search scope to the adult lifetime of an individual and may be exempt from state rules limiting the searching or reporting of information to seven years. These searches are referred to as “indefinite lookback” searches. Indefinite lookback searches can vary from county to county with respect to what can be retrieved.

    We recommend that you consult with your counsel to review your policies, procedures and compliance requirements as it pertains to industry-specific lookback requirements of criminal record searches.