• How do I start my background check?

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    Question

    What do I need to do to begin the background check process? 

    Answer

    The company you applied with will send you an invitation, most likely through email, prompting you to begin your background check. This email will look similar to the image below. Upon receiving this email, click Start Background Check to begin the background check process. 

    If you are having trouble finding the email, be sure to check your Spam folder before reaching out to the company you applied with. 

    mceclip2.png

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  • What is a pre-employment background check?

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    Question 

    What is a pre-employment background check? 

    Answer

    A pre-employment background check is the collection of an individual’s information or records from private and public sources. An employer may obtain information about you from a third party consumer reporting agency for employment purposes. These reports may contain information regarding your credit history, criminal history, motor vehicle records (“driving records”), verification of your education or employment history, or other background checks.

    Your rights are considered and protected by applicable federal, state, and local regulations. 

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  • What information will I need to provide?

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    Question

    What information will I need to provide for a background check to be run on me? 

    Answer

    You will need to submit your personally identifiable information (PII). This includes:

    • Full name (including middle name)
    • Date of birth
    • Social Security Number
    • Current zip code
    • Phone number
    • Email address

    Depending on the role you are applying for, you may be asked to provide additional information like your driver’s license, highest degree earned, or passport number.

    Note

    Checkr cannot accept an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If you don't have an SSN, please contact the company you are applying to.

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  • How long does a background check take?

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    Question

    How long do background checks typically take? 

    Answer

    The industry average turnaround time for most background checks is between 3-5 business days but can take longer than estimated depending on the depth of the search, geographical location of candidates, or county courthouse operations. 

    Most database-related searches (for example, SSN Trace or National Criminal Records Check) are completed within a few seconds because those records are typically available electronically/online. 

    More comprehensive or other types of searches generally take longer. For example, a county records search in a jurisdiction where assistance from a court clerk is required can take several days or even weeks if the court is experiencing backlogs or delays in assisting to complete a search. Or a search that requires validating information that is not available online,  such as an education or employment verification that requires contacting an individual or an organization, may take a few days or even longer to receive the results. 

    The best way to stay updated on the status of your background check is to check the Candidate Portal.

    Looking for more information?

    Information regarding turnaround times for non-U.S. background checks can be found in the following Help Center article: How long does a non-U.S. background check take? 

  • What information shows up on a pre-employment background check report?

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    Question

    What information shows up on pre-employment background checks? 

    Answer

    Pre-employment background checks can reveal a wide range of information about a candidate’s past, including their work history, education, criminal history, and more. Each company has different requirements, which means each company 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 records 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.

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  • How far back are records searched during a background check?

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    Question

    How far back are records searched during a background check?

    Answer

    The company that you applied with determines how far back to search for records on the background check. A common lookback period for background checks is seven years, although in most states, a company may request searches that look for records beyond seven years. 

    Some states limit the age of the records that can appear on a background check to seven years, such as:

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

    Please note that certain regulated industries are required to look back more than seven years and may be exempt from the rule limiting the reporting of information to seven years. For example, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) in California are required to look for records older than seven years and thus background reports for TNCs may include information older than seven years.

    For limitations on how far back records can appear on a background check, 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.

    If you have questions about how a lookback period was selected or what the eligibility criteria is for a role, please contact the company that you applied with. Checkr prepares background reports for its customers and does not make engagement or hiring decisions. 

  • Why do I need to provide my Social Security number (SSN)?

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    Checkr’s customers often request an SSN Trace as the first screening run in any background check. This screening returns a list of your previous addresses, and any other names you may have used based on your credit and banking history. Checkr uses the information returned from the SSN Trace to initiate subsequent screenings as requested by the company ordering your background check report.

    Your SSN will be truncated and encrypted in our protected databases.  

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  • What if I don't have a Social Security number (SSN)?

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    There are screenings that do not require you to have an SSN, such as Motor Vehicle Records and Education Verifications. However, if you are a U.S.-based candidate and you do not have a valid SSN, Checkr is unable to complete a criminal background check. Please reach out to the company you applied to if you have any questions. 

    Note

    Checkr cannot accept an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

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  • What if I don't have my physical Social Security card?

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    If you are asked to provide a photo of your physical Social Security card, and you do not have your Social Security card, you must contact your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office and request one of the following: 

    • A new copy of your 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, you may upload an image via the Candidate Portal.

  • Can I run a background check on myself?

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    Yes. Better Future by Checkr gives candidates the opportunity to request a background check on themselves for free. We believe that everyone has a right to know what information of theirs could come up during the employment process. Better Future is the first and only online product that allows consumers to get a preview of what an employer might see on a background check. 

    To get your free background check today visit BetterFuture.com

    Reminder

    Background checks provided through Better Future are only for use by consumers/candidates. They cannot be used for determining any person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you’re a business and need to run a background check, please use our business product provided through Checkr, Inc.