Are you applying for a job or volunteering position that requires an FBI background check? Do you need to obtain your Identity History Summary, a “rap sheet”? Understanding the process and requirements can be overwhelming, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about requesting an FBI background check, including where to go, what to bring, and how to submit your request. Let’s dive in!
Definition of FBI Background Check
An FBI background check is a detailed and in-depth search conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to provide a comprehensive overview of an individual’s criminal history and personal information.
A background check is usually conducted to ascertain whether an individual is suitable for employment in specific jobs or industries, especially those that involve positions of trust and security, such as law enforcement, financial services, or childcare.
The background check will also include any felonies, misdemeanors, warrants, or other legal issues that an individual may have had. Furthermore, it will include personal details such as past addresses, education, and employment history.
These checks are also crucial in the adoption process and for people living abroad. Finally, an FBI background check enhances safety and security by helping employers protect their staff, customers, and property from potential hazards. In short, an FBI background check is a critical tool in assessing and evaluating an individual’s character and suitability for various purposes.
Importance of an FBI Background Check
An FBI background check is crucial, especially for employers, to ensure they hire trustworthy and qualified applicants. For certain professions, such as those that require a security clearance, a clean criminal record is mandatory. Background checks are also necessary in the adoption process to ensure that children are placed in safe and stable homes.
Even those going abroad or submitting to specific volunteer programs may need a background check. Verifying personal information, such as identifying individuals with mistaken identities, is also important. Individuals can protect themselves from discrepancies or errors in their background checks by taking proactive steps to ensure accurate personal history.
False identities can have serious consequences, including job loss or the inability to obtain a secure government clearance. Overall, conducting an FBI background check is essential for verifying an individual’s history, promoting safety, and maintaining the integrity of various institutions.
Obtaining Your Identity History Summary Check
Submitting an Identification Record Request to the FBI
Step 1: Complete the Applicant Information Form.
- All persons must sign the form if the request is for a couple, family, etc.
- Include your complete mailing address. Please provide your telephone number and/or e-mail address, if available.
Step 2: Obtain a set of your fingerprints.
- Provide the original fingerprint card. Previously processed cards or copies will not be accepted.
- Your name and date of birth must be provided on the fingerprint card. Fingerprints should be placed on a standard fingerprint form (FD-258) commonly used for applicant or law enforcement purposes.
- Include rolled impressions of all 10 fingerprints and impressions of all 10 fingerprints taken simultaneously (sometimes called plain or flat impressions).
- If possible, have your fingerprints taken by a fingerprinting technician. This service may be available at a law enforcement agency.
- To ensure the most legible prints possible, refer to the Recording Legible Fingerprints brochure.
Step 3: Submit payment.
- Option 1: Obtain a money order or cashier’s check for $18 U.S. dollars made payable to the Treasury of the United States. Please be sure to sign where required.
- Option 2: Pay by credit card using the Credit Card Payment Form. Don’t forget to include the expiration date of the credit card that you are using.
- Important note: Cash, personal checks, or business checks WILL NOT be accepted.
- Payment must be for the exact amount.
- If the request is for a couple, family, etc., include $18 for each person.
- If the request is for multiple copies per person, include $18 for each copy requested.
Step 4: Review the Identity History Summary Request Checklist
To ensure you have included everything needed to process your request.
Step 5: Mail the required items
the items listed above signed applicant information form, fingerprint card, and payment of $18 U.S. dollars for each person or copy requested—to the following address:
FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
Note: Although the FBI employs the most efficient methods for processing these requests, processing times may take approximately eight weeks, depending on the volume of requests received
Rap sheets, also known as Identity History Summary Checks, provide individuals with a listing of certain information related to arrests and, in some instances, military service, federal employment, and naturalization. The data is obtained from fingerprint submissions kept by the FBI and authorized criminal justice agencies.
Generally, suppose the fingerprints are related to an arrest. In that case, the Identity History Summary (IHS) includes the agency’s name that submitted the fingerprints, the date of the arrest, the arrest charge, and disposition if known. Federal law permits using the IHS to review, correct, or update one’s records. Suppose an individual needs to correct or challenge the information on the IHS. In that case, the request must be made to the criminal data repository for the state where the criminal justice agency that submitted the data to the FBI CJIS is located.
You can quickly get your Identity History Summary by visiting a participating location for fingerprints or using the online request option. The cost for an Identity History Summary Check (Rap Sheet) is $18 per person, which doesn’t end with an expiration date, and it will be a helpful tool when living, working, or traveling abroad or for personal use purposes.
Why You Need an FBI Identity Check
Verification of Individual Information
A vital element of an FBI background check is verifying individual information. To ensure the accuracy of the results, it is essential to confirm that the data being used to conduct the check is correct. This process involves cross-referencing information such as name, date of birth, and social security number with various databases and records.
This step is crucial when conducting background checks for employment or other licensing purposes, where false information may be used deliberately or inadvertently. Sometimes, a simple mistake such as a misspelling or typo can lead to inaccurate results that can have serious consequences.
By verifying individual information, employers and organizations can make informed decisions, protect vulnerable populations, and mitigate legal liability. It is essential to select a reputable background check service provider that guarantees the accuracy of their results and follows best practices for maintaining the privacy and security of personal information.
Employer and Agency Requests
Employers and agencies perform background checks on potential employees or candidates to gain insight into their job history and criminal record. This is essential in hiring the best candidates and maintaining a safe work environment.
Whether you are an employer looking to hire the right candidate or an agency seeking to verify the information an applicant provides, Certifix Live Scan offers a quick and efficient solution.
We understand the importance of getting background check results fast, so our Live Scan service provides employers and agencies with results in days or less. We offer various services to meet the needs of different employers and agencies, including real estate, nursing, and sales.
Our Live Scan technicians are dedicated to providing excellent customer service and ensuring the process is quick and easy for all parties involved. Let us help you enhance the safety of your workplace and make informed hiring decisions with our reliable background check services.
Requesting a Correction
It is important to note that the FBI background check is accurate, and mistakes can be made. However, there is a way to request a correction if you believe there is an error in your background check report. If you find an error, you can file a challenge with the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS).
The CJIS has a process for correcting errors and updating your record. It is essential to act quickly and follow their instructions and procedures.
Additionally, if you believe you have been mistakenly identified as someone with a criminal record, it is crucial to take proactive steps to ensure that your personal history is accurate.
This may include keeping up-to-date on your personal information and conducting regular background checks on yourself. By taking these steps, you can protect your identity and maintain peace of mind about your background check.
Adoption is a life-changing decision that requires careful consideration and planning. Potential adoptive parents must undergo a rigorous screening, including an FBI background check. This is to ensure the safety and well-being of the child being adopted.
The adoption agency works with the FBI to gather information about the adoptive parents’ criminal history, including any charges or convictions for child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, or other criminal offenses.
The FBI background check is crucial to the adoption process because it helps identify potential risks or concerns that may impact the child’s safety and welfare. Adoptive parents with a clean FBI background check record will likely be approved for adoption. While adoption requirements vary across states and agencies, an FBI background check is typically mandatory for all adoptive parents.
By getting an FBI background check, potential adoptive parents demonstrate their commitment to providing their child with a safe and nurturing home.
Living, Working, or Traveling Abroad
If you’re planning on living, working, or traveling abroad, it’s essential to be aware of the different requirements and regulations that may be in place regarding requesting FBI background checks. Depending on your destination, you may be required to provide a background check or certificate of criminal records before entering the country or obtaining a visa.
As a U.S. citizen, you can contact the state’s law enforcement agency if a state criminal record check is requested or contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) directly for a national criminal record check. It’s essential to check with the requesting entity to determine what type of record they require and any additional steps you may need to take, such as obtaining an apostille on your documents.
At Certifix, we offer domestic and international fingerprinting services to help you get accurate and timely information for your background check needs. By taking proactive steps to ensure a natural personal history, you can travel and work confidently, knowing you have the necessary documents and background checks.
Need for an FBI Identity History Check
Protecting Personal Identity
In today’s digital age, protecting personal identity has become increasingly important. With the rise of hacking and identity theft, we must take preventive measures to safeguard our personal information. One way to protect our identity is through an FBI background check.
By undergoing this process, individuals can ensure that their personal information is accurate and up-to-date, reducing the risk of mistaken identity or false accusations. It’s also crucial to be mindful of our personal information online, such as avoiding sharing sensitive details on social media and using secure passwords for online accounts.
Monitoring bank accounts and credit reports can help detect suspicious activity and prevent financial loss. Taking proactive steps to protect our identity can give us peace of mind and prevent future repercussions. We can keep our personal information safe and secure by staying informed and vigilant.
One of the biggest concerns regarding background checks is mistaken identity. With so many individuals sharing similar names and birthdates, it’s easy for a background check to pull someone else’s information with a similar name.
This can lead to a false impression of someone’s criminal history and have severe consequences for the individual involved. It is crucial to take proactive steps to ensure your personal history information is accurate and up-to-date. One way to do this is by requesting and reviewing your Identity History Summary Check (Rap Sheet) from the FBI. If there are any errors or mistakes, you can request a correction to ensure that any incorrect information is removed from your record.
Taking these measures will not only help to protect your identity but also ensure that any potential employer or agency receives accurate information when conducting a background check. Remember, prevention is always better than dealing with possible repercussions later.
Taking Proactive Steps to Ensure Accurate Personal History.
Taking proactive steps to ensure accurate personal history is crucial, especially in today’s digital age, where information can easily be accessed and shared. One of the first steps in providing an accurate history is to review one’s credit report and ensure no mistakes or inaccuracies.
Each of the three major credit reporting agencies can do this for free once a year. Other steps could include reviewing criminal records and ensuring they are accurate and up-to-date. It is important to note that any errors or mistakes should be corrected immediately, as they could significantly impact one’s life and opportunities.
Individuals can also take steps to protect their personal information online, such as using strong passwords and being cautious when providing personal information on websites. Taking proactive steps to ensure an accurate personal history can help individuals avoid potential problems and protect their identity.
Proactive and Accurate Personal History
Certifix Live Scan
Certifix Live Scan is a trusted provider of fingerprinting services across the United States. With an expansive network of over 1200 fingerprint enrollment centers, you can quickly get your fingerprints captured for an FD-258 card or Live Scan submission. Enrolling online is quick and straightforward; all you need to do is provide the required information, select your application type, and choose a location for fingerprint capture.
Certifix offers a range of fingerprinting products and services that can be used for both Live Scan submission and ink card fingerprinting. In Florida, our network is available for fingerprint-based background checks, while in California, we can transmit your fingerprints to the DOJ or FBI for a background check.
Our print-to-card system can scan fingerprints and print them onto ink fingerprint cards. With mobile Live Scan fingerprinting services now available in California, our technicians can come to you to complete an ink fingerprint card service or Live Scan submission to Cal DOJ or FBI. With our certified Live Scan system, you can trust Certifix for all your fingerprinting needs.
Personal Use Only
If you’re considering getting an FBI background check for personal use, you must know you can’t just request one alone. As mentioned earlier, the only way to get an FBI background check is through an authorized service provider who will submit your fingerprints to the FBI.
However, there are several reasons why you might want to get an FBI background check for personal use, such as for immigration purposes or to check if your criminal record has been deleted. It’s important to note that these checks are only for personal use and cannot be used for employment or licensing purposes.
Additionally, protecting your personal information and identity is important during the FBI background check process. Make sure to choose a reputable service provider and protect any confidential information you may be required to provide during the process.
By taking proactive steps to ensure an accurate personal history, you can have peace of mind knowing that your information is accurate and up to date.
You Can Read More about: Live Scan Fingerprinting Laws and Regulations: What Providers Need to Know to Stay Compliant
What are some common reasons for an FBI background check?
An FBI background check is a common practice for various employers, government agencies, and individuals to verify a person’s criminal history.
Here are some of the most common reasons why an FBI background check is requested:
- Employment – Employers may request a background check on job applicants to ensure they have a clean criminal record before hiring them. This is particularly true for sensitive healthcare, education, and finance positions.
- Licensing – Professionals such as lawyers, real estate agents, and security guards require a background check before obtaining a license.
- Adoption – agencies typically require an FBI background check for prospective adoptive parents.
- Immigration – Individuals seeking to become US citizens or access certain visa types may need an FBI background check.
- Personal – Sometimes people may request a background check to ensure that all the information on their record is accurate and up-to-date.
It’s worth noting that FBI background checks only report on criminal history, not credit history or financial information. Additionally, minor offenses such as traffic violations might not appear in an FBI background check as they are not considered serious crimes.
How do I submit fingerprints for an FBI background check?
To obtain an FBI background check, you must first submit your fingerprints.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Obtain the required forms: You must download and fill out the Applicant Information Form and the FD-1164 fingerprint form. You can find these forms on the FBI website.
- Get your fingerprints taken: You must have your fingerprints taken by a law enforcement agent or other authorized contractor. You will need to provide two original copies of the FD-1164 form.
- Submit your fingerprints: You can submit your fingerprints electronically or by mail. If you submit them electronically, you can use a participating fingerprinting location or a U.S. Post Office location. If you choose to submit them by mail, you will need to mail them to the address provided in your confirmation email.
- Wait for the results: The FBI will process your fingerprints and provide you with an Identity History Summary Check, a rap sheet, within 5–10 days.
Please note that there is a fee for this service and that the FBI will only accept fingerprints taken on the FD-1164 form. For more detailed instructions, visit the FBI website or contact them directly.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How far back does a live scan background check go?
The live scan results will contain your entire criminal history.
This will not include expungements.
Who can I contact to check the status of my live scan?
You can check the status of your live scan on the Department of Justice Applicant Status Check website: https://applicantstatus.doj.ca.gov/checkstatus which will let you know if it is still processing or if it has been completed. You will need your date of birth and ATI number. The ATI number should be located at the bottom of the live scan form you received after you did live scan.
What if the agency didn’t get the FBI results or background check?
1. Ask if they submit a California live scan.
2. If yes, they have to contact the Department of Justice. Learn More
How can I find my criminal background for personal use?
You can print out a Record Review Live Scan Form, take it to the nearest live scan location and the results would be sent to your address.
DOJ fee is $25, plus a rolling fee at location.
This can be used if you need to visit someone in prison. Learn More
Can an FBI background check be used for immigration purposes?
Yes, an FBI background check is crucial to the immigration process. It is one of the primary background checks conducted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to verify the eligibility of candidates applying for immigration benefits.
What is the purpose of conducting an FBI background check for immigration applicants?
The FBI background check identifies any potential public safety concerns, national security risks, and criminal history of the immigration applicants. The USCIS uses this crucial information to determine whether the applicant qualifies for immigration benefits and poses no threat to the country.
What information does the FBI background check reveal?
The FBI background check conducted by the USCIS mainly focuses on criminal records and administrative records of the applicant in the United States. It provides information about any criminal background, including pending charges, convictions, or arrest records.
Can minors get an FBI Criminal Background Check?
Yes, minors requiring an FBI Digital Fingerprinting can only do so if they have acceptable identification documents at their fingerprinting appointment. If they do not have acceptable identification, they must submit the Pennsylvania Photo ID Waiver for Minors form and one of the listed identification documents for the minor.
What is an FBI background check and what does it include?
An FBI background check gathers information about someone’s criminal history. Employers, adoption agencies, and individuals applying for certain professions often request it. The check is done through the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, where state and local agencies record arrests.
Who might request an FBI background check?
Employers are the most frequent people to request background checks. Many jobs require individuals to maintain a clean criminal record to obtain or maintain employment. Other people who may request a statement include families hiring a nanny, those hoping to adopt a child, or individuals applying for various professions. Sometimes people ask for a background check on themselves to ensure the accuracy of the information being viewed by potential employers.
What personal information is included in an FBI background check?
The check includes personal information tied to an individual’s fingerprints, such as a current driver’s license or state ID number. It may also include contact information used in an official capacity, including addresses and phone numbers. However, credit history is not automatically included, and bankruptcy may only appear if it is a matter of public record.
Can someone obtain their own background check?
Yes, individuals can request their own background check to check for any mistakes in the database information. This can be helpful to ensure that potential employers are viewing accurate information. It is important to note that requesting a background check on oneself does not constitute professional legal advice. If there are specific legal questions, consulting a qualified attorney licensed in the jurisdiction is recommended.
How long does it take to get an FBI background check?
The time to get an FBI background check varies depending on several factors. Requesting an Identity History Summary Check usually takes about 5–10 days from the day the FBI receives your fingerprint card. However, you should allow additional time for mail delivery.
Can I request an FBI background check electronically?
Yes, you can submit your request online for the Identity History Summary Check and the Identity History Summary Challenge. If you choose to do this, you may visit a participating location to submit your fingerprints electronically as part of your request. If not, you can still mail your completed fingerprint card and confirmation email to the address listed on your confirmation email.
What should I include in my fingerprint card?
Your fingerprints should be placed on a standard form (FD-1164) on white paper stock. You must provide a current fingerprint card (not a previously processed one), and your name, date of birth, and signature must be on the fingerprint card. You must include rolled impressions of all 10 fingerprints and impressions of all 10 fingerprints taken simultaneously.
Can I get same-day service for an FBI background check?
Yes, same-day service is available for an additional fee of $50. Same-day service requests are submitted to the FBI the same day the documentation is received, and it is usually completed within 24 hours. However, the cost for same-day service processing requires you to have your results returned either electronically only, with USPS standard shipping and an electronic copy or with UPS expedited shipping only.
Can I have my FBI background check results sent to someone else?
No, the results must be mailed back to you, the applicant, within the United States or its territories. The only instance in which you can have results sent “c/o” to someone else is to your attorney. In this case, your attorney would need to submit a request to us on their letterhead with your and your attorney’s information.
Overall, the timing of an FBI background check varies depending on several factors. Planning ahead and giving yourself sufficient time for the process is recommended. Contact the FBI or a background check agency for any questions or concerns.
How much does it cost to get an FBI background check?
There are two ways to obtain an FBI background check, and the cost varies accordingly. The first option involves filling out an application form and obtaining a set of fingerprints, which can be done through a printing company or a law enforcement agency. You must then submit your request with a payment of $18 via a money order or certified check made payable to the Treasury of the United States, or by credit card. If you need more than one report, you must pay $18 for each report. The entire process can take several weeks.
Alternatively, you can request a fingerprint-based search through the FBI using a company like Certifix. This option offers convenient fingerprinting locations throughout the United States, and you can receive your results securely and conveniently online through their Reports Management Portal. The flat cost of this option is $50.00, which covers Live scan fingerprint collection, FBI fee, and access to the Reports Management Portal to view your report. You must also schedule an appointment to collect your fingerprints, which takes about 5–10 minutes.
It’s essential to note that additional fees may apply if you must schedule an appointment at a non-Livescan site or if you fail to show up for your scheduled appointment or cancel within 24 hours of the appointment time.
In conclusion, the cost of obtaining an FBI background check can be $18 or $50, depending on the method you choose and any additional fees that may apply.
Will an FBI background check show expunged records?
It depends on the state and the specific circumstances of the expungement. In most cases, an expunged record will no longer appear on background checks conducted by employers or financial institutions. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) does maintain its own repository of criminal records, separate from state and local records.
While the FBI cannot expunge a record themselves, they will generally honor a state court’s order to expunge a record and remove it from their database. It’s important to note that some states have restrictions on the disclosure of expunged records, and the level of scrutiny for an FBI background check is typically higher than that of a standard background check.
Can employers see expunged records on an FBI background check?
Usually, an employer will not see an expunged record on a standard background check. However, an FBI background check is more comprehensive and may include information from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Whether an expunged record will appear on an FBI background check depends on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the expungement and state law.
What is the difference between an FBI background check and a state background check?
An FBI background check and a state background check are two distinct types of background checks utilized for different purposes.
When would an employer use each type of background check?
An employer may use an FBI background check for positions that require a higher level of security clearance or for jobs related to law enforcement or national security. A state background check is typically used for more general employment screening purposes and to assess criminal history within a state.
How does an FBI background check differ from a security clearance investigation?
An FBI background check and a security clearance investigation are two different types of evaluations conducted by the government.
What is a security clearance investigation?
A security clearance investigation thoroughly evaluates an individual’s personal conduct, associates, relatives, and other contacts. It is done to determine if an individual is eligible for access to classified national security information without being a security threat.
Who requires a security clearance investigation?
Many federal agencies, particularly those with national security missions, require a security clearance investigation. Agencies such as the CIA, FBI, State Department, and Defense Intelligence Agency often require higher job clearance levels.
When does the security clearance investigation take place?
The security clearance investigation is initiated after a conditional offer of employment has been made and accepted. The type of investigation needed depends on the position’s requirements and the level of security clearance needed.
What information is required to complete an FBI background check?
To conduct an FBI background check, certain information is required. The check is usually conducted to assess an individual’s criminal history and may include a list of all public federal misdemeanor and felony convictions. The check may also include basic information about the charge, conviction, and any resulting incarceration.
Does the FBI background check include non-convictions?
Yes, recent arrests that did not result in a conviction are also part of an individual’s criminal history. These non-convictions are included for seven years, after which they are cleared from the criminal history.
What personal information is included in the FBI background check?
To establish an individual’s identity, an FBI background check includes all the personal information tied to their fingerprints. This information may include their current driver’s license or state ID number. Any changes to this information, such as taking a spouse’s surname after marriage, would also be included in the check.
Is credit history included in the FBI background check?
Credit history is not automatically included in most FBI background checks. However, if an employer runs a credit check simultaneously, they would receive the individual’s current credit reports. Bankruptcy is a matter of public record and may appear on a background check.
How can an individual request an FBI background check?
An individual can request an FBI background check by following the steps under the “Obtaining Your Identity History Summary” section on the FBI website. The request can be submitted online or by mail; the individual must provide a current fingerprint card and pay the fee.
Can more than one person be included in the same FBI background check request?
No, each person must complete and sign a form, with their fingerprint card, for the FBI background check request.
Are FBI background checks considered accurate?
The accuracy of FBI background checks has been a topic of discussion in recent years. While fingerprints used for the background check are unique to each individual, the criminal records associated with them may be incomplete or inaccurate.
What is the process for a fingerprint background check?
Fingerprints are captured digitally from a scanner and stored in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database. This information may be used to identify a person’s birthdate, name, address, employment status, and criminal record, including criminal arrests, charges, and dispositions of cases.
Who uses fingerprint background checks?
Industries such as education, healthcare, and childcare must often include fingerprinting in pre-employment background screening. Millions of Americans apply for positions in these industries each year and are fingerprinted as a part of the process.
Can the results of an FBI background check be appealed or challenged?
Yes, the results of an FBI background check can be appealed or challenged if an individual believes that the information is incorrect or incomplete. According to the Code of Federal Regulations, an individual may request the reason for the denial from the agency that conducted the check, either the FBI or the state or local law enforcement agency serving as the point of contact (POC). The request for the reason for the denial must be made in writing to the agency, and the agency must respond to the individual with the reasons for the denial within five days of receiving the request.
If the individual wishes to challenge the accuracy of the information upon which the denial is based, they may make an application first to the agency, either the FBI or the POC. If the agency is unable to resolve the dispute, they will notify the individual and provide the name and address of the agency that originated the document containing the information upon which the denial was based. The individual may then apply for correction of the information directly to the agency from which it originated.
Additionally, an individual may contest the accuracy or validity of a disqualifying record by bringing an action against the state or political subdivision responsible for providing the contested information or responsible for the transfer or against the United States as the case may be for an order directing that the contested information be corrected or that the firearm transfer be approved.