Individual Background Checks

Individual background checks verify a candidate’s employment history, in some cases contacting previous employers to confirm details. They also check for licensing and credentials in professions that require specific qualifications.


These searches look for reported criminal records from county, state and federal sources. They can also include information from civil court records.

Employment History Verification

When hiring for a new position, companies need to verify the information applicants provide about their previous employment. This can be done in a few different ways. Some companies do employment verification themselves, calling each past employer and asking them to confirm the candidate’s job title, dates of employment and the tasks they performed. This is typically a time-consuming process for the company and may require someone to be available and on call to handle the numerous calls.

Other companies use professional background screening firms that specialize in employment verification services. They have access to a database of information and can quickly contact the former employers using an automated system. This helps to reduce the time it takes to get the information and shortens the time it takes to hire.

An employment verification background check can help an employer decide if an applicant is qualified for the job or if they should be rejected for the position. It can also reveal if the candidate has misrepresented their credentials or claimed to have more experience than they actually have.

It is important to note that a background check cannot include any information that would violate HIPAA, such as a person’s health or disability status. It is also important to choose a CRA that has low rates for verifications they are unable to complete.

Criminal History

When someone has contact with the criminal justice system, it creates legal records that follow them for the rest of their lives. These are commonly known as a person’s criminal history and can impact an individual for a number of reasons, including employment, security clearance, adoption, immigration/international travel, visas and licensing.

Criminal background checks will reveal a person’s felony and misdemeanor convictions and arrests that have not been expunged. These searches can typically go back seven to 10 years, depending on the job and state law. In New York, for example, a person’s criminal history will show all convictions, regardless of when they were committed. In addition to criminal record searches, many investigations will also include a search of civil records such as tax liens and judgments.

An increasing number of people are running background checks on themselves in order to get a clearer picture of what employers, schools, and other entities may see when they conduct a search. These personal background checks are often conducted by individuals looking to secure a new job, apply for a mortgage or rent an apartment, or simply gain peace of mind. This practice is also becoming more common with family members and friends who want to know the truth about their loved ones.

Motor Vehicle Records

A motor vehicle records (MVR) check searches an individual’s driving history through their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The report provides information such as traffic violations, major accidents, and points on the driver’s record. In addition, MVR checks can provide insight into whether an employee’s or applicant’s license is valid and if it has been suspended, revoked, or restricted. MVRs are often required for jobs that involve driving or operating heavy machinery, and can be an important part of a comprehensive background check.

There is no centralized database for MVR checks, and each state has its own laws that determine how far back a search can go. For this reason, MVR screening results can vary greatly from one state to another. The best MVR checking services are those that offer a single source of data to help hiring managers understand and interpret the results.

MVR checks are considered consumer reports and are subject to the same Fair Credit Reporting Act protections as criminal background checks. As a result, employers must obtain consent from an applicant or employee prior to requesting an MVR. Depending on the position, this can be as simple as signing a release form or providing proof of identity. A company can also request an MVR for its own employees, but must comply with the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act and non-discrimination rules set by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Credit History

As the name implies, this part of a background check examines an individual’s credit history or consumer reports. It includes information like bankruptcy, judgments, current debt, and more. This isn’t typically used for employment checks, but can be a useful component in evaluating financial integrity and stability.

Many background check services have limitations on how far back they will go in checking an individual’s criminal record, with the most common limit being 10 years. These limits are based on state laws and may differ between services. It is important to discuss these limitations with your chosen service provider, so they can be made aware of any potential problems and take steps to ensure they will not be flagged by an outdated or incomplete data point.

Depending on the type of position you’re hiring for, you may need to expand your search to include additional checks such as reference checks, education verification, and drug screening. In most cases, you will need to have the candidate sign a disclosure and consent form to allow these checks to be conducted. GoodHire uses a digital and mobile-optimized process that makes this step easy for both candidates and employers, with ongoing updates and clear copies of results for all parties. This helps you make an informed decision without putting your company or the candidate at risk.