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Statewide Background Checks vs.
National Background Check

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January 04, 2010 Return to News & Events

County Criminal Background Checks & Statewide Background Checks
vs. National Criminal Background Check

Why there are advantages to using county and statewide criminal checks and why the best
solution maybe to incorporate a screening policy that uses both!

Statewide criminal background checks (with the exception of 4 states) currently can be performed in seconds through a background check provider like  Statewide criminal background checks are currently the most popular criminal background check.  Statewide criminal checks in Wyoming, South Dakota, Massachusetts and Delaware either take days to complete or have to be researched county by county within the state.  County criminal background checks can be performed in all US Counties and take between a few hours to multiple days to complete.

Statewide background checks (at least those offered on include other free searches in addition to checking court criminal records (usually felony or misdemeanor convictions).  These additional free searches pull data from the Department Of Corrections DOC, national sex offender registry (this is a 50 state search) and other independent databases like the International Terrorist Database.  Criminal records found in a statewide background check and the national criminal background check can go as far back as 70+ years.

There are over 3,100 counties in the USA (including parishes and atypical communities) and every standard county criminal background check researches the past 7 years of the person being investigated.  In some cases you may be able to have a court researcher go back 10 years. However, employers typically use the 7-year county criminal check as a standard and can not just periodically run a  10-year county criminal check on some applicants as that would make their employment screening policy inconsistent. can perform county level criminal background checks in ANY United States County and has court researchers available whenever courts are open.

Here is a question that gets asked a lot along with the answer: 
Why would you order a county criminal background check or statewide criminal background check when you can order a national background check

Some of the main reasons include the following:

  • National criminal background checks cost more to perform
  • National criminal background checks currently do not include all 50 US States
  • National background checks are not as current and accurate as a county level criminal background check

It is standard policy for employment screening customers to first run either a statewide background check or national criminal background check; and then if a record is found that needs further clarification, will conduct a county level criminal background check in the county in question FOR FREE for their monthly billed employment screening clients.  Then the results of the county check goes to the employer and they now have the most current and accurate record available and can therefore make a hiring decision based on it. premier members (members who meet certain requirements – like specific volume amounts) get billed monthly, get discounted pricing and are offered other special features and benefits that can help keep them efficient and effective.  Employment Screening customers get a platform that assists them to be compliant along with documents such as, “Your Rights under the FCRA” and “Adverse Action Letters” etc… offers these documents and others like them to its employment screening customer’s every day.

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