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DOB and Other Identifiers Removed from Public Records, Potentially Slowing the Background Screening Process; Opines

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July 8, 2021 Return to News & Events

DOB and Other Identifiers Removed from Public Records, Potentially Slowing the Background Screening Process; Opines

Across the country many states are starting to remove key identifiers from public records and the result may be increased time and cost in retrieving these records as related to pre-employment background screening. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of, states: “In Michigan the use of key identifiers such as DOB on public records will end and that will force background screening agencies to make greater use of researchers in order to fulfill key records requests, and a best practice remains for hiring managers to work closely with third-party pre-employment background screening agencies, such as, to remain compliant with new laws governing the use of public records.”

Redaction of personal identifiers will create challenges for hiring managers and HR departments and suggests a best practice remains to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency, such as, to remain up-to-date with changes in background screening and applicant vetting. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of, opines: “Pulling public records from County Courthouses has received a blow as more states are limiting the use of identifiers, such as DOB or CDL numbers, on public records, and this action will have serious implications for vetting applicants.”

Recently, in Michigan, the use of identifiers has become limited by law.

From, a leading industry group for Background Screening, in June 2021 (No specific date provided):

Effective July 1, 2021 Michigan courts will redact date of birth (DOB) from their public records available through courthouses. This change is the result of Michigan’s ADM File No. 2017-28 and 2020-26 adopted by the Supreme Court that the State Court Administrative Office has interpreted to require clerks not to use or provide DOB in searches. This means that only one identifier (Name) will be available on court records. This change will impact all criminal background checks in Michigan until further notice. (1)

Additional courts across the country are beginning to follow the same process highlighted by Michigan’s action, and could create significant challenges to those vetting employment applications.

In California a court challenge ruled that the use of identifiers should be limited.

From on June 28, 2021:

All of Us or None argued that permitting the use of dates of birth and driver license numbers to initiate a search was a violation of Rule 2.507 and sections of the Government Code. (2)

Almeida adds: “Michigan is not the only state to go in this direction. Other states, such as California, have varying degrees of redaction of identifiers. While public record searches will continue, the use of a single identifier (first, middle, last name) will push HR departments and hiring managers to work very closely with a third-party pre-employment background screening agency in order to properly match identities of candidates to public records.” is a third-party employment screening company, an advocate of SHRM, a member in good standing with the PBSA (Professional Background Screening Association) and for over 17 years has maintained an A+ Rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). The company has highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with




Link to Michigan Order:

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