What Is Needed to Run a Comprehensive Background Check?

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By Paul Marcus

The question of what type of comprehensive background check a person or company should do comes up very often.  There are many types of background checks that can be done but not all of them will give you the necessary protection.  I would like to take a moment to explain the types of searches you may see advertised and then briefly discuss them.

Here are the components of running a comprehensive background check on a prospective employee or individual that you may want checked out for nonemployment purposes:

  1. First, you must have a Release and Waiver Form signed by the applicant giving you permission to run a Consumer Report on them.
  1. The next step in a background search should be to run a Social Security Number Trace which will validate whether or not the Social Security number is a valid number.  This search will not tell you whether the  Social Security number actually belongs to the applicant but it will tell you the validity of the number and show you places in which the person holding that number has resided.  This is very important information to run the needed searches.
  1. The third part of the search is to run a multistate or multijurisdiction alias search which will check and bring up records on persons using that Social Security number.  If there is a hit that comes up in the report, that hit must be checked in the local jurisdiction where it happened.  This is the law under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  A small disclaimer about this search, even though companies will promote and advertise these searches as a “National” search, it does not cover every jurisdiction in the country and not all of the jurisdictions provide the same type of information.
  1. The most important step in the process is to run searches in every jurisdiction the person has resided in the past seven years under the names listed in the Social Security Number Trace and other names you know this person has gone by.  This step is so important because the criminal justice system begins in the county and records are stored in the county.  It has been reported that up to 90 percent of all criminal acts are committed in the county of residence.
  1. There are a couple of other searches that can be done on a statewide system, those being a state repository search and a state court search.  The state court search is the recommended search to run due to the fact that the state repository may be missing important and timely information that the counties may not have reported yet.
  1. The final search that should be run as as part of the criminal package is the Federal Criminal Records Search.  This search will check for persons who may have had charges in the Federal Court System.  Some of the charges that may show up in Federal Court include offenses dealing with weapons, drugs, and money.  This search will not show up on a state, county, or multijurisdictional search.  It has to be run as a stand alone search.

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Paul Marcus is a licensed Private Investigator, TX License Number A13506.  He is the owner of Affordable Searches, LLC, a licensed Investigations Company in the state of Texas, License Number A17778.  For more information, contact Paul by phone at 281-494-6691, by email at [email protected], or visit his website at www.AffordableSearches.com.

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