What Background Checks Reveal

By: Kat Saks August 12, 2012
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Maybe you are a potential employer who needs to know more before hiring someone. Maybe you're a lender who needs to vouch for someone's reliability before issuing a loan. Maybe you're just a curious acquaintance.

Whatever your reasons, when you want to get to know someone a little better and a good old-fashioned conversation just won't cut it, consider running a background check.

A criminal background check can reveal important information about a person's past and present. Read on to find our more about what a criminal record check can tell you.

What Information Appears In a Background Check?

A background check can provide a wealth of information about one's past, including, but not limited to:

  • Driving records, including traffic violations.
  • Vehicle registration information.
  • Credit records.
  • Criminal records, including details on a person's criminal history.
  • Outstanding warrants.
  • Social Security number.
  • Attendance at educational institutions.
  • Records of past court appearances.
  • Workers' compensation information.
  • History of bankruptcy.
  • Character references.
  • Neighbor interviews.
  • Medical records.
  • Any property ownership.
  • Military service records.
  • Any applicable state licensing on file.
  • Drug test reports.
  • Past employers.
  • Personal references.

The amount of information available through criminal background checks might seem surprisingly extensive, but most of this information serves as part of a person's public record.

Keep in mind that the extent of information available in a background check can vary by provider. For example, you might receive different information from a state law enforcement agency than you would receive from a federal law enforcement agency. Third-party vendors also provide robust criminal record reports and background checks.

Consult with your vendor of choice to determine the extent of information you'll receive when you run a background check.

Have you ever run a background check? Why? What helpful information did you find? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

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