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'Nationwide' Criminal
History Database Check

'Nationwide' Criminal History Database Check
There are no true national criminal history record repositories. 'Nationwide' Criminal Databases are compiled from various sources, including Prior County Criminal Record Searches, County Criminal databases, Department of Corrections, Administration of the Court, and State Sex Offender Registries.

A 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check is used to extend the geographical area being searched for potential criminal records to the national level.

A 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check is sometimes improperly referred to as a Nationwide Criminal Search, a National Background Check, or an Instant Background Check.
Why Do A 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check
A 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check can be a very useful research tool when conducting a quality Comprehensive Background Check. It covers a much larger geographical area than individual county criminal searches. It checks many criminal history records from across the country. It may provide information about possible problem areas that should be researched further at the local level. A 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check is a very fast and powerful research tool.

What are the Weaknesses of a 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check?
Criminal Databases are notoriously incomplete and out of date. There are significant holes in the coverage in geography, time, accuracy, and completeness. What information is included, when it is included, and how it is included varies greatly for both commercial compilers and government reporting agencies.

There are more than 7,000 significant courts in the United States that maintain criminal records. There is no national criminal record database that contains all these records. A "hit" on the 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check does not ensure that the applicant is a criminal, and a "clear" result does not ensure that the applicant does not have a criminal record.

Vital information, such as file numbers, conviction dates, and personal identifiers, are often missing. For this reason, we follow up "hits" from the 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check with a search in the jurisdiction in question.

In short, the 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check can be a very useful element in widening the geographical area being searched in a Comprehensive Background Check, but should never be viewed as a complete criminal background search. For more information, see Criminal Database Limitations.

How Long Does a 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check Take?
Results for the 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Search are available for viewing the same day the order is entered into our online tracking system. When "hits" occur, the local jurisdictions are checked. This extends the turnaround time for final results.

Can I See a Sample 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check Report?
Yes, click Sample 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check.

What is Our Recommendation for a 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check?
Criminal record checks are an essential part of any Comprehensive Background Check. We recommend a 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Search for employers seeking to widen the geographical area being searched for criminal records. This allows employers to better protect themselves from individuals who may be trying to hide criminal records.

Note: Federal, state and local laws and regulations are rapidly evolving regarding employer inquiries into and use of applicant/employee criminal records. See Background Check Laws and Regulations and Employment Background Check Blog. It is the employer's responsibility to stay current with changing legal requirements. A Matter of Fact is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice. It is important that employers work with counsel to develop an employment screening program specific to their needs. Employers should obtain legal advice concerning their legal responsibilities, and to ensure that background check documents, policies and procedures are in compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations. For more see Legal Disclaimer.

What Other Criminal History Searches Are Available?
Additional criminal record searches available to help meet employer and job requirements include:
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