Q: How long do most background checks take?
A: While the industry average turnaround time for most background checks is between 3-7 days, Checkr is typically 35% faster than the industry average. Background check packages can include many types of checks, from instant database searches (such as SSN verification, sex offender registries, global watchlists, and national criminal databases) to Federal-level checks that require upwards of a month.
Our background checks utilize a combination of database searches and manual county-court-level searches, and the turnaround time of a report will depend on:
- How comprehensive the screenings are
- For which purpose you are screening (e.g. pre-employment; tenant screening; etc.)
Q: Why is the background check taking longer than anticipated?
A: Most cases of long pending background checks result from one of these two reasons:
1) There is a pending county search because Checkr must verify records at the source county-court level. County criminal searches can take up several weeks if Checkr is searching for criminal records in a county that processes requests in a highly manual manner. Some counties are understaffed and overburdened by thousands of search requests each day. Since criminal records are public information, Checkr must wait in line with everybody else. Most county searches take 2-3 days to complete, but searches of 3+ weeks do occur in a minority of cases. No further information or action is required.
2) The candidate has not responded to our request for additional information. In certain cases, additional documentation (such as a photo of an ID, driver license, or SSN card) must be provided by the applicant in order for Checkr to complete a maximally compliant and accurate background check. When these exceptions arise, Checkr emails the applicant automatically. Please see the FAQ on Exceptions below for more information.
Q: What are Exceptions?
A: Exceptions occur when an applicant’s name, date of birth, SSN and/or driver's license number cannot be validated using the information they originally submitted. When an exception occurs, Checkr automatically sends the applicant an email notification, which includes an upload link that they can use to provide the necessary documentation securely. If the applicant does not respond within seven days, the report is suspended.
Types of Exceptions:
- Date of Birth/Name Mismatch - The name or date of birth provided by the applicant doesn’t match the name or DOB returned by the credit bureaus
- License Not Found - Driver License number does not match DMV records and motor vehicle record (MVR) cannot be found.
- Invalid Social Security Number - Submitted SSN is invalid (e.g. SSN appears on the IRS Master Death File) and the system cannot detect and fix any typos.
- Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Records - PA restricts access to MVRs for drivers in their state. In order to access MVRs for PA drivers, a company must fill out, sign, and have an affidavit notarized. Please contact Checkr if you require PA MVRs - firstname.lastname@example.org. Once signed and notarized, Checkr will send the affidavit to the PA Department of Transportation. Processing time is typically 2 weeks.
Exception Resolution - Checkr reviews uploaded documents within 24 hours. Refer applicants to the Applicant Portal to submit their information if they missed our automated emails (sometimes they end up in spam folders). Once all exceptions are resolved, the report resumes. This is indicated by a green check and the exception alert being greyed out.
Q: What does the status of the report indicate?
A: There are five status options:
- Pending: The report is processing and will typically be finalized in 2 – 3 business days. In some instances, county criminal searches take significantly longer if we are searching for criminal records in a county that processes search requests in a less-efficient manner. Unfortunately, the County Criminal search cannot be expedited since Checkr operates at the mercy of the courts.
- Clear: The report is complete and does not contain adverse information on any of the screenings.
- Consider: There can be three reasons for this status:
- The report is complete and contains some sort of adverse information to evaluate (criminal records, traffic infractions, sex offender status, etc.)
- The Motor Vehicle Report contains violations that do not meet your MVR criteria
- The Employment and/or Education verifications weren’t successful
Q: Can I hide records on reports that I don’t care about?
A: Yes, use Checkr’s Positive Adjudication Matrix to determine what records are displayed on your reports. Learn more about the matrix here.
Q: What are the pass-through fees?
A: Some counties and all state DMVs charge fixed fees to retrieve criminal or driving records. Some state courts also have additional fixed fees to retrieve criminal records. We include them as “pass-through fees.” To see what the fees are, please visit our website at this link.
Q: Do all criminal records appear on the background report?
A: As a Consumer Reporting Agency governed by the FCRA, Checkr is prohibited from reporting non-conviction and non-criminal information beyond 7 years from the date the report is provided. Additionally, Checkr never reports expunged or sealed records. As a result, Checkr cannot report criminal charges that were dismissed or dropped if such charges occurred more than 7 years ago. In addition, state laws may further restrict reporting. For example, some states limit reporting of conviction information to 7 years.
To view this full article and more resources from Checkr, click here.