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Background Check v. ND Criminal History Record Check


A background check is not the same as a criminal history record check. When you apply for a job or an apartment, you may be told the company or landlord will conduct a “background check.” If you want to be a foster parent or a licensed professional, then you are required to obtain a “criminal history record check.”

  • A background check is often just a search of publicly available online records (such as court records, sex offender registries and other, unofficial, sources), cross-referencing only by the person’s name. These public records may have data for more than one person with the same name or may be out of date. If you have a question about information included on a background check report, you must contact the private company directly.
  • A ND criminal history record check, however, is a search of confidential law enforcement databases, cross-referencing by the person’s name, date of birth, social security number and other specific identifiers (including fingerprints). The extensive cross-referencing ensures that the result relates only to that person, even if the person has used several names or there are other individuals with the same name. Pursuant to the North Dakota Century Code, only the ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) can supply a Criminal History Record Check.
The BCI is prohibited from “verifying” any information obtained by, or for, a background checking company. To verify such information, please submit a Request for Criminal History Record Information.