How Do I Check My Criminal Record

Criminal Record
March 9, 2023

Companies, organizations, institutes, and others often have set requirements that determine an applicant’s qualifications for open positions. Some businesses request cover letters, CVs, or letters of recommendation and in most cases, they will require a background check to check criminal history and verify information provided.

The typical questions we get from candidates include “how do I check my criminal record,” and because there is more than one way to find information on your criminal record, we will show you how in this article.

What Can a Background and Criminal Record Check Reveal?

Companies use background and criminal record checks to verify an individual’s eligibility to work, prove who they claim to be, and review the person’s past. As such, background checks can provide the following information: employment history, driving history, educational background, medical records, compensation, credit history, bankruptcy, references, and more.

Of all the requested information, companies regularly look into an applicant’s criminal record. This history shows the applicant’s record of misdemeanors, felonies, sex offender registration, DUIs, and more. In addition, it clarifies between court dismissals based on guilty and not guilty verdicts. Active warrants will also appear on criminal history checks. Finally, records for juvenile offenses can appear.

How Do I Check My Criminal Record?

One way to acquire your criminal records is by applying for a copy from the police department. The Police Records department typically stores this information. Keep in mind however this is typically just a small part of a comprehensive background check that an organization would run. Their criminal background screenings typically go much farther than just local police records but you can be certain this will be part of it.

Here are the available options for acquiring your criminal record from local Police Departments:

  • Filing with the police department,
  • Checking websites that offer their services for a fee or other, websites that provide services for free, or
  • Going to the courthouse to review their records.

Whatever the case, you must follow the appropriate procedures for requesting this information. For example, websites may ask for your first name, last name, city, and state.

Furthermore, in-person methods, such as approaching the police department or courthouse, have a strict process to follow. This strictness is because they provide additional information easily withheld online.

The process is as follows:

  1. Visit the police department in your locality. You can find the nearest police department online.
  2. Request a search for your records; they will provide the documents.
  3. Present a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or ID, to prove your identity.
  4. Follow other procedures they require to get your criminal record (if any).

Some sites allow individuals to check their criminal records for a fee. For example, the US State Records is a trusted site that shows you what you need.

Why Do Employers Need to Check My Criminal Record?

Before employing individuals, companies and recruiters should ensure they reduce liability and high-end risks that could become problematic for the company. Other concerns they should focus on include promoting safety in the work environment, which affects employees and clients.

These concerns are why employers rely on background checks and investigate applicants’ criminal records. If the company feels an applicant has withheld information or suspects illegal forms, it can request further background checks.

It is best to provide all relevant documentation when your employer requests your criminal record. Withholding information that the employer discovers is grounds to revoke any conditional job offers or dismissal.

Can Anyone Check My Criminal Record?

Certain records are open to the public. As such, anyone can find information on others. However, this availability does not apply to all information. For example, the public cannot access certain criminal details, such as sealed or expunged information. However, data hidden in such cases remain available in state agencies and court records.


Checking your complete criminal record can be difficult if you are looking for something comprehensive that an organization would run. If you know for sure that you have a record and would like to see what details it specifies there are online databases accessible by online.

Sometimes, accessing records online, such as certain court records, is impossible. This restriction is because the courts might require individuals to file physical documents in person. This restriction is why most organizations rely on consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) like Pre-employ and JDP.

CRAs have access to live databases and have the most accurate records available. Furthermore, they have individuals who can enter the courts and access sections not typically open to the public.

For a comprehensive background check comparable to one run by companies, Self-Check offers the most accurate personal background checks so you can review your background check before employers or landlords. Learn More