The Federal Bureau of Investigation can help provide a person’s identity history, or criminal history as it’s commonly referred to, for a small fee.
By submitting an FBI fingerprint check, you can determine if a person has a criminal history, if they’ve been employed in government bodies, finance, or healthcare industries, if they’re a natural employee or if they’ve ever served in the military.
If a person has been arrested, you can find out the agency that arrested them, the date that they were arrested, the charges that were filed, and what happened as a result of the arrest. Fingerprints are required to properly identify the person you’re requesting a check for, because many people share the same name.
Unless you are an employer, you will not be able to perform criminal checks on other people.
You’ll only be able to receive a criminal check report for yourself by making the request for personal review, to challenge any information that’s included in your report, or to meet requirements for living and working in a foreign country.
When you’re requesting a criminal check from the FBI, you have 2 different options. You can either submit your request directly to the FBI, or to an FBI approved channeler / agency.
To get started, you’re going to need to complete the application and obtain your set of fingerprints. Then you’ll need to submit a payment to the FBI, along with your application and wait for the results to be returned.
If you are making the request for a family, or a couple, you are going to need each person to fill out a separate form that you will submit together. You also need to ensure that you provide full, accurate information about each person to be checked.
Once you have the application(s) filled out, you will need to have your fingerprints scanned to be submitted either digitally, or on a certified card provided to you by the agency that scanned your prints.
You will need to ensure that your full name and date of birth are clearly printed on the card and that you’re submitted certified plain or flat impressions. This means that all of your fingerprints must be taken at the same time, and are legible.
If the prints aren’t legible on the card you’ve submitted, the FBI will reject your request and you will be required to submit a second application.
To help expedite the process, you may also want to have your full Social Security number printed directly on the card. If you submit your prints without your Social Security number, you may cause unneeded delays in the processing of your application.
Finally, once your application has been filled out and your prints have been taken, either with live ink or digitally, you will need to submit your payment for the application processing. You can either obtain a certified check or money order, or submit your payment with a credit card through the FBI’s website.
The cost, as of this writing, is $18 per person. If you are submitting a check for multiple people in your family, you will also need to include $18 for each individual.
You will need to review the Summary Request Checklist to ensure you’ve provided all of the required information and then mail the items listed above to:
FBI CJIS Division -- Summary Requests
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 36306
There is a currently 10-12 week wait for receiving results from your check.
FBI approved channelers are third-party agencies that have been contracted with the FBI to submit criminal background and fingerprint checks on your behalf. The agency will also collect your fingerprints and fees, and then submit the information to the FBI.
Once received, the agency will return the information to you, rather than you receiving the results directly from the FBI. In general, working through an approved channeler will help expedite the information submission process, but you are still going to be required to wait for the FBI to process the results.
Each FBI channeler may have different guidelines for how they handle submissions, so you will need to contact the agency you intend to submit through before you begin the process.
If you are seeking gainful employment through a government agency, in the healthcare or finance industries, or will be working around children, you are going to be required to submit an FBI fingerprint check before accepting employment or becoming licensed.
The company that is hiring you or giving your licensing will be required to submit your information to the FBI after receiving authorization from you to request the records.
If you feel that there may be records contained inside of your report that you will need to dispute due to inaccuracies, you will need to apply for a check to be run before you apply for licensing or employment.
Invalid records could hinder your ability to become licensed, certified, or employed, which means that information that could have been removed (due to charges being dropped, etc) will need to be addressed before you allow the hiring or licensing agency to pull the report.
Discrepancies in your report could make you ineligible to receive licensing or employment. If you’ve ever been arrested and had charges dropped, or have information contained inside of your records that you can dispute, you will need to contact the FBI at the address below:
FBI CJIS Division
Attention: Criminal History Analysis Team 1
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
You should submit a written request and identify the information that you feel is incomplete or inaccurate, along with any proof of evidence that supports your claim.
After submitting your information, the FBI will verify the accuracy of your records by contacting any agencies that are involved in the arrest or invalid record and correct the entries that you’ve challenged.
When the information has been verified, the FBI will contact you to let you know whether they’ve updated your records to reflect having the invalid information removed, or if the information has been verified and your records are remaining intact.