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Background Check FAQ

A. Yes. Remember to follow the “knowledge and consent” issues of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and have the applicant sign a Release Form.

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Q. How do you perform the criminal searches?

A. Criminal searches, both county and/or state, are performed through a physical search of the appropriate repository where the records are actually stored. No compiled databases are utilized.

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Q. Do I need to be concerned about privacy issues?

A. To a certain degree. The information contained in a background check does need to be protected from the general workforce population. Simply use common sense when requesting and reviewing information, treat it like it was information about you.

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A. The vast majority of crimes in the U.S. are processed and tried at the county level. All actions (charges, pleas, verdicts, sentences, etc.) involved in these cases are recorded directly into the file that is available to researchers. This makes the information regarding these actions available immediately when searched at the county level. Statewide repositories depend on county clerks to report the information to them after it is recorded. There are routinely time delays and the opportunity for miscommunication when the information is transferred. There may also be various level courts (township, area, district, etc.) that may not transmit information to the state repository. In theory, a statewide check may seem to be a better option but, in practicality, they are not as accurate or up-to-date as a search at the county level.

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Q. Why do I need to get the date of birth?

A. Most courts maintain records primarily by name, and the most common secondary identifier is date of birth. Many courts do not even include the Social Security Number on the record. Therefore, it is difficult to determine that the record matches your applicant without a date of birth – at the very least a month and day.

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Q. Isn’t it illegal to ask for the date of birth before you make a job offer?

A. It is illegal to include the date of birth on an employment application, but it is legal to ask for it as an identifier on an Inquiry Release Form. Our form specifically states that the applicant understands that this information is for identification purposes only and will not be a factor in consideration for employment.

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Q. Why are maiden names so important to have in verifying education?

A. Most degrees or diplomas are earned prior to marriage (especially high school) and, therefore, the maiden name is the one that will appear in the school’s records.

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Q. Can I do a background check on my sister’s boyfriend?
Q. If a date of birth is not available, what do I enter into that field on Fastrax Select?

A. Enter 01/01/1910. This is a default date of birth that is recognized as fictitious at Selection.com.

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Q. Can I run a background check without a Social Security Number (SSN)?

A. Yes, if you have the name and date of birth. But, the SSN always helps.

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Q. What is a Consumer Report?

A. As defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (Section 603.d), a Consumer Report is any communication of information that is collected and used for the purpose of determining an individual’s eligibility for employment purposes. A consumer report for employment purposes can include criminal history, driving records, credit history, education verification, etc.

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Q. Do I need a signed release form to run a criminal background check?

A. Yes. The Fair Credit Reporting Act stipulates that to procure a consumer report for employment purposes a “…clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in writing…” and that “…the consumer (applicant) has authorized in writing the procurement of the report.”

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Q. Do I need a signed release form to run a background check on a current employee?

A. Employment purposes in the Fair Credit Reporting Act is defined as,”…a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.” Notification and consent requirements apply. However, a release form signed prior to employment can carry the verbiage that consent is given as long as the consumer (applicant / employee) is employed.

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Q. On a Social Security Number Trace Report, what do the “M” and the “U” represent in the Match field?

A. “M” represents Matched. This means the name entered on the request matched the last name and the first initial contained in the Trace Report file. The “U” represents Unmatched. These are listed under Exceptions and mean the name entered on the request did not match the last name and the first initial contained in the Trace Report file. This is especially common for female applicants due to maiden and married last names.

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Q. What is the “Control Code” for?

A. It is completely for your use. If used, this field gives you some extra search and sort options and will appear on your invoice. A department name or code, a location name or code or a position name or code (or anything else useful) can be entered here when the request is submitted. You can then use it later as a search and/or sort criteria. The Control Code field is open and will accept alpha and/or numeric entries.

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Q. What is the turnaround time on background checks?

A. Normal turnaround is 30 – 72 hours (this does not include weekends and holidays). The average criminal background check turnaround time is 34 hours.

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Q. Do you start processing my request immediately after submission?

A. Yes. Depending on the components involved in your request, you may be able to view results immediately.

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Q. How are your criminal searches performed?

A. We have researchers all across the country that can physically check courthouse records. Our researchers report all charges found as well as their dispositions. There are a few states, however, that have enacted legislation that limits what can be reported.

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Q. Can you run a motor vehicle records check for a previous state where an applicant held a driver’s license?

A. No, an applicant can only legally hold one driver’s license. When people apply for a new driver’s license in their state of residence, they must turn in their previous driver’s license. The Bureaus of Motor Vehicles from all states are linked to check a National Driver Registry (NDR) to make sure the person does not have any suspensions, pending violations, etc. before a new driver’s license is issued. The NDR is available only to the Bureaus of Motor Vehicles.

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Q. How far back do you search criminal records?

A. We will report a minimum of seven years, regardless of search method, but will go back as far as the courthouse has records available to our researchers through the public access system. All charges and dispositions found will be reported within the boundaries of federal and state regulations.

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Q. Can I run a credit report on myself through your company?

A. No, credit reports through Selection.com are only available for employment purposes.

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Q. Can I change your Inquiry Release Form?

A. Yes, you may alter it slightly, however the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) disclosure at the top of the form must be retained to keep you in compliance with FCRA regulations.

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Q. What do I need to do to stay in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

A. You need to have each applicant sign a release form prior to requesting the background check. If you then decide not to hire the applicant due to background check results, you would need to send them a copy of the entire report and a copy of their Consumer Rights. A few days later, after the applicant has had time to receive and respond to the prior mailing, you would mail an Adverse Action letter that definitely states you will not be hiring the applicant and outlines their specific rights. Fastrax Online makes FCRA compliance very simple.

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Q. What if an applicant disputes what is found on his/her record?

A. The client or applicant may contact Selection.com. We will double check the records found at the courthouse. If the information returned is the same as previously reported, the report will stand as correct. If the applicant still disputes the results, he/she will need to physically go to the county courthouse and follow that courthouse’s procedures to correct any discrepancies. Selection.com is an information provider and cannot change or alter information contained in a courthouse file.

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Q. How can applicants obtain a copy of their report?

A. They must submit a request, in writing, to Selection.com. We will forward a full copy of the report to them within 7 days.

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Q. Can I give applicants a copy of their report?

A. Yes.

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Q. Do you do International searches?

A. Yes, some international information is available. Please understand, however, that the information may be limited, slow and expensive. Specific details can be obtained by contacting Selection.com directly.

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Q. Can I submit International searches online?

A. No, these requests will need to be faxed to Selection.com.

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Q. Can I run a Motor Vehicle Records check on an International Driver’s License?

A. No. Other than the 50 U.S. states, only Canada is available.

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Q. How often am I invoiced?

A. Selection.com invoices on the 1st and 16th (or the following business day) of every month.

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Q. What are your payment terms?

A. The payment terms are net 30 days.

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Q. Do you accept credit card payment?

A. Yes, we accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.

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