How Long Does A Background Check Take? Unravel the Mystery

6:22 AM, May 18, 2023
1:41 PM, Jun 14, 2023
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How long does it take to get a background check? A background check may require just a few minutes or as much as five working days, depending on the scope of the search, the information sought, and the accessibility of the required data sources.

Learn how long checks normally take to finish and what action to take if they take longer than expected. For individuals who want a rapid background check that yields outcomes in under a minute, BeenVerified is a fantastic solution.



How Long Does A Background Check Take?

Checks come in a wide range of formats, and the turnaround periods for each kind vary based on the information requested, the limitations of the data provider, and the relevant legislation.

Depending on the exact information an employer needs, a due diligence may take up to five business days to conduct or it may take less than a minute.

It may take longer if manual searches or help from other organizations, such as professional license certificates, colleges, and past employers, is required.

This article will describe several kinds of background checks' usual processing times as well as their applications, data access techniques, and possible delays.

Use our suggested background check services if you're seeking for rapid screening that just takes a few minutes to acquire comprehensive findings:

Disclaimer: The background check services mentioned above are not FCRA-compliant. Hence, we don’t recommend using their service or the information they provide to make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance.

What Is A Background Check, And How Long Should It Take?

A reference check is an inquiry made by a company or person to confirm facts on a person. This might include a person's criminal history, career and educational background, credit history, drug testing, and more. A background check's objective is to confirm the veracity and competence of the subject.

The length of a background investigation is influenced by a number of variables, including the kind of check, the scope of the inquiry, the veracity of the data supplied, and the company doing the check. A simple background check often only requires a couple of minutes to several days to finish, however more extensive background investigations, like those conducted abroad, might take several weeks or even months.

The sector and job title have an impact on how long it takes to execute a background check. Background checks may take longer to conduct in certain businesses due to their higher regulations, such as the healthcare and education sectors.

It's crucial to remember that companies must follow local, state, and federal rules while completing background checks, which might impact how long it takes. Also, if more details are required or the individual being examined has resided in several places, there can be delays.



What Are Turnaround Times For Employment Background Checks?

A background check may require a maximum of five working days, or it may be completed in less than a minute, depending on the specific information an employer requires. If manual searches or assistance from other institutions, such as professional licensing certificates, colleges, and prior employers, is necessary, it may take longer.

When you apply for a job, corporate background checks are often required. To guarantee a safe workplace, employers often conduct continuous background checks on existing workers via yearly criminal background checks or routine employee drug testing.

Your credit history, job history, criminal history, education, driving record, criminal history, medical history, usage of social media, and drug testing are just a few examples of the things that may be included in an employment background check.

What Are Turnaround Times For Criminal Background Checks?

Based on the database being checked, such as the Federal Investigation Database, the turnaround time for a criminal record check may be substantially quicker than the standard one to three working days.

You can get turnaround times from instant background check providers. The results include fundamental data that may be looked up online using specific resources to which a reputable background check company has access. Basic searches, like a Social

A registry of sex offenders search, a domestic criminal registry search, and a security number (SSN) trace.

Turnaround times are nearly instantaneous because a background check provider can often acquire this information rapidly.



What Are Turnaround Times For Federal Background Checks?

In addition to sex offender databases, area criminal court records, watch lists for domestic and international terrorist organizations, and federal as well as state criminal records, a criminal history check may also scan these sources. Depending on the needs for manual searches, further search queries of these databases might take between one three working days.

A background check conducted by the federal government typically takes one day to complete. Federal background checks look for breaches of federal criminal law, including government tax evasion, identity theft, embezzlement, mail fraud, interstate trafficking, and offenses committed on government property, throughout the 94 U.S. federal courts.

In order to get a complete report on an applicant's whole criminal history, most companies search simultaneously federal as well as state criminal records. 

This is especially true if they’re recruiting for C-level executive jobs, CPAs, public sector roles, or anyone who would have access to confidential financial information. Federal background checks only look for offenses committed at the federal level; state convictions are not taken into account.

According to state rules and unique situations, the check often covers data going back seven years or more.

Turnaround Time For Fingerprint Background Checks

An IAFIS fingerprint database, which has the fingerprints of more than 35,000,000 Americans and is maintained by the FBI, is used in a fingerprints background check to submit and compare your fingerprints. A response will be sent within three days if there is a successful match.

Together with other background checks, most notably job background checks, a fingerprints verification is often employed. Government-run facilities including public schools, airports, police enforcement, fire services, and hospitals are all mandated to do a fingerprint check. If you'll be taking care of children, the elderly, or other sensitive persons, other companies could need a fingerprint background check.

Poor print quality may need more processing time or a fresh start. If your fingerprints are linked to a criminal past, it can take longer as well.

The verification will simply show no results if you have never had your fingerprints taken before, at which point your fingerprints will be sent to the IAFIS.



Other Types Of Background Checks And How Long They Take

Identity Verification

Identity verification is the most fundamental kind of background checking. The candidate's identity is checked to make sure they’re who they claim they’re. These checks ensure that the applicant's submitted identifying information, such as their names and their Social Security number (SSN), is accurate and legitimate. SSN tracing is a common method for doing this.

Education Verification

The potential employee's educational background is checked through education verification. Usually, a background check of this kind will validate the degree(s) obtained and the institution(s) attended. They may also display the employee's GPA.

Licensing Verification

If you’re employing a staff to fill a job that demands an expert license or accreditation, you’ll be required to confirm that they presently hold that license. This usually involves checking with the licensing authority to see whether the employee has the license, is within set regulations with the licensing authority, and when the license expires.

Employment Verification

To validate a potential hire's job history, some businesses decide to do background checks. Often, this entails phoning prior employers to confirm the candidate's work dates.

Remember that a standard job verification check will only provide you with a restricted amount of data. Just the employee's employment dates and sometimes whether they’re qualified for rehire are often confirmed by employers. 

Ask the job candidate for specific references you may contact to learn more about their prior performance if you wish to ask further performance-based inquiries.

Driving Record Checks

You should get a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) assessment to check the employee's driving history if they will be using a car for company activity. A summary of the applicant's driving history, including citations and accidents, is provided through an MVR report. It also offers information regarding their driver’s permit, such as its license suspensions expiry dates and business driver’s license information.

Credit Background Checks

Credit background checks provide information on a job applicant's credit history and present financial situation. Similar to credit checks performed for finance or lending reasons, the data for these assessments is gathered from credit bureaus. Small firms should be especially wary of undertaking this kind of background check

If a candidate will have access to a significant amount of cash or confidential business or customer financial information, reviewing their credit history might provide you with important information about their financial condition and sense of responsibility with money. The check with the greatest legal restrictions is this one, however.

When utilizing credit checks to determine hiring, employers must adhere to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). There is a precise procedure that you must adhere to if you choose to do a credit check and subsequently decide not to continue with the employment of a candidate as a consequence of the findings.



Why Is My Background Check Taking So Long?

Have a few weeks passed since your background check and you still haven't received a response? Don't freak out. These are some potential causes of the delay:

  • The company is checking the facts because certain records in your background investigation (such as employment information) don't match
  • The background check vendor is running behind schedule
  • Your background check has been sent to the prospective employer, but they haven't yet reached a final hiring decision

The first explanation may be that the background check business is awaiting, say, a pending county courtroom record.

For instance, the procedure can take longer if a business wants criminal histories from a jurisdiction without digital tools or a courtroom with insufficient employees. In this case, you'll simply have to wait.

If the business is doing background checks on many applicants, it becomes a waiting game as well. Even though you may have aced your background check, the company will still consider other aspects like skill set when making a hiring decision.

Lastly, if there are issues with validating your credentials or if a picture of a driver's license, SSN card or ID is absent, the employer may get in touch with you. Check your email often, including the junk folder, to prevent missing any background check-related inquiries.

Possible Reasons For A Delay

Here are a few possible causes for your background check to be delayed if it’s taking more than three to five working days:

  • A global background check could be necessary if you have recently resided abroad for employment or studies (within the previous 10 years, depending on the company). Depending on the country's cooperation, these checks often take four to five days. Nevertheless, certain nations have strict privacy protection laws, so they may require as many as twenty days to complete.
  • Aliases and name variations, such as Steve, Steven, or Stephen, might slow down the background check process and need a human verification of your identification. Your background check may also take longer if you've used various names in the past or if it turns out that you and someone else with the same or a similar name have the same records.
  • The majority of county court documents are not entirely digitized. Hence, a clerk or court runner must usually do such searches manually. The manual component of the search might take anywhere from 3 to 30 days, based on the jurisdiction or case.
  • For the details the employer wants, the background investigation service may need to look in many places, and certain databases and sources—like schools or prior employers—may need more time to search or validate than others.
  • The most frequent causes of delays include insufficient or inaccurate check request forms, as well as an employer's inability to get the requisite permission and release paperwork from job applicants, as stipulated by federal law. Agency background checks cannot commence until they have gotten written authorisation.



Bottom Line On How Long Does A Background Check Take 

The intricacy and breadth of the research, as well as the reliability of the sources involved, may all affect how long a background check takes. Although more thorough background checks may require a number of weeks up to a few months, the majority of simple ones can be finished within a couple of days to a week.

BeenVerified, TruthFinder, and Intelius are all known and trustworthy companies that provide speedy response times for background checks. Fast and thorough background checks are also accessible via BeenVerified and TruthFinder, with results often available in a matter of seconds.

While these services make it easy and quick to check someone's past, it's vital to remember that they shouldn't be used as the only method. When making significant choices like hiring, it's generally a good idea to enhance these reports with further research and due diligence.



DISCLAIMER: You may not use the non-FCRA approved services mentioned in this article or the information they provide to make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance. These services don’t provide consumer reports and are not consumer reporting agencies. (These terms have special meanings under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq., (“FCRA"), which are incorporated herein by reference.)

The information available on our website may not be 100% accurate, complete, or up to date, so do not use it as a substitute for your own due diligence, especially if you have concerns about a person’s criminal history. The services we mention do not make any representation or warranty about the accuracy of the information available through our website or about the character or integrity of the person about whom you inquire. For more information, please review each service’s Terms of Use.

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