How to Get a Real Criminal Background Check

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    On Yourself

    • 1). Visit the FBI website (see Resources section), and click on the Applicant Information Form. Complete and sign the form. If you are requesting a criminal background check for your family, all family members must sign this form.

    • 2). Submit your fingerprints with the Applicant Information Form. You must submit the original fingerprints--not a copy--and your name and date of birth must be written on the fingerprint card.

      You might consider being fingerprinted by a professional technician. This service might be available through a local law enforcement agency; contact it for details.

    • 3). Submit a money order or cashier's check for $18 per person whose record is being requested, or pay by credit card on the FBI website.

    • 4). Mail the form, fingerprints and payment (if you're paying by money order or cashier's check) to FBI CJIS Division--Record Request, 1000 Custer Hollow Road, Clarksburg, WV 26306.

    On Someone Else

    • 1). Contact your state police or state identification bureau. Ask how to request an FBI criminal background check for someone other than yourself.

    • 2). Follow the instructions given by your state police or state bureau. Most states will require the full name of the person and some small payment, usually $5 to $15. Most states will not require a Social Security number or other identifying number.

    • 3). Contact your local law enforcement agency (as opposed to the state agency) for a list of registered sex offenders in your area. Registered sex offender data might not be included with the state criminal background check.

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