Complete Guide to Self Background Checks

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Background checks are a common process for businesses, property managers, and local organizations. But, did you know that you can a background check on yourself?

Whether out of curiosity or to prepare for an upcoming event, like a new job, knowing what will show up on a background check is a valuable tool in the real world.

Take a closer look at why they’re so important and how to get one below.

3 Reasons To Run a Background Check on Yourself

Running a background check on yourself provides valuable insight into what other people see. Since employers, landlords, and even neighbors can request one, completing a review yourself is an excellent way to find out what personal information is available. Here are three reasons a personal background check is important:

1. Spot Incorrect Information

Even though they’re often provided by government organizations, public records aren’t always correct. Any incorrect information that shows up on your criminal history could potentially damage your reputation and ability to find employment.

Fortunately, running a personal criminal background check allows you to spot errors efficiently. You can then begin the process of correcting the issues to avoid any future problems.

2. Identify Potential Problems

A comprehensive background check prevents you from being blindsided by negative information. A history of criminal charges or civil cases, like collection rulings, will hurt your chances of getting hired at some companies. Marks like previous evictions can also prevent you from housing approval. By identifying negative marks on your personal background check, you’ll know what to expect. From there, you can create a game plan.

In some situations, you may want to get ahead of the background check and be straightforward with a potential employer or landlord. This process may not get you approved, but it will prevent you from wasting your time. However, some individuals may find that it’s better to take legal action by amending their record.

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3. Determine if Action is Needed

Everyone makes mistakes, but a criminal record makes it hard to move on. By running a personal criminal background check, you’ll get a full breakdown of what’s on your record.

This step ensures you know exactly what charges or arrests are holding you back. Then, you can take the necessary steps to expunge it.

Getting a criminal record expunged is a complicated process. Every state has their own laws in place as to what types of crimes are erasable along with time frames. Review your state’s law to determine if the issues highlighted on your self-background check are eligible for removal. If not, you may have the opportunity to seal the records instead.

3 Ways to Get a Personal Background Check

You can complete a self-background check a few different ways, depending on the information you want to know. Some of the options require that you compile the desired information on your own, while others do the work for you.

Background checks are broken down into three categories: local, federal, and nationwide. Here’s a look at each option:

1. Local

The easiest way to run a local background check is through city and county public records. The go-to location to access this information is the county clerk’s office. The department is responsible for handling multiple types of documentation, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, and property transactions. However, some locations require fees to access the information or obtain copies.

For personal criminal background checks, you’ll probably need to turn to the local courthouse or police station. Luckily, most institutions offer online access to their databases. As a result, you can search by your name on their website and view any records that are available. While accessing police and court reports is typically free, the process does require a lot of time.

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2. Federal

A federal background check focuses on arrests, court hearings, and charges that occur on the federal level. Crimes at this level include a wide range of issues, such as bank robbery and tax evasion. To access your federal criminal history, you can request an identity history summary check from the FBI. However, the service requires an $18 fee. You’ll also have to wait for around one or two weeks for the report to process and make it through the mail.

3. Nationwide

A nationwide background check pulls local, state, and federal criminal history all into one. It’s also likely to include any online presence, like social media profiles. An online service, like, allows you to run a comprehensive background check on yourself with ease. This process involves no legwork or wait time. With a few simple pieces of information, you’ll gain instant access to your report.

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What Information Shows up on a Self-Background Check?

All background checks rely heavily on public records. As a result, you’re likely to see a wide variety of information, from Twitter posts to criminal convictions. Here are some of the key points of a background check:

  • Criminal arrest records: Even if the charges were dropped, an arrest typically shows up for a number of years after it occurred.
  • Criminal charges: All misdemeanor and felony charges are outlined in a personal criminal background check.
  • Driving records: Expect to see any issues that appear on a DMV record, like speeding tickets and infractions.
  • Civil court rulings: Appearances and rulings in small claims courts are common on background checks. This information includes experiences like evictions and lawsuits.
  • Property records: You’ll also see any property transactions, like purchases and sales, as well as property tax information on your report.
  • Census records: Since the census only occurs once per decade, only expect limited information. The report should include your name, address, and age at the time.
  • Voting records: As with census information, voting records are fairly straight to the point. The report will outline any instances your name showed up on local voting registrations and the connected addresses.
  • Vital records: Vital records consist of big-moment documents. While birth certificates are often kept private for a certain number of years, marriage licenses and divorce decrees are instantly public.

Once you request a self-background check, it’s important that you review every piece of information. False or incorrect documents need addressing as soon as possible, especially if you’re applying for a new job or rental agreement.

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Run a Self-Background Check with Today

Finding peace of mind is as easy as visiting Our convenient services allow you to run a self-background check quickly and affordably. With a few clicks of a button, you’ll gain instant access to all of the public information available about you.