Why can’t I get everything I need by doing an Instant Nationwide Criminal Database Search?

You absolutely can do an Instant Nationwide Criminal Database stand-alone search, get your results within minutes and pay less. However, there are real risks involved. You will have no way of knowing if you have received an accurate and complete background history on your applicant. In addition, you run the risk of FCRA non-compliance if you use this search as a stand-alone search. The only time this search is an “instant” search is when no records are found. When records are found, further research must be conducted at the appropriate courthouse to help insure that the records found match the identifiers of the applicant.

Some background screening companies rely solely on compiled databases for criminal and other information because of the lower cost. However, the source information this database uses is the applicants’ name and sometimes the date of birth. A SSN is not used as one of the Identifiers. Therefore, oftentimes the search returns “results” which consist of a long list of names and aliases that require you to sift through and attempt to eliminate candidates who do not meet your exact criteria and identifiers, and therefore are not the person you are screening. This is difficult, if not impossible, without more identifiers.

Additionally, individual Counties and States are NOT required to report into this database. Those that DO report are not required to report their information on a timely basis. Each individual reporting entity has its own unique practices and protocols of release….i.e. some States will only report Depart of Corrections and Sex Offender information to this database, leaving out all other criminal history. Plus, we have found that the information is not always accurate….does not necessarily match the actual court records.

NationSearch goes back to the original source – the appropriate County or State court – for the up-to-the-minute, comprehensive record, including the disposition dates, applicant identifiers and case outcomes….information that is critical to a sound, defensible hiring decision under Federal and State law. While compiled database searches can be a tempting cheap shortcut, they don’t provide the accuracy and defensibility that are the primary goal of background screening.

Therefore, while this search is a good search to include in your package, it is by no means a complete and reliable “stand alone” search. It is very strongly recommended that a comprehensive criminal search or a county search be conducted along with this search.

Many lawsuits are based upon the use of this database as the only source of information, due to the inherent potential of FCRA non-compliance. For the protection of NationSearch, our clients and their applicants, NationSearch will not conduct this search as a stand-alone search.