Free Background Check Online

Employers looking to get a free background check online for hiring purposes can find a number of online resources available to the public. There are some things to be aware of if you attempt to obtain a free background check only by yourself.


The most critical thing to know is you can not do a background check on someone when considering them for employment unless you get their permission. You should get their written permission and have them sign a form and date the release. Here's a sample reference release form provided by the Society of Human Resources. Ask your attorney or HR consultant for a sample for your employment records. This form becomes part of the employee packet.

Fair Credit Reporting & Privacy

When you get in the business of doing background checks on applicants, you need to be aware of the laws surrounding fair credit reporting and privacy. The short of it is that you need a valid reason to ask for this information and you need to use it in a fair way giving the candidate avenues to correct any potentially inaccurate information.

This data obtained whether from a free background check online or through a 3rd part vendor is sensitive. This means you must handle it as such and insure the privacy of the individual. Again, it is good to consult legal council or a trained human resources representative before you act. Here are a couple of links to get you started if you want to know more about this subject or would like to do this on your own.

Fair Credit Reporting Act
Privacy Rights Information
Biz.Gov Pre-Employment Information

Sample Resources for a Free Background Check Online

Now that you have some understanding of how to handle the information and the prerequisites, here are a few free resources to obtain the data.

Most of these sources are available on the internet. As they are free you should take them for what they are worth. The information is sometimes high level. For example, some sites will tell you that the person has a criminal record but won't tell you the offense unless you pay a fee. However, with a little detective work, you can probably figure out a way to get the information free or for very little cost.

Below is a list of resources that can help you find information about your candidates;

Most everything else must be paid for. Of course through the states you can verify if a person holds a given license or if they have kept up their license. Beyond that you pretty much have to pay.

Paid Search

If you do decide that a free background check online is not sufficient, the good news is that with the advent of the internet and competition, prices are very reasonable. For less than $35 you can get a pretty comprehensive check done on most everyone. The one thing I recommend if you are going to pay is to have someone who actually goes down to the courthouse and pulls records for the county where the person lives. While database searches have a great deal of historic information, they don't always have the most recent or most accurate.

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