How to Get a Criminal Background Check on Yourself

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Performing a criminal background check on yourself is an easy and efficient way to ascertain what your official record contains. You can obtain the background on your own by following the steps provided below. Due to the fact that you know your past and personal information better than anyone else, including any information that was expunged from your record will allow you to get a more accurate and absolute record can be done without help from other people and the intrusion that comes along with bringing others into the picture.


A background check is an approach to finding information about someone, or yourself, that may not be readily available. Both Individuals and organizations choose to carry out background checks fora large variety of reasons. Background checks are often administered through third party institutions and are used to provide a more accurate picture of an individual’s character based upon past actions and records. Background checks also can reveal information about an individual’s professional, financial, criminal, and even public history and can include everything from speeding tickets, to bankruptcy to time spent in jail, o employment history.


  • The first thing that you are going to want to do is to assemble all of the information about yourself that you have no committed to memory, such as past arrests details, social security number, etc. Have everything available to give to the agency you will be getting the information from. If you want or need an official record that is stamped with the state’s or county’s official seal, you will have to obtain the background yourself and not through an online service.
  • You will then want to contact your local agencies. The best source of obtaining a complete and comprehensive criminal background check is from the Department of Justice for your state. If you do happen to have a criminal record in various states, you will need to contact each of state’s Department of Justice. Another option is for you to go to the court where yours case(s) went to trial or was heard. For example, if your criminal record is in San Diego, California, contact the California Department of Justice and the specific courthouse in San Diego where your case went to court. If you do have a number of assorted cases throughout the state, the Department of Justice will have all of that information.
  • Each agency does have different procedures, so you will need to ensure that you follow each agency’s procedure to get the information that you are looking for. You might have to submit to fingerprinting – live-scan fingerprinting is now readily available at multiple locations in each state, and that state’s Department of Justice can give you a list of locations. Once the state agency receives your fingerprints and other vital information to your case, they will cross-reference the state’s data base to check for any record that comes up when your name is run. You will have to pay a fee for getting your record and for the fingerprinting, usually the fee is $25.
  • You will then need to contact the court. If for some reason the Department of Justice does not have the information you are looking for, you can then contact the records department of the court where your case or cases were decided. Sometimes the state does not have the information because the court has not provided it to them. You will need your name, birthdate and valid identification and then the court will let you copy documents from the court file. Bring money and change to pay for the copies. If you need an offical copy of something, expect to pay at least $15 per copy.


  • Do not spend your time or the money to run a background check unless you are required to for work, by law or for some other reason. If you are merely trying to satisfy your curiosity, you can run an online check for free, although the online checks are not as in-depth as those that are run by the court systems, so you may not obtain all pertinent information.
  • Make sure all of your personal information is correct or you may end up with someone else’s criminal record.

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