Individual Background Checks

Individual background checks verify an individual’s criminal records, education, employment history and credit history. They can also include an international criminal record check, which dives into any records or charges they may have abroad.


These checks are usually conducted in a professional setting. However, individuals have the right to run their own background checks on friends and family members as well.

Identity Verification

Identity verification is the process of confirming who someone says they are. It can include requiring them to provide a form of ID like a driver’s license or passport or using biometric information such as fingerprints or facial recognition. It also includes checking the data provided against other sources like government databases or customer databases to confirm accuracy.

It can also involve knowledge-based authentication questions that require them to answer a question about themselves. It is a method used by banks, financial services and other organizations to ensure that a person is who they say they are before providing them with sensitive information.

In the past, identity checks were often done manually by scanning and emailing documents or asking candidates to visit a post office or police station for in-person ID verifications. But with digital identity screening, like Certn’s OneID, these processes have been replaced by a much simpler and more secure experience. It is fast, easy to use and can be completed in minutes by simply inviting your candidate via email.

Identity background checks are a crucial component to the hiring process because they help to ensure that you are hiring people who match their own official identification records. They also serve as the foundation for other background checks you may want to run, such as criminal, credit and motor and license check.

Social Security Number Verification

As the sole identifier for all Americans, Social Security numbers are vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. For this reason, it is important for employers to start each background check with a Social Security number verification (SSNVS) to ensure that the applicant’s SSN and name match. This will also uncover discrepancies in the information provided by the candidate, which can be a red flag for fraud or identity theft.

In addition, an SSN trace will reveal previous names and aliases, which will help to expand criminal records searches. This will allow employers to find criminal records that may not otherwise be found using a standard name search. This is important because people often change their names for several reasons, and it can be difficult to match them with a specific individual.

The SSA’s SSN assignment process was changed to randomize the sequence of the first two digits in order to make it more difficult to reconstruct an SSN from public information and to ensure that the pool of new nine-digit combinations remains large enough for many years to come. This also means that SSNVS results cannot be used to determine an individual’s immigration status.

If the SSNVS returns a “no” verification, the district should request the employee to check with their local Social Security Administration office to see if they have received notice of changes. The district should also cross reference the failed verification against employment records and look for typos or hyphenated variations of names that may be causing the failure.

Credit Report

A credit report is a detailed written summary of a consumer’s financial history prepared by one of the United States’ three major credit bureaus. It includes personal information such as name (including aliases or former names), current and previous addresses, Social Security number, employment history and more. It also contains account information such as loans, credit cards, bills, accounts in collection and bankruptcies. Finally, it contains a list of companies and individuals who have requested a copy of your credit report, known as inquiries.

It is important to regularly review your credit report for errors. These errors can affect your ability to get credit, and can ultimately impact your life. For example, a client of mine had $20,000 in debt listed on their credit report when they applied for a mortgage. The error was that the credit report pulled their father’s credit card balance instead of their own.

Many businesses use credit reports to determine whether to lend you money or products and services. These include banks, credit card companies, mortgage companies, auto dealers and more. In addition, employers look at job applicants’ credit reports to gauge their reliability and trustworthiness.

Criminal Record

A criminal background check is an important part of any individual background check. It will reveal any past misdemeanor or felony convictions, and may also report pending charges or arrests. Employers are typically most concerned with convictions, as these offer proof of guilt, but the check will also include details about legal infractions like citations and fines (these are considered not to be crimes in some jurisdictions).

In addition, a criminal background check might also report any searches for an applicant done on national sex offender registries or similar databases. However, the result of those searches cannot be used to discriminate against an applicant.

Depending on state laws, juvenile records can be kept sealed or expunged and not show up in criminal background checks. Additionally, some states have laws that allow defendants to request that their records be wiped clean. For these reasons, it’s important to understand the rules in your area before you do a criminal background check.

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, EEOC guidelines, and local Ban the Box laws can impact when and how an employer considers an applicant’s criminal record for screening purposes. This is why it’s crucial to have clear, consistent hiring and screening policies for your business, regardless of the state in which you operate or where your employees work.