Dec 23, 2016


At 3rd Degree Screening, whenever we are performing a comprehensive background check, we take full advantage of the national criminal database and use it as a supplemental resource for our verification services. However, searching the national criminal database should never be a substitute for a full background check.

In today’s post, we’re explaining why, along with how the 3rd Degree Screening team uses the national criminal database. Read on to learn more, and be sure to contact us today to find out how our applicant tracking systems and pre-employment background check services can help your business grow!


Although we would never recommend the national criminal database as the basis of a thorough criminal background check, our background check team frequently uses it as a supplemental search tool when performing a comprehensive background check.

The purpose of the national criminal database search is to find records from jurisdictions that may not have been found during a routine search of an applicant’s typical jurisdictions (i.e. previous jurisdictions of residency or jurisdictions found during a Social Security verification and trace).

For example, our team recently verified a felony assault charge on an applicant in a jurisdiction which they did not disclose to the employer. The jurisdiction in question also failed to come up during the social security trace.

We were able to verify this record using a national criminal database search.


Our verification specialists physically look at and inspect every possible record that comes back for a name in the national criminal database search. Once a verification specialist determines that a record needs further research, we will send the information to our court researcher in the jurisdiction where the record would be located. Our researcher in that jurisdiction can then perform further research using the information at hand in order to confirm or deny that it is the applicant in question.

In the case where we found an undisclosed felony charge, our local jurisdiction researcher was able to confirm it was the applicant we were looking for by verifying that the full name, date of birth, and last 4 digits of the social security number matched the record on file.


As a part of our full background check, the team at 3rd Degree Screening can find criminal records at the court level (i.e. the county level) that are not found in the national criminal database.

For example, we recently verified multiple criminal records on an applicant based out of Colorado. These records included misdemeanors ranging from possession of an illegal substance to petty theft. Employers may assume that this information would be found in the national criminal database…however, in this instance, it was not. If this employer had only conducted the national criminal database search, they would not have had all the information they needed to determine suitable employment for the applicant within their company.

If you are a Colorado employer and are only using a national criminal database search, you need to know what information from the state of Colorado is being reported there. Even if a record is found in the national criminal database, it is important to verify the record from the original source, which is typically at the court (county) level. If you do not have the record verified from the source, you may be putting yourself at risk of not being FCRA-compliant.

Choose 3rd Degree Screening’s Full Background Checks

Is your background check company going the extra mile to verify criminal records found at the national and local levels? As a rule of thumb, if you are receiving records results instantaneously, they are likely not being fully verified.

Protect your business from unsuitable candidates (and ensure that you stay FCRA-compliant) by partnering with a background check service you can trust. At 3rd Degree Screening, we can provide full background checks for businesses across the nation. Whether you’re looking for a pre-employment drug screening, an educational history check, reference checks, or more, you can turn to us for expert assistance. We are a proven leader in the industry, with more than 20 years of experience helping businesses attract, hire, and keep their dream teams.

Contact us today to learn more and get started now.

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