It’s safe to say that someone might run a background check on you one day. It could be an employer, a landlord, even an online date. It would be beneficial to know precisely what comes up when someone is looking up your background. Running a personal records search on yourself will do just that. Have peace of mind before anyone else starts to dig.
What Is A Personal Records?
Like a background check, this refers to when someone gathers and searches through public records of a particular person. Every government agency and most businesses record information.
Why Are They Done?
A public records search is done to learn more about your past or their character. Employment screening is common, when a company wants to investigate a potential worker. Note that employers must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, FCRA, when investing a candidate.
What Information Is Needed?
The more information you have on the person you’re searching for the better, but you can get started with just a name. One great thing about running a records search on yourself is that you already know all the information you need:
- Full name
What Does A Personal Records Search Yield?
What you’ll find depends on where you live. Most court records are public information. Arrest records, and police records, may not be. Some states don’t consider you to have a criminal record unless you faced conviction for a crime. In theory, you could be arrested for a crime you didn’t do and later had the charges dropped. This isn’t always the case, however, and arrests may come up. According to the fair credit recording act, an arrest that did not lead to a conviction shouldn’t be visible on a criminal records search after seven years.
The Department of Motor Vehicles keeps a large amount of information on you. Your entire driving record is kept with them. Any public records search should include information provided by the DMV. To get fully inclusive search results, it would be best to check any state you’ve previously held a license during the past twenty years. Expired licenses are still on file. Having your license number ready will make the search go faster.
Have you moved recently, or not so recently? Current and previous addresses from at least seven years, should be listed when you do your search. There are several “White Pages” search options, but these are often unreliable yielding faulty information, especially if you happen to have moved addresses often.
An extensive public records search of yourself would have to include your credit report. It’s very important to stay on top of this because of the financial ramifications it could have on your future. Inaccuracies are very common. With three different agencies issuing scores, there could be a discrepancy only noticed by one or two of the companies. You should at least know your credit score long before someone does a hard enquiry on you.
Sex Offender Registry
Criminals who perpetrate sexual crimes must stay on the registry for life. Even if you know you’re not on the registry, it might pay to look it over anyway for anyone that could be confused for you. There’s no better way to end a job interview than looking like a sex offender.
Companies want to know that your resume isn’t an outright lie. When you apply to a job, they’re sure to verify whatever information about yourself that you bring them. A company will most certainly check up on your past employers to see what kind of worker you were. They may also confirm with your school that you did actually graduate from there, or at least received the credits and passed the classes that you did. Make sure there aren’t any errors on your transcripts.
Marriage and Divorce Records
You have to apply for a license in order to get married, and the courts are heavily involved in divorce cases. The records of which can be found by someone if they were looking hard enough.
Fix All Errors
Mistakes happen. Paperwork gets mixed up and sometimes person A never talks to person B. Making sure public information on your is accurate (or the right you) is the most important reason someone would run a public records search on yourself. Countless mistakes can happen, but these are two to look out for:
- Similar Name: Are you a junior, or the third with your name? Similar sounding names is one of the most common mistakes that can happen when searching someone’s background.
- Identity Theft: This is a frequently occurring crime. It could happen to anyone who isn’t careful. You’ll want to fix the situation as quickly as you can.
Technology has made life easier by cutting down the time it takes to conduct a personal records search. Just type your name into the search bar and wait for the results. This will save your hours and hours of sorting through files by hand. Fix any inaccuracies and stay on top of your information.
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