What is a Basic Background Check?

2 min read
Fri, Aug 19, 2016


For hiring managers, human resources, landlords, property managers or nonprofits, running background checks on applicants, tenants or volunteers may seem like an overwhelming proposition. Cost could be a factor as well as simply not understanding what information would be returned. At VeriFirst, we're frequently asked about "basic background checks" and if the information would be substantial enough to make a hiring or rental decision. 

What is included a basic background check?

What Searches are included in a Basic Background Check?

A basic background check may include the minimum information needed to make a decision. Included in a basic search are:

  • Identity verification - This instant background search verifies identity such as full name, social security number, date of birth, known aliases, and prior address history. A search of individuals associated with the same social security number is also run to prevent a fraudulent match. 
  • National criminal database check - Criminal records are retrieved from participating jurisdictions, administrative office of courts records, department of corrections, superior court index of felonies and misdemeanors and traffic court records. 
  • National sex offender search - Sex offender records are pulled from similar databases as the criminal database check. 

There is no singular database that all professional background screeners search for these records. Although considered a basic check, the databases accessed are quite comprehensive. 

For a complete and up-to-date copy of what’s included in the VeriFirst Criminal Database Record Search, CLICK HERE. 

Why Request a Basic Background Check?

There are numerous more complex and more costly background screenings that can be accessed for hiring and rental decisions. Why would a business, landlord or nonprofit rely solely on a basic background check? A few reasons:

  • Cost - The cost of a basic background check is minimal compared to other, more extensive, screens. Additional court costs for retrieval of records can be avoided.
  • Quick turnaround - The results of a basic background check may be returned nearly instantaneously. 
  • Safer than internet database search - While more detailed and comprehensive searches are far better than a basic background check, a basic check is more accurate, reliable and complete than a quick internet database search.

What's missing in a Basic Background Check?

Although budget and time may limit a background search to basic only, businesses and property managers should be aware of what's missing from a basic background check. These comprehensive searches may uncover problems with rental history or workplace fraud:

  • County Criminal Courthouse Records
  • Federal District Court Criminal Records
  • Tenant Eviction Record Search
  • International Watch List search
  • Credit History Report
  • Drug Screening
  • Employment History and Professional References
  • Education History
  • Driving Records

Customize Your Searches

If cost or turnaround time is a factor, there are still other options to gather more detailed and complete data on an applicant, tenant or volunteer. At VeriFirst, we offer customizable screening options based on the type of job or security level of the employee or volunteer. We also offer volume discounts. There isn't a need to run every background check on every person. A basic background check may work, in some cases more than others. Our goal is to work with our clients to offer the most accurate data, ensure compliance, decrease risk and help create a safe workplace or property. 

Start a Price Quote for Background Check

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