FAQ

Frequently Asked Question

What is the cost of a standard background check?

Short Answer: The Average Cost of a Background check is about $39.00

Detailed Answer: By far, our most common question. However there is no “one size fits all” in terms of a background check. The cost is determined based upon how thorough the background check needs to be, balanced with the budget (per background check) of the client.To give an example; a very basic volunteer background check for a nonprofit organization may cost only $10.00 while a very in-depth executive level background screening could exceed $100.00. The difference being the scope of the background check. Most every background check includes our Nationwide Criminal Record Database and Sex Offender Search as well as a Social Security Trace to discover name variations and residence history. The cost then increases as we add searches such as… On-site County Criminal Records, Motor Vehicle Driving Records, Education and Past Employment Verifications, Credit Reports, Civil Litigation Records, Professional License Verifications, and more. Need help? Call or email us for a free price sheet with sample screening packages for your industry. Call 888.578.8600 or email contact@safescreener.com

What other fees are associated with having an account with SafeScreener.com?

Set up Fee (exception is clients requiring credit reports)
0$ Monthly Maintenance Fee
0$ Annual Fees
0$ Support Fees
0$ Storage Fees

Our clients only pay for the background checks they process each month.

How do I select a background screening package?

When you request pricing from us, you’ll get an email containing our “a la cart” search pricing along with sample screening packages (also with pricing). You can chose from these sample screening packages or create your own from the a la cart list. We encourage you to call us for assistance in establishing screening packages as our staff of professional background screeners can tell you how to get the most relevant information for your budget. 888.578.8600 x100

Here we have a sample Employment Screening Package Selection Chart to help identify the most appropriate searches for conducting background checks on prospective employees.

 

How long does a background check take from start to finish?

Short Answer: Turn-around-times on background checks typically run between instant (less than a minute), and three business days depending on the searches in the screening package.

Detailed Answer: We offer several Instant searches that provide immediate results such as:

Social Security Verifications
Residential History Traces
Nationwide Criminal Record Database Searches
Sex Offender Registry Searches
Motor Vehicle Driving Records
Credit Reports
Eviction Histories

and more. On the other hand, background screening packages that include Onsite County Criminal Record Research, Reference Verification Calls, Education Verifications, and other manual searches can range from one to three business days. International searches may take longer depending on region.

The SafeScreener system provides you complete access to all pending reports so that you can see the progress of each search along with detailed notes from our researchers.

What's the difference between a County, Statewide, Federal, or Nationwide Criminal Background Check?

See the below chart for a comparison of ciminal record searches and how they’re best applied to an applicant screening package.

Criminal Record Search Comparisons Chart

Criminal Record Search Type
Coverage Summary Criminal Case Types Found Best utilized for…
Important Points

County Criminal

Smallest jurisdiction geographically, butstatistically the most complete court record information.
Best source of data when corresponding to the applicant’s address history for 7 to 10 years.
Note: Criminal case records date back a minimum of 7 years, usually much further. Record access varies with each county based on various factors.

Majority of common criminal records found here, including felonies, misdemeanors and serious traffic.

 

Examples:

assault, battery, theft, larceny, homicide , driving under the influence., burglary, child neglect, et al.

ALL APPLICANTS
Ideally, (and most commonly), you should have each county of residence searched based on a minimum of 7 years residential history.

 

Note: Recent maiden or past married names should be checked when budget permits.

Hands on research at county courts can require 1 to 3 business days.
Some counties may have additional fees.
Note:With the exception of New York, most county fees are absorbed by SafeScreener.com

 

Average Cost

$12.00 per county

 

Statewide Criminal

The entire state when that particular state has a reliable criminal record repository system. Most do not.

 

Majority of common criminal records found here as each county is “required” to relay information to state repositories.

 

Note: Counties do NOT consistently comply in a timely manner (if at all) , so many state repositories can contain outdated dispositions or lack records from entire counties.

Replacing county searches in select states where data is complete and accessible.

 

Note: SafeScreener.com will automatically replace county searches with state repositories when it benefits the client for cost and coverage.

Most states do not have reliable criminal record repositories that meet the following criteria…

• Up to date

• Complete

• Cost Effective
• Time efficient

Average Cost for state searches that DO meet these criteria.

$15.00 per state

Federal Criminal

Similar to county research, federal criminal record searches are typically conducted for federal jurisdictions of residence.

Federal jurisdictions are much larger geographically than counties. Depending on population,states are divided into 1-4 federal districts.

In contrast, states may be divided into50 or more counties

Federal criminal cases typicaly extend beyond a single city or county jurisdiction.
Federal cases are investigated by federal agencies such as the FBI, DEA and ATF.

Examples:
Credit card fraud, computer hacking, wire fraud embezzlement. Often called “White Collar Crimes” though other crimes such as kidnapping, or drug trafficking can be found in federal courts as well.

ALL EXECUTIVE and upper level management positions.
Also should be utilized on for screening job positions with access to …
• Company or Client Financials e.g.: Accountants, Money Managers, Hedge Fund Managers, Bankers, Personal Finance Managers.

 

• IT Professionals e.g.: Network Administrators, Database Administrators.

Only 8% of criminal records are found within federal courts.
The Federal government has removed dates of birth and social security numbers from most case files.
Very common names can result in “name match only” on occasion.

 

Average Cost

$9.00 per jurisdiction

Nationwide Criminal Database

Archived Criminal Data from All 50 U.S. States plus Guam and Puerto Rico.
Should NOT be considered complete criminal record information from any state or county.
Information extracted periodically from various counties, state court repositories, department of corrections records and sex offender registries.

 

Note: Document of full coverage is available upon request.

Criminal felony, misdemeanor, sex offender records and some traffic.
Cases found are

Note: Federal records are NOT found in these database searches unless the crime results in a sex offender registation.

ALL APPLICANTS
Ideally when added to county criminal record searches or added to a statewide search from a reliable state repository.

 

May be used as a stand-alone search when…

• Budget very limited.

• Used as “first line of defense”.

• Broadest criminal record coverage.

• Excellent value for cost.

• Can lack complete information.
• Many jurisdictions simply don’t contribute.
Note: Records discovered should be verified with corresponding county research If the record could result in adverse action towards the applicant.

Average Cost

$10.00 per search

How do I know that SafeScreener is a legitimate and reliable company?

We’d be the first ones to recommend doing a background check on a company you intend to do business with. That being said, here is some history of our company and a few simple ways you can verify the provided information.
SafeScreener is our DBA (Doing Business As) name for our legal name of Background Screening Consultants LLC. We have been a registered Illinois business in good standing since 2004 as well as a licensed business in the city of Chicago. Verify via the Illinois Secretary of State’s Corp/LLC Search.
SafeScreener.com / Background Screening Consultants LLC is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau and maintains an A+ rating. Verify through the Better Business Bureau website.
SafeScreener.com / Background Screening Consultants LLC has been an active member in good standing of the NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners) since 2004. The NAPBS sets the standard for compliant and responsible background screening services. Verify through the NAPBS website.
SafeScreener.com / Background Screening Consultants LLC is Safe Harbor self certified which means we’ve taken the proper steps through the U.S. Department of Commerce to assure compliance with not only the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act but also the data protections measures required by European Union nations. Verify our Safe Harbor self certification through the U.S. Department of Commerces SafeHarbor website.
Talk to our current clients. They’re our best promoters, and they work for free! Corporate references available upon request.

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act effect applicant background checks that DON'T contain Credit Reports?

Yes. Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulations must be followed when performing applicant background checks on potential employees or potential tenants. Penalties from the government along with civil actions are a very real possibility for companies that do not abide by the guidelines. Fortunately, it’s very simple when you know how and especially when you work with a company that provides you the tools and knowledge to be compliant.

30 Second History: The Fair Credit Reporting Act was originally established in 1970 as an addition to the Consumer Protection Act of 1968. The purpose of the Fair Credit Reporting Act was to protect consumers from inaccurate information gathered by credit bureaus. Its scope has since expanded to include information gathered by Consumer Reporting Agencies (Background Screening Companies) that collect data from public record sources, private databases and oral interviews. Consumer Reporting Agencies then combine this data to create a consumer report (background check) which is provided to their clients. It is a shared responsibility of the background screening company and the employer to act in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting. However a good background screening company will educate the client and make compliance a simple routine. For example, a few ways that we automatically assist our clients in maintaining compliant practices is through…

Filtering criminal record search findings based on Federal F.C.R.A as well as State Level F.C.R.A. compliance
Providing all clients and applicants toll free access to our staff.
Making applicants aware of their rights by notifying them in detail of what they should not report on the application section pertaining to criminal record history. (noted on each authorization.)
Providing our clients with one click access to pre-adverse and adverse action documents.
Maintaining a standard procedure for all applicants in regards to disputing information discovered in the course of an applicant background check.
Providing the applicant with contact information at the jurisdiction in question to resolve inaccurate court information when necessary.
Complying with the Credit bureaus required procedures for permissible purpose requests, secured transmission and storage of consumer credit information.
Complying with the individual State MVR mandates on request procedures, receiving and storage of electronic information.
Taking a role in educating HR Personnel and/or providing documentation on State Specific reporting guidelines as well as Federal F.C.R.A. reporting guidelines in regards to criminal record reporting, credit histories, etc.

Don’t worry, we make it easy! See more about the Fair Credit Reporting Act via the following links…

**What Hiring Managers / Business Owners need to know.**

**What Property Managers / Landlords need to know.**

Have questions? Contacy us, we’re here to help!

888.578.8600

contact@safescreener.com

Are small businesses subject to laws of the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

Yes they are. The Fair Credit Reporting Act does NOT differentiate between small, medium, or large businesses. Any organization or individual utilizing the services of a Consumer Reporting Agency (background screening company) to screen employees or tenants must take the proper steps to assure compliance. Don’t worry, we make it easy! See more about the Fair Credit Reporting Act via the following links…

**What business owners need to know.**

**What landlords need to know.**

Have questions?

888.578.8600