Background Check California – Ultimate Guide for 2023

4:54 PM, Apr 03, 2023
4:54 PM, Apr 03, 2023

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If you're looking for information on how to perform a criminal background check CA, you've come to the right place! This guide is the most extensive resource available online for conducting a thorough background check in California.

Our coverage of California background checks will be comprehensive and includes recommendations for the most user-friendly background check services. It's important to note that accessing public records in California isn’t a straightforward process.

Although they’re publicly available, sifting through tons of documents and data to find background details on one person is like finding a needle in a haystack. This is why our recommended CA background check services are your best shot at finding accurate information in a matter of seconds.



7 Best Background Check California Services 

What is a Background Check California?

Input the fundamental details you possess about an individual and the criminal background check CA facility will search its database. The duration of the process might exceed a few minutes, but you can rely on obtaining a substantial amount of genuine information. 

A CA public records search can turn up a variety of data, including but not restricted to personal details, employment and educational information, potential relatives and acquaintances, location history, criminal and court records, details about sex offenders, social profiles, and real estate.

If you want to manually search public records, however, access to all of this information is a long shot. If you employ criminal background check CA services, your chances of discovering accurate background information on a person are higher. 

The criminal background check CA services search their database of billions of federal and California public records using the ID information you submit to look up pertinent facts. They then combine the information into a background check report that is simple to read and distribute to others.

An average criminal background check CA report might contain

  • Background in education
  • Records of crimes and arrests
  • Bankruptcies
  • Date and year of birth
  • An entire name
  • Photographs
  • History of employment
  • Accounts on social media
  • Aliases
  • Liens
  • Monetary resources
  • Civil court documents
  • Professional permits
  • Permits for weapons



How to Run a California Background Check?

There are two ways to conduct a criminal background check CA: one is challenging, and the other is simple. 

The difficult technique involves employing the manual process and contacting pertinent public offices for public records, making a public records request, and then looking through those records for the needed data.

Doing a criminal background check CA using people search services like BeenVerified or TruthFinder is the simple method.

By doing so, you can perform a criminal background check CA by simply inputting the name, city, and phone number of your target person. You can check for someone using reverse phone lookup applications even if you know their email address.

Criminal background check CA will search through its database when you submit the minimal information you have on a person. It may just take a few minutes, but if it does, you can be sure that you will receive a ton of real information.

How Can I Access Public Records in California?

It can be difficult to get public documents in California, despite the fact that the state keeps them across numerous departments. For those who have looked for public records, this is no secret.

All Californians have the right to access records stored by state and municipal organizations under the California Public Record Act and the state constitution. The public records of CA contain the following.

  • Crucial documents
  • Criminal histories
  • Prisoner files
  • Court documents

In California, there are only a few exemptions, and requests for public records must be answered promptly. You won't be allowed to appeal the denial of your California records request.

Any government agency in California may be requested for public documents, and each has its own protocols, costs, and processes. You must send the record-keeping organization a request by letter, email, or phone in order to obtain public documents. 

Several organizations require paper forms to be submitted. You may run into some variations in the rules as you access government documents from several places because each agency is distinct.

A public records request must include the following information:

  • When you specifically wish to receive the documents
  • Title of the file
  • Your contact information
  • Delivery method - email or snail mail

Be sure to contact and enquire about office hours and processes before visiting a California government office or public organization.



California Background Check Laws 

With a few exceptions, background checks are typically permitted in California. According to California law, businesses that engage in activities for the purpose of employment are subject to a number of regulations and restrictions. 

California has the following background check laws:

  1. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  2. Anti-discrimination Laws
  3. The California Information Privacy Act (CIPA)
  4. California's Ban the Box Law
  5. The Los Angeles and San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinances

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The FCRA imposes two obligations on employers. In these areas, all employers have obligations.

  1. Prior to conducting a background check, consider the applicant's signed authorization
  2. If the results of the background check prevent the candidate from being hired, let them know

Employers who execute background checks internally are exempt from the FCRA, while those who hire a third party to do so are.

CA Anti-discrimination Laws

Employers in California are prohibited from treating job candidates differently due to the following reasons:

  • Sexual preference
  • Race
  • Ethnicity

It's crucial to remember that California employers may break the law if they adopt a rule that automatically disqualifies any applicant with a criminal record.

The California Information Privacy Act (CIPA)

Many of the elements of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act are duplicated in the California Investigative Protection Act. For instance, CIPA mandates that employers must request consent from a candidate before doing a criminal history check.

An employer must abide by the following requirements if it conducts an internal background check:

  • The employer shall, at the applicant's request, furnish a copy of the report or permit the applicant to inspect the report



California's Ban the Box Law

California's AB 1008 "ban the box" law became effective on January 1st, 2018. The rule:

  • When making a conditional job offer, an employer may not inquire about the criminal background of a candidate

The once-common interview question, "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" is now against the law. This restriction only applies to businesses with 5 employees or more. It’s possible for the hiring process to include looking into an applicant's criminal history. 

Before making a job offer, there are requirements, though. These are some instances of similar situations:

  • Criminal history checks on potential candidates, if applicable
  • Completed criminal background check CA successfully

The new rule mandates that if an employer learns an applicant has a history of criminal convictions, the company must conduct an independent assessment of the applicant. The employer must take several factors into account when deciding whether or not to recruit a candidate. 

These issues are:

  • The details of the task being completed or sought after
  • The length of time that has passed since the offense was committed or the penalty was carried out
  • Offense severity, surrounding circumstances, and behavior type
  • The potential impact of the applicant's criminal history on their capacity to perform their duties

After this examination, an employer is free to reject a candidate as long as the organization's requirements inform the decision. The applicant must be informed in writing of the decision in cases like this. Within five business days at the latest, the applicant must respond to this notification.

Any comments given must be taken into account by the business. The business may choose to do one of two things in light of this information:

  1. Hire the applicant
  2. Reject a job applicant based on specifics of their criminal record

The Los Angeles and San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinances

Los Angeles and San Francisco both approved fair chance ordinances that provide comparable safeguards prior to the ban on the box statute.

They offer a "fair chance" as a result of the following:

  • If a prospective employer decides not to hire a candidate, also termed taking "adverse action", because the candidate has a criminal history. In order to prove that they’re still qualified for employment, the candidate may offer supporting documentation

The two cities have updated their ordinances to comply with the ban-the-box law and provide applicants with more superb protection as a result.



How Far Back Does a Background Check Go in California?

For background checks on potential employees, the state of California uses a seven-year look-back period.

When issuing a conditional job offer, California companies are permitted to obtain a criminal history check; the search, with some exclusions, covers the last seven years. Employers cannot thus disqualify applicants or take into account offenses that are older than seven years.

What Can You Find With a Background Check California?

When you run a California background check, you'll be astonished at how much information you may learn about a person. The following information can be found in a single background check report from a reliable people search service like BeenVerified, PeopleLooker, TruthFinder, or Intelius.

Personal Information

You can tell if you've located the appropriate person by looking at the personal information at the beginning of each criminal background check CA report. This could contain their name, age, birthdate, any known aliases, and pictures.

Jobs and Education

The second level of information that you can come across is education and career information, which includes information on where they attended high school and college as well as previous employers. 

Please take note that unless the background check service you're employing complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you’re not permitted to utilize this information for tenant or employment screening reasons.



Possible Relatives and Associates

This section contains potential families, friends, and workmates associated with the person you're looking up to. In fact, if you're looking for a relative, you might even find your own background check report.

CA Contact Information

In case you need contact information for leads, the background check California report also includes phone numbers and email addresses. If you conduct background checks for clients in California, this section will be especially helpful.

CA Criminal Records

Every criminal background check California police and court public records should be used as a source for criminal and arrest histories. You can discover details like the offense's kind, date, and place, as well as the case number and court name if it was litigated in a court of law.

CA Property Information

If you're attempting to assess a person's financial status, this section can be quite helpful. You can get information on currently owned properties, property taxes, selling prices, land values, mortgages, owned vehicles, vehicle identification numbers, and other things.

Related Links

Any online pages that might link to the person you're looking for are included in this section. If there are any, you can locate personal websites, blogs, news articles, and social media profiles.



How Long Does a Background Check Take In California?

How you decide to conduct your California background check will also affect this. A single background check California report would only be just a few minutes if you choose a reliable persons search provider like BeenVerified.

Consequently, you can quickly get complete results from as many inspections as you wish. The manual method, on the other hand, could result in a background check California report taking up to 1-3 business days. especially when it comes to the expert tenant and employee background checks.

7 Best Services for Background Check California

Let's examine the top five services in more detail now that you’re aware of how simple it is to use background check services in California. We'll quickly review each of these services to see what makes them unique from one another.

When it comes to background checks in California, you may also discover which person's search site is the finest for a specific objective.

BeenVerified –  Best Overall for Background Check California

California's leading background check company, BeenVerified, provides a variety of searches, including criminal histories, court records, public records, and more.

That might offer a more complete picture of someone's past. The business has access to billions of public documents from California and uses trustworthy sources of data to guarantee the reports' correctness.

BeenVerified's user-friendly technology, which makes it simple and quick for consumers to do searches, is one of its advantages. With a basic search interface and directions for navigating the reports, the platform is simple to use and intuitive.

Budget-conscious people or companies may find the company's low-price alternatives, such as monthly memberships and pay-per-search options, to their advantage. 

BeenVerified also provides customer assistance to help with any queries or problems that may come up during the background check California procedure. The business has a group of knowledgeable experts who can offer advice on how to use the platform and evaluate the data in the reports.



PeopleLooker –  Best Background Check California for Fast & Accurate Results

Users can look for information on people using PeopleLooker, a public records search engine in California, including their criminal background, contact details, and other details. PeopleLooker can prove to be a helpful resource when it comes to background checks in California.

According to PeopleLooker, it has access to a variety of public documents in California, including court records, criminal histories, and more. This indicates that in comparison to certain other providers, their background checks might offer more detailed information.

Even for those who are unfamiliar with background checks, it features a user-friendly platform that is simple to utilize. If someone or a company needs to perform background checks but doesn't have any prior experience with the procedure, this could be useful.

According to how many background checks you require, the California background check service offers a variety of pricing alternatives. Their prices are typically thought to be reasonable, which is beneficial for people or enterprises on a limited budget.



TruthFinder –  Best California Background Check Service for Value

When it comes to background check California, TruthFinder is in first place. You may easily conduct various types of searches using names, phone numbers, or email addresses thanks to the website's excellent user interface.

It has access to one of the largest databases of public records in California, which enables it to gather a sizable amount of precise information about a specific person. With the help of TruthFinder's background check services and dark web monitoring tool, you may acquire data that isn't available online.

The cost of TruthFinder is $28.05 each month, or $46 if you choose a two-month subscription. Find out why TruthFinder is the best option for background checks in California by reading our in-depth review.



Intelius – Best California Background Check Service for Accuracy

Similar to TruthFinder in California in terms of background checks is Intelius. Its very accurate results are the best feature of this national person search tool.

With a database of more than 20 billion public documents and nearly identical functionality to TruthFinder, it provides access to a wealth of data on every Californian. It’s just slightly less expensive than TruthFinder, with a monthly plan cost of $24.86.

It will cost you a total of $42.25 if you choose the two-month plan. Basically, the service is fairly similar to TruthFinder, with the exception being the absence of the dark web surveillance capability, which explains the slightly lower price.

Please read our review of Intelius if you're searching for a background investigation service in California.



Instant Checkmate – Best California Background Check Service for Speed

Instant Checkmate can be your best option if you need background check California results promptly. Because it offers a mobile app in addition to lightning-fast findings, this background check service is the ideal choice if convenience is important to you.

It's a feature you won't likely discover with another California background check company.

Instant Checkmate uses a vast database of public records to produce accurate background information. At a monthly plan price of $34.78 for this service, it’s on the more expensive end of the range. 

It offers a 3-month package for $83.47 in place of the 2-month plan. The anonymity of its consumers is something that Instant Checkmate takes great pleasure in, in addition to its fast speed. For additional information, see our review of Instant Checkmate.



Spokeo – Best CA Background Check Service for Reverse Email Lookup

Using only a person's email address, reverse email lookup enables you to perform a background check on them. As it turned out, Spokeo is the top email lookup background check service, making it a wonderful choice for you if you want to perform company research and produce leads in California.

Using only a person's email address, reverse email lookup enables you to perform a background check on them. As it turned out, Spokeo is the top email lookup background check service, making it a wonderful choice for you if you want to perform company research and produce leads in California.



US Search – Best for California Background Check Service for API Integration

You may easily conduct background checks using US Search's quick start guide. It's one of the few services that has a refund policy if you're not satisfied.

Even though they have a very simple web interface in comparison to other providers, their straightforward strategy can be sufficient if you only need basic background check California reports.

California background checks can be ordered from US Search for $3 each. Its monthly plan is a reasonably $19.86 a month if you need to do multiple searches or have a long-term need. If you want to learn more, read the US Search review.



What Does the California Public Record Law Say?

According to the California Public Record Act, everyone has the right to legally access documents that relate to the conduct of the general public.

Even if entirely personal information is found on a record that is accessible to the public, the California Public Record Act does not apply to it.

All sorts of records are covered by California statutes, which mandate a ten-day response time from executive and state agencies. In California, requesting a background check isn’t contingent on having lived there; nonetheless, if a request is turned down, there is no mechanism for appeal.

California Criminal Records - Background Check California

In California, "criminal records" is a more inclusive word that can apply to any evidence of interactions with the legal or judicial systems.

California's criminal history records are maintained by the state's Department of Justice. Misdemeanors and traffic infractions may or may not be included, depending on the jurisdiction.

  • Charges for felonies or lesser crimes
  • Day of trial
  • Date of the arrest
  • Charge
  • Appeal for Guilt
  • Convictions

As part of the recruiting process, many business corporations may check an applicant's criminal past. Access to criminal histories of nonprofit organizations is made available by the Attorney General's Office in California for background checks.

What's on a California Criminal Record?

An individual's legal run-ins are meticulously documented by numerous agencies. The public criminal records that are accessible for background check California reports include arrests, convictions, and jail sentences.

Specifically, the following information could be discovered in a California background check or criminal history:

  • Mugshot
  • Explanations in detail of the offense(s)
  • Being a sexual offender
  • The committing of any crime, little or major
  • Identifying information (name, birth date, nationality)
  • Fingerprints
  • The arrests were carried out by police departments or the California State Police
  • Recognizing physical markings on a person's body, such as moles, scars, or tattoos



Where Can I Find California Criminal Records?

In California, the Attorney General's office and the Department of Justice both maintain criminal records.

The California State Records Online Database, which is accessible through the California State Archives Online Database, can offer criminal records to the OAG and law enforcement authorities.

While criminal records are not disclosed without a person's knowledge, the government is required by law to get fingerprints in order to conduct a background check.

Criminal Inmate Records – Background Check California

Anybody seeking specific information about an inmate's present location, prior convictions, or planned transfers can submit a request for prisoner data to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Each state maintains comprehensive records on the inmate population.

What's on a California Inmate Record?

California records frequently contain personal information along with data on arrest and incarceration. The public can find out the following information by having access to detainee data:

  • Location of the prisoner
  • State of custody
  • Information about prisoner transfers
  • Mugshot
  • Time of birth
  • Arrest Data
  • ID code for the prisoner's registration
  • Gender
  • Name

Where Can I Find California Inmate Records?

On the website of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, you may find links that will help you track down criminals and support victims and advocates as well as information about convicts. You can get information from an inmate's public record through the California Inmate Finder.



Criminal Court Records – Background Check California

Documentation from court cases is abundant in California court records. Because of the court's lengthy schedule and intricate procedures, acquiring public court records is more difficult than obtaining other papers. California's judiciary is constituted of

  • Higher courts
  • The California Appellate Court or Courts of Appeal
  • The Supreme Court

What's on a CA Court Record?

Documents maintained by various courts may contain different information.

In the court records of California, you can discover the following:

  • Documentation of the witnesses
  • Court documentation and files
  • Dockets
  • Court-issued orders
  • The case number
  • Record of judgment
  • Court minutes

Where Can I Find California Court Records?

Some data may be obtained electronically, whereas requests for California court records necessitate a trip to the courtroom. Court records are kept by the Judicial Branch of California. Due to limitations imposed by the state, employers cannot request court papers.

California Vital Records - Background Check California

The Department of Public Health of California is responsible for maintaining the state's vital records. The Vital Records of California contain the following information.

  • Marriage Licenses
  • Divorce Decrees
  • California Death Records
  • Birth Certificates

Depending on the law that applies to the specific circumstance, requests for copies of public records of an essential nature may take many different forms.



Background Check California - Frequently Asked Questions

The following are a few of the frequently asked questions regarding background check California reports. If you have any questions that the above answers do not address, these should be able to assist you.

Can I Get a Free Background Check California?

It takes a lot of time to conduct a background check in California, and it's challenging to find service providers who deliver high-quality background check reports without charge.

We'd advise you to be especially cautious about the provider you're utilizing if you're seeking a free background check in California. In actuality, free background check California reports aren't that valuable.

The information you obtain from a paid background check website like BeenVerified, PeopleLooker, or TruthFinder is extremely difficult to locate for no cost. For additional details, visit the top websites offering free background checks.

How Much Is a Background Check California?

The monthly fee to do a background check in California with BeenVerified, PeopleLooker, TruthFinder, or Intelius will be between $24 and $28. With this one-month membership, you can conduct an infinite number of background checks.

Individual background check results are available for purchase through US Search, which charges $3 per background check California service.

What Background Check Service Is Best for California?

Due to its extensive database of public records, phone and email search capabilities, and dark web surveillance, BeenVerified stands out as the top background check California service.

With its fantastic user interface and marginally affordable price, PeopleLooker ranks as the second-best background check provider in California.



Can a Public Record Request Be Submitted by Non-residents in California?

Any California inhabitant, as well as any other government organization or American citizen, may obtain public documents in the state.

Is There a Records Custodian in California?

California does not have a designated record keeper. Statewide record requests must be made directly to the requesting agency, according to the Public Record Act of California.

What Exemptions Exist in Background Check California?

In California, materials that "publication would not be in the best public interest" are excluded. Under some conditions, information that is typically regarded as public—such as safety protocols, construction plans, medical information, and similar documents—may be omitted.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act's restrictions may not apply to all requests for public records.

How Long Does California Have to Respond?

If a request for public records is denied, is there an appeals process in California? Such a technique is absent from several other states. Is there a set date by which requests must be fulfilled? The California Public Records Act (CPRA) is silent on this issue.

Is there a procedure for administratively appealing a denial of a request? No. Nonetheless, each agency may set up its own appeals procedure. An administrative appeal procedure may still be available, according to California state senators.

What Fees Are Associated With Requesting a Background Check California?

Interacting with each California state agency has its own rules, procedures, and costs. Always check with the asking section to see if there are any fees before proceeding. The only service frequently charged for at most offices is certified copies.



Bottom Line on Background Check California

The services we've listed above can make it simple for you to locate accurate information, whether you’re in need of a background check California service for business purposes, to track down a family member or friend who has gone missing for long or to learn the truth about a prospective spouse.

In California, conducting background checks isn’t an easy operation, especially since you must contact several public offices and file a request for public records with each of them.

Your labor doesn't finish here, except for paying a charge for each request. Finding the information you need still requires scanning the documents you get.

With the top background check California services, everything is simple. The person search service will quickly put together a thorough CA background check report for you if you simply perform a search using the name, phone number, email, or physical address of your target person.



DISCLAIMER: You may not use the non-FCRA approved services mentioned in this article or the information they provide to make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance. These services don’t provide consumer reports and are not consumer reporting agencies. (These terms have special meanings under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq., (“FCRA"), which are incorporated herein by reference.) 

The information available on our website may not be 100% accurate, complete, or up to date, so do not use it as a substitute for your own due diligence, especially if you have concerns about a person’s criminal history. The services we mention do not make any representation or warranty about the accuracy of the information available through our website or about the character or integrity of the person about whom you inquire. For more information, please review each service’s Terms of Use.

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