Since November 30, 1998, the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems (NICS), a section of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, has processed background checks for various reasons, including employment and firearm background checks. In 2021, the NICS completed 411,575,054 background checks, with more than 160.7 million processed through the NICS Section, while state users processed more than 250.8 million.
Having access to online background check systems can help reduce fraud in the workplace when hiring new employees and provides peace of mind knowing the people you work with are not misrepresenting themselves.
With so many online background check systems, which is the best? Continue reading to learn more about our top 10 choices for the best online background check systems;
Table of content
- US Search
- Instant Checkmate
- ID True
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What Is a Background Search?
- What Are Some Reasons a Person Conducts a Background Check Service?
- Are Online Background Checks Legitimate?
- How Do I Know if an Online Background Check Is Legit?
- What Is the Best Online Background Check Website?
- What Are the Top Criminal Background Check Websites?
- Which Are the Best Free Online Background Check Websites?
- Which Online Background Check Websites Are Recommended for Employment Purposes?
- Is It Possible to Check Your Background Online for Free?
- How Can I Obtain a Copy of My Criminal Record?
- How Reliable Are Online Background Checks?
- What Are the Red Flags in a Background Check?
- How Do You Tell a Candidate They Didn't Pass the Background Check?
- Outsourcing Employment Background Checks
BeenVerified offers an extensive web search, delivering results within a few minutes. Results contain information gathered from billions of records from public data sources and deep web locations. BeenVerified’s results include address history, phone numbers, education, employment, and criminal history.
BeenVerified offers pricing for online searches starting at $26.89 per month and is one of the best online background checks for social media username searches. Searching background information only using a social media username helps businesses that do most of their transactions via social media to help reduce the risk of fraud, scams, and other challenges these businesses often face.
Other benefits of using BeenVerified include accessing changes made on previously run reports and providing users with seven search options in one search.
Intelius allows users to search for the exact background information about an individual they seek. Most other background check services offer all information uncovered in search of a flat monthly fee. At the same time, Intelius makes it possible to customize the data you want to search for and bases your monthly payment on that.
Simple searches with Intelius may include property history, ownership information, property value, tax details, and contact information. More complex searches are also available through Intelius’s unlimited people search plan to help uncover data such as address history, photos, social media, relatives, associates, criminal history, lawsuits, civil judgments, traffic violations, and financial records.
Intelius offers a variety of pricing options and trial periods, making this online background check platform more affordable. With prices starting at $24.86 per month, users can take advantage of the trial period before committing to the monthly charge, giving them time to determine if Intelius is the best option for their background searching needs.
Since 1999, PeopleFinders has offered background check services by accessing more than 120 billion public records with more than 6,000 data sources. Users can search for names, email addresses, physical addresses, and phone numbers to reveal various details, including criminal backgrounds, education, assets, work references, liens, judgments, and marriage records.
With monthly subscription prices starting at $24.95, PeopleFinders offers the best scalable background check options for businesses wanting to check the backgrounds of employees, clients, and vendors. New users can use the first-month introductory rate of $9.95 to test out and determine if PeopleFinders is the online background check service best suited to their needs.
Using US Search for background checks offers users access to information gathered from millions of public records from local and federal sources. The detailed report includes information such as criminal history, traffic infractions, contact information, address history, personal assets, financial information, social media profiles, relatives, associates, and date of birth.
US Search offers easy and affordable access to public records, starting at $19.86 per month. With your monthly subscription, you can access printable PDF reports based on your background search.
PeopleWhiz is a background check service that allows users to conduct people, criminal history, and social media searches. These searches help reveal multitudes of information, including marriage and divorce records, criminal history, traffic infractions, bankruptcies, judgments, address history, contact information, licenses, permits, associates, and relatives. PeopleWhiz also conducts searches of popular social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
The best thing about using PeopleWhiz for background checks is the proprietary technology that helps ensure the search functions do not reveal false hosts on people with similar names. The company has an in-house team dedicated to acting as “bad data” watchdogs, who comb through public records, filtering our errors and increasing the accuracy of the reports.
PeopleWhiz offers monthly subscriptions starting at $27.99, offering access to over 67 billion public records. The wait time for a background check report from PeopleWhiz may be longer than that of other sites, but the longer time includes more searches and the filtering of false or duplicate information.
TruthFinder is one of the best background check systems used by those looking to reconnect with friends and family. This background check system is easy to use and affordable, making it one of the most popular services for people searches. Depending upon the membership level, TruthFinder users can search for people using their name, address, phone number, or email address.
TruthFinder searches help reveal tons of information, and those who pay for the full background check report can find information such as contact details, address history, academic records, social media usernames, employment history, associates, dating profiles, assets, criminal history, business details, and licenses.
Prices to use the services through TruthFinder start at $28.05 per month, with reverse phone lookups available for $4.99 per month. Most monthly subscribers can access the information they need, but others pay for extra services, including unlimited phone and email searchers, printable PDF reports, dark web searches, and report monitoring.
PeopleLooker offers various search options, allowing users to search by name, phone, address, social media username, or email. PeopleLooker also helps users search for unclaimed money.
Results from PeopleLooker reveal information gathered from millions of public records, helping users uncover information such as criminal records, employment verification, traffic violations, contact details, assets, associates, relatives, academic history, and financial data.
With prices starting at $22.86 per month, PeopleLooker offers users tons of information at their fingertips, including those wanting to run background checks on a potential date. One of the best features provided by PeopleLooker is its monitoring option, which notifies users when there are updates for any previously run reports. This feature helps keep users updated with people they have previously conducted background checks on, which can be helpful, especially when new criminal activity is reported.
CheckPeople offers easy-to-understand, organized reports for those needing to conduct background searches on people, reverse phone lookups, and criminal background searches. Background searches include information gathered from millions of public records, including information on the deep web. CheckPeople reports help unveil information such as social media profiles, contact information, address history, financial information, asset information, business history, registered license information, and details found on court and sex offender databases.
Prices for CheckPeople start at $29.16 per month (a three-day trial is available for $4.99), with additional pricing available based on search options needed. Searches available through CheckPeople span multiple jurisdictions, allowing background check reports to deliver complete and comprehensive personal and criminal results.
Instant Checkmate offers users immediate access to background check results, including reports such as inmate lookup, criminal history searchers, and reverse phone lookup. These searches comb through millions of data points and public information, revealing tons of information about the person being searched.
Instant Checkmate offers a monthly subscription for $35.12, with access to reverse phone lookup for $5.99 monthly. The full monthly subscription gives users access to multiple functions, allowing them to pull up information on any subject, including revealing their relatives, relationships, social media accounts, employment history, criminal history, bankruptcies, liens, licenses, and address history. Instant Checkmate is available via the website or using the mobile app.
Users wanting up-to-date and accurate information included in background checks should try using ID True. Providing a primary option for users looking for details about potential dates, lost family members, neighbors, and old friends, iD True is an easy-to-use service with comprehensive reports. Users can search for background information using names or phone numbers to access details in millions of federal, state, and local public records.
Background checks through ID True help uncover details, such as location information, contact details, criminal history, sex offender status, relatives, associates, verdicts, fines, judgments, bankruptcies, property information, and marriage and divorce records.
ID True is available for a monthly subscription rate of $24.95, with more extensive reports available at higher monthly subscription plan rates. ID True offers unlimited background searches and is ideal for those wanting to conduct basic background checks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Background Search?
A background search results in a report include information collected using various online tools and public data to reveal details about a person’s background. Information often shown in background searches includes criminal history, social media profiles, location history, financial information, traffic infractions, court records, education history, employment history, and much more.
What Are Some Reasons a Person Conducts a Background Check Service?
There are many reasons someone may use an online background check service, including wanting to conduct checks on neighbors or potential dates to help ensure personal safety. Others conduct searches to locate friends and family they have lost contact with. Background checks are commonly used to vet potential hires possible tenants, and for other business-related opportunities where background information is vital to reduce the risk of fraud.
Are Online Background Checks Legitimate?
Conducting background checks online is legitimate as long as those running the check follow all state and federal laws and regulations. Though employers can perform background searches independently, many rely on third-party background check providers, many of which offer services online.
How Do I Know if an Online Background Check Is Legit?
For an online background check service, look for those affiliated with known and trusted names. Additionally, check online reviews to determine how reliable and legitimate the company you plan to use is.
What Is the Best Online Background Check Website?
Many online companies offer background checks; some of the best ones used include BeenVerified, TruthFinder, and Intelius.
What Are the Top Criminal Background Check Websites?
When looking for comprehensive criminal background checks, Instant Checkmate, People Finders, and Intelius are the best online criminal background check resources.
Which Are the Best Free Online Background Check Websites?
Some of the best online background check websites offering free services include BeenVerified, Instant Checkmate, and PeopleFinders.
Which Online Background Check Websites Are Recommended for Employment Purposes?
When hiring new employees, it is vital to conduct thorough background checks. Top online background check services for businesses hiring new employees include US Search, Instant Checkmate, and Truth Finder.
Is It Possible to Check Your Background Online for Free?
Many online background check services offer general searches for free; however, if you seek a more extensive background check, paying for the service provides detailed information and ways to download complete reports with greater accuracy.
You may also be able to conduct a general background check on yourself to see what is listed in your report by using any of the above listed sites.
How Can I Obtain a Copy of My Criminal Record?
Before applying for a job or if you want to ensure your criminal record is accurate, you can request a copy of your background criminal record. Outside of using one of the online background checks, you can contact your state law enforcement agency or the FBI and pay a fee to receive the report.
How Reliable Are Online Background Checks?
Though no accuracy measurement system has been established to compare background check sites, you are more likely to obtain a more accurate report using a reputable provider.
What Are the Red Flags in a Background Check?
As an employer, it is vital to look for red flags that may come up in a background check. Common red flags may include criminal convictions, falsified education history, fabricated employment, and discrepancies in personal information.
How Do You Tell a Candidate They Didn't Pass the Background Check?
If you deny an applicant employment based on what you found in the background check, the best way to tell them is to share information in the report that led you to your decision and provide them with a copy.
Outsourcing Employment Background Checks
Some businesses conduct their employment background checks, while others rely on third-parties' assistance, including online background check sites. Below is a comparison of which background checks are conducted in-house versus using a third party:
|Credit and Financial
|Public Safety Verification
|Right to Work
|Social Media Screening
When Are Background Checks Conducted?
|Timing When Background Check is Conducted
|Percentage of U.S. Employers
|After a conditional job offer
|After interview, but before job offer
|Before job interview
|Post-hire or on-going
Average Wait Times for Background Checks
Below is a chart explaining the average wait times for background checks based on age:
|1 week to less than 10 days
|10 days to less than 2 weeks
|2 weeks or more
Top US States Performing Background Checks
The responses below are not provided, commissioned, reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any financial entity or advertiser. It is not the advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.