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Background Check and Employment Screening Verification Services

Criminal History Search

There is more to a criminal background search than finding a record. Many employers opt to do criminal background check research themselves and often conduct a substandard search or utilize the information obtained in a manner that violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act or similar State laws.

Selecting the right background check company can be as important as selecting the right applicant for a position. SmartStart can guide you through the complicated rules and regulations that surround background checks, ultimately making the process simple and beneficial.

County Level Criminal Search

Violations of State laws are heard in the county court. Therefore, the most accurate information regarding an applicant's criminal exploits can be found on the county level. Most counties have just one court, but several States have separate courts for felonies and misdemeanor records.

Statewide Repository Criminal Search

Many States offer a statewide repository that contains the criminal data from every county in the State. Unfortunately, the information is not always updated in a timely fashion, and depending on the State, information can be inaccurate or missing. In the event you request a statewide criminal search, any records located will have to be verified at the county level.

Federal Criminal Search

Violations of Federal law are heard in Federal District Court. Some States have as many as 100 or more counties, but no State has more than 4 Federal Districts. Some States have 1 Federal District for their entire State. Finding identifying information can be difficult in Federal cases and often creates longer turnaround times when records are located.

International Criminal Records

Criminal records can be obtained from other countries throughout the World but will often come with different regulations and stipulations.

Costs and turnaround times vary. SmartStart helps eliminate the barriers to this information (language, time zone, and legal) making your international background check program simple and effective.

Sex Offender Registry

All States have a sex offender registry. These registries report to a central registry creating the most accurate database of sex offenders in the nation.

If a registered sex offender moves out of State, they are required to register with their new State of residence. A search of the nationwide registry can ensure that you accurately determine if an applicant is a registered sex offender.

NationWise – Nationwide Database Search

Nationwide Database searches are also available. This search is not FCRA compliant, but due to the remarkable quantity of data it makes an excellent supplemental search. Data is extracted from hundreds of sources nationwide, including county level Administrative Office of the Courts, State criminal repositories, Department of Corrections, and the Sex Offender Registry to name a few. Over 450 million records exist in this database. Like all databases, the information may become outdated so the FCRA requires that any information obtained be verified against county level records.


SmartCheck® Basic Package

SmartCheck® consists of a SmartTrack SSN Verification and Address History search to identify all the locations an applicant has lived in the past 7 years. Then we search every county court where the applicant has lived.

This results in a cost effective, thorough, and accurate search. It does not include Federal records and can be combined with other services to create a package that best suits your company's needs.

For the ultimate criminal background check, go with the SmartCheck Complete!

SmartCheck® Complete Package

SmartCheck® is SmartStart's premier background check. This is the background check for companies who truly want to eliminate their liability and uncover an applicant's entire conviction history.

SmartCheck® consists of a SmartTrack SSN Verification and Address History search to identify all the locations an applicant has lived in the past 7 years. Then we search every county and federal court where district the applicant has lived. We add our NationWise database search to supplement and a nationwide sex offender search to ensure a thoroughly investigated applicant.



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What Are State Assessed Fees?

State assessed fees (SAF's) are fees assessed by the government organizations that house the criminal record data that we provide.

Although the majority of county level searches do not have SAF's, approximately 3.5% of them do charge a nominal fee to access their data. This fee will normally range from $5.00 -$10.00.

Most Statewide repositiories also charge a fee. Statewide fees are usually higher than county-level fees with a typical range of $15.00 - $25.00. The most expensive fee is New York. They charge $68.00 per search.

Typically, these fees are unavoidable and SmartStart advances these fees on your behalf to ensure the search is completed in a timely fashion.

List of Current State Fees

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