How to Get a Police Background Check

Updated March 23, 2017

Many employers require a background check as part of the hiring process. When you fill out your application, you will more than likely fill out a form authorising the employer to perform this check. It's a good idea to get a police background check on yourself, so you know what the potential employer will see. The process is easy but requires a small amount of paperwork and usually involves a small fee.

Obtain a background check request form from the proper police command or precinct. In many cases, you can obtain the form online. If you want checks that cover multiple jurisdictions, you may have to submit forms to multiple commands or precincts.

Fill out the form completely and find out how much the fee, if any, will be. This is usually printed on the form, or you can find out the information from the office where you obtained the form.

Send the form and fee payment, in the form of a check or money order, to the address provided on the form or from the office where you obtained the form. Alternately, some jurisdictions allow you to turn in the form and fee at a command or precinct.

Wait for a response. The time will vary depending on workload and location. In some cases, a "clean" background check may be reported to you by telephone, but this will depend on local rules and policies.

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