How to do a Background Check in Pennsylvania

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How to do a Background Check in Pennsylvania

Some people tend to hide information that can reveal their bad side. It is always a good idea to try searching more details on someone especially if you just met. A background check activity is the solution in such a case. This guide will show you how to do a background check in Pennsylvania.

A background check is a process whereby an individual or company try to verify if a person is who they really claim to be. That way it is possible to validate and confirm someone’s education background, employment history, criminal background and other details on them.

Most information that is sourced when a background check is conducted is public records. Public records can be accessed by anyone as they are regarded as public information. This is made possible by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The following details can prove useful to have with you when you are looking to perform a background search on someone:

  • The first, middle, and last name of the person you want to lookup
  • Any aliases the person may have used in the past
  • If applicable, a person’s family name or maiden name must be available
  • The person’s exact date of birth
  • The person’s gender
  • The person’s racial classification
  • The person’s unique social security number

The requester is also expected to provide information on themselves which will include their full name, current address, contact details and the reason they are conducting a background check on the person.

Pennsylvania Public Records Restrictions

Even though public records are accessible to the anyone who wants them in Pennsylvania, there certain restrictions that come with obtaining them.

Public and private employers are prohibited from considering arrest records when making employment decisions by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Employers are also not expected to take into consideration sealed or expunged records when making employment decisions.

Employees credit history is also off limits when considering someone for employment in Pennsylvania. Summary offenses such as loitering, harassment, disorderly conduct are also not to be considered when making hiring decisions.

Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH)

The Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH) can help you conduct a background check on someone in Pennsylvania. PATCH was developed to help the public in obtaining criminal records checks. The database was established and is maintained by observing the Criminal History Information Act of Pennsylvania which is found in Chapter 91 of Title 18, Crimes Code.

With this Act, criminal justice agencies, individuals and non-criminal agencies are able to access criminal history data from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).

Online requesters can fill up the form found on the PATCH site. For assistance while preparing your request for a background check on the site, you can call the PATCH helpline which is 888-783-7972.

Requesters who submit their request online must make sure that they constantly check the status of their request. They must make it a point that they have the control number plus the date that the PATCH check request was made.

Results from an online background check are normally returned instantly.

Individuals who are looking to submit their request by mail must first download the Criminal History Request Form and fill it. This form is to be mailed with a money order or certified check. If you need assistance with the form, you can call 888-783-7972 for help.

The completed form must be mailed with a certified check or money order to the:

Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository – RCPU
1800 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9758

Pennsylvania Judiciary

The Pennsylvania Judiciary has a web portal where you can view dispositions on most criminal cases from court dockets sheets found on the site. However, court docket sheets are not meant to replace a criminal history background check which is a service offered by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).

Pennsylvania Background Check from Background Checks

A Pennsylvania background check from Background Checks allows the public to search from multiple counties in Pennsylvania. This is because the website allows a statewide background check activity. If the county reports its data to the state repository, then that information can be made available from this site.

The background check service is heavily utilized by companies who are looking to find criminal history on not only people in Pennsylvania but all over the United States. Background Checks can provide background checks for about 45 states at the current moment.

A criminal history background check may return information such as case number, the jurisdiction where the record was taken, defendant, filing date, charge, disposition, disposition date, degree of offence, sentence, to name them.

These are some of the methods you can try out on how to do a background check in Pennsylvania. Try them out and see if you can find more information on the person of interest.