Phone 714-964-6045

Help Desk 866-570-4949

Frequently Asked Questions

1Q. What is a background check?
1A. It's the process of researching and collecting information on an individual's criminal records, education, employment license and residence verifications, and the financial records of an individual. A background check also provides records for sex offender registration, civil court proceedings, like civil judgments and bankruptcies, workers compensation claims, current contact information and previous addresses.

2Q. Why is it necessary to conduct background checks?   
2A. There is a legal and business obligation for organizations to conduct a comprehensive screening program that reassures and safeguards employees, customers, business assets and a company's reputation. Many applicants make inaccurate or incomplete claims on their rental or job applications/resumes or have been involved in criminal activity which they do not disclose. It is necessary to verify this information so employers and property managers can make the best informed decisions. Although there is no guarantee against criminal acts, background checks reduce the likelihood of crime, and may reduce an organization's liability in the event a crime occurs.  Employment checks offer an employer the opportunity to view a potential employee's past work relationships with employers and to get a better understanding of the employee's work ethic.  Tenant background checks offer landlords and property managers the chance to see if a prospective tenant would be a reliable tenant.

3Q. What is a basic employment background check?
3A. A basic background check is the minimum information you should verify on an applicant, even when you are limited by budget or other constraints. This includes:

  • Nationwide Criminal – includes State and County records; FBI Most Wanted List; Homeland Security Watch List; Sex Offender Registry; Interpol Most Wanted and a Global Report.
  • SSN Address Trace report – verifies SSN with addresses; includes Social Security Death Index and lists aliases and maiden names; checks date of birth.

4Q. What goes into a comprehensive background check?
4A. Start with a basic background check and then select additional searches based on your particular needs.

  • Federal Criminal or County Criminal Record Check. 
  • Civil Searches, either Upper or Lower Courts
  • Employment Verification.  
  • Education Verification. This is to verify post-high school education for professional and management positions.
  • Professional References
  • DMV Report

5Q. Why conduct a comprehensive background check?
5A. For these reasons:

  • To greatly increase the likelihood of uncovering hidden issues in an applicant's history.
  • To help reduce or eliminate legal and employment concerns such as negligent hiring liability.
  • To be more confident that a candidate's attitude, skills, and experience match the position and organization.
  • Because of the large number of applicants who make false claims, a comprehensive background check will help screen out dishonest employees or questionable tenants.
  • An employer will likely be more successful as a business if a comprehensive background check is done.

6Q. What is the best background check?
6A. The best background check is a comprehensive background check. A detailed comprehensive background check allows an employer a snapshot into the character of the applicant. Is this applicant going to embellish the results of their job performance, or have the job qualifications listed, or could this identify safety issues in the workplace?

7Q. When should the background check process be initiated?
7A. A background check should be initiated through the normal hiring process when the job applicant finalist is identified. In the case of a prospective tenant, the background check should be conducted prior to renting or leasing.

8Q. Is a job applicant's permission needed prior to conducting a background search?
8A. Federal law requires that the employer must ask for and receive the consent of the job applicant, Tenant or volunteer prior to conducting a background check.  Our customized Disclosure and Release document must be signed by the applicant prior to conducting a background search.

9Q. Does a background check need to be relevant to the position for which the applicant is applying?
9A.The information asked for in a background check should be relevant to the position for which the applicant is applying.  For example, an employer may check on your driving record if you are required to drive a car for the job but not if you are applying to work in a bank.

10Q. What do employers look for in a background check?
10A. Prospective employers are usually concerned about discrepancies between what the applicant claimed and what is reported by schools, prior employers, etc. Most organizations also watch for  negative reports such as a bad driving record or a criminal history. Employers should verify anything that is important to job performance, would impact the applicant's job qualifications, or could affect the safety of employees, customers or the general public.

11Q. Which of your reports are available online instantly?
11A. The following reports are available virtually instantly:

  • Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS)
  • Employment Credit Report
  • Federal Criminal Search
  • Global Report
  • InstaCriminal Nationwide + Alias Search
  • InstaCriminal Single State Search
  • InstaEviction, National Search
  • InstaEviction, Single State Search
  • Motor Vehicle Report (MVR/DMV) – except Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, Oregon and Pennsylvania
  • Social Security Address Trace Report
  • Tenant Credit Report with FICO Score

12Q. What are the turn-around times for your other background checks?
12A. The turnaround times are as follows: 

  • Criminal Search, Single County                            1 – 5+ Business Days
  • Education Verification                                          2 – 5   Business Days
  • Employment Verification                                     2 – 5+ Business Days
  • MedClear ORG (Organization), National              1         Business Day
  • MedClear PRO (Professional), National                1         Business Day
  • Professional License Verification                         1 – 2   Business Days
  • Professional Reference Verification                    2 – 5+ Business Days
  • Residence Verification                                         2 – 5+ Business Days
  • Workers' Comp Report                                                     Varies by State

13Q. When ordering an employment verification report, what questions are permissible?
13A. A potential employer is usually interested in:

  • General questions such as dates of employment, job title and job responsibilities.
  • Job history - positions held by the applicant and the specific responsibilities in those positions.
  • Past performance on the job, overall work ethic, strengths and weaknesses, punctuality, tardiness, functioning ability in a team environment, amount of direct supervision the individual required, attention to detail, ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.

14Q. Aren't all background screening companies alike?
14A. Screening companies differ greatly. Many have contracts to lock you in for a set time; others require you to pay a membership or monthly/ annual fee. In addition, the types, quality and details of reports vary significantly from company to company.

15Q. What products and services does your company offer?
15A. Please see our "Value Added Services" page

16Q. How does your background search system protect our company from other liabilities?
16A. DGH Background Services strictly adheres to all Local, State and Federal laws and regulations related to conducting background checks and is itself subject to periodic compliance
audits.  We are also committed to helping our customers comply with the Fair Credit Reporting
Act (FCRA) and its regulations regarding background checks. Our Consumer Disclosure, Summary of Rights, and Adverse Action letters will also help to keep you in compliance.

17Q. Do current employees have to undergo background checks?
17A. That is a decision for your organization to make.  An increasing number of companies are
screening current employees, who were recently transferred, promoted or assigned to positions that are security sensitive.
18Q. Can an employer run a background check on an employee after a year of service, without the employee's knowledge?
18A. Usually, an employer will conduct a background check prior to hiring an employee. However, if the employer chooses to wait, that does not mean that the employer has waived his right to conduct the background check. As long as the required Disclosure & Release form was signed, the employer has permission to run a background check anytime.

19Q. Do you provide financial records, such as bank account information?
19A. No, bank account information is considered private and is not publically available. However, we do provide reports that may include bankruptcy information which is publically available and may be viewed as a financial record.

20Q. When should a person's credit be checked?
20A. An employer may want to check an individual's if they will be handling money.

21Q. Why check a person's driving record?
21A. If your job requires driving, you may be asked about traffic violations or DUIs you have had or if your license has ever been suspended.

22Q. Do your reports provide Date of Birth and Social Security Number information?
22A. Social Security Number information is private and is not publically available. However, date of birth information is commonly found in public records. Many of our criminal record data sources include an individual's date of birth.

23Q. Who are your data source providers?
23A. Our data sources include county courts, state Administration of Courts, state Department of Corrections and many more. We also utilize third party data providers which allow us access to billions of records thus improving the quality and volume of your results. Plus our licensed private investigators have access to additional information.

24Q. How current is the data I am searching?
24A. While we use hundreds of data sources, their update frequency varies with each data source. However, obtaining the latest available data is one of the many aspects that sets us apart from other screening companies.

25Q. Do errors occur in background checks?
25A. The information in a background check is created, compiled, maintained, filed, stored, retrieved, and reported by individuals who can make mistakes and computer systems that can fail to operate properly.  This is why it is important to give the applicant the opportunity to review negative information. If the applicant identifies information in a report that is incomplete or inaccurate, we can re-investigate.

26Q. Who will have access to the background check results?
26A. An organization's Human Resources department will usually manage and retain all background reports. Only authorized personnel should be allowed access to these reports.

27Q. How many years does a background check go back?
27A. Section 605 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) prohibits a background screening company from reporting the following:

  • Bankruptcy cases that antedate the report by more than 10 years.
  • Paid tax liens that antedate the report by more than seven years.
  • Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss that antedate the report by more than seven years.
  • Civil suits and civil judgments that antedate the report by more than seven years.
  • Any arrest record older than seven years.
  • Any other adverse information, other than records of convictions, which antedate the report by more than seven years.

28Q. What happens if a search attempt cannot produce a completed report?
28A. If we are unable to generate a completed background screening report, we will not charge you. However, a report with the result of "No Matches Found" is considered a successful and completed report.  We cannot be responsible for the following conditions.

  • A record that was not listed.
  • A data entry error or mistake.
  • The individual under investigation was not convicted.
  • A conviction record was sealed or expunged.
  • The crime was committed before the age of 18.

29Q. What does it mean if a search report status comes back as "pending"?
29A. All background checks with the status of "pending" require review by our compliance
Department. A status of "pending" may occur for such reasons as:

  • A discrepancy has been found regarding a person's information.
  • An institution is not able to provide a timely response.
  • Criminal felony or misdemeanor records have been found on the applicant's record.
  • Additional record verification is needed.
  • Individual has a common name.

30Q. How will we receive the background check results?
30A. Results are posted online in our password-protected secured Client Log-In site. In addition, you will be sent an email notification that the results are available for review on our secured server.

31Q. What are Adverse Actions?
31A. If a person is denied a job based on a background check, the employer is mandated by law to provide you with a copy that your background check and to tell you why you were refused employment.

32Q. How do we get started with your service?
32A. Simply call us to get started. We will complete the paperwork so that all you have to do is review and sign. If you prefer, you can complete the forms found at the Open an Account tab.

33Q. Must we use your company exclusively?
33A. You can use our services in conjunction with other background screening services as long as there is no conflict with the agreement you have with your other screening company.

34Q. How much does it cost to get started with DGH Background Services?
34A. Account setup is free and easy. Also, we do not have any monthly or yearly fees, no membership or cancellation fees.  All charges are per completed search.

35Q. Is there a cost for getting trained on using your background check system?
35A. There is no cost for training or any ongoing support.  Training is quick and easy and will allow you to start running reports that same day as your account is opened.

36Q. What does a background check cost?
36A. Cost varies according to the type of checks requested and usage.

37Q. Can anyone run a background check?
37A. Because of the sensitive nature of the information gathered, background checks are restricted to those with a legal "permissible purpose."

38Q. Does the applicant need to sign something?
38A. Federal law requires that an applicant must be give written authorization before you run a background check. They need to complete & sign a Disclosure & Release Form that we provide to you.

39Q. What about background checks on Volunteers, Contractors, and Agents?
39A. Background checks on volunteers, contractors, and agents should be handled as background checks "for employment purposes."

40Q. Why do other names sometimes appear on a Social Security Number report?
40A. Several reasons are possible:

  • If several individuals (such as spouses, parents or children) jointly apply for credit, the other names may appear under one Social Security Number.
  • If an individual's handwriting is misread on a credit application, the Social Security Number may be entered incorrectly. This may result in another individual's name appearing under an applicant's Social Security Number.
  • If a data entry error occurs when entering a name or Social Security Number from a credit application, another person may appear on the report.
  • If an applicant is using another person's Social Security Number, the other person's name may also appear. Or, if someone else is using the applicant's Social Security Number, the other individual's name may appear.
  • If an applicant has used an alias, that name may appear.
  • If an applicant has changed names, the prior name may appear.

41Q. What cannot be in a background check report?
41A. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) says the following cannot be reported:

  • Bankruptcies after 10 years.
  • Civil suits, civil judgments, and records of arrest, from date of entry, after seven years.
  • Paid tax liens after seven years.
  • Accounts placed for collection after seven years.
  • Any other negative information (except criminal convictions) after seven years.

42Q. Aren't some of my personal records confidential?
42A. The following records are confidential:

  • Education records such as transcripts, recommendations, discipline records, and financial information are confidential. A school cannot release student records without the authorization of the adult-age student or parent.
  • Military service records are confidential and can only be released under limited circumstances. Inquiries not authorized by the subject of the records must be made under the Freedom of Information Act. Even without the applicant's consent, the military may release name, rank, salary, duty assignments, awards, and duty status.
  • Medical records. While the FCRA requires your permission for the release of your medical records, there are a few instances when a medical record can be released without your knowledge or authorization. If employers require physical examinations after they make a job offer, they will have access to the results.
  • Questions such as age, marital status, and some psychological tests cannot be used by employers when interviewing.

43Q. What can my former employer say about me?
43A. Most employers have a policy to only confirm dates of employment, final salary, and other
limited information. Many states prohibit employers from intentionally interfering with former
employees' attempts to find jobs by giving out false or misleading references.

44Q. There is an error in my background check report. What should I do?
44A. You should do the following:

  • Talk to the employer. Explain the report's errors, and tell the employer you intend to file a dispute with the employment screening company. Although the FCRA does not require the employer to hold the job for you, a sympathetic employer may be willing to give you a chance to correct any errors.
  • File a dispute with the employment screening company that made the error. You may first call the company and tell them about the error. Then follow-up with a written dispute letter pointing out the errors in the report. Send your letter certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • Along with your letter you may submit information that verifies your side of the story; e.g., you may have a common name. The background check report may show a criminal record for someone with your first and last name but with a different middle initial. 

If you have further questions or need additional information, please call us at 714-964-6045 or complete our Contact Us form.