Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Can your company provide services nationwide?

Yes, Background101 is a nationwide provider of background screening services. We also have the ability to conduct various services internationally.

How long does it take to get reports?

In most situations, results will be returned in 24-72 business hours. There are cases, in which courts experience delays in processing requests. Background101 account managers will keep you updated on the status of your pending background checks.

What searches are included in a background check?

The basic searches ordered as part of most background checks are County Criminal Record Checks, Driving Reports, Employment/Education Verifications, and Social Security Number Address Traces. See our product page for more details.

Why do background checks?

Conducting background screening on employees has become a matter of necessity for employers for several reasons. Many applicants make false claims on their job applications/resumes or have been involved in criminal activity which they may not disclose. If you want to ensure a safer workplace and avoid negligent hiring lawsuits, the amount you would pay to pre-screen your applicants is very small compared to the legal fees you could have to pay later.


How far back do your records go?

Typically, employers requesting an employment background screening on an applicant will request a 7 year history, although some states allow reporting information of up to 10 years. If in the state of California, if a potential applicant would be offered a salary of at least $125,000, the CRA can go back as far as 10 years. If this is not the case, the maximum allowed reportable period the state of California is 7 years. Aside from California, there are 11 additional states that limit the reporting of a conviction to seven years from the date of disposition, end of parole or release from prison. These laws are subject to change.

How do you handle additional names or aliases? Are there additional charges for researching additional names?

Background101 knows checking additional names is important because nearly all courts file their records based on the person’s name at the time the offense occurred. There may be additional charges as county criminal searches are charged by each name and each county.

Are databases used in criminal record searches? If so, how are they used?

We offer database searches as a complement to a thorough county criminal history search. We encourage our clients to add this service as a means to identify convictions that might have occurred in counties where the person may not have resided. Our staff reviews each criminal record before it is reported to our clients.


What is the turnaround time for drug screening?

Depending on the test ordered, the turnaround time for lab-based drug testing services is typically 24 hours, unless Medical Review Officer (MRO) services are necessary. MRO services are a standard practice to confirm all positive results.

Where does the testing take place?

We partnered with a 3rd party company compiled of more than 1,200 Patient Service Centers, 7,000 partner collection sites, 150 rapid-response laboratories, and approximately 200 rapid response dispatch offices. This means that no matter where your business and employees are located, a collection site is nearby.

Why conduct drug testing?

Employers design drug-free workplace programs to protect their businesses from the impact of drug abuse. Pre-employment drug testing helps prevent the hiring of individuals who abuse drugs and is most often performed as a part of the job application process.


Can third-party companies or resellers have access to Background101 Credit Reports?

No. Each company must be the end user of the report and needs to be approved directly with Background101 to access Credit Reports. Resellers are not eligible to access Background101 Credit Reports.

Can home based businesses be approved to access Credit Reports?

No, home-based businesses cannot be approved for Credit Reports.

Who is able to access Background101 Credit Reports?

Companies conducting employment screening and property management may be eligible to receive credit reports. Additional requirements may apply for those requesting credit reports. Please contact us for more information.


How can I dispute data inaccuracies?

If you believe that any information in your background report is inaccurate or incomplete, you may file a dispute with Background101 for free. The dispute investigation process generally may take up to 30 days, depending on the nature, scope and source of the information being disputed. Background101 will promptly investigate the specific information/records that you are disputing. Background101 also has trained customer service representatives who can work with you if you need assistance identifying the specific information/records that you want to dispute. You may contact Background101 Customer Service at 1-866-744-6438. Upon request, Background101 also will provide you with a free copy of background / file report(s), which you may request by contacting Customer Service at 1-866-744-6438, faxing a request to 1-714-564-9057 or emailing us at If you need assistance identifying the specific information/records that you want to dispute, it may be helpful for you to first request a free copy of background report, but it is not necessary for you to do so. Please note: Customer Service is available Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm EST.

How can I obtain a copy of my background check?

You may request a free copy of your background reports previously prepared by Background101. To obtain a copy of your report contact Customer Service at 1-866-744-6438, or fax a request to 1-714-564-9057 or email us at

What if I decide to not hire someone based on the results of the background report?

Should you decide to disqualify someone employment, due to the results of the background check, you are legally obligated to go through the following steps: Provide your applicant with a pre-adverse action letter, a copy of the entire background report, A Summary of your Rights under the FCRA form, and if in California, The California Statement of Consumer Rights form. Your applicant has 3-5 business days to resolve and/or dispute any negative information contained in their report. The pre-adverse action letter must include the name of the CRA, address and phone number. This is so your applicant can contact the CRA, if they wish to do so, in order to find out the details regarding the negative information they wish to dispute. Should the period of 3-5 business days pass and your applicant has not demonstrated they are in the process of disputing the information contained in their report, you must then provide your applicant with an adverse-action letter, a copy of the entire background report, A Summary of your Rights Under the FCRA form, and if in California, The California Statement of Consumer Rights form. The adverse action letter communicates to your applicant they are no longer being considered for employment and their decision was influenced by in the Consumer and/or Investigative Report, made at the employers request and provided by the name, address and phone number of the CRA.

What is Negligent Hiring?

Negligent hiring refers to a cause of action that arises from an employer’s obligation not to hire an applicant that they knew or should have known was likely to undertake conduct against other individuals or otherwise subject employees or third parties to actions which can create legal liability. Through negligent hiring lawsuits, many employers have been found liable for their failure to conduct appropriate due diligence through a pre-employment background investigation. Negligent hiring and retention lawsuits have cost many companies millions of dollars in damages. Conducting background checks prior to hiring employees will help to protect your organization from the potential of civil litigation.

Can I use my own release form?

You may, but note, the Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) who is providing you with the confidential information about your applicant, must be listed on the release form. Your applicant is entitled to know who is providing you with the information. This is also required in case of any adverse action.

Does my applicant need to complete a signed release?

Yes. Background101 requires a signed release for each background check request. We cannot complete a background check until the release is received. The applicant must complete and sign a release in order to be in compliance with the FCRA.

How do you ensure confidential information is secure?

We ensure the privacy and protection of our clients’ data through systematic security measures in the areas of information technology. This information is hosted on our own secure servers. We are continually backing up all our data on a daily basis and have all the necessary firewalls in place. Our reporting system is available only to our clients (authorized users), and all transmitted information is encrypted.

What type of security does Background101 offer for data protection?

Background101 is committed to protecting the personal information that Background101 receives about consumers. While we cannot guarantee the security of that information, we utilize a combination of online and offline security technologies, procedures and organizational measures to help safeguard consumer information against loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We employ Secure Socket Layer (SSL) data encryption when data is transmitted over the Internet to our web site. We have installed layered firewalls and other security technologies to help prevent unauthorized access to our systems. Strong password protection protocols are used on our computers, and employees are kept up-to-date on our security and privacy policies. The servers used to store consumer information are maintained in a secure environment with appropriate security measures.

What are my obligations as an employer under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

The applicant must complete and sign a release form provided to you by your background screening company. The release must be submitted to the background screening company, prior to conducting any type of background investigation, where an employment decision will be made. Provide your applicant with the Summary of Rights under the FCRA (certain states may require additional notifications). These forms are hand-outs, advising your applicants of their rights when a consumer report is being requested about them. It is your obligation as an employer to maintain this information in your records for a minimum of five years.

Are your processes compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

Yes. We adhere to all guidelines set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), federal and state laws. Background101 screeners are certified by the Consumer Data Industry Association ensuring our understanding of FCRA compliance requirements.