The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation. This influences where, how and in what order such listings appear on this site.

Top10.com is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to our visitors. We accept advertising compensation from companies that appear on the site, which impacts the location and order in which brands (and/or their products) are presented, and also impacts the score that is assigned to it. Company listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our Terms of Use, all representations and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including pricing, which appears on this site is subject to change at any time.

Background Checks: What They Can and Can’t Ask You

Top10.com Staff
Background Checks: What They Can and Can’t Ask You
When it comes to using a background check, it is important to know what type of information you will be able to find, as well as what is legally permissible. Educate yourself about what kind of information a background can offer you.

Cannot Ask: For Academic Transcripts and Criminal Background

People cannot access your academic records in most states unless you provide consent for them to do so. If they want access to these records, they will most likely ask you for an official copy of your college transcript and tell them to show or send it to them. In general, they also cannot ask for your criminal record if these records are not publicly available and if your criminal background is not relevant to the position. The laws regarding this vary substantially from state to state, but typically they can only access these records if they are related to your position or if you are applying to work in a "sensitive" field, such as childcare education or child therapy.

Cannot Ask: For Military and Medical Records

It is federally illegal for people to gain access or request your medical records. While they can ask questions about your ability to perform on-the-job tasks, they cannot discriminate against you because of a disability or specific medical condition. Publicly available military records can be used, but they cannot discriminate against you based on your military conduct.

Important Note about FCRA Compliance

According to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, (FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.) a consumer reporting agency must be compliant. This is related to, but not limited to inquiries into public records, criminal records, or screening. If using a Background Check services that is not FCRA compliant, no decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other related purposes may be done.

Top10.com Staff
Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.

Note: Some or all background search services featured on this site are not subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq., ("FCRA") In order to make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance, make sure you choose the appropriate service for you. Be advised that only consumer reporting agencies may provide consumer reports. This is applicable, but not limited to, a background search, credit background check, criminal background check, and/or driving record.