According to information published by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 73% of employers nationwide run background checks on all of their potential new employees – taking advantage of new online systems to help facilitate the process.
Recognizing that a lot of sensitive information is available to employers (and anyone else looking to conduct background checks) in Idaho, a number of rules, regulations, and laws have been put into place in this state to slow things down at least a little bit.
The Idaho Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has led the charge in helping to better protect the privacy of the citizens of Idaho. They have influenced a number of politicians at the state level to further secure these background checks systems, put safeguards in place that have slowed the process down a little bit, and protected more information than in the past.
If you’re interested in running background checks in Idaho, you’ll want to check out all of the info we share below.
Idaho Background Check Info You Need to Know
For starters, anyone looking to conduct background checks for employment purposes needs to adhere to both the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (both of them federal laws and statutes.
These are the “law of the land”, not only in Idaho but across the United States.
The FCRA only allows employers to take advantage of background check information provided through a Consumer Reporting Agency – private companies that collect information from different government databases and then distribute that information to other private entities.
On top of adhering to the FCRA and Title VII, though, Idaho employers (as well as those looking to use background checks for other commercial purposes, like renting properties) have to adhere to the rules and restrictions on this process implemented by the IHRC.
Information regarding how the IHRC recommends using background check information in Idaho can be found directly on their website.
In summary, though, the IH recommends that all employers using background check information consider:
- The severity of the charges and convictions
- The number of charges and convictions
- And the recency of the charges and convictions
… When they are making decisions based on these details.
Can Anyone Look Up Someone’s Background in Idaho?
For the most part, anyone looking to verify background information in Idaho will have the opportunity to do so.
For starters, there are a number of free platforms online that give pretty much anyone and everyone the chance to quickly search for records throughout the state of Idaho – all without having to contact public organizations or governmental agencies directly.
Secondly, Idaho does not have a “ban the box” law on the books.
This means that anyone can check into the background of any individual that they are thinking about hiring, without having to first extend to them any potential offer of employment.
Idaho is one of the few states in the US that does not have this kind of legislation in place already, though bills have been proposed a number of times to implement these kinds of laws surrounding background checks before.
Should this kind of legislation passed, though, employers (public and private employers) would have to adhere to these kinds of regulations just like they do in other states around the country
What Type of Info Shows Up on an Idaho Background Check?
Quite a bit of information is going to show up on a background check in Idaho, especially when you are conducting one in conjunction with the databases provided by the Idaho State Police Bureau of Criminal Identification Background Checks.
- Specific state, by jurisdiction, where an incident is recorded
- The case number of the incident
- Name and personal information of the defendant
- Charge information (in detail)
- The filing date for these charges
- Information regarding the degree and severity of the offense
- Disposition of the offense as well as the date of disposition
- Any and all information regarding sentencing
On top of all that, there are no laws restricting employers in Idaho from asking potential employees and candidates for positions about their arrest records.
The Idaho Human Rights Commission has distributed “guidance” to employers (private and public) in the state to abstain from this kind of questioning, but they are under absolutely no legal requirement whatsoever to do so.
It’s up to employers individually whether or not they decide to abide by those kinds of guidelines are not. Many do, but there are plenty that chooses not to – and again, they aren’t under a legal requirement to follow nonbinding guidelines.
Why Are Employers Running Background Checks in Idaho?
Employers in Idaho are running background checks for the same reason that employers run background checks everywhere in the country (and around the world) – they want to make smarter decisions when bringing people on board.
Almost always the last piece of the puzzle when it comes time to do a round of hiring, background checks simply provide a bit of extra information about potential applicants and their past.
Obviously, the past is not a perfect predictor of future behavior. But it is nice to know that there isn’t a track record or history of problems with potential employees, especially if they are going to be brought on board in a sensitive position.
Not only do employers get a bit of peace of mind knowing more about the person that they are thinking about hiring, but they also help increase workplace safety, decrease workplace theft issues, and definitely have better odds of hiring more honest and responsible individuals with the help of these kinds of checks.
How Far Back Do Background Checks Reach?
Federal law gives employers the opportunity to look into the background of potential applicants stretching all the way back to seven years from the date of initiating the background check in the first place.
In Idaho, though, there are absolutely no restrictions whatsoever on Idaho employers looking back even further than that.
Employers can look through criminal records in Idaho as far back as they like, stretching back 15, 20, 30 years, or more with no limitations at all. On top of that, Idaho is one of a handful of states in the US that also allows for unlimited background checks (from a time standpoint) with NOT GUILTY conviction records reporting as well.
This basically means that if an Idaho employer is interested in running a background check on the potential employee they can look at every single time they’ve ever had a reported interaction with law-enforcement – regardless of whether or not that interaction resulted in an arrest, charge, or the conviction (or even a not guilty verdict).
How Do I Run an Idaho Background Check?
Criminal background checks need to be run through the Idaho State Police system, the Bureau of Criminal Identification.
The BCI is a service specifically set up and designed to provide the state police with a central database for all of their criminal record histories, including crime statistics, fingerprints, criminal records, arrest records, and more.
Interfacing directly with the Idaho Public Safety and Security System, as well as the National Crime Information Center, anyone looking to run a background check in the state of Idaho is going to need to contact the BCI directly to get the ball rolling.
The easiest way to initiate background checks with this system in Idaho is to contact them directly at 1-208-846-7644. The current State Police Major responsible for running the BCI can also help facilitate background checks, and their office can be contacted directly at 1-208-884-7203.
Can Third-Party Background Check Companies Be Trusted?
Third-party background check services are available in Idaho, just like they are available pretty much everywhere else in the United States.
These third-party checks may or may not be worthwhile, however – though they definitely have a lot more potential in the state of Idaho than they would have had in “Ban the Box” style states.
Many of these third-party services simply comb publicly available records for information that could have been gathered by anyone all on their own, often 100% free – even though these third-party services usually charge for these services.
They might be worth a check if time is of the essence, though.
How Long Does It Take to Run an Idaho Background Check?
Internal rules and regulations within the Idaho BCI state that background checks should be conducted within 5 to 7 business days of these checks being initiated – though it can take anywhere between 10 business days and 15 business days for this information to be disseminated.
Each year, 85,000 applicant fingerprint cards and 32,000 name-based background checks are conducted in the state of Idaho (on average) which can slow things down a little bit.
The BCI is fully funded by the Idaho State Police, though the administrative team is a little bit smaller than many might expect. This has resulted in delays in the past, though the reputation that the BCI has for getting these details back to background checkers is pretty top-notch.
How Much Do Background Checks in Idaho Cost?
Individuals looking to run background checks in the state of Idaho are going to be able to pay a “flat fee” directly to the state police through the BCI system for each background check that they want to conduct.
A name-based background check is going to cost $20, and individuals or organizations looking to run this kind of check are going to be able to pay for that with cash, a check or money order, or any major credit or debit card.
Fingerprint-based checks conducted by the Idaho State Police are also available for a $20 fee, as well as a $1 processing fee and a 3% transactional fee. These can be paid for with the same methods highlighted above – cash, check or money order, and any major credit or debit card.
More information about current these for these kinds of background checks can be found directly on the BCI website. You’ll find that at www.isp.idaho.gov/bci.
Are There Background Checks for Firearms in Idaho?
Idaho does not require any firearms license whatsoever, including concealed carry permits.
On top of that, Idaho does not have any Universal Background Check laws whatsoever on the books – which means that private transactions for firearms that are not conducted through Federal Firearms License dealers do not have to submit to NICS background checks.
As of right now, Idaho does not have a “Point of Contact” law that requires them to submit their transactions through the NICS system, either.
All transactions going through an FFL will have background details on Form 4473 checked by the FBI directly. Any private transfer requires no background check at all.
Are Idaho Criminal Records Easily Checked?
Criminal records are very easy to check in the state of Idaho, provided that an individual or organization meets all of the requirements as established by Idaho Code 67 3008 (six).
These requirements are as follows:
A person or private agency, or a public entity, shall not share any information found in a criminal history record with any individual or organization that is not a criminal justice organization, court, or other lawful body without a signed release from the individual in question
As long as the people and businesses in Idaho are willing to adhere to those rules (pretty simple and straightforward rules, too) they are able to run background checks on pretty much anyone in the state they want to.
All have CRA and Civil Rights Act rules and regulations at the federal level had to be adhered to as well, though.
What About Idaho Driving Records?
Idaho driving records can be found by visiting the AccessIdaho.org website and navigating directly to the Driver License Record Services section of the website.
These background checks are free as long as you are only looking for a digital version of the records themselves. Printed copies of a DLR report cost $9.50, with updated yearly pricing provided on the Idaho.gov website.
Individuals can check their own driving record and any point in time, with the state of Idaho maintaining up to three years of information available through their digital database.
Government agencies, police organizations, employers, and (mostly) everyone else also has an opportunity to look up the driving record of anyone with an Idaho driver’s license.
Before conducting a search on the AccessIdaho.org website, though, individuals are required to provide the legal reason they are conducting a background check for driving information in the state.
Can I Search Idaho Sex Offender Records?
The Idaho Sex Offender Registry is maintained by the Idaho State Police, and searching that is 100% open to the public, totally free, and can be browsed online as well.
All individuals have to do to check the Idaho Sex Offender Registry is navigate to the www.isp.idaho.gov website, click on the IDAHO SOR link on the page, and then use the search tools provided to comb through all of the publicly available records maintained on this database.
Just know that the Idaho Sex Offender Registry was established on July 1, 1993. Records will only be available from that date forward.
How Do I Get Credit History During a Background Check?
Any background check that requires credit history in the state of Idaho will require a release signed by the individual whose background is being looked into in the first place.
Written consent needs to be outlined according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it needs to be maintained throughout the duration of the background check, and all information discovered during the background check needs to be provided to the applicant as well.
All three of the major credit reporting agencies are able to provide modified reports to employers looking for this kind of information. These reports, called Employment Reports, provide quite a bit of information about an individual’s credit history without exposing their personal, private, and sensitive identity information at the same.
There is no time limit on the amount of information that these kinds of background checks can include, outside up to exceptions.
The first restriction as far as time is concerned pertains to bankruptcies. All bankruptcies that are 10 years old or older automatically “fall off” these kinds of reports.
The second restriction is that all civil lawsuits or judgments are dropped after seven years.
Are There Rules I Have to Follow to Run Background Checks in Idaho?
As highlighted earlier, the rules and regulations dictating who and how background checks are run in Idaho are generally nonexistent.
As long as all federal rules and regulations are geared to, and as long as the BCI is contacted directly when looking to conduct criminal background checks (name or fingerprint checks), there really aren’t all that many limitations, rules, or restrictions in place as far background checks go.
The only thing “on the books” that really restricts background checks in any way is the Idaho Code 67 3008 (six) rules and restrictions that can be found researching Idaho law.
What If I Uncover Incorrect Data on a Background Check?
If you find any incorrect or incomplete information while conducting a background check, especially a background check of yourself, it’s important to contact the Idaho State Police ASAP.
They’ll be able to look further into the issue directly, but there also be able to point you in the right direction to help you remedy the issue with the right reporting or regulatory bodies as well.
If the information that you find is incorrect or incomplete at the federal level, though, the process becomes a little more challenging.
You’ll have to do research into what organizations are responsible for maintaining this information, how they handle correction processes, and how they can be contacted directly.
Many government organizations now have “correction tools” available online, but all of them will have federal forms that you’ll be able to fill out to get the remedy you are looking for, too.
Like anything else related to the federal government this process can be pretty slow and pretty arduous. However, it’s definitely worthwhile to do as any incomplete or inaccurate information on a background check could really hinder your employment prospects moving forward.
This is something you’ll want to take care of ASAP.