Utah Background Check

If you need to get a background check conducted in the state of Utah, you should have access to all the details involved. Most people do not know what all the laws or policies are for background checks in Utah.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the different options when getting a Utah background check.

How to Get a Background Check in Utah

Depending on the type of background you want to acquire, the policies and procedures will vary for obtaining a background check. Most employers will do a pre-screening of potential employees that includes some type of background check.

Different job responsibilities can dictate the number of details an employer seeks to find out about the candidate. For example, if somebody is applying for a management position or a position with some type of authority, then an extensive background check is usually performed.

How to Get a Criminal Background Check in Utah

Suppose you want to get a copy of your own criminal background record. In that case, you can do so by going to Utah’s Department of Safety and proceeding to the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) department.

If you don’t want to go directly to this location, then you can obtain a copy through the mail.

You can send your request here:
Bureau of Criminal Identification
3888 West 5400 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84129
Phone: 801-965-4445

If you choose to go in person, the following details apply:

  • You will need to pay a $15.00 fee that is non-refundable. You can pay this by using one of the following methods: cash, VISA or MasterCard, personal check, cashier’s check, or money order.
  • You will be required to bring a valid government-issued identification card (ID) that has your picture on it and matches your personal details. Utah Driving Privilege Cards are not a valid form of identification.
  • You can come between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. This office is not open on weekends or state holidays. If you are unsure of the opening days, you should call before arriving.

If you choose to use the mail option, then the following applies:

  • You will need to download the Criminal History Record Application (Criminal Background Check Form) and fill it out completely. There are instructions on the form that give the exact details needed. Once completed, mail the fee and your application to the office address listed above.
  • If you don’t have Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™, you will need to download it first before accessing the Criminal History Record Application.

How Far Back do Background Checks Go in Utah?

Typically a background check in Utah goes back seven years. However, an employer who has candidates that involve management or driving company commercial vehicles may go back even further. It is not unusual for an employer to go back ten years.

Anybody who is under the age of 18 years old is considered to be a juvenile. If they had any criminal records in their youth, those records are sealed and are typically forbidden to be revealed to an employer under state and federal laws.

Any job position that involves working with senior citizens or children will almost always involve a more extensive background check that goes back ten years or more.

If you’re in your fifties and applying to work at a daycare, the employer can and probably will check your entire life’s background all the way back until you were 18 years old.

Keep in mind that law enforcement and court personnel can typically see your entire background history. Anything that happened since you turned 18 years old and up to the current day is visible.

Most employers are not interested in anything that dates back further than the past seven years unless the position applied for dictates more research.

How Long Does a Background Check Take in Utah

In the state of Utah, state agencies have five business days to respond to any background check requests from the media and ten business days for all public submissions.

In most cases, employers are not permitted to use any third-party investigative companies for conducting their background checks. They must request the applicant to get the background check done and provide a sealed copy to them.

These types of background checks can typically be done in one to three days. It isn’t unusual for an employer seeking minimal details on an applicant to have the background check results the same business day or the next business day.

How Long Does a Background Check Take For a Gun in Utah?

Background checks in Utah for obtaining a gun are performed very quickly. In fact, in most cases, a background check for a firearm can be done in only two to three minutes. This is due to the fact that Utah has the Brady Bill in effect.

In Utah, a person can be denied a firearm for the following reasons:

  • Felony Conviction
  • Warrants
  • Under in Indictment for a Felony
  • Domestic Violence Conviction
  • Dishonorable Discharge from a Military Division
  • Unlawful User of any Controlled Substances
  • Drug Dependent
  • Renounced Citizenship of the United States
  • Unlawful or Illegal Alien in the United States
  • Previously Committed to a Mental Institution
  • Adjudicated Mentally Defective
  • Court Restraints in Place (restrainments from stalking, threatening, or harassing another individual)
  • Not Having Proper Utah Identification to Prove Residency
  • Juvenile Convictions that Would Have Been Convicted as a Felony as an Adult

The operator who conducts the background check for guns in Utah will check all of the following agencies and sources:

  • Utah Criminal History
  • Statewide Warrants
  • Driver’s License Records
  • Juvenile Criminal History
  • State Adjudicated Mental Files

Along with the National Instant Check System, they will be looking at INS, III, NCIC, Mental File, Protective Orders, Renounced Citizenship, and any Dishonorable Discharge details.

What Shows Up on an Employment Background Check in Utah?

Depending on the type of background check performed, different details about the individual being checked will appear. Most employers are looking for more information that involves a person’s trustworthiness and integrity.

A background check conducted by an employer can include the following:

  • Full Name, Alias’, and Maiden Names
  • Previous Job History
  • Credit Report
  • Education Verification
  • Driving Records (Only if Job Requirements Requires Access to the Records)

Most employers are looking to verify that the applicant does indeed have the diploma or degree they claimed to have on their resume. They will want to check their previous job history to ensure that the applicant can meet the qualifications needed for the position at hand.

Employers are restricted under the Utah Selection Procedures Act and cannot inquire about any potential employee’s driver’s license records, social security numbers, or even their birth date. There are a few exceptions to this law, which include positions in:

Childcare
An employee or volunteer that works with childcare must have both a BCI and FBI background check conducted. These background checks can be provided straight to the employer. If an unofficial background check is needed, this can be done in person at local law enforcement locations or any relevant court.

Education
Any individual in the education field and applies for employment to educate other people will undergo a fingerprint-based background check. These types of background checks can have the results provided directly to the employer.

Finance
Any employee or applicant who wants to work in the financial industry will need to have a criminal background check conducted through both the FBI and the BCI. This includes fingerprint-based background checks, and the results are provided to the financial institution where the said person is applying or working.

However, in some cases, employers or other businesses will want a criminal background check in addition to the above. This is not unusual for any employer who needs to hire a person of authority, including management or somebody handling the company’s finances.

When are driving records used?

Employers who are hiring individuals to drive company vehicles, commercial vehicles, or operate machinery will want to access your driving records. This can sometimes be of interest to recruiters or establishments that coordinate volunteers.

If your driving license was ever suspended or you have a DUI on your record, this would show up on your background check for driving records. It will also include any moving violations, accidents, or misdemeanors that are related to driving.

In fact, your driving records are not limited to the state of Utah. Any of the above-listed incidents will be revealed regardless of what state they took place in or where you lived at the time.

What Shows Up on a Criminal Background Check?

Criminal background checks are necessary when an individual is trying to acquire a job or work as a volunteer that involves working with the public, handling finances, childcare, and education.

Utah allows all reporting of sentencing, arrests, and convictions. Almost all of the criminal records retained by the state are included in all background checks.

Criminal Background Checks can include the following:

  • Personal Details (Name, Nationality, Date of Birth, etc.)
  • Crime Details (Type of Offense, Felony, Misdemeanor, Sex Crimes, Etc.)
  • Fingerprint Screening
  • Mug Shots
  • Distinguishing Features (Tattoos and Physical Attributes, such as Birthmarks)

Any employer who is pre-screening job candidates for commercial driving positions or jobs involving financial responsibilities requires having a criminal background check performed.

Sealed and expunged records are never revealed without a court order, and even then it is strictly enforced by the code of law. Arrests that did not result in a conviction also can not be reported.

Only juveniles that committed a serious crime and were tried and convicted as an adult can be seen on juvenile records. Everything else is protected by the law and is not permitted to be revealed under most circumstances.

What Types of Arrests Show up in a Utah Background Check Report?

An individual who wants to obtain an official background check by visiting a courthouse can gain access to the following information about any member of the public:

  • Probation and Parole – Official background checks will include any conviction that resulted in the sentencing of a probation period or parole. You can access this information for criminal convictions by going to the Utah Department of Corrections.
  • Warrants – You can unofficially obtain a warrant status by contacting local law enforcement. All active warrants are reported in official state background checks.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – You can contact local law enforcement or the Department of Motor Vehicles to verify DUI convictions. All official background checks will include these details.
  • Sex Offenders – You can obtain details about a convicted sex crime by checking the sex offender registry. This information is also reported in official background checks.
  • Mug Shots – Local jurisdictions will often provide copies of mug shots when requested. These photos and any other pictures will be included in a court file and available through background checks.
  • Marijuana – Utah heavily regulates the use of marijuana in the state. Background checks will include both the sale of or possession convictions of marijuana. However, Utah is considered to be a medical marijuana state. Obtaining unofficial details about a conviction can be done in person at any Utah court, online, or by mail.
  • Juveniles – If a minor were tried and convicted of a crime as an adult, these details would be present on an official background check. Juvenile records are protected under law and typically are not permitted in any background checks. A court order is the only way a juvenile record can be used.

Can You Get a Free Background Check in Utah?

You can not receive a free official background check in Utah. Depending on the request’s circumstances, both a fingerprint-based and a name-based background check can be performed.

If you want to access background details for any unofficial purposes, you can get this information by accessing the records in person at any local court. You can also access these types of documents online through Utah’s public portal.

Keep in mind that you will need to pay a fee regardless of how you choose to view background information records.

However, employers are not permitted to directly request any background checks on applicants. Instead, they have to ask the individual applying for a job to obtain their own background check and submit the results to the potential employer in a sealed envelope.

Who Can Get a Background Check in Utah?

Utah is considered to be a ‘ban the box’ state. However, this is only for public employers and does not pertain to private employers. Information regarding convictions and arrests can be requested by private employers as long as they are within the guidelines established by federal law.

The state laws in Utah do not prohibit or restrict the use of official background checks being done for loans, employment, or housing. Utah strictly adheres to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s federal laws, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Federal Trade Commission.

Many individuals will conduct unofficial background checks to get information about another person’s character. However, these findings cannot be used for obtaining loans, tenancy, or any employment decisions.

People often perform unofficial background checks through online court records, in-person at law enforcement locations, or by going to the courthouse to get insights into:

  • Friends
  • Roommates
  • Romantic Interests
  • Potential Business Partner
  • Colleagues
  • Family Members
  • Neighbors

By getting an unofficial background check, people can determine what kind of person somebody is and whether or not they want to get involved. This is particularly useful when people make life decisions such as marriage, sharing a residence, making a commitment, etc.

Why Are Background Checks Conducted in Utah?

There are several reasons why background checks are conducted in the state of Utah. When accessing background information on an individual, you can see things that could prevent interactions that generally would have taken place without a background check being performed.

There are laws in place that require certain entities to conduct background checks prior to giving individual access or privileges, such as:

  • Adoption
  • Immigration
  • Mortgages or Automobile Loans
  • Jobs in Finance, Prisons, Schools, Nursing Homes, Childcare, and More

Those are just some of the prime examples of why background checks are essential, but anything that requires an individual to be responsible is a good cause for a background check.

This is why Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA) are often used to obtain details about an individual’s background. They will be able to reveal things about a person’s history, such as:

  • Residency
  • Employment
  • Credit
  • Loan Payments
  • Bankruptcies
  • Civil Judgments

If you should be denied employment or your application was rejected based on one of the above findings, then you are legally entitled to receive a copy of the report used at a reasonable cost.

By obtaining a copy of your credit report, you’ll be able to see everything that is being reported. This is one of the most useful tools for identifying a case of identity theft or errors reported against you and is not found to be true.

Every person should check their own credit report annually, and this can be done free of charge through the top three major credit reporting agencies:

  • Equifax
  • Experian
  • TransUnion

In fact, you can obtain a free copy of your credit report from all three agencies listed above by visiting their websites online and requesting your free credit report. You will also be able to dispute any findings that are found to be incorrect.

Sometimes you may be asked to provide additional documents or information to verify your identity, but this is done to protect you. You should cooperate by following their guidelines to obtain your free credit reports.