Home / Background Checks / How Far Back Does A Background Check Go?


There is a thin line between doing a background check and a private investigation. These background checks are very important because you would want to be in good hands when going out with or hiring someone.

An advanced background check may contain things about a person that even he or she may have forgotten. That is how thorough it is. So just how far back does a background check go?

It obviously includes your permanent record. When you were in elementary or in high school, you may have been warned once or twice by your principal or adviser that doing something against the rules or being in trouble would cost you because it goes directly in your permanent record. That may not have scared you when you were young but it matters to you now.

The mistakes you made when you were young may have made it into the results of your background check from those permanent records. Permanent records include everything from your birth certificate, arrest records, to criminal records and more.

In terms of employment purposes, background checks usually go as far as seven years and there are even some that go even far beyond that. However, there is a law that states that it is illegal to search for information on someone that is beyond 7 years just to decide if he or she will be hired or not.

But this is not the same for the person that you will go on a date with. In employment, those with criminal records or other negative information about them won’t automatically be hired but in your case, it is up to you to decide whether to judge the person based on that, or if you will give him or her a second chance. For all we know, he or she is starting a new life and hopes to find someone who will accept their past along with their present and future.

Legally speaking, there are some people who are exempted from background checks like those who have just recently graduated from college and those who came from trade schools. Union workers also have various levels of protection when doing a background check on by a company.

At the end of the day, it is up to you just how deep you want to dig up someone’s past and how far you would go just to make sure that he or she is not hiding something.

But make sure that you don’t immediately judge the person based on what they did in the past because mistakes don’t define a person’s identity. We don’t really know someone until we get to know them personally and deeply.


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