Home / Background Checks / How Much Does a Background Check Cost

money with magnifiermoney with magnifier

When it comes to running a background check and expecting accurate and up to date results, you should know that you have to be able to pay for a decent service. This does not however mean that a background check should break the bank. However, reliable results will cost you a few dollars.

Different providers charge different fees and off course the cost will heavily depend on what type of information you require and how extensive the search results need to be. Some background checking services offer a package where companies sign up on a monthly basis and they get X amount of background screens per month plus continuous updates on established employees.

Because consumer reporting and background checking services has seen such a massive boom in industry over the past decade, the rates have considerably increased due to competition in the industry.

Typically there will be two different fees that might be applicable:

  • Background screening company’s fees – this is the cost your service provider will charge you to run the report.
  • Supplemental Access Fees – This is the fee charged by courts and verification data warehouses in order to gain access to their records.

Most service providers however will just bundle this up into one total sum and charge that as the report running fee.

Now, let’s look at a typical breakdown of the prices that might be charged for different reports:

1. Identity Check – This is to verify identity, social security numbers and address history
Price $2- $4

2. Criminal Database search – this is a nationwide report
Price $0- $5

3. County Criminal Search
Price $9 – $20

4. Statewide Criminal Search
Price $9 – $20

5. Federal Criminal Search
Price $9 – $20

6. Watch List Search
Price $0 – $5

7. Employee Credit Report
Price $5 – $10

8. Tenant Credit Report
Price $4 – $9

9. Driver’s License Records
Price $3 – $10

10. Education Verification
Price $7 – $15

11. Employment History Verification
Price $ 7 – $15

So we didn’t mention any of those talked about Access Fees here, they are only applicable in certain special cases and tend to differ by counties. Background screening providers usually pay a once of fee per transaction for this and the breakdown looks a little something like this (only when applicable):

  • County Access Fees (county criminal searches) – $ 12.82
  • State Access Fees (statewide criminal searches) – $16.45
  • Department of Motor Vehicle Fees (for driver’s license searches) – $7.70
  • Employment Verification Data Provider Fee – $9.50
  • Education Verification Clearing House Fee – $7.00

So to get down to a summary here, if you are trying to set up a budget for background checking services you should just automatically opt for the cheapest option on the block. Pick a provider that offers packaged deals and extensive search results. The typical once off background check could cost you anywhere between $20 and $50 per shot.

That being said, here are some key requirements that your background screening service provider should adhere to:

1. The should comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act at all times

2. They should be able to provide you with a guarantee that they deliver accurate and up to date records that are legal and were obtained legally.

3. They should preferably be part of the NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners) which gives you that little extra piece of mind that they know what they’re doing.

4. The Customer Service Policy should be up to date and there to help protect you in case they ever get in hot water.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *