Arizona Background Checks & Public Records

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The State of Arizona

The State of Arizona is the sixth largest state in the United States with regards to the land area; it is the 14th largest state in terms of population. The state is situated in the American Southwest; the state capital is Phoenix. It’s known for various natural landmarks including the world-famous Grand Canyon as well as the Sonoran Desert. 

Arizona’s location on the map makes it one of the country’s four-corner states. Arizona also includes some Native American reservations. The state, owing to its location, has what could be called a transitory population. The strategic location may do well for the state’s economy but it makes doing background checks a bit trickier. Background checks on Arizona citizens, particularly those that call for more detailed information, must therefore be broadened to its neighboring states.

Counties In Arizona

CochiseLa PazPinal
CoconinoMaricopaSanta Cruz

Where To Get Public Records In Arizona 

Arizona’s freedom of information act, in the form of Arizona Public Records Law, mandates public officers and agencies to keep records of essential, vital, and confidential information. These are created and managed by the records’ respective agencies or their successors. Under this Arizona law, records are open for the public unless otherwise restricted by law. 

The Arizona Department of Health Services, together with the Bureau of Vital Records, manages access to birth and death certificates. Marriage and divorce records are maintained by the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the event occurred or was filed.

Property-related records are stored in the tax assessor’s office where the site is located, or on the county tax assessor’s website. These county-level offices hold recordings, such as deeds and property taxes, that stretch back to long before Arizona became a state. 

Court records, including criminal record information, may be found in the court of jurisdiction or the State Archives. Additionally, the Criminal History Records Section serves as the Central State Repository for all criminal records across the state. All local agencies are required to forward copies of arrest and disposition information to them.

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records in Arizona 

Accessing the website is an easy and helpful first step in accessing Arizona’s public records. This central repository could point a person to the agency they should contact to acquire a certain type of document. The Arizona State Library website could also give information on how to find public records.

State public records in Arizona include:

  • Personal records
  • Court records
  • Business records
  • State statistics 

Birth and death records may be acquired from the Arizona Department of Health Services.  Marriage and Divorce records may also be acquired from the Clerk of the Superior Court.

Arizona does not impose any rules other than those stated in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Any interested party, public or private, could also acquire criminal and credit history from a consumer reporting agency or through reputable background checking sites.

Arizona Background Check Reports

Employment background checking is customary in Arizona. Employers can use fingerprint clearance cards in deciding whether applicants are suitable for the job. Conducting background checks is also used in other instances, including applications for professional licenses, to rent a house, or for child adoption. Background checks may be ordered online, in person, or by mail, usually for a fee.

Regardless of the purpose, all background checks must be executed per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and applicable state laws. FCRA usually allows a review of information, such as arrests and non-criminal convictions, for the past 7 years. It also states that a written signed consent from the person being inquired upon is required before proceeding with the checks.

Full police background checks for private employment purposes are prohibited by Arizona law. Only some government and non-profit agencies are allowed to conduct more extensive checks, accessing even the fingerprint-based criminal history records.

There are eight types of authorized background checks in Arizona:

  1. National FBI Fingerprint Criminal History
  2. In-State Criminal History
  3. National Crime Information Center National Sex Offender Registry
  4. Arizona Sex Offender Registry: A search of Arizona’s sex offender registry.
  5. Arizona Child Abuse and Neglect Registry (Central Registry Check)
  6. Previous States of Residence Criminal History
  7. Previous States of Residence Sex Offender Registry
  8. Previous States of Residence Child Abuse and Neglect Registry

Arizona Official Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About Arizona Background Checks

How far back do background checks go in Arizona?

Criminal history background checks in Arizona can go back seven years. Arizona abides by the FCRA seven-year rule. 

Where can I get a background check in Arizona?

Where you can get a background check in Arizona depends on the type of check. For criminal background checks on someone or yourself, you must do so through the Arizona Department of Public Safety. This department also provides other vetting services including fingerprint clearance cards for certain applicants.  

How much is a background check in Arizona?

The pricing to conduct a background check in Arizona depends on the type. However, they do not disclose only how much they cost. 

Can you expunge a felony in Arizona?

In Arizona, expungement of felonies is not allowed.