Delaware Background Checks and Public Records

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The State of Delaware

This relatively affluent state, also known as the first state in the Union, is located in the northeastern region of the United States. It’s the second smallest state, and the sixth most densely populated one. One of its largest industries is healthcare, including long-term care providers and pharmaceutical companies.

Delaware didn’t have any official public records law until 1977. Though it’s small in size, the state has a relatively transient population and it’s surrounded by larger states. So, when conducting a background check, be sure to check out nearby states as well.

Counties in Delaware 


New Castle


Where To Get Public Records In Delaware

Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act governs the state’s public records. The law initially limited public records access to its residents only, but this was eventually broadened through courts’ case laws. 

Like other states, Delaware doesn’t have any central repository of its records. Depending on the data, these records are handled by different government agencies. 

  • Criminal Records: The Department of Corrections holds state criminal records, including where inmates or offenders are housed and their projected release dates. While for any court-related records, the Delaware Court System manages these.
  • Property Records: These records are governed locally. So, the data is usually stored in the county where the property is located.
  • Vital Records (Birth, Death, etc.): These records are maintained by the Office of Vital Statistics. Though marriage, divorce, and Veteran certificates are considered vital records, these are governed by other agencies. These are housed in local Records Departments located in Dover, Newark, or Georgetown. The Family Court System also has copies of divorce or annulment decrees.

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records In Delaware

Anyone, including non-residents of Delaware, can request public records. There are exemptions, however, such as, but not limited to, trade secrets, health care or medical records, current police investigations, adoption information, anonymous charitable contributions, and security-related matters. 

Depending on the information being requested, the requestor would need to present details of the person they’re looking for. While most checks can be run through a name search, some require photo identification or social security card. Also, requests can be made in person, in writing, or by visiting the agency’s website.

Jail and inmate records, for instance, can be accessed through the DOC’s partner site, For court records, depending on the information needed, you can request through the administrator of the courts, via CourtConnect, or from a particular court.

For vital records, you may reach out to the Office of Vital Statistics, or the local recorder office of the county where the event happened. You may also check out the state public archives.

For hassle-free and faster results, you may as well utilize a reputable and trustworthy online people search engine

Delaware Background Check Reports

The State Bureau of Identification (SBI) administers the state’s background checks. Delaware criminal background checks are conducted through fingerprint cards only, not name searches. A Federal background check can be included at an additional cost.

Like all other states, Delaware observes the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) limitations and follows the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Ban-the-Box policy (HB 167).

A form signed by the individual whose records are sought is required before initiating a criminal history check or job applicants’ background check. State laws also mandate that such records must be used only for the agreed-upon purpose.

While the process to request criminal history data is stricter, including the aforementioned signed form and fingerprints card, basic background checks can be obtained in person, over the phone, or online. 

You may also opt to use third-party online background checks.

Delaware Official Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About Delaware Background Checks

How Do I Get A Background Check In Delaware?

To get a State or Federal Criminal Background Check in Delaware, you must do so through The State Bureau of Identification and the Delaware State Police. To request a criminal check, you must provide photo identification and pay a fee of $52 (State) or $65 (State & Federal).

How Long Does A Background Check Take In Delaware?

There isn’t a specific amount of time in which a Delaware Background Check is run. Typically, background checks are completed in 2-5 business days. 

Are Criminal Records Public In Delaware?

In general, criminal history records are considered public. To request a criminal background check, it must be done through The State Bureau of Identification and the Delaware State Police. If you are searching for specific court case information, you can do so by visiting CourtConnect

How Do I Look Up Court Cases In Delaware?

To look up court cases in Delaware, simply go to CourtConnect. There, you can search a person’s name, business name, and for judgments against a person or business.