Georgia Background Checks and Public Records

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The State of Georgia 

The State of Georgia, with the official state motto of “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation”, is also known as the Empire State of the South. The state, with its fast-growing cities and communities, is a for businesses in agriculture, mining, industry, logistics, military, tourism, film, and energy. Like any rapidly growing state, Georgia also experiences an influx in population; therefore, it’s best to check the previous residences of a person when conducting a background check.

Counties in Georgia

ApplingCherokeeFanningJenkinsOconeeTelfair
AtkinsonClarkeFayetteJohnsonOglethorpeTerrell
BaconClayFloydJonesPauldingThomas
BakerClaytonForsythLamarPeachTift
BaldwinClinchFranklinLanierPickensToombs
BanksCobbFultonLaurensPierceTowns
BarrowCoffeeGilmerLeePikeTreutlen
BartowColquittGlascockLibertyPolkTroup
Ben HillColumbiaGlynnLincolnPulaskiTurner
BerrienCookGordonLongPutmanTwiggs
BibbCowetaGradyLowndesQuitmanUnion
BleckleyCrawfordGreeneLumpkinRabunUpson
BrantleyCrispGwinnettMaconRandolphWalker
Brooks DadeHabershamMadisonRichmondWalton
BryanDawsonHallMarionRockdaleWare
BullochDecaturHancockMcDuffieSchleyWarren
BurkeDeKalbHaralsonMacintoshScrevenWashington
ButtsDodgeHarrisMeriwetherSeminoleWayne
CalhounDoolyHartMillerSpaldingWebster
CamdenDoughertyHeardMitchellStephensWheeler
CandlerDouglasHenryMonroeStewartWhite
CarrollEarlyHoustonMontgomerySumterWhitfield
CatoosaEcholsIrwinMorganTalbotWilcox
CharltonEffinghamJacksonMurrayTaliaferroWilkes
ChathamElbertJasperMuscogeeTattnallWilkinson
ChattahoocheeEmanuelJeff DavisNewtonTaylorWorth
ChattoogaEvansJefferson

Where To Get Public Records In Georgia

Public records in Georgia can be accessed by making requests to the applicable state agency. The three basic types of public record information are vital statistics, property records, and criminal history records. There is no single online repository for public records, but requesting them from various departments and offices is easy enough to do.

The Georgia Department of Public Health is in charge of maintaining and processing requests for Georgia Vital Records. There isn’t a state-wide repository of property or land records, but the Georgia Department of Revenue maintains a database of counties offering property tax records online. The Georgia Clerk’s Authority maintains the Georgia Consolidated Real State Index for state-wide property searches in Georgia. 

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is responsible for maintaining Georgia criminal history records including jail and inmate records; additional information can be found within Georgia’s Victim Notification Service (VINE) Profile. Georgia Court Records are available to the public and can be requested through the Judicial Council of Georgia. The Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) also helps in conducting background searches.

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records In Georgia

Georgia law, specifically the Open Records Act, allows residents to access records created or owned by government agencies. Requests by non-residents may also be granted but under certain conditions. Exceptions include documents that are deemed confidential by the federal government. Information that can be used to circumvent alarm systems may not be accessed.

Personal information like full name, date of birth, and social security number will help in conducting background checks through the Georgia State Records Website. Vital records can be requested through the Georgia Department of Public Health Vital Records Request Page. Vital records may be ordered via phone or online through the vital statistics server ROVER. Mail-in requests may also be addressed to the State Office of Vital Records or walking-in to the office. 

Court Records may be requested at the Judicial Council of Georgia or the concerned trial court. Georgia criminal information and other public records may be accessed online through the Judicial Council of Georgia website using a log-in account. Background checks may also be done through third-party vendors

Georgia Background Check Reports

Georgia allows basic or criminal background check requests from employers, house/landowners, license issuers, and other outlined instances. This is provided that they abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

For Employers:

The GA Code 35-3-34 mandates that if a certain record affects the hiring decision, the employer must keep a record of such data and that it must be specifically explained to the job applicant. Using the Georgia-specific background check system is the Georgia Applicant Processing System, registered employers can run criminal history checks on job applicants. 

For Criminal Searches:

Under Georgia’s First Offender Act, the first conviction of certain individuals may not appear in an official background check, provided they meet certain conditions. There are some exemptions, however, like for security officers or prison guards. 

Background record checks are handled by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). For specific felony conviction information, you can use the Georgia Felon Search tool of the GBI. 

Georgia background checks can be either name-based or fingerprint-based. If you’re requesting a person’s criminal record using their name, you may do this in person by going to the local police department. For fingerprint-based checks, you may reach out to the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC).

As in any state, you may also opt for a third-party background check company to conduct a Georgia background check. 

Georgia Official Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About Georgia Background Checks

How Do I Get A Background Check In Georgia?

To request a copy of your own or another person’s criminal history in Georgia, contact your local law enforcement office. If you are requesting another person’s criminal history, you must be a business or private entity with written permission. 

How Much Does A Background Check Cost In Georgia?

The price depends on the background check being requested and by whom. To conduct a criminal history check in Georgia, the cost is about $27. 

How Many Years Can An Employer Go Back On A Background Check In Georgia?

There isn’t a set number of years an employer can go back in a person’s background check. However, in most states, it is 7 or 10 years.

How Long Does Expungement Take In Georgia?

After filing a petition for expungement in Georgia, it can take approximately 150 days to complete the process. However, contact your local law enforcement office for specific requirements. 

Are Criminal Records Public In Georgia?

In general, criminal records are considered public. People can contact their local law enforcement office in Georgia to request their own criminal records.