Idaho Background Checks and Public Records

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The State of Idaho

The State of Idaho is ranked 14th in the United States in terms of size but is ranked 39th in terms of population. This makes Idaho one of the least densely populated states in the country. Also known as the Gem State, Idaho is located in the northwest part of the country; it is, however, sometimes lumped together with part of the Midwest. Idaho, which has Boise as its capital, is known for its mountain regions making it popular with tourists who are drawn to the outdoors and wish to explore Idaho’s wilderness. 

Idaho has a relatively diverse economy. It is built on manufacturing, agriculture, mining, forestry, and tourism. The state also hosts numerous science and technology firms. It is, in fact, home to the largest Department of Energy facility in the country as well as the Idaho National Laboratory. Idaho’s economy is however best known for agriculture being the producer of about 1/3 of the nation’s potatoes.

Background checks may be easier since it is not as densely populated as other states, but that’s counterbalanced by the workers and tourists that Idaho attracts.

Counties In Idaho

AdamsCamasGoodingNez Perce
Bear LakeCaribouJeffersonOwyhee
BonnerElmoreLewisTwin Falls

Where To Get Public Records In Idaho

Each state department in Idaho is responsible for the maintenance and release of requested records since there is no records custodian.

The State Department of Health and Welfare is in charge of vital records. This covers birth certificates, death records and certificates, marriage records and certificates, and divorce records. Each record includes the location and date of the life event, full name including maiden name, registration number for a marriage record, and case file number for a divorce record. 

The Idaho State of Police is in charge of the state’s criminal records or criminal history information. These records are also given to various organizations like county and state-run offices, law enforcement agencies, courts, and other correctional institutions.

Inmate records can be acquired from the Idaho Department of Correction. Information on criminals on parole or probate and incarcerated prisoners is open to the public. Such records include basic personal information, arrest records, inmate location, registration number, jail transfer information, and imprisonment status.

The Idaho State Judiciary and the courthouses do not just take care of criminal justice, they also take care of in-person requests for Idaho court records. Court records could also be easily accessed through the iCourt Portal. Records include criminal and personal details, court orders, jury records, and other files.

The Bureau of Land Management is in charge of land records. The State Tax Commission has property tax records while the Court Recorder has the deed records.

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records in Idaho

The Idaho Public Records Law drafted in 1919 made Idaho an open-to-the-public state. It was updated in 2005 for more specificity about open government. Thus, every municipality, public agency, and other government branches are mandated by law to disclose documents that pertain to the public interest. Transparency is highly prioritized hence agencies that withhold public information could face penalties of up to thousands of dollars. There are, of course, exceptions including records that could invade personal privacy like medical, financial, and police records that could compromise safety and trade secrets. 

Records requests must be granted within 3 to 140 days. If denied, requesters may appeal the decision; if denied a second time, they may also appeal a second time.

Some records are available online but some require more formal requests by sending in a form through mail or email to the record-holding department. Since different departments handle public records, expect some variations in request rules. Always check the form before sending it in. It must have your name and all contact information. Put the name and all the necessary details of the document you want. State the specific period when you’d want to receive the copy and if you want it emailed or mailed. Agencies can’t charge a processing fee that’s more than the labor cost. The fee may be paid through cash, a check form, or a credit or debit card.

In addition, utilize a reliable third-party people search engine in acquiring public records or information about Idaho residents.

Idaho Background Check Reports

Background checking in Idaho is as customary as it is in other states. A standard background check is usually a part of certain processes and applications like property lease, license issuance, and child adoption. Other institutions may also require consumer background checks, including property records and vital records.

Background checking, however, is most commonly used for employment purposes. Private and public employers utilize police background check reports to screen applicants, ensuring they only hire those who are fit for the jobs. This is most common to large industries or those that handle sensitive information like banks and hospitals.

Though employers, by their discretion, can freely decide who to hire and who to reject, the Fair Employment Practices Act ensures that as much as possible, hiring practices do not involve discrimination. No state laws prohibit the use of criminal records in employment hiring decisions. The Idaho criminal background check, however, must strictly abide by the requirements and limitations imposed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Furthermore, the Idaho Human Rights Commission (IHRC) mandates that no employer should use criminal records to deny an applicant if the offenses are not closely related to the job they’re applying for.

Checking on someone can be conducted through name-based background checks or fingerprinting background checks. Either way, the state closely regulates the release of information within a police background check report. Nevertheless, most criminal history data is widely available to the general public. Both methods have processing fees, starting at $20.

If you wish to conduct a standard background check or a name-based criminal history check, navigate to the State Police website. All you’ll need is the subject’s name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. 

If you opt for background checking using fingerprint cards, while you can also request it online, it’s advisable to reach out directly to the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) via mail or in-person. On top of the requirements for name-based, you’ll be needing a complete set of the subject’s fingerprints (can be availed from local/official fingerprint services providers), as well as submission and payment authorization forms. 

You also have the option to utilize an online third-party background checking service. Please note, however, that such search engines are non-FCRA approved and might not be honored by certain institutions or firms that require a background check report.

Idaho Official Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About Idaho Background Checks

How far back do background checks go in Idaho?

According to the Government in Idaho, arrests are only viewable on background checks going back 7 years. A person’s convictions are always viewable.  

How do I find someone's criminal record in Idaho?

To request someone’s criminal record in Idaho, check with your local or county law enforcement office. If you are an employer vetting a potential or current employee, you can request their criminal history with their knowledge and permission. 

Are marriage licenses public record in Idaho?

No, marriage licenses are not considered public documents in Idaho. To obtain a copy of a marriage license, one or both parties on the license must submit a request with the local County Recorders.  

How do I get a marriage certificate in Idaho?

To apply for a marriage certificate and license in Idaho, both parties must go to the County Recorder’s office, pay a $30 fee, and provide both your social security number and identification card.