Maine Background Checks and Public Records

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The State of Maine

Maine is the 39th most extensive state. Before Augusta, the state’s capital was Portland. It is located in the northeastern region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire and Canada. 

Maine has diverse and picturesque landscapes, making it a popular tourist destination. Though about 90% of its land is forested, it is known for its fishing industry. Maine may be sparsely populated, but it has industries that draw temporary workers. Hence, it’s best to search its neighboring areas as well when acquiring public records.

Counties in Maine 

AndroscogginHancockOxfordSomerset
AroostookKennebecPenobscotWaldo
CumberlandKnoxPiscataquisWashington
FranklinLincolnSagadahocYork

Where To Get Public Records In Maine

Maine does not maintain a central repository of public records. These records are distributed to their respective government agencies. The state, however, has created a one-stop online site where one can access the most common public records.

Vital records, for instance, are collected and distributed by the Division of Public Health Systems. However, for details of birth and death pre-dated 1955, you might need to coordinate with the administrator of the State Archives. Vital records pertain to chronicles of life events, including births, deaths, marriages, civil unions, and annulments or divorces. 

If you’re looking for criminal records, these are maintained by the State Bureau of Identification. These entail records of all encounters with law enforcement, including arrests, convictions, incarcerations, and any adult or juvenile criminal history record information that’s not restricted by the legislature.

For inmate records, the Department of Corrections manages these. The inclusions of such records may vary from county to county, but these usually contain mugshots, inmate registration number, custody location, and sentence status.

The State Judicial Branch handles court records. There are common procedures regardless if you’re requesting records from District Courts, Superior Courts, or Violation Bureaus. For example, a Request for Records Search form must be filled out, individuals requesting records for themselves don’t need to pay for the research fee, and all mail requests must be sent directly to the Judicial Branch Service Center.

Even property records are available for public access in Maine. Land records are maintained by the Revolutionary War Land Grants and Pensions Applications. Property tax records are handled by the Revenue Services County Registries of Deeds. Deed records are managed by the Registers of Deeds Association or at the local County Registries of Deeds.

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records in Maine

The Maine Freedom of Access Act entails a series of laws that govern the compilation, maintenance, and distribution of public records. These state laws allow anyone, even non-residents, to access public records. The Department of Public Safety oversees the state’s public safety bureaus, including how public records are handled.

The government agencies have 5 business days to respond to records search requests. Within this time frame, you’ll receive a notice should your request be denied. You could, however, submit an appeal for reconsideration within 30 days from the date of the rejection notice.

While most public records have been made available online, certain state records require a formal written record check request which could be sent via mail or email. Some also allow walk-in applications and requests via phone call.

If the processes seem to be too tedious for you, you may always utilize a third-party people search engine.

Maine Background Check Reports

The State of Maine is not exempted from federal laws governing standard and criminal background checks. Like in any other state, any consumer reporting agency within the state must strictly adhere to the  Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The state, however, does not implement any ban-the-box laws or additional state laws as of this writing. 

Background checks in Maine are maintained by the Maine State Police and the State Bureau of Identification. Though they mostly receive requests from employers, background check reports are also used by licensed issuers, foster cares, and land or property lessors. 

Checks could be name-based or fingerprint-based. Nevertheless, the fee of about $31 remains the same. The said fee is charged per search, regardless of the results. Note that you may also conduct background checks using a trustworthy third-party site.

Maine Official Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About Maine Background Checks

How far back does a background check go in Maine?

In the state of Maine, Criminal Background checks go back 7 years. If you want to conduct a general background check on someone, Maine offers the service: One Stop Background Check

Do misdemeanors go away in Maine?

No. The state of Maine does not allow the expungement of any criminal records including misdemeanors. 

Are police reports public record in Maine?

Police reports are not public record in Maine. However, some criminal records are publicly accessible. You must submit a request with the Department of Public Safety Maine State Police.

How do I get a criminal background check in Maine?

To request a criminal background check, you must submit it to the Department of Public Safety Maine State Police. Requirements include the subject’s full name and DOB, credit card or InforMe subscription, and paying the required fee.