North Carolina Background Checks and Public Records

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State of North Carolina

North Carolina, the ninth most populous state in the country, is known for industrial research, higher education, agriculture, and banking. The North Carolina state capital of Raleigh is the state’s well-known research triangle. The state’s thriving economic environment attracts residents from around the United States as well as the world. Always consider that a resident of North Carolina might originally be from another state when conducting a background check.

Counties in North Carolina

AsheCravenHendersonNew HanoverStokes

Where To Get Public Records In North Carolina

There is no state records custodian in North Carolina, records are available in state departments.

The North Carolina Vital Records, a subsidiary of the Department of Health and Human Services, handles vital records like birth and death records, and marriage and divorce records. Such records can also be obtained at the Register of Deeds (ROD) or at the office in whichever county that the event took place. The State Archives of North Carolina also holds the following vital records: death certificates (1939-1979), microfilmed birth and death indexes, cohabitation records (1866-1867), and microfilmed marriage registers and indexes.

A criminal record is classified as an official document in North Carolina. Such records are prepared and maintained by local and state agencies and law enforcement groups, courts, and correctional facilities. They described felonies and misdemeanors of alleged and convicted criminals as well as arrest, indictment, and conviction records. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the state’s Court System provide criminal background checks. 

The Department of Public Safety also handles inmate records which includes personal information, mug shots, inmate location and registration numbers, jail transfer information, and custody status.

North Carolina records on-court minutes, case files, judgment documentation, jury records and files, witness documentation, and the like are under the North Carolina Judicial Branch and the Administrative Office of the Courts. Information on civil, estate cases, or special proceedings may also be accessed on self-service public terminals located in each county’s office of the clerk of court.

Property records in North Carolina are kept on a local/county basis and are maintained by the county property tax assessors and county clerks. The North Carolina Secretary of State’s Division of Certification and Filing Land Records Management Section helps local governments in establishing standards for indexing and electronic access and storage of vital land records. The Register of Deeds is responsible for registering deeds in each county. There are also e-recording counties that support electronic registration of deeds.

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records in North Carolina

The North Carolina Public Records Law is expansive but has no real form of enforcement. Agencies can’t inquire about the purpose of the request and a separate office negotiates fees based on requests. There is no set number of business days on the fulfillment of requests; there is no current formal appeal system process. Anyone, even non-residents, can request and receive public information records in North Carolina.

In some cases, public record access may require physical information forms to request the needed document. Such forms can be sent via mail, email, or phone to the corresponding department. There are also 24/7 online databases to access information without any form.

State agencies and employees are not required to create and/or compile a government record if one does not currently exist. An agency may also refuse to disclose requested records that are deemed as exemptions such as local and state tax information, trade secrets, criminal intelligence information records, emergency response plans, and photographs and/or recordings of autopsies. Agencies may only charge for copies unless an “extensive amount of labor” is involved, in which case the State Chief Information Office can mediate fees. If you don’t want to go through the hassle, you may also opt for a third-party people search engine for your background checks.

North Carolina Background Check Reports

To obtain a North Carolina Background Check Report, one must fill out a short Right to Review form and submit it to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation together with a $14 fee. No in-person requests are allowed; the process takes place via mail or email. Full background reports, including criminal records, can either be fingerprint-based or name-based searches.

A huge percentage of background checks in North Carolina is for employment purposes and may include driving history, public court records, former residences, and credit history. Checks made for an adoption processor for certain medical professions, however, may include criminal background checks. State criminal history reports may include arrest records, arrest warrants, serious traffic violations, probation records, and felonies.

Employers requesting background checks must abide by the regulations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which protect a job seeker’s rights in the United States. There are currently no ban-the-box restrictions in North Carolina. There are, however, additional state law and local law to consider in using any background check report, particularly for employment purposes.

You may opt for other channels, such as a reliable and trustworthy third-party background check site to obtain the data you need.

North Carolina Official Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About North Carolina Background Checks

How do I obtain a background check in North Carolina?

Background checks in North Carolina are done through the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. If you need a quick background check on yourself or someone else in North Carolina, you could utilize a third-party online background check site like Kiwi Searches

How far back do background checks go in North Carolina?

There is no year requirement for how far background checks go in North Carolina. Typically, it is 7 or 10 years. 

How do I check my criminal record in North Carolina?

To check your criminal records in North Carolina, you must submit a Criminal Background Check with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. They have a form that must be filled out listed on their websites. 

Are North Carolina court records public?

Court records in North Carolina are accessible to the public. Criminal records, and civil, special proceedings, or estates cases are viewable at your local clerk of court’s office self-service terminal.