North Dakota Background Checks and Public Records

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State of North Dakota

North Dakota is situated in the Midwestern Region of the United States. It’s bordered by South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and Canada. The state may be ranked fourth as the least populated state, but it’s the nineteenth largest one in terms of area.

North Dakota is most commonly known as the Peace Garden State. It, however, has also acquired five other nicknames, including The Sioux State, The Great Central State, Land of the Dakotas, Flickertail State, and The Roughrider State.

North Dakota has a vast oil extraction industry, one of its many natural resources where the state’s economy is mainly dependent on. Though one of the least visited states, their oil and other economic industries attract employees from other states. Plus, the fact that they share borders with Canada and three other states means you should be looking into its neighbors as well when conducting background checks or acquiring public records.

Counties in North Dakota 

BowmanGolden ValleyMcLeanRichlandTraill
BurkeGrand ForksMercerRoletteWalsh

Where To Get Public Records In North Dakota 

Like in most states, North Dakota doesn’t have a central repository of its public records nor a single record custodian. 

If you need vital records, you’ll have to reach out to the Department of Health. They’re in charge of maintaining records of life milestones, including birth, marriage, divorce, and death.

For criminal records, the Office of the Attorney General is where you need to go. They keep detailed reports of all interactions with law enforcement, including arrest records, convictions, and incarcerations. 

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, on the other hand, is where you should go if you need inmate records. They handle information about inmates, including details of all case types filed against them, facility location where they’re detained, custody status, and more.

The North Dakota Court System is responsible for any court-related records such as court cases, state court rules, affidavits, proceedings taken under oath, and the like. They collate information from all courts within the state, including North Dakota district courts, Civil Courts, and Supreme Courts.

Property records are also considered public records in North Dakota. The State Historical Society of North Dakota is responsible for land records, containing information on frontier settlements, land titles, family history, and biographies. The Property Tax Information Portal contains property tax-related information, including rates, amounts due, and payments status. The Recorders Information Network keeps a list of sites and contact information of county recorders’ offices where you can acquire deed records, mortgages, liens, and other encumbrances. 

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records in North Dakota 

The North Dakota Open Records Statute, which basic laws can be found in the North Dakota Century Code, governs the state’s public records. As per this state law, unless explicitly exempted, the general public has the power to inspect any records across any agency.

While there’s no prescribed time frame, it usually takes a week to process requests. Should yours be denied, you have 30 days to appeal and/or 60 days to file a lawsuit. 

In most cases, a formal request for a public document is required, and this could be sent via mail or email. Some records, however, are available on online databases without the need for any formal or official request. Other departments also allow walk-ins and overt-the-phone requests. Though access to public records is generally free, agencies may charge $0.25 per page.

Note that a third-party people search engine also offers a fast and convenient way of acquiring public records and information about someone.

North Dakota Background Check Reports

North Dakota criminal and standard background checks are conducted by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. For a search to be initiated, the requestor must submit the subject’s address or a signed authorization form.

Searches could be name-based or fingerprint-based at $15 each. Name-based searches won’t identify records if the subject has been arrested under a different name while fingerprint-based searches will identify arrest and criminal history records even if the name is under a different or unknown alias.

While most checks are requested by employers and/or human resources personnel, other background check reports could also be used for adoption and foster parenting, property leasing, housing considerations, license issuance, and general interest.

While North Dakota doesn’t implement a ban-the-box law, all businesses and organizations conducting criminal background checks must adhere to federal laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is a national regulation that seeks to eliminate discrimination in hiring practices. 

You also have the option to conduct a background check through a reliable and trustworthy third-party site.

North Dakota Official Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About North Dakota Background Checks

How do I look up criminal records in North Dakota?

You can request criminal records with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. They have two criminal background check options: Name-Based and Fingerprint-Based. You must provide the person’s full name, date of birth, Social Security Number, current address, and a signed authorization form. A $15 fee is required and the check will come back in 7-10 business days.

How long does a felony stay on your record in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, felonies stay on one’s criminal record unless they have been expunged.