We get this question a lot, and it’s a bit of a complicated answer. There are definitely many sources of free online background information, especially on the state level. See our state by state guides above for specifics. There are even a few federal sources that are free to search, too. The problem starts with knowing where to search and who to search on. Maybe that guy you’re dating had an alias in another state - how would you know? Or perhaps he committed a crime on the other side of the country. Would you know to search in a different state if they hadn’t told you they lived there? That’s why we’re big fans of the online background checks, especially ones with free trials. They’ve done the dirty work of searching for this information, and turn up a lot of things you might miss if you looked yourself.
Pre-employment screening refers to the process of investigating the backgrounds of potential employees and is commonly used to verify the accuracy of an applicant's claims as well as to discover any possible criminal history, workers compensation claims, or employer sanctions. For example, CBC News of Canada reported that fraud in the workplace cost Canadian Businesses over $3.2 Billion in 2011.[6]
There is no official sex offender registry in Ireland. However, under the Sex Offenders Act 2001 which came into force in June 2001, an unofficial registry exists and is held centrally by the Gardaí. The location of sex offenders in Ireland is provided by a certificate issued by the court, stating that the convicted person is subject to the requirements of the Sex Offenders Act 2001 and is now obliged to provide certain information including their name and address to the Gardaí. Therefore, this certificate system is commonly referred to as the Sex Offenders Register, as it allows the details of all sex offenders subject to the requirements of the Sex Offenders Act 2001 to be held centrally by the Gardaí.[61]

Drug tests and credit checks for employment are highly controversial practices. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a project of the Utility Consumers' Action Network (UCAN): "While some people are not concerned about background investigations, others are uncomfortable with the idea of investigators poking around in their personal histories. In-depth checks could unearth information that is irrelevant, taken out of context, or just plain wrong. A further concern is that the report might include information that is illegal to use for hiring purposes or which comes from questionable sources."


Each criminal record certificate has two components: the first regarding the individuation of the person and the second consisting of the content of the person's prior criminal acts. Every certificate must contain: information concerning the person's identity including the paternal surname and if they are married, and the final judgement/s passed down by a court. Specifically, Article 574.2 CCrP states that certificates must record:
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