An instant background check can be used for a wide range of purposes, from researching a prospective job applicant to screening an individual before a first date. The process of performing a background check has become significantly easier in recent years, as more public and court records become available online. However, your choice of sources for instant criminal background checks will make a significant difference in how fast you receive your information, as well as how complete and accurate that information might be.

Options in Instant Background Checks

There are a variety of options for launching a background check today, including the following:


The only option listed above that offers instant background checks is a people search service. A people search service provides access to thousands of online databases for vital, court and criminal records. While there is a fee to use this service, many companies and landlords find the fee to be worth the amount of information they can receive on their computer nearly instantaneously.

Time Frames for Background Checks

When conducting background checks through the FBI, the process can take as long as 30 days to complete. The FBI process uses fingerprints to locate criminal records, military records and personal records that provide a host of information about an individual. “Instant” background checks conducted at the state level may be much faster to process, taking two to three days to complete. However, that time frame can vary from state to state, and it is also subject to the workflow currently experienced by the employees in the office that typically handle the requests. Information provided is also restricted to the state where the investigation is conducted.

Contractors that specialize in instant criminal background checks will usually take two to three days to complete requests as well. Processing can be speeded along by ensuring the applicant’s information is complete and correct. These types of background checks are also subject to the various sources used to confirm information, such as courts, schools and other government offices.

Those who attempt to complete background checks on their own will find online records make the process much easier than ever before. However, records may still be scattered throughout a wide range of state and federal offices, which can complicate the process, as well as slow it down. In addition, it is easy to miss important information when background checks are conducted in this manner, since the information retrieved is dependent on the sources chosen for the search.

People Search Services and Instant Background Checks

The only true instant background checks are available through online people search services. Those interested in these types of searches can either subscribe to the service or pay for one-time background checks as needed. A reputable people search service is connected to thousands of online databases for public records, making it much easier to find the necessary information in a single search effort.

Instant background checks are a popular way for employers, landlords and others to perform criminal background checks today. With many options available, finding information on persons of interest is easier than ever before.

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