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Iowa Background Checks

Iowa background check, including criminal records, incarceration records, and inmate records

State Office

Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 E. 7th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 725-6066

Background checks in Iowa begin at the state’s Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Investigation. This office serves as the central repository for all the state’s criminal records and has designed search process to make it as easy as possible to find information on arrest records in the state. While some of this information is available to member of the general public, more detailed records can also be obtained with written authorization of the subject of the search. The database holds records on both felony and misdemeanor arrests that have been submitted by local law enforcement agencies.

Those interested in conduction an Iowa background check must first determine how much information they require. A non-waiver criminal history may be obtained through the state’s online service, the Iowa Criminal History Record Check website. This name-based search offers basic criminal information on individuals and does not require a signature to authorize the release of information. Those who need a more detailed Iowa criminal background check can initiate a paper search, which does require an authorized signature of the subject to perform.

Steps for Retriving an Iowa Background Check

Step 1

Determine what type of background check you need. If basic information is sufficient, you can initiate a search online. If you prefer an Indiana background check with information that requires a signed waiver, you can also access the forms for that request at the website for the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

Step 2

If you are conducting your search online, read through the terms and conditions for using the website and then click that you agree to them. This step must be completed before you can continue with your search.

Step 3

Provide the information on the person you wish to search. The more information you can provide, the more accurate your search will be. The website provides room to submit the full name of the individual, gender, date of birth and social security number.

Step 4

Pay the fee for the background check. Currently, the fee for an Iowa background check is $15.

Step 5

If you prefer to submit your request by mail, download the appropriate forms from the Department of Public Safety website, complete and return to the office by mail or in person. If you are requesting a full criminal history, be sure to get the subject’s authorization on the form before you return it.

Iowa Background Check Special Notes

Although the state allows members of the general public to receive background checks in Iowa without an authorization from the subject, the information on those histories is somewhat limited. This includes information that dates back 18 months and includes a final disposition or deferred judgment information. Additional information will require a signature from the subject authorizing the search. Individuals can also receive complete criminal histories on themselves to check for accuracy.

Record request form

The process of conducting a background check in Iowa begins with a visit to the Department of Public Safety website, where you will find a link to the online search system.