Public Records Search

a-z, dash, period, spaces only
a-z, dash, period, spaces only

Minnesota Background Checks

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

State Office

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
1430 Maryland Avenue East
St. Paul, Minnesota 55106
(651) 793-2400

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety oversees the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension division, which is responsible for maintaining the Computerized Criminal History System (CCH). The CCH is the central repository for Minnesota’s criminal records, including all felony arrests, as well as gross misdemeanor and enhanced misdemeanor arrests and conviction records for any of these crimes. Law enforcement agencies and the court system use this repository during investigations, trials, for setting bail and even for making probation and incarceration decisions.

The CCH also plays an important role for background checks in Minnesota. Anyone may request Minnesota background checks, although there is a difference between public access and private access to criminal records. A Minnesota criminal background check for another person will return convictions only and nothing older than 15 years after a completed sentence (if the person is still incarcerated after 15 years, this conviction will appear on the record). Also, juvenile records and arrest information will not be included. Individuals may request a personal Minnesota background check that includes a complete history.

Steps for Retriving a Minnesota Background Check

Step 1

Individuals may visit a nearby Bureau of Criminal Apprehension office and use the public criminal history terminals to view a Minnesota criminal background check for free.

Step 2

If you can’t visit in person and you want access to your own complete criminal history, send a written request to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and include your full name, any aliases or former names, date of birth, and have it notarized.

Step 3

Include a money order or check for $8 and include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the results.

Step 4

Individuals can also go online and search for criminal records through an online CCH database.

Step 5

Enter the person’s first and last name, plus date of birth, and click search. This online service is free.

Minnesota Background Check Special Notes

Although background checks in Minnesota can be performed relatively easily by anyone, a complete criminal history on another person is more difficult. If it’s needed for employment reasons, you must have the individual sign the informed consent form before a complete Minnesota background check will be released. These searches are name-based, and individuals should remember that the records they view might not be correct. Should anyone notice a mistake in his or her own criminal record, he or she should notify the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension because they have procedures for correcting these types of mistakes.

Record request form

Individuals who wish to perform Minnesota background checks don’t need to fill out any official forms. Requests can be written and mailed, made in person or completed online.