North Carolina Background Checks

North Carolina background check, including criminal records, incarceration records, and inmate records

State Office

North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts.
PO Box 2448
Raleigh, North Carolina 27602
(919) 890-1000

North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
PO Box 29500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27626
(919) 662-4500

The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts oversees the entire North Carolina court system. However, a North Carolina background check cannot be obtained through a single source. Although criminal records filed within the court system are public records, there is no central record system that allows individuals to perform a North Carolina criminal background search statewide. Individuals who wish to obtain a North Carolina background check must contact the individual Clerk of Superior Court for each county you suspect might hold a criminal record for an individual.

North Carolina background checks are name-based searches performed by individual Clerks of Superior Court, who will simply search that specific county’s court records for results. Many courts have public access terminals available to perform searches. The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts can help direct individuals to the correct Clerk of Superior Court or provide a contact list for all counties. The only exception is when an individual wishes to review a personal North Carolina criminal background check under the “right to review” law. In that case, the individual must contact the State Bureau of Investigation and submit a fingerprint card and fee in order to receive a complete, statewide criminal history.

Steps for Retriving a North Carolina Background Check

Step 1

Obtain the contact information for the Clerk of Superior Court in the county you wish to search.

Step 2

Download the correct request form and fill it out in order to receive a certified copy of criminal records.

Step 3

Mail the form, along with the appropriate fee, to the Clerk of Superior Court of your choice.

Step 4

If a certified copy is not necessary, visit the Clerk of Superior Court’s office and use the public access terminal to perform North Carolina background checks.

Step 5

Download the Right to Review packet from the State Bureau of Investigation to review a complete, personal history. Remit it along with the appropriate fee and fingerprint card. Results will be mailed back to you.

North Carolina Background Check Special Notes

Background checks in North Carolina might seem like a lot of work, especially since no unified system exists that is accessible to the general public. However, searching in counties you’ve lived in is the best place to start when looking for your own personal criminal records. If you’re looking for the criminal history of another individual, you might start with the current county of residence. Although background checks in North Carolina might require multiple searches, the use of public access terminals at the courts make searching records much easier.

Record request form

Individuals who wish to obtain certified copies of a North Carolina criminal background check must fill out the following form: North Carolina Criminal Records Search Form.

Background Check Resources