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Ohio Background Checks

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

State Office

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
PO Box 365
London, Ohio 43140
(877) 224-0043

Ohio background checks are handled by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI), which falls under the Ohio Attorney General’s office. The BCI holds all the criminal records for the state and is in charge of compiling and disseminating this information appropriately. Ohio is a closed records state, meaning individuals are not permitted to conduct Ohio background checks on others. The exception to this rule is for employers, both private and public, who require a Ohio criminal background check prior to hiring a new employee. Also, certain state licenses require a criminal records search. Otherwise, only law enforcement and criminal justice agencies are allowed access to background checks in Ohio.

Employers conducting an Ohio background check will learn whether the individual has any convictions in the state. Each Ohio criminal background check is supported by fingerprints, which is the most reliable way to learn whether someone has a criminal record. Whether an individual is convicted under three aliases or shares a common name with an actual criminal, a fingerprint background search will only show convictions that match the fingerprints, meaning mistakes are much less common.

Steps for Retriving a Ohio Background Check

Step 1

BCI provides a link to authorized vendors throughout the state, and you can choose a convenient place to have your fingerprints taken.

Step 2

Call the chosen vendor and make an appointment.

Step 3

Bring a government-issued photo identification to your appointment.

Step 4

Pay the required fee and fill out the authorization form completely, including where the Ohio background check results should be sent (usually a third party, like a prospective employer).

Step 5

Results will be mailed. You have the right to view results received by a potential employer.

Ohio Background Check Special Notes

If an employer receives a “No Record” letter, indicating the individual has no criminal record in the state of Ohio, this can be verified through the BCI website by clicking on the WebCheck Letter Verifier link. Simply enter the transaction number, last name, date of birth and last four digits of the social security number, and the No Record results of the Ohio criminal background search will be verified. If an individual has had background checks in Ohio performed already, a copy can be requested from BCI, rather than having a new background search performed. This often occurs when an individual applies for several jobs in a profession requiring a criminal records search, such as becoming a teacher.

Record request form

Individuals who wish to obtain a copy of a recent Ohio background search should fill out the following form: Request for Copy of Ohio Criminal Records.