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Rhode Island Background Checks

Rhode Island background check, including criminal records, incarceration records, and inmate records

State Office

Rhode Island Bureau of Criminal Identification.
150 South Main Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
(401) 274-4400

Background checks in Rhode Island are controlled by the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), which falls under the Office of the Attorney General. The BCI maintains, collects and disseminates the state’s criminal records according to the law. Rhode Island background checks may be requested by the person of record or requested by a third party, as long as authorization is given by the subject. The BCI handles mostly requests for Rhode Island background checks from businesses who must conduct criminal records checks on potential employees.

A Rhode Island criminal background check will reveal the criminal history associated with the name searched. Since a Rhode Island background check is performed as a name-based search, it is possible to miss an individual’s criminal records listed under an alias, or another person’s criminal records could be assigned to an individual with a similar name. All criminal records maintained by the BCI are fingerprint based, however. Any discrepancies should be taken up with BCI personnel to try and resolve the issue. BCI handles over 200,000 requests each year for individuals and businesses.

Steps for Retriving a Rhode Island Background Check

Step 1

To request a Rhode Island background check by mail for yourself, you must sign a release for the information and have it notarized.

Step 2

Include a copy of your government-issued photo identification (driver’s license, state ID card or passport) with the release.

Step 3

To request a Rhode Island background check on someone else, a notarized release to the third party must accompany the copy of identification.

Step 4

Mail the above items along with the appropriate fee to BCI. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the reply.

Step 5

Or, visit BCI in person and bring your government-issued photo identification and the fee for results while you wait in the office.

Rhode Island Background Check Special Notes

Background checks in Rhode Island can be requested by mail or in person at the BCI office. Individuals may request their own personal criminal history or that of another individual both in person and by mail. Third party requests must contain a signed and notarized release form. Most third party requests are from employers required to perform a Rhode Island criminal background check on prospective employees or for licensing purposes. Healthcare, childcare, and nursing home businesses are most commonly in need of background checks.

Record request form

Individuals who wish to request Rhode Island criminal records should create a release of information listing your full name, date of birth, social security number and address, and have this notarized to receive a copy of your criminal records.