How to Obtain a Free Background Check in the State of Kentucky?
The Kentucky Open Records Act (KORA) allows the public to access and/or order copies of most government documents that are recorded, maintained and/or issued by the State of Kentucky unless they are exempted from inspection in accordance with at least one of the 14 exemptions notified by the Act. Nonexempt public records can be inspected by anyone from the public, regardless of identity. Official Background checks, however, can only be accessed by the primary subject/individual named in the record or an employer of such an individual.
Kentucky public records were officially compiled from way back in 1852, for all of its 120 counties. The past 30 years have witnessed the digitization of these public records and records dating further back are also being electronically recorded. The said electronic records are provided via governmental access as well as third-party aggregators.
Benefits of having an official background check are as follows:
- Government verified and State aggregated information, all in one place.
- An official record is a certified document with legal standing. It can be used as an official submission in applications for employment, insurance, loan, tenancy etc.
- The liability of errors and misinformation falls on the governing body and the individual under evaluation and not on the person or organization conducting the background check.
- Eligible applicants are not liable for intrusion on the privacy of others.
- For a fee of $20, the applicant can conduct a name-based search of criminal records and for $30, the fingerprint-based search can be availed.
Then why must someone pursue an unofficial background check? It could be because of any or all of the following reasons:
- Official background checks mandate that the applicant must qualify eligibility or have the consent of the individual under scrutiny.
- Official records cost money and have a prescribed waiting time. Unofficial background checks aggregate information from free resources and does not require payment of any such fees. Moreover, if the researcher is willing to put in the effort, it can also save time.
- In-house staff can be utilized for doing the background verification, without the need for hiring a specialized investigator.
Start with Court Records: They contain the entire history of an individual regarding criminal offenses, summons, civil offenses, driving violations, family matters such as marriage/divorce/alimony/custody, etc and in some cases, tax violations and loan defaults. Court records can be accessed from the Administrative Office of Courts or the official website of the Court of Justice of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. While the said website provides court records for free, it also provides paid access to the criminal records for said fees of $25. Hence it is imperative that the researcher opts for the free resource and not register for paid records accidentally.
Compare with Inmate Records and Sex Offender’s Registry: Records of criminal trials that are discovered in court records can be compared with freely accessible inmate records on the website of the Department of Corrections. These records also carry the photograph of the inmate as well as other physical descriptors whereas the Sex Offender’s Registry also carries the latest place of residence of the individual under scrutiny.
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