How to Obtain a Free Background Check in the State of Tennessee?
There are official background checks and unofficial background checks. In the State of Tennessee, an official background check can be ordered from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI). Advantages of having an official background check are as follows:1. The information of the individual under scrutiny is already aggregated in one place.
2. The information has already been validated and certified by Government Authorities, prior to verification by applicant.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Eligible applicants are not liable for intrusion on the privacy of others. Fortunately, the State of Tennessee is one such State that provides public access to criminal records.
6. For a fee of $29, the applicant gets complete background verification without putting in too much effort.
Then why must someone pursue an unofficial background check? It could be because of any or all of the following reasons:
- Official background checks require the consent of the individual under scrutiny as well as special eligibility criteria. For example, “Ban the Box” States like Tennessee prohibit public employers from inquiring about the criminal history of applicants until they have conducted the 1st interview. Someone conducting unofficial background verification need not inform anyone or worry about qualifying eligibility. Anyone can do it.
- Official records mandate a payment towards departmental fees. Unofficial background checks aggregate information from free resources and does not require payment of any such fees.
- Given the fact that online and offline applications to TBI may take at least 5-7 days to get processed, unofficial verification may save a lot of time in putting together a profile of an individual provided that the researcher is willing to put in the desired effort.
- In-house staff can be utilized for doing the background verification, without the need for hiring a specialized investigator.
If the reasons to conduct an unofficial background check outweigh the benefits of an official record, especially the fact that unofficial verification is free. One can conduct such an unofficial verification without spending a dime, in the following manner:1. A researcher can search and collect information from Court records, which are stored and maintained by the Administrative Office of Courts in each county and accessible through the official website of Tennessee State Courts or that of the Tennessee Secretary of State. It could very well be the best place to start the search because court records have all the information about an individual’s criminal history, civil offenses, and driving violations. Furthermore, court records also carry a record of summons issued to individuals and in some cases, even notices pertaining to loan defaults and tax violations.
2. Tennessee has a dedicated online service to provide current status and information of convicted felons under the Felony Official Information Lookup (FOIL). A Researcher can find out if a felon is incarcerated, on probation or parole or even facing charges of parole violation.
3. Additionally, a researcher can also access inmate records from the online database of the State Department of Corrections and review the mug shot, identifying features and conviction history of an inmate.
4. Another critical search mandated for an unofficial background check is to verify whether an individual is listed in the Sex Offender’s Registry of the State
All the aforesaid information put together makes for sufficient background verification but it is still vulnerable to identity theft by professional con-artists.
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