How to Obtain a Free Background Check in the State of Washington?
According to the Washington Public Records Act, the state has imposed restrictions on the records available to the public. Washington is a "ban the box" state. This means no more than four employees are allowed to ask about a person's criminal history until the first interview. The act also prohibits discrimination on the grounds of a person's criminal record. Besides, employers cannot ask a person about conviction history that is older than a decade unless it bears directly on their job. This act includes all records except the following:
- Public library records
- Security-related records
- Juvenile records
- Coroner records
- Proprietary records
- Health care records
How to conduct Background Checks in Washington
You can conduct background checks in the state of Washington with the help of local and public record directories. All state, county, and city records are public and can be accessed without restrictions. However, these searches are not national. If a person has committed crimes in two or more states including Washington, you will not be able to glean information on their crimes in the other lands.
Online background check
One of the best ways you can access information online is through truthfinder.com. You have to enter information such as the first name, last name, city, and state of the person. You may have to answer a few questions on their personal life to refine the search. The website can grant you access to a variety of information, including social media profiles, arrest history records, convictions, and the court records of the person. You will have to make a monthly payment of $28.78 to access unlimited records.
Official background check
You can access background checks in the state of Washington through the Washington Access to Criminal History (WATCH) websites. Background checks for different purposes require separate payments.
- Notary request: $10
- Name and date of birth online check: $11
- Fingerprinting service by WSP: $16
- Name and date of birth mailed request: $32
- Fingerprint-based check: $58
- Fingerprinting service by local law enforcement agencies: Fees varies according to location
All the information derived from The Washington State Patrol Identification and Criminal History Section holds convictions from the state of Washington only.
Jail and Inmate Records
To access jail and inmate records of convicts from Washington, you have to send a request to the Washington Department of Corrections. The records you can get include:
- Prison facilities: Maps of prisons, information regarding various corrections centers, and information regarding the personal property of inmates
- Inmate Search: Enter the first name, last name, and the DOC number of the inmate. You can receive information regarding their incarceration status, and their release status.
You can find information regarding court cases from the website of the administrator of the courts. The website houses an e-service center, where you can access all kinds of Washington Court records. The information you will receive includes:
- Records for the district, appellate, municipal and superior court cases.
- Calendar dates of court cases
- The parties involved
- The attorneys of record
- Case and docket numbers
You may not find all the required information in a case file. To know more information, you may have to contact the particular court for the complete case file.
Background Check for Employment
If you are an employer in Washington, you have restricted access to the background checks available to you. You are not allowed to restrict applications based on criminal history until at least the first interview. If the employee has a criminal history that is older than a decade, you have no right to decline their job application unless they have a history of sexually exploiting people.
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