The State Police, State Bureau of Identification is the state agency that handles Maine background checks for the public. They provide information through their online portal called “InforME “ via name-searches. Requestors must have the name and date of birth of the subject. Subscribers pay a fee of $21 per search. Non-subscribers pay a fee of $31 per search, and out-of-state users will also pay $31 per search. If the person requesting records wants them notarized, that will cost an additional $10 for each record. If the search yields no results, the user will get a "No Match was Found for your Request” message. Government agencies who request background checks do not pay any fees as long as the purpose is not for licensing.
The state also allows individuals to get a copy of their own background report and contest any errors and also apply to get their records expunged if they are eligible.
An official Maine background check will show the person’s entire criminal history including juvenile records, adult convictions, and incarcerations. Criminal records will include felonies and misdemeanors along with warrants, arrests and any pending cases less than a year old. Federal records will not be included. Only Class A, Class B or Class C juvenile offenses will appear on the report. Along with the criminal data, they will also include personal details like name, address, height, weight, age, date of birth, race, gender, and social security number.
There are many purposes someone needs a background check in Maine. Some of the reasons for a request are for licensing, certifications, security clearances, adoption, foster care, insurance, credit and financing, and employment.
There are also public background reports available that have different purposes such as finding a long-lost relative or friend, checking out a new roommate, neighbor or business associate or finding someone’s contact information. Those types of reports are compiled from many public and private sources, and they will contain the information below:
Marriages and Divorces
Auto, Vessel, Aircraft Ownership
Current and Past Addresses
Phone and Email Address
Relatives and Associates
Social Media Accounts and More
A Maine criminal background check includes both adult and juvenile information from “state law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts, and correctional facilities.” They offer two types of reports, a name-based search or fingerprint-based search. Fingerprint results are returned through the mail. For name-based searches, requestors can use the online website. Reports are comprehensive including pending cases less than a year old. However, name-based searches are less accurate, and the state highly recommends a fingerprint-based search for a pinpoint match.
ME is not a point of contact for gun dealers in the state. They have no laws requiring a background check before selling firearms in the state. Therefore all gun dealers must contact the FBI and use NICS to obtain a background report to comply with federal laws. Private sales are not regulated and do not need a background check either. Only 84,011 background checks have been performed in Maine for 2018. Of those, 33,267 were for handguns, 35,492 were for long guns, and 6,850 was for permits.
On average 93,360 gun checks annually are being conducted through NICS in California.
The state allows employers, agencies, government entities, and the general public to access background reports pretty freely. Accordingly, they do not have laws protecting applicants or dictating how an employer can use a background check during the hiring process.
Although there are no Maine background check laws regarding how employers can use a background check during the hiring process, the Human Rights Commission issued a “Pre-Employment Inquiry Guide,” to help steer employers clear of any race discrimination issues when asking about arrests and convictions. Employers are still subject to the federal laws of The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect applicants from discrimination and protect the accuracy of information.
According to The Fair Credit Reporting Act, when using sites like InfoTracer to obtain a background report, the information cannot legally be used to determine credit, employment, tenant screening or any other eligibility requirements for business or professional use.
In 2017, there have been 44 victims of online romance scams in Maine, resulting in $0.2 million adjusted losses associated with these complaints.
|Age Group||Count||Amount Loss|
|20 - 29||88||41,903|
|30 - 39||94||155,316|
|40 - 49||103||104,332|
|50 - 59||108||231,394|