The Division of Criminal Justice Services is the government agency that handles an official criminal background check in NY. They only issue background reports for licensing and certification agencies and employers. They also issue “personal record reviews” to individuals with a criminal record so they can see what remains of their criminal history. All their data is fingerprint-based. Their website includes forms so that an individual can request his or her criminal records be sealed or corrected. They also have specific forms for licensing agencies and employers to use to request a criminal record report. Requests can be made by mail, email or phone. The state does, however, have a sex offender registry that the general public can search for free.
An official New York background check report will show different information based on who is requesting it. If someone requests a copy of their own report, it may show their entire criminal history, or it may not include sealed or hidden records. In some cases, it will show no record at all. Licensing agencies or government requests will be complete with details like: RAP sheet data (arrest, warrants, convictions, felonies, misdemeanors), court cases, incarcerations, parole information, probation information, job information, licensing informati and other details.
A report will also show personal details like name, aliases, date of birth, race, addresses, height, weight, eye color, hair color, age, SSN, NY ID number, NCIC class, and citizenship.
The level of detail depends on the authority of the agency requesting the report.
The primary reasons to get an NY background check report are for employment, licensing, certification and security clearances. The state offers official reports for these purposes. Most information provided by the state is fee-based.
They are also used for things like obtaining financing or credit, and before buying insurance.
Public background reports are also available that provide a lot more information and are used for more informal purposes such as finding a lost love, checking out a new neighbor or friend, before buying from a stranger online and before dating someone new. Some of the information they contain is:
Marriages and Divorces
Auto, Vessel, Aircraft Ownership
Current and Past Addresses
Phone and Email Address
Relatives and Associates
Social Media Accounts and More
NY criminal background reports contain a lot of information about the entire history of someone’s criminal past. Included in most reports will be arrests, warrants, convictions, felonies, sex offenses, misdemeanors, traffic violations, criminal court cases, prison and jail information including parole or probation. In some instances, the requesting agency will also receive job, licensing and employment information. The details contained with be based on the authorization of the requesting entity. Only individuals can request a copy of their own criminal record. The general public is not allowed to make requests for another person.
The state is not a point of contact for gun dealers in the state, and they require no New York state background check be performed before the sale of guns. However, all transfers of firearms must be handled by a licensed dealer except between family members. Licensed gun dealers must contact the FBI and run a full background check in NY using NICS before selling to a buyer. Dealers must also keep detailed transaction records. Legally, dealers can charge $10 per transaction. For 2018, the state processed 382,495 background checks to sell guns.
On average 358,614 gun checks annually are being conducted through NICS in California.
NY prohibits the use of background checks by the general public. They allow them to be used by employers, government agencies and licensing and certification entities only. The New York background check law is primarily for employment purposes.
Employers are prohibited from asking if an applicant or existing employee has had any charged filed against them. Furthermore, the employer cannot ask about sealed or underaged charges. They can ask about current and pending charges as well as past convictions. Only immediate arrests are fair game; employers cannot ask about any prior resolved arrests. If an employer denies employment based on a criminal history report, they must inform the applicant in writing within 30 days. Employers are also subject to federal laws and must comply with both The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
According to The Fair Credit Reporting Act, when using sites like InfoTracer to obtain a background check 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 674 victims of online romance scams in New York, resulting in $9.9 million adjusted losses associated with these complaints.
|Age Group||Count||Amount Loss|
|20 - 29||2,549||3,212,084|
|30 - 39||2,670||10,844,292|
|40 - 49||2,405||20,317,222|
|50 - 59||2,299||14,765,299|