The State Bureau of Investigation is the government agency in charge of collecting and keeping all criminal records. However, North Carolina is a closed record state, and therefore individuals cannot obtain a copy of someone else’s criminal record without their consent. Employers and licensing authorities with the “statutory authority to access that information or pursuant to a judicial order or subpoena,” are the only ones who can request a background check in NC.
However court records are public record and individuals and companies can request a criminal background report by visiting the county courthouse, filling out a form and paying a small fee of $25. There is no state-wide search; therefore, the records will be local to that court’s jurisdiction. The state also allows the use of unofficial background checks but does not verify the accuracy of the information.
Individuals can get copies of their criminal background check in NC with a copy of their fingerprints.
Individuals and companies can sign up for registered accounts to access the court records system online, the same way they would access a terminal in the courthouse. The fees for this service are quite steep. The information available covers both criminal and civil cases and some of what is available in real-time is: criminal records (pending cases and prior convictions), infractions, tax liens, evictions, judgments.
Criminal records will cover things like arrests, convictions, traffic violations, court dispositions, incarcerations, parole, and probation information.
Due to the strict laws in the state, the most common reasons to check the North Carolina background check law would be employment or licensing.
Unofficial background reports sourced from public and private sources, however, can be used to find someone’s address, locate a long-lost friend or relative, before dating, before going into business with someone and checking out potential roommates. Some of the information these public North Carolina background checks will show are:
Marriages and Divorces
Auto, Vessel, Aircraft Ownership
Current and Past Addresses
Phone and Email Address
Relatives and Associates
Social Media Accounts and More
The state highly regulates how government agencies can use criminal histories when licensing individuals and only those with “statutory authority to access that information” will be allowed to do so. NC is a closed record state so no one can get a copy of anyone’s background check without their consent first.
The state is a partial point of sale for gun dealers and with the sale of handguns must contact the local sheriff’s office to confirm the buyer has a concealed carry permit or a license to purchase guns in the state. If the purchase is for a long gun, the gun dealers must comply with federal law and contact the FBI to use NICS for a NC gun background check before selling. NC has completed more than 478,888 background checks in the state for the purpose of selling guns. Of those, only 15,565 were for handguns, 123,322 were for long guns, and 282,143 were for licensing and permits.
On average 529,916 gun checks annually are being conducted through NICS in California.
North Carolina values the privacy of individuals and therefore does not allow the general public access to criminal information except through the public records court system. In regard to licensing, the state is quite strict on how a criminal record may be used. When assessing an applicant, the licensing agency must consider:
According to North Carolina law, employers are prohibited from asking about expunged or sealed records. Other than that, employers can use criminal background check information in their hiring process. However, employers are still 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 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 411 victims of online romance scams in North Carolina, resulting in $3.3 million adjusted losses associated with these complaints.
|Age Group||Count||Amount Loss|
|20 - 29||912||928,923|
|30 - 39||955||1,946,573|
|40 - 49||1,024||3,519,795|
|50 - 59||963||5,206,442|