The Attorney General's Office is the agency in charge of background checks for the state, and they provide both in-state and federal reports. Requests can be made in-person at their Cranston, RI office or by mail. If the requestor wants a copy of someone else’s report, they need to have a signed authorization form. The cost for a state background report is $5. The price for a national background report is $35. The authorization form must be notarized. Either in person or by mail the requestor must also prove their identity with a valid passport or driver’s license. When ordering by mail, processing will take up to 7 days. Their website also offers information to offenders on how to get their criminal background expunged.
A Rhode Island background check will show primarily personal details and criminal history information. First, things like name, address, age, date of birth and a physical description will be on there. Then each criminal arrest, conviction, and incarceration will be on there as well.
There are many purposes for a background check in RI; the most common is for employment. According to the state law the following types of businesses must use them before hiring new employees: alarm companies, financial industry agents, precious metals, tools and electronic vendors (pawn shops), private security personnel, nursery school operators and employees, child care/day care operators and owners, nurses, adult day care facilities owners and employees, long term care facilities owners and employees, childcare/daycare employees, massage therapists, mental health facilities, adoptive parents, foster parents, firefighter, medical marijuana caregiver, dept. of Child Youth and Families (DCYF) employees, public and private school employees (full time, part time, substitute teacher, school bus drivers, and monitors) and hird-party public and private school vendors.
There are other less formal background reports that include the following information:
Marriages and Divorces
Auto, Vessel, Aircraft Ownership
Current and Past Addresses
Phone and Email Address
Relatives and Associates
Social Media Accounts and More
These public reports are generated from various public and private sources for the purpose of looking up someone’s address or contact information, checking out a new neighbor, date or business partner or looking into a potential new roommate before letting them move in.
Criminal history information in RD is considered confidential and protected by law enforcement. Therefore, employers, professional licensing agencies and individuals can only get a copy of someone’s with a signed, notarized authorization form.
Although Rhode Island is not a point of contact for gun dealers in the state, they can contact the state police for a background report. Private sellers may also use the local police or sheriff’s office to perform an RI background check before selling guns. Otherwise, licensed dealers must comply with federal law and contact the FBI to use NICS for a criminal background check in RI before transferring firearms. Concealed carry permit holders are exempt from a background check when purchasing weapons.
On average 25,030 gun checks annually are being conducted through NICS in California.
Although the state does not allow public access to law enforcement records and criminal histories, the court system does allow public access to criminal cases through their Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal. This service is free to use, and individuals can look up cases, charges and criminal case dispositions using just the person’s name.
During the hiring process, employers cannot ask applicants if they have been arrested or charged with any crimes. They can ask about convictions but only after the first interview and they can just ask about specific crimes, not general criminal history information. The state offers certification for ex-cons that they can use when getting a job. The certificate proves rehabilitation and helps with reentry into society. Employers are also bound by federal law and must comply with both The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when using background checks during the hiring process.
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 27 victims of online romance scams in Rhode Island, resulting in $0.8 million adjusted losses associated with these complaints.
|Age Group||Count||Amount Loss|
|20 - 29||105||77,438|
|30 - 39||140||57,521|
|40 - 49||107||723,271|
|50 - 59||99||563,530|