Are There Hidden Costs for Background Checks?

Background checks are becoming a big part of our society. The first question we also get is, “How much does it cost?” and “Is there any hidden cost?”.

While this may seem like an easy question to answer, there may be fee’s that are associated with states, counties, or third parties when verifying an individuals background. Tenant screening is usually more cut and dry than employment screening. For the most part when a quote is given to a landlord there will usually not be any variations to the package price. This is due to the guidelines in place that landlords follow. For employers, per federal law there are other verifications that need to be considered before a decision is made.

For instance:

  1. Landlords can run a national criminal search, find criminal history, and make a decision.
  2. Employers can run a national criminal search, find criminal history, and now that criminal record must be verified at the county in which the offense happened. Thus, adding another fee or multiple fee’s to the search price. Employers are required to do this to ensure accuracy of the criminal record.

Employers should be made aware of hidden cost when signing up. This allows them to know which services may require additional fee’s from time to time. The following are examples of different fee’s that may be applicable:

  • County Court Access Fee’s
  • Motor Vehicle State Fee’s
  • License verification State Fee’s
  • Education verification Fee’s
  • Third party Fee’s
  • International Fee’s

What you need to watch for

When looking for a background screening company, always notice the package price and be sure to look for any fine print such as “+ county court fee” or “+ state fee when applicable”. Many times upon a request the background screening company will have a schedule of these fee’s. This is good to keep for your records so you will have an understanding of which states and counties charge an additional fee.

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