Frequently Asked Questions
Background Checks FAQs
How much does a background check cost?
Pricing on background checks varies based on where your applicant is located and what kind of background check you would like to run. We also offer volume discounts to our loyal customers. Get a free quote.
How long does a background check take?
We have many different background check package options depending on your industry and needs. Most background checks start with our Baseline National Search that includes searches within the National Criminal Database, Sex Offender Registry, Terrorist Watch List, P.R.I.O.R.S., Department of Corrections, and more. You can view more detailed add-on options under the Services and Background Checks sections on our website.
How can I check the progress of my background check?
You can check the current stage of your background check within your screening portal by signing in and choosing the “reports” and “pending reports” tab.
Why is my background check taking longer than expected?
Blueline Services strives to process every background check as quickly and thoroughly as we can. However, sometimes there are delays in the reports that are beyond our control. Typically the most common reasons behind a delayed background check report are either that we are waiting on a county search or the applicant has not yet responded to our request for additional information.
County searches require us to request records from courthouses across the county. Sometimes these courthouses may lack electronic resources, be understaffed, or overburdened by the thousands of search requests they receive daily. While most county searches take 2-3 days to complete, occasionally a county search may take longer.
Occasionally additional information about an applicant is required or previously given information needs to be verified in order for us to finish processing a background check. When these exceptions arise, we will automatically email the applicant to request the needed information. However, a delayed response from the applicant will also result in delayed background check results.
What’s included in a background check?
We have many different background check package options depending on your industry and needs. Most background checks will include our Baseline National Search that includes searches within the National Criminal Database, Sex Offender Registry, Terrorist Watch List, P.R.I.O.R.S., Department of Corrections and more. You can view a full list of what is included within the Baseline National Search as well as other background check add-on options on our products page here.
Do I need to have my applicants sign something?
Yes. Your applicants will need to sign a written authorization form in order for us to perform a background check on them.
What kind of background check is right for my company?
How can I verify a candidate's education and work history?
We offer both education verification and employment verification options to add on to your background check package. One of our screening specialists will either run a search or reach out to former employers and educational institutions in order to verify things such as job title, dates of employment/education, reason for termination, degree completion, etc.
Should I run a background check before making a job offer?
Based on the “Ban-the-Box” laws and “Fair Chance” ordinances sweeping states and municipalities across the country, we strongly recommend making sure you are following the hiring laws in your jurisdiction in determining when you can request a background check on an applicant. Jurisdictions with these laws/ordinances in place will frequently require you to wait for a certain part of the hiring process before you perform this service. Background checks are a great way to verify the information you have been given about an applicant is correct and ensure that they are a good fit for your company. Also, if you do decide not to offer a job to an applicant based on their background check results, please ensure that you follow the adverse action process to avoid any legal issues.
What is an adverse action?
The Adverse Action is a two step process that requires you to inform a candidate when you decide not to hire them based in whole or in part due to the information that was found within their background check report. Blueline Services has simple and easy-to-use adverse action letters built into our screening system and tailored to each applicant. Clients can easily customize and send adverse action letters to candidates from within our platform.
Are you integrated with ATS and HR platforms?
Yes, we have over 100 integrations. Please see our full list of integrations here.
How do I order a background check?
To order a background check, you will first need to get set up within our screening platform. Once you are set up with a login for our screening platform you can easily order background checks there or you may also call or email our background check team to place your order.
How do I cancel a background check?
What if the candidate has changed their name in the past?
Accurate names are critical to retrieving accurate criminal records. An alias search will help provide coverage for any previous names that a candidate might have had and include coverage of records under that name as well.
How will I receive my background check results?
All background check results will either appear within our screening platform or your ATS/HR integration. A completion email will also be sent to the requesting email.
Can I get a refund if my applicant withdraws from the application process?
Please let us know as soon as possible if your applicant has withdrawn from the application process. Depending on how far we are into the screening process, we will refund what we are able to.
How do I input and manage my applicant’s information?
ATS Integration: (integration option) Our system can easily integrate with a wide variety of applicant tracking systems and HR software. This means that you can easily access screening data about your applicant from within your system.
Quick App Pro: (link option) A lot of our clients feel that this is the easiest and best option. If you want to use QuickApp Pro, we will set up a customized link for your account. This can include your logo and custom verbiage for your clients. You can embed this link into your website or email it out—whatever is easiest for you! With this option, the applicant’s information will be sent electronically into our platform where we can process the background. We will then email you the results with a flag or not flagged status.
Quick App: (email option) This option is also a great way to save time and cut down on potential mistakes. You will need to login to our platform and input your applicant’s first and last name along with their email address. The platform will then send the applicant an email asking them to complete their background check. We can set this emailed link to expire in however many days you would prefer.
Manual Entry: (entry option) The entry option does require a little bit more work and review for you, but we still have a variety of clients that utilize this option. With this option, you have the applicant fill out a paper authorization form and then enter all of that information manually into our platform for us to process.
How do I run a background check?
Check out our blog post that covers how to run a background check here.
I’ve received a Public Records Notice, what should I do?
No action is needed from you. This notice was sent to you for informational purposes.
Why did I receive a Public Records Notice?
This Public Records Notice was sent to you to inform you that the background check being performed on you may include public records. Some examples of public records include driving records, criminal court and civil court cases, professional license verifications, and sanction searches.
Can my employer share the results of my background check with another employer?
No. The results of your background check can not be shared unless you have given authorization to do so. For example, if you are being hired through a staffing agency that would then provide this information to their clients.
Will an expunged record show up on my background check?
If a record has been officially sealed by a judge and properly filed with a court, it should not be reported on your background check.
Will somebody contact me if there is a problem with my background check?
Either our team or the employer requesting the background check will contact you if additional information is needed from you.
How do I dispute the results of my background check?
How do I request a free copy of my background check?
To receive your free copy of your report, please send an email to email@example.com with your request and our team will gladly help you out.
Will juvenile records show up on my background check?
No, we do not search juvenile courts for juvenile records as they are not public records.
How should I prepare for my background check?
Certain information will be needed in order to run your background check. You should be prepared to provide your current address, date of birth, and social security number as well as sign a written authorization form. You may also be asked to provide your driver’s license number, educational background (institution attended, dates attended, degree earned, etc.) and past employment history (former employers, dates employed, salary, etc.).
What type of information is included in a background check?
We have many different background check package options depending on your industry and needs. Most background checks will include our Baseline National Search that includes searches within the National Criminal Database, Sex Offender Registry, Terrorist Watch List, P.R.I.O.R.S., Department of Corrections and more. You can view a full list of what is included within the Baseline National Search as well as other background check add-on options under the Services and Background Checks sections on our website.
How far back will my background check search?
The depth of the background check will depend on the type of data being searched and the location of that search. Certain states limit criminal record searches to 7 or 10 years, where other states permit searches and reporting of all available conviction records. Other types of searches such as employment or education verifications are usually not legally restricted with time limits and can be decided by the organization requesting the background check.
How should I prepare for my drug test?
Make sure to bring a government-issued photo ID to your drug test, such as a driver’s license, state ID, passport, military ID, or green card. We also recommend double-checking the collection center address to ensure you’re headed to the right place. At the collection site, please be sure to follow their instructions and protocol exactly to avoid the need for repeat testing.
What should I do if an MRO calls me?
Please have any current prescriptions readily available to inform the MRO.
If you are unable to answer the call, please return the call as soon as possible in order to ensure a timely turnaround time for your results. The MRO should leave their contact information in a voicemail message.
How do I login to view my background checks and/or drug tests?
What do I do if I forgot my login password?
You can select “forgot password” at login to receive an email with instructions on creating a new password. You may also reach out to your platform administrator or our customer support team to receive password help.
How do I manage my email alerts?
Newsletter: If you have questions about managing our monthly newsletter emails, please visit this page.
Applicant Email Alerts: Please reach out to our customer support team to change your applicant email alerts. These email alerts are very customizable ranging from frequent to infrequent alerts on your applicant’s screening process.
How do I receive the Blueline newsletter?
Sign up for our monthly newsletter by heading to our sign up page here. To help ensure that our emails get through to your inbox, please be sure to whitelist/add the following email address to your address book – firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I change my login credentials?
Your platform administrator should have the ability to change your login credentials. You may also hit “forgot password” to receive an email with instructions on changing your password. Our support team can also help you update your login credentials.
How do I delete a user from my client account?
In order to delete a user, please contact your platform administrator or our customer support team.
Why am I being charged court access fees?
Some courts charge a fee in order to access their records, when we encounter these fees we pass them through at cost to clients.
How do I update my billing information?
What is the best way to have discrepancies on invoices adjusted or questions on invoice information communicated ?
Drug Testing FAQs
How do I order a drug test?
To order a drug test, you will first need to get set up within our screening platform. Once you are set up with a login for our screening platform you can easily order drug tests there or you may also call or email our drug testing team to place your order.
How long does it take to get drug testing results?
Turnaround time for drug tests varies based on the type of test performed as well as how quickly a candidate is able to make it into a collection site for their drug test. We perform both rapid tests and lab-based testing. Rapid on-site drug testing allows us to collect and process your results right away. Lab-based tests usually have a 24-72 hour turnaround time from the time they are collected. Variables involved include shipping time, testing methodology (urine, oral fluids, hair), and MRO review. However, sometimes report delays are beyond our control (e.g. weather).
How do I know if I can drug test my employee?
State laws regarding drug testing may vary considerably. In most cases, safety-sensitive employees may be involved in a drug testing program. If allowed in your state, you may include your entire workforce in a drug testing program.
What do I do if I think my employee is under the influence at work?
We strongly recommend having your supervisors participate in a reasonable suspicion training course. (Reasonable suspicion training can be performed in person or online via ScreeningSource. For DOT-covered situations, a supervisor is able to request a reasonable suspicion test only after completing a reasonable suspicion course.) After a reasonable suspicion determination has been made, the employee will be required to submit to testing. Contact the Blueline Services drug testing department to arrange testing.
Do you offer DOT-compliant drug and alcohol testing options?
Yes, to see more details about our DOT drug and alcohol testing options please visit our DOT drug testing page here.
How do I join a DOT Consortium?
We can easily get you started within a DOT Consortium. Please visit our DOT Consortium page to sign up here.
How does medical marijuana affect drug testing?
For standard (non-DOT) testing programs, state laws vary considerably. Consult Blueline Services for your specific state laws. DOT-regulated programs do not allow for medical or recreational marijuana. THC will still be considered positive under DOT federal regulations.
What happens if my applicant’s drug test expires?
Our drug testing team can either reschedule the drug test or extend the expiration date of your drug test.
What is an MRO?
A Medical Review Officer is a licensed physician certified to review drug test results from a laboratory. MROs verify medical explanations for positive drug tests in order to ensure accuracy for both the employee/applicant and employer.
Is random testing really random?
Blueline Services utilizes a random generator within ScreeningSource in order to ensure the legitimacy of the random selections.