Background Checks in Colorado

Table of Contents

Need more information? Check out our guides to Colorado arrest records and Colorado public records.

 

What is a background check?

A background check is an investigation into an individual’s criminal record, employment history, driving record, education, finances, or other aspects of their personal history. 

Background checks are often performed by an organization or company in order to screen a subject before a significant financial or legal agreement. However, individuals regularly perform background checks on themselves to make sure that the public information on them matches their personal records.

For more general information on background checks, consult our Background Checks FAQS page.  

How do I run a criminal background check in Colorado?

Colorado is an open records state, which means that anyone can access the arrest records and state criminal history of any individual as long as the record is not sealed or belonging to a juvenile.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) hosts the Internet Criminal History Check System (ICHC), which is open to the general public and can be used to find criminal history information for anyone in the database. One ICHC criminal history check costs $5 and is non-refundable. Users can pay with a credit or debit card. 

Individuals can enter the following information to perform a search:

  • First Name (required)
  • Last Name (required)
  • Date of Birth (required)
  • Social Security Number
  • CBI Provided IDT Number

Users may conduct a one-time search or create an account that comes with additional perks like the choice between submitting individual requests or uploading a batch file (a text document of multiple names) and a prepayment option for searches.

What can I do if my Colorado criminal history record has incomplete or inaccurate information?

If your Colorado criminal history contains a mistake, you can challenge the information by contacting the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Identification Unit at 303-239-4208 and following their instructions. 

Additionally, you may have to get in contact with the arresting agency in order to obtain written documentation supporting a correction.  

How do I search Colorado court records?

The Colorado Judicial Branch does not make Colorado court case records openly available on their website. Instead, they recommend that individuals contact the local court that held the trial in order to view court records and obtain copies. 

Contact information for obtaining Colorado court records:

Another option is using a paid service to obtain Colorado court case records and information. The Colorado Judicial branch recommends cocourts.com and Background Information Services, Inc. Both sites allow you to search court records by name or by case number and view them for a fee. 

However, copies of court documents are not available through these paid sites. Instead, you must go through the individual court in order to obtain physical copies. 

Where can I find Colorado driving records online? 

The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles allows individuals to request a copy of their driving record (AKA motor vehicle record) with all activity from the past seven years. Requesting can be done online, through the mail, or in person at any full-service driver license office in the state. However, laws prevent unauthorized individuals from requesting records of persons other than themselves. 

How to request a copy of your Colorado Driving Record online

Requesting a Colorado Driving Record online is easy. All you will need is an e-mail address and a valid debit or credit card.

  1. Visit mydmv.colorado.gov
  2. Click Driver/ID Services
  3. Click the Request a Driving Record option under the Records submenu 
  4. Follow the steps by entering all of the required information 

How to request a copy of your Colorado Driving Record by mail

  1. Fill out a DR2489 form. 
  2. Prepare a check for $9 made payable to “DOR”
  3. Make a photocopy of your driver’s license
  4. Mail the form, ID copy, and check to the address listed on the top-left of the form.
  5. Wait 7-10 days for the request to be processed. 

How do I look up Colorado vital records such as birth certificates and marriage licenses?

Vital records are records of important life events such as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces that are kept by government agencies and accessible upon request. 

Vital records are not public records that can be viewed by anyone, but the subject(s) of the record and authorized family members can view them in-person or order copies through a number of means. Additionally, one or more vital records may be required to complete a background check. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment enlists the services of the private company Vital Chek to enable individuals to order copies of vital records online. The government-endorsed service offers vital records from 50 U.S. states and territories. 

Available Colorado vital records include: 

  • birth certificate – $20
  • death certificate – $20
  • marriage verification – $17
  • divorce verification – $17

Additional copies of records are typically available at a discounted price. Click here to place an order with Vital Chek for a Colorado vital record. For more information, contact Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Vital Records Section at 303-692-2200.

How do I search for a person’s sex offender status in Colorado?

Colorado law requires that individuals convicted of certain sex crimes in the state register as a sex offender.

In the interest of public safety, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation makes the Colorado Sex Offender Registry available online to the public. The records are updated every hour, however, the CBI warns that not all qualifying sex offender registration records may appear on the site.

Users can search by name or perform a map search to see which registered sex offenders are living in their area. For any questions, contact the CBI Program Support Unit at (303) 239-4222 or [email protected].

What are the Colorado background check laws for buying a gun?

  • Federal law states that all licensed firearm dealers must perform a background check before the transfer of a firearm. 
  • Colorado is a point of contact state, meaning that firearm transfers are processed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The CBI may search local and state criminal record databases, in addition to the federally-required FBI NICS system, when conducting a background check. The agency may also charge a fee for conducting a background check.
  • Colorado law states that unlicensed dealers (i.e. private sellers) must perform a background check before transferring a firearm, unlike in many other states.  

Source: Giffords Law Center

How do I perform a credit history background check in Colorado?

Performing a credit check in Colorado follows the same process as in other states. A federal law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) grants every American one free annual credit report each from the three main U.S. credit bureaus:

In order to obtain your free credit report from one of these three bureaus, you must provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Date of birth 
  • Social security number