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 Georgia?
Unlike many other states, Georgia offers no way of searching a central online repository for criminal history records or arrest records, nor can one mail in a request to a central law enforcement agency for records.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation recommends that individuals visit a local sheriff’s office or police department in order to get a copy of their criminal history record.
In order to obtain a copy of another person’s criminal history or arrest records, one must have the person’s signed consent and personal information listed on whichever form the visited agency uses to release records.
Contact your local police department for more information.
What can I do if my Georgia criminal history record has incomplete or inaccurate information?
In order to challenge incomplete or inaccurate information on your Georgia criminal history or arrest record, you should schedule an appointment with the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) by calling them at (404) 244-2600.
If you are unable to visit the office, you may gather the following items and mail them in:
- A signed written request including an explanation of the inaccurate information and a complete return address
- Two completed applicant fingerprint cards and a set of 10 rolled fingerprints and eight flat finger impressions. These can be obtained at a local sheriff’s office or law enforcement agency.
- A certified check or money order for $10 (If the challenge is done by appointment, the fingerprinting can be done at the GCIC office and costs an additional $15)
Once all the required items are prepared, mail them to:
Georgia Crime Information Center
3121 Panthersville Road
DECATUR, GA 30034
How do I search Georgia court records?
In order to look up Georgia court records, you must register for the PeachCourt service. The service is open to the general public.
After registering a PeachCourt account, visit the Judicial Count of Georgia E-Access to Court Records: Find a Court Case page to access the court records of an individual county in the state.
Where can I find Georgia driving records online?
Individuals can order a copy of their Georgia driving record AKA motor vehicle record (MVR) through the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
Two types of MVR are available through the Georgia DDS:
- Certified MVR: Can be ordered online but not viewed. A copy of the MVR will be sent through the mail.
- Non-certified MVR: Can be ordered and viewed online for up to 30 days after purchase.
In order to order a Georgia MVR, you must first create a DDS account. Once you create an account and log in, follow the instructions to order a certified or non-certified MVR.
How do I look up Georgia 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 Georgia Department of Health enlists the services of the third-party vendor 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 vital records include:
- birth certificates
- death certificates
- marriage records
- divorce records
Click here to place an order with Vital Chek.
For more information, contact the Georgia Department of Health at 404-657-2700.
How do I search for a person’s sex offender status in Georgia?
Individuals convicted of sex crimes or crimes against children in Georgia must register in the state’s sex offender registry.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation makes the SOR available online to the general public in the interest of safety.
Click here to perform a search of the Georgia Sex Offender Registry.
How do I perform a credit history background check in Georgia?
Performing a credit check in Georgia 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
- Date of birth
- Social security number