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 Maine?
The Maine State Bureau of Identification provides a public Criminal History Record search that is available 24 hours a day and can be used to request the criminal history record information of any person in the database.
Here’s the key information individuals should know about the search:
- The service is fee-based, with each request costing $31 which can be paid with a major credit or debit card. (InforME subscribers only have to pay $21 for each request)
- The database contains information about crimes that adults have been convicted of and juvenile records containing felonies.
- The service is non-refundable.
- Criminal history records are accessible for 30 days after the request is processed.
- Searches are performed by providing the subject’s full name and date of birth.
- Notarized reports are also available by paying an additional fee of $10
- Once you pay to use the service, you can track your transaction by typing in your Transaction ID at the bottom of this page.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Maine Criminal History Record search or the results delivered by the search, you can contact the Maine State Bureau of Identification at (207) 624-7240, or send an email to [email protected].
Fingerprint-based criminal record checks are also available for the same fee, but they require the submission of fingerprints to the SBI in person or through the mail.
Contact the SBI for more information on how to proceed.
What can I do if my Maine criminal history record has incomplete or inaccurate information?
If your Maine arrest record or criminal record contains inaccurate or incomplete information, you can submit a challenge to the Maine State Bureau of Identification.
To do so, contact the SBI at (207) 624-7240, explain the situation, and ask for instruction on how to make the correction.
Alternatively, you can mail a written challenge request, along with a copy of the criminal history document with the mistake highlighted, and any documentation that supports your challenge to:
State Bureau of Identification
State House Station #42
Augusta, ME 04333-0042
How do I search Maine court records?
Unfortunately, the State of Maine Judicial Branch does not provide a convenient online search too for court records. However, there is a record search request procedure that applies to all District Court, Superior Court, and Violations Bureau Records.
Here’s how to request a court record in Maine:
- Complete and sign a Record Search Request Form. Be as specific as possible in describing the record(s) you are looking for.
- Prepare a check or money order payable to “Treasurer, State of Maine” for the total fee owed. There’s a $20 fee for each name or box checked in the Court Locations section of Search Parameters. Alternatively, you can pay by credit or debit card by providing the card information on the form, however, there is a 2.39% convenience fee for card payments.
- Mail the form, payment, and self-addressed, stamped return envelope to:
Judicial Branch Service Center
PO Box 266
Lewiston, ME 04243
Where can I find Maine driving records online?
The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles allows the public to order the non-certified driving record of any person online. A 3-year record costs $7 and a 10-year record costs $12.
In order to order a driving record online, you’ll need the following:
- The driver’s license number of the subject OR the name and date of birth of the subject
- A valid debit or credit card (Mastercard, Visa, or Discover) to pay the fee
- A printer
Click here to order a Maine driving record. If you need a certified driving record, call the Maine BMV at 207-624-9000.
How do I look up Maine vital records such as birth cetificates 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 Maine Division of Public Health Systems 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 Maine Vital Records Office at 1-888-664-9491.
How do I search for a person’s sex offender status in Maine
Those convicted of sex-related crimes or certain crimes against children in Maine are required by law to register as sex offenders. Additionally, offenders in the registry are required to notify law enforcement as soon as possible in the case of a physical address change or email address change, or they will be labeled “non-compliant”.
The Maine State Police makes the Maine Sex Offender Registry available online to the general public in the interest of public safety. Users may search by name, city, area, or email address/internet name. However, certain low-risk offenders may not be viewable in the online database.
Click here to perform a search of the Maine Sex Offender Registry. It’s important to stay informed about potential threats in your neighborhood in order to take the necessary precautions.
How do I perform a credit history background check in Maine?
Performing a credit check in Maine 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