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 Michigan?
Arrest records and other Michigan criminal history information can be searched using the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (iCHAT) provided by the Michigan State Police.
iCHAT is a fee-based service that allows individuals to perform name-based Michigan criminal history background checks. Here is some important information about the service:
- Users must first register before conducting a search.
- Each search costs $10.
- Official tutorials are provided for different aspects of ICHAT.
- Once a search is paid for, results are viewable for seven days.
- Results will not be mailed.
- Users cannot search by driver’s license number or social security number.
- The ICHAT database contains a personal description of the subject searched, as well as felony and serious misdemeanor convictions and felony arrests.
- The database does not contain traffic records, federal records, arrest warrants, juvenile records, criminal history from other states, sealed records, or juvenile records.
If you any questions or concerns about the ICHAT service, you can contact support at 517-241-0606, or send a message at the bottom of this page.
What can I do if my Michigan criminal history record has incomplete or inaccurate information?
If your Michigan criminal record has inaccurate or incomplete information, you can submit a challenge to the Michigan State Police to have the information fixed. In order to submit a challenge, you’ll need to have your fingerprints taken at a local law enforcement agency or MSP office.
Follow these steps to challenge a mistake on your Michigan arrest record or criminal history record:
- Highlight the mistake on a copy of your Michigan criminal record.
- Gather any documents in your possession that support your challenge.
- Write a short note describing the mistake and how you’d wish to see it amended.
- Get your fingerprints taken at a local law enforcement agency or MSP office.
- Complete a Request for Amendment of Public Criminal History Record form.
- Mail the copy of the criminal record, form, fingerprint card, written note, and any supporting documents to:
Michigan State Police
Criminal Justice Information Center
ATTN: Record Challenge
P.O. Box 30636
Lansing, Michigan 48909-0634
How do I search Michigan court records?
Individuals have two free options for searching Michigan court cases:
1. The Case Search tool provided by the Michigan Courts. The searchable database includes records from the Michigan Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
The following search options are available:
- Docket number search
- Party name search
- Attorney case list search
2. The MiCOURT search tool allows users to search for court records from dozens of courts in the state. Just click the link and select the court where the case you are looking for originated.
Where can I find Michigan driving records online?
No option exists for ordering a Michigan driving record online. To get your driving record in the state, you must request one in person or send a request form through the mail.
How to get a Michigan driving record in person
- Visit any Michigan Secretary of State branch office
- Show the representative your driver’s license (no form necessary)
- Pay a $12 fee with cash, check, money order, or credit card
- Receive your driving record
Additionally, you can obtain a non-certified or certified driving record in-person by visiting the Record Sales Unit at the State Secondary Complex, Secretary of State Building, 7064 Crowner Drive, Dimondale.
You must submit a completed Record Lookup Request Form and pay a fee ($11 for a non-certified record, $12 for a certified record).
How to get a Michigan driving record through the mail
- Complete a Record Lookup Request Form.
- Prepare a check or money order for the appropriate amount ($11 for a non-certified record, $12 for a certified record) payable to “State of Michigan”. Alternatively, you can pay by credit card by writing your card information on the form.
- Mail the form and payment to:
Michigan Department of State
Record Sales Unit
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918-1502
How do I look up Michigan 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 State of Michigan Vital Records Office 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 State of Michigan Vital Records Office at 517-335-8656.
How do I search for a person’s sex offender status in Michigan?
Those convicted of sex-related crimes or certain crimes against children in Michigan 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 Michigan State Police makes the Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan?
Performing a credit check in Michigan 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