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 Mississippi?
While many states have a user-friendly web portal that individuals may use to perform criminal background checks on themselves or anyone else in the central state repository of criminal information, sadly, Mississippi does not.
Those who want to view Mississippi criminal history information must follow this process to obtain a criminal background check in the state:
- Print, complete, and sign an Authorization to Release Background Information form.
- Prepare a money order for $32 payable to the “MS Bureau of Investigation”.
- Mail the form and money order to the following address:
Mississippi Bureau of Investigation
ATTN: CIC/Background Checks
3891 Highway 468 West
Pearl, Mississippi 39208
Alternatively, you may have the form faxed to you, in which case you must include a fax number in Block 16 of the Authorization form.
What can I do if my Mississippi criminal history record has incomplete or inaccurate information?
If your Mississippi arrest record or other criminal history document contains inaccurate or incomplete information, contact the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to explain the situation and ask for instruction on how to submit a challenge.
Click here for MBI contact information.
How do I search for Mississippi court records online?
A large number of Mississippi courts use the Mississippi Electronic Courts system to e-file court documents and make them available online to the public.
However, to use MEC you must register an account. Here’s some info on the costs involved:
- There is a $10 annual user fee to become a registered user.
- After registering as a non-attorney, there is a $0.20 per-page charge for all documents accessed from performing a search with the system.
- Users must pay their accumulated account balance by the 15th of every month.
Once you become a registered user, accessing court records with MEC is easy: simply select the individual court from the dropdown menu that you believe holds the court document you are looking for and perform a search. However, not all Mississippi county courts have made their records available on MEC yet.
If you can’t find the Mississippi court record you are looking for online, the best choice is to contact the individual court and make a direct request either over the phone or in-person. Click here for contact information for a majority of Mississippi courts.
Where can I find Mississippi driving records online?
Individuals can purchase a copy of their Mississippi driving record, AKA motor vehicle record, online through the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
The fee is $11, which can be paid with a credit or debit card. In order to maintain a copy after purchase, you must print the document, so have a working printer ready to go during the transaction process.
In order to purchase a copy of your driving record, you must provide the following information:
- Full name (middle name optional)
- Date of birth
- The last 4 digits of your social security number
- Driver’s license number
Click here to order your Mississippi driving record online.
How do I look up Mississippi 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 Mississippi Department of Health 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 Mississippi Department of Health Vital Records Office at 601-206-8200.
How do I search for a person’s sex offender status in Mississippi?
Those convicted of sex-related crimes or certain crimes against children in Mississippi 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 Mississippi Department of Public Safety makes the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry available online to the general public in the interest of public safety. Users may search by name, city or area. However, certain low-risk offenders may not be viewable in the online database.
Click here to perform a search of the Mississippi 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 Mississippi?
Performing a credit check in Mississippi 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