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 Missouri?
Missouri arrest records and other criminal history information can be searched using the Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS) provided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Justice Information Services Division.
MACHS is a fee-based service available to the public that individuals can use to conduct name-based criminal history searches of all Open Records in the database.
- The fee for one name-based search is $14 plus an additional processing fee that varies depending on the transaction amount.
- To perform a search, a user must include the subject’s full name and at least one of the following: date of birth or social security number.
- Once a search is performed, the criminal history response is viewable for 30 days and can be printed or saved on your computer.
- Open Records that can be searched using MACHS include convictions, arrest records from the past 30 days, and pending charges.
What can I do if my Missouri criminal history record has incomplete or inaccurate information?
If your criminal record found using MACHS appears to have someone else’s arrests or convictions, you must submit your fingerprints and a Criminal History Identity Challenge form to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for positive identification and to have your criminal record corrected.
Individuals have three choices on how to submit their fingerprints:
- Have your fingerprints taken at an L-1 Biometric Services processing center. Visit www.L1enrollment.com or call 1-866-522-7067 to schedule an appointment at a processing center near you. Complete this form and bring it to the appointment. The fee is $12.95.
- Have your fingerprints taken at the MSHP-CJIS Division public window. Bring the completed form to 1510 E. Elm, Jefferson City, Missouri. There is no fee for the service.
- Have your fingerprints taken on a Civil Fingerprint Card (FD-258) at a local law enforcement agency. There may be a fee for this service. Once you have your fingerprints taken, mail the fingerprint card and completed form to:
Missouri State Highway Patrol
Post Office Box 9500
Jefferson City, MO 65102-9500
How do I search for Missouri court records online?
Missouri court records can be searched and viewed online free-of-charge by using Case.net, an online search tool provided by the Missouri Courts.
A majority of courts in the state have made their court documents available in the system, and Case.net offers a slew of search options. Best of all, users are not required to register to perform a search using the system.
Case.net includes the following search options:
- Case number search
- Litigant name search
- Filing date search
- Judgment index search
- Scheduled hearings/trials search
- Pay By Web – A feature which people can use to pay court-mandated fines
Click here to perform a search of Missouri court documents using Case.net.
Where can I find Missouri driving records online?
Missouri driving records are not available online. Instead, individuals can purchase a copy of their own driving record, or the record of another person, in person at a Missouri license office or by mailing or faxing a request to the Driver License Record Center.
There are two types of driving record available:
- Driving record without personal information
- Driving record with personal information – If you wish to request this type of driving record for another person, you must have their signed consent on the request form.
How to request a Missouri driving record in person
- Complete a Request from Driver License Holder (Form 4681)
- Visit a Missouri license office near you
- Submit the completed form, present a government-issued photo ID and pay $4.82, which includes the $2 office processing fee
How to request a Missouri driving record by mail
- Complete a Request from Driver License Holder (Form 4681)
- Prepare a check or money order for $2.82 per record requested payable to “Department of Revenue”. Alternatively, you can pay by credit card by providing your card information on the form, however, there is an added convenience fee.
- Mail the form and payment to:
Driver License Bureau
DL Record Center
P.O. Box 2167
Jefferson City, MO 65105-2167
If you choose to fax your request form, the fax number is 573-526-7376. If you have any questions, contact the Driver License Bureau at 573-526-3669.
How do I look up Missouri 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 Missouri Bureau of Vital Records 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 Missouri Bureau of Vital Records at 573-751-6400.
How do I search for a person’s sex offender status in Missouri?
Those convicted of sex-related crimes or certain crimes against children in Missouri 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 Missouri State Highway Patrol makes the Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Missouri?
Performing a credit check in Missouri 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