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 New Mexico?
Individuals may obtain copies of their new Mexico arrest records and other criminal history information by completing and submitting an Authorization for Release of Information form to the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. However, requesting the criminal records of individuals other than oneself is not permitted.
Follow these steps to obtain New Mexico criminal history information:
- Fill out your personal information on the Authorization for Release of Information form. Sign the form and write out your address.
- Have the form notarized by a notary public.
- Prepare a cashier’s check or money order for $15 payable to “Department of Public Safety”
- If you also wish to request a “Police Certificate of Public Standing”, make note of it on the form, and include a cashier’s check or money order for $33 rather than $15.
- Mail the form and enclosed payment to:
Department of Public Safety
P.O. Box 1628
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1628
Expect to wait 7-15 working days for the request to be processed upon receipt.
What can I do if my New Mexico criminal history record has incomplete or inaccurate information?
Challenging incorrect or inaccurate information on a New Mexico criminal record is a relatively painless process. Follow these steps to perform an official challenge:
- Highlight the incorrect or incomplete information on a copy of the criminal history document.
- Gather any supporting documents that provide proof that the information is inaccurate, including arrest reports or final court dispositions.
- Contact the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Law Enforcement Records by calling (505) 827-9181 and ask for information on how to submit the challenge.
How do I search New Mexico court records?
Court records from the New Mexico Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Court, Municipal Court, and Magistrate Court are all available online. The massive database of court documents can be searched using the New Mexico Courts Case Lookup.
Using the service is easy, and three types of searches are available, including:
- Name Search
- Case Number Search
- DWI Search
Some records, such as juvenile criminal cases and Family Violence Protection Act Order of Protection cases. are not available in the database. However, these records, along with court records from before 1997, may be available by contacting individual courts directly.
Click here for contact information for all New Mexico courts.
Where can I find New Mexico driving records online?
New Mexico driving records can be obtained online through the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division’s Online Driver History Records Service. In order to get your driving history record through the service, you’ll need:
- A debit or credit card
- Your date of birth
- The last four digits of your social security number
- Driver’s license number
Individuals have the choice of purchasing a Non-Certified Driver Record for $6.63 or a Certified Driver Record for $9.99. Click here and follow the steps to obtain your New Mexico Driver Record.
How do I look up New Mexico 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 New Mexico Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics 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 New Mexico Bureau of Vital Records Call Center at 1-866-534-0051 or 505-827-0121.
How do I search for a person’s sex offender status in New Mexico?
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) requires all residents of New Mexico and visitors staying over ten days that have been convicted of sex-related crimes to register with the New Mexico Sex Offender Registry.
The New Mexico Department of Public Safety makes the Sex Offender Registry available online in the interest of community safety. Individuals are presented with several different search options, including:
- Name search
- Area search
- City search
- Non-compliant offenders search
- Internet names/Email search
- Phone number search
How do I perform a credit history background check in New Mexico?
Performing a credit check in New Mexico 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