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Background Checks in North Dakota

Table of Contents

Need more information? Check out our guides to North Dakota arrest records and North Dakota public records.


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 North Dakota?

To perform a search of North Dakota arrest records and other criminal history information, an individual must submit a Criminal Record Request to the North Dakota Office of Attorney General

The fee for one request is $15, although eligible non-profit organizations may submit this application to have the fee reduced to $5

In order to view the record of another person, the requester must attach a signed authorization form OR include the subject’s current address on the request form.  

Follow this process to submit a request:

  1. Fill out your personal information under Requester Information on the Request for Criminal History Record Information form
  2. Fill out the subject of the search’s personal information. You must include the person’s current address OR include a signed authorization form along with the request form. If the subject does not authorize the request, they will receive a notice in the mail from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation informing them that a criminal record search has been performed on them.
  3. Prepare a check or money order for $15 payable to “North Dakota Attorney General”.
  4. Mail the request form, payment, and signed authorization form (if applicable) to:

Criminal Records Section

North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation

4205 State Street

PO Box 1054

Bismarck, ND 58502-1054

Allow 7-10 business days for the criminal history record check request to be processed. If you have any questions, you can contact the ND BCI Criminal Records Section at (701) 328-5500

What can I do if my North Dakota criminal history record has incomplete or inaccurate information?

If your North Dakota arrest record or another criminal history record document has incomplete or inaccurate information you should contact the North Dakota BCI Criminal Records Section by calling 701-328-5500 and ask for instructions on how to proceed with a challenge and have the mistake corrected. 

How do I search North Dakota court records?

North Dakota court records are available to the general public online through the North Dakota Court Records Inquiry tool. The search tool is free and easy to use: simply choose a specific county from the dropdown box in order to search its database of court records. 

North Dakota Court Records Inquiry has four main categories:

  • Criminal/Traffic Case Records
  • Civil, Family & Probate Case Records
  • Judgments Search
  • Court Calendar

After you choose a category, the service allows you to search by a specific field, including:

  • Case
  • Citation
  • Defendant
  • Attorney
  • Date Filed

What’s more, there is a slew of additional options to help you narrow down your search. Click here to perform a search using the North Dakota Court Records Inquiry. 

Where can I find North Dakota driving records online? 

Individuals can obtain a limited North Dakota driving record of any person online through the North Dakota Department of Transportation. The cost is $3 and can be paid with a credit or debit card. A record purchased online includes three years of driving history, although violations assigned less than three points will not appear on the record. 

A printer is a must since once you purchase a driving record, it will not be sent through email. Instead, it will be displayed onscreen with the option to print a copy.   In order to order a limited driving record online, you must provide the following information:

  • Requestor information
  • Subject’s name
  • Subject’s date of birth
  • Subject’s driver’s license number 

Click here to order a North Dakota driving record online. 

How to obtain a complete North Dakota driving record

Those that prefer to order a complete driving record must mail a completed Form SFN 51386, along with a $3 payment, to the Drivers License Division in Bismarck, North Dakota (the full address is on the form). 

How do I obtain North Dakota 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 North Dakota Division 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

Click here to place an order with Vital Chek

For more information, contact the North Dakota Division of Vital Records at 701-328-2372.

How do I search for a person’s sex offender status in North Dakota?

Those convicted of sex-related crimes or certain crimes against children in North Dakota 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 North Dakota Office of the Attorney General makes the North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota?

Performing a credit check in North Dakota 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
  • Address
  • Date of birth 
  • Social security number