Background Checks in South Carolina

Table of Contents

Need more information? Check out our guides to South Carolina arrest records and South Carolina 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 South Carolina?

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division provides an online, fee-based criminal history search service available to the general public known as SLED Citizens Access to Criminal Histories, or SLED CATCH

SLED CATCH allows for name-based criminal history searches of any person within the SLED criminal history information database. 

The following is some key information about the service:

  • Each search costs a non-refundable $25, along with an additional $1 convenience fee, that can be paid using a credit or debit card. 
  • Eligible organizations may be able to use the service for a reduced fee of $8.
  • Required search fields include Last Name, First Name, Date of Birth, and Gender
  • Social Security Number and Maiden name are optional search fields that may yield better results.  
  • The database contains South Carolina criminal history information only.
  • The search is optimized for use with the Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers. 

Alternatively, individuals may request a record through the mail by mailing in a Criminal Records Check Form and payment to the address listed on the form. 

What can I do if my South Carolina criminal history record has incomplete or inaccurate information?

If your South Carolina criminal history record contains a mistake or incomplete information, you can submit a challenge by following this process:

  1. Have your fingerprints taken on a blue applicant fingerprint card at a local law enforcement agency.
  2. Fill out the rest of the fingerprint card and select “Challenge of Criminal Record” under “Reason for Fingerprinted”
  3. Complete a Challenge of South Carolina Arrest Record form
  4. Mail the form and the fingerprint card to:

SLED Crime Information Center, Attention Debbie Monts

Post Office Box 21398

Columbia, South Carolina 29221

How do I search for South Carolina court records online?

South Carolina court records can be accessed by the Case Records Search provided by the South Carolina Judicial Branch. The search is free-to-use and available for every county in the state. Additionally, individuals can pay traffic tickets and other fines through the service. 

Here’s how to use the Case Records Search:

  1. Select a county whose records database you’d like to search
  2. Click ‘Accept’ on the disclaimer screen
  3. Select a ‘Court type’ and ‘Court Agency’ 
  4. Search by ‘Case #” or “Name’
  5. Refine your search using additional options

Click here to perform a search using the South Carolina Case Records Search.

Where can I find South Carolina driving records online? 

Anyone can request a South Carolina driving record online using the Get My Driving Record service provided by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. However, to get the driving record of another person, you must have their consent or special authorization. 

The service offers two driving record choices:

  • 3-year driving record – $6
  • 10-year driving record – $6

To order a driving record, you must provide the following information for authentication:

  • Driver’s license number
  • Driver’s license issue date
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth

OR:

  • Customer number
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth

Additionally, you can request a copy through the mail by sending a completed Request for Driver Information Form and $6 payment in the form of a check or money order to:

SCDMV

Alternative Medio

PO Box 1498

Blythewood, SC 29016-0035

How do I look up South Carolina 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 South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control 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 South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control at 803-898-3432.

How do I search for a person’s sex offender status in South Carolina?

Those convicted of sex-related crimes or certain crimes against children in South Carolina 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 South Carolina Law Enforcement Division makes the South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina?

Performing a credit check in South Carolina 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