Search public records

Background Checks in Tennessee

Table of Contents

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

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation allows the general public to run a criminal background check on any person online through the Tennessee Open Records Information Services (TORIS). The results will yield any arrest records and conviction records for an individual that exist in the TBI database.

Click here to perform a criminal background search using TORIS. The price is $29 per search which can be paid with a major credit or debit card. 

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

If your Tennessee arrest record or another criminal history document found using the TORIS service has incomplete or incorrect information, you may submit an official challenge to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in order to have the information corrected. 

Follow these steps to submit a challenge:

  1. Have your fingerprints taken on an official fingerprint card at a local law enforcement agency office. This may require that you pay a fee.
  2. Fill out the rest of the fingerprint card with your personal information.
  3. Highlight the inaccuracy on a copy of the arrest record or criminal history document.
  4. Write a letter describing the mistake and giving your account of the events.
  5. Prepare a cashier’s check or money order for $24 payable to “Tennessee Bureau of Investigation”.
  6. Mail the letter, fingerprint card, copy of arrest record, and payment to:

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

901 R.S. Gass Blvd

Nashville, TN 37216

After your challenge is received, the TBI will conduct an investigation to determine whether the criminal history is inaccurate. If you have any questions, you can contact the TBI at 615-744-4057.

How do I search for Tennessee court records online?

The Public Case History tool provided by the Tennessee State Courts allows individuals to check the status of Tennessee Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Court of Criminal Appeals cases. Additionally, users can access appellate court judgments and opinions filed from August 2013 to the present.  

Many individual courts in Tennessee have their own record search tools available through their website. Click here for a directory of all Tennessee courts. 

If you can’t find the record you are looking for online, its best to contact the court clerk of the court where the case originated in order to make a direct request. Click here for a directory of Tennessee court clerks. 

Where can I find Tennessee driving records online? 

Individuals can request their Tennessee driving record, also known as a moving violation report (MVR) online using a service provided by The cost for one record is $7 which can be paid with a major debit or credit card. 

In order to request and view the driving record you’ll need:

  • Personal information: driver name, date of birth, and TN driver’s license number
  • A credit or debit card
  • A PDF viewer 
  • A printer (if you want to print a copy)

Click here to request your Tennessee driving record online. 

How do I look up Tennessee 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 Tennessee Office 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 Tennessee Office of Vital Records at 615-741-1763.

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

Those convicted of sex-related crimes or certain crimes against children in Tennessee 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 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee?

Performing a credit check in Tennessee 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