Background Checks - FAQ

Criminal History Record: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Background Check on Myself

Q. How can I obtain my criminal history record information in North Carolina?
A: A fingerprint-based criminal history background check is available and is known as a "Right to Review Application" which is conducted by the SBI and includes a response letter on SBI letterhead. For instructions and further information, please use this form to submit a request: Request for Access to Criminal History Record Information Right to Review.

Q: I am overseas and need a criminal history check. How do I do this?
A: On this website, click above on Services, then SBI Forms. Once you click on forms, you will be directed to a webpage that lists Background Check for N.C. Criminal Records (Right to Review Process) - Fillable Form.
You must submit a Right to Review Application and the reason for your request (i.e. I need a Visa to work overseas.) This will ensure you receive a notarized letter along with your background check.

Q: How can I get a national background check on myself?
A:  This is called your "Identity History Summary Check." Please fgo to the following link for a national background check through the FBI.

Q: I sent my background check a few weeks ago, how do I check the status of my request?
A: You may submit a stataus request to

Q: I need a background check and I need it quickly. Is there a way to expedite this?
A: No, there is no same-day expedited service. All Right to Review Applications must be submitted by mail. Processing time can take up to seven business days from time of receipt. Please be advised, your results are mailed to you via UPS.

Q: Can I get my background check in person?
A: No. All Right to Review Applications must be submitted by mail. The processing time to complete a background check is approximately seven business days from the time of receipt. Please be advised, your results are mailed to you via UPS.

Q: How long will it take to get my background check?
A: Processing time can take up to seven business days from the time of receipt. Please be advised, your results are mailed to you via UPS.

Background Check on Others

Q: How do I obtain criminal history record information on someone else?
A: The North Carolina Judicial Branch provides Court information which is public record. A name-based record check may be obtained by contacting the Clerk of Court in each county of North Carolina. The fee of $25 is required.

Visit and click on the Genral Public link. Scroll down to Additional Resources to find links to Obtaining Court Records, Criminal Background Check and to Request a Public Record. The information is also available online through different vendors. Name-based record checks and online vendors providing the information are not associated with the State Bureau of Investigation.

There are many private companies that buy North Carolina court information and furnish it online.

Background Check on Employees

Q: My agency is allowed by North Carolina General Statute to obtain criminal history background checks from the SBI. Who do I contact to get started?

A: Here's how the process works.

Step One — Clearly identifty the N.C. General Statute, federal mandate or ordinance that supports your agency's right to request background infomaton on your Applicants/Employees.

Step Two — Click here to fill out a Request for Access to Criminal History Record Information Form and email request form to Once received, a packet of information with an access agreement will be emailed for your agency to complete. All documentation requested on the checklist is required by the NCSBI to process your request. For healthcare agencies, please attach a copy of your agency license along with your request form.

Step Three — Once you receive your packet, gather the required information and mail the packet back with the original signed and notarized Access Agreement to the NCSBI with attention to:

Access Integrity Unity - CIIS
N.C. State Bureau of Investigation
3320 Garner Road
P.O. Box 29500
Raleigh, N.C. 27626-0500

Step Four — Once approved by the NCSBI, an approval packet will be mailed to your agency with instructions on how to submit Criminal Hhistory Record Checks to the SBI.

Background Check General Inquiries

Q:  Someting on my record is incorrect. How do I fix this?
A: After you have completed a Right to Review Application and received your results from the SBI, please submit the attached "Right to Review Criminal History Record Written Exception Form" to:

Attn:  NICS/CCH Unit Supervisor
3320 Garner Road
P.O. Box 29500
Raleigh, N.C. 27626-0500

Q: What are the different methods used in obtaining criminal history background checks by the SBI for agencies?

A. The first method is the State Name Check. This is a name-based identification. The second method is the State Fingerprint Check. This is a fingerprint-based search of only North Carolina criminal history records. The third method is a National Fingerprint Check. This is also a fingerprint-based search which is a nationwide search of the FBI's criminal history records.

These options are not public record. To obtain any of these options there must be a North Carolina General Statute in place and an access agreement must be signed and on file at the SBI.

Q: What information will I receive on my employees/applicants if I do a criminal history background check with the SBI?
A: The only records maintained at the SBI are those supported by fingerprints. Once an individual is arrested and fingerprinted, the fingerprints are then forwarded to the SBI and entered into the Computerized Criminal History database along with the arrest information.

Q: I am trying to become licensed as a doctor or nurse and I need to inquire about the status of my criminal history background check. How do I do this?
A: You must contact the appropriate state licensing agency. Please do not contact the SBI for a status check.

Approved Agencies with Access Agreement on file with the SBI

Q: I misplaced the copy of our Agency Access Agreement. How can I obtain a copy of our agreement on file with the SBI?
A:  Please submit a request to along with your agency ORI#.

Q:  I misplaced a copy of my Agency Authority for Release of Information (AFR), can I use another agency's AFR?
A: No, these forms are agency specific and dissemination of these forms to another agency is prohibited. You may request a copy of your AFR form by e-mailing your request to

Q: How long should I keep the AFR on file?
A: Your agency should keep the AFR on file for one year.
Q: Does the NCSBI need a copy of the Regulations Regarding Receipt of CHRI?
A: The NCSBI needs a copy of the Regulations Regarding Receipt of CHRI on file for each personnel who receives/views of CHRI.
Q: How often should the Agency update the Regulations Regarding Receipt of CHRI form? A: The Agency should update these forms, whenever there is a change of contact personnel within the agency that receives/reviews the CHRI.
Q: Who can receive and review the background check information?
A: The background check can ONLY be given to the agency’s authorized officials that have completed and signed a Regulation form.
Please note, if the contact person(s) that you have named as an authorized official(s) that submit and/or receive criminal history record information (CHRI) from the SBI and FBI leaves your agency, please notify the SBI on agency letterhead by email or by mail immediately with the new authorized contact person(s) along with a signed copy of the regulation form. A copy of this form can be requested and may be emailed to
Q: How long should I keep the background check results on file? A: The background check should be kept on file for one year.
Q: How many personnel can receive and view the CHRI?
A: We suggest no more than three personnel to receive and review the CHRI.

Q: Where do we have to keep the background checks?
A: All background check results should be separate from the personnel file and under lock and key.
Q: How often will our Agency be audited? A: At a minimum of every three (3) years.
Q: What is an acceptable way to dispose of CHRI?
A: There are two acceptable manners of disposing of CHRI and any fingerprint cards that may be on file. The two acceptable disposal methods are shredding or incineration of the information. It is not acceptable to discard the CHRI in the trash can. Also, NO agency should contract with an external agency to perform the shredding of CHRI. (called outsourcing). The agency must handle the shredding or incineration of the documents in-house. Upon shredding, the agency can outsource disposal of the shredded items.
Q: Can an Agency use CHRI for another related agency of authorized entity requiring CHRI? A: No, all information from the NCSBI is agency specific. Information should not be shared.
Q: Can an individual request a copy of their CHRI from one agency to use for another requesting agency?
A: No, all information from the NCSBI is agency specific.
Q: How does my employee request a copy of his or her CHRI?
A: An employee may request a copy of their CHRI through the Right to Review process by contacting NCSBI Customer Service at

National Instant Criminal Search (NICS) 

Q: Why was I denied the right to purchase a gun? And what can I do about it? A: File an appeal with the FBI at
Q: After filing for an appeal and having the denial overturned, I was able to purchase a firearm.
I’ve tried to purchase another firearm and was denied again.  What is happening?
A: Contact the NICS Section Customer Service at 877-324-6427.
Q: I am uncomfortable giving out my SSN. On the 4473-federal form giving a SSN is optional. Why would I need to provide my SSN?
A: Your SSN is unique to you. The more unique information you can provide the more accurate the background check is and it can also prevent delays.
Q: Is there a way to find out the status of my appeal request?
A: The FBI is no longer performing status checks on NICS appeals. You will receive written notification when your appeal has been processed. Appeal cases are worked in the order in which
they are received.

For more frequently asked questions, please visit the Federal NICS website at

Computerized Criminal History (CCH) Record Modifications (For Law Enforcement Agencies Only)

Please visit our website at Click on the tab for Law Enforcement Forms.

Follow the link for: Request for CCH Modification to Arrest Fingerprint cards. For further assistance you can contact the NICS/CCH Unit at 919-582-8600.

Ordering Fingerprint Cards

Q: How do I obtain fingerprint cards for a non-criminal justice agency that has an access agreement with the SBI?

A: Fill out the Non-Criminal Justice Requisition Form and email it directly to us at You may also fax or mail to: 

Attn: Customer Service -- Fingerprint Card Order Request
Post Office Box 29500
Raleigh, N.C. 27626-0500
Fax: (919) 661-5977

Q. How can I get fingerprint cards for my Scout Troop or children's club?
A. Follow the same procedure from the previous answer. Fill out the Non-Criminal Justice Requisition Form and send it to us by email or fax. 

Identity Theft Victims 

Q: I believe someone has used my personal identifying information (e.g., name or Social Security number). I was told by a prospective employer that I have a criminal record, but I have never been arrested. What can I do?
A: If you were told that you have a criminal record that was obtained from a Clerk of Court or the public record, you must contact the Administrative Office of the Courts for further information.

If you learned you have criminal record that was obtained from an internet site or online vendor, you must contact that site or online vendor for further information.

If you have been informed that you have a criminal record that was obtained from the SBI, you may request the SBI to perform a check to verify the record. If you feel this may be an identity theft issue, please send the SBI a copy of your driver's license, a copy of your Social Security card, a copy of your birth certificate, a letter stating your situation, and your telephone number including the area code. Along with this personal identifying data, you will need to submit a set of your fingerprints.

Contact your local sheriff's office or police department for applicant fingerprinting procedures for identification purposes. Please mail these documents to the attention of the following:

Attn: CCH Unit Supervisor
Post Office Box 29500
3320 Garner Road
Raleigh, N.C. 27626-0500

A fingerprint search will be performed along with a computerized criminal history inquiry to determine whether or not a criminal history record exists. If there is no criminal record in the state files, the SBI will issue a letter on official letterhead to you stating that you do not have a criminal record with the SBI. The copies of the documents you provided will be returned to you.

Q: I believe someone is using my personal information to obtain loans or credit cards. Who can I contact about this?
A: There are three things you should do: File a police report. Close the affected accounts. Contact one of the three major credit bureaus and ask for their Fraud Department and place a fraud alert on your credit file.

You may also request a Security Freeze on your credit. Report possible financial identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission online. You may also call the FTC at (877) 438-4338.


Still have questions? Please email
If you have other questions, please use corresponding emails below. Firearms background checks/NICS CCH Modifications (For Law Enforcement Agencies Only) Audit/Compliance Questions Concealed Handgun Permit Questions Evolve/Record Validation Questions ORI Questions E Purpose Code Requests/Questions Security Awareness Training Questions Access Agreement Questions
Contact Us

Phone: 919-582-8600
Fax: 919-661-5977
Mailing Address:         
3320 Garner Road
PO BOX 29500
Raleigh, NC 27626-500