Individual Background Check – What Are the Limitations of ID Verification?

There are times when running a background check on an individual is appropriate. For instance, if you have concerns about your neighbor or someone you matched with on a dating app. However, it’s important to understand the limits of background checks as well.


Background checks for employment typically include national, state and county criminal records, felony and misdemeanor convictions and current pending cases. They also report civil court records, tax liens and bankruptcies.

Identity verification

ID verification is a key component of background checks and helps ensure that you’re hiring people who match their true identities. It also helps prevent identity theft and fraud. It requires an individual to submit a valid form of identification, such as a passport, driver’s license, or photo ID card. This information is verified against public records and other sources to confirm that the person is who they say they are.

Many organizations rely on their standard background check to verify an applicant’s identity. However, standard background checks do not verify the person’s actual name or date of birth. In some cases, this results in a false rejection of an applicant based on inaccurate data. For example, one man’s convicted criminal record was discovered because his background check showed he shared the same name and date of birth as another person who had committed similar crimes.

In order to prevent this type of error, employers should ensure that their identity verification processes are equitable and do not create barriers for workers of color or immigrants. This includes providing non-digital in-person alternatives to ID verification, requiring that vendors provide their policies in plain language, conducting user testing, and ensuring that employees are aware of the purpose of ID verification. It’s also important to continuously update the verification process based on feedback, emerging threats, and best practices.

Credential verification

Credential verification is an important part of the background check process for a variety of reasons. It ensures that candidates have the credentials they claim and provides valuable information to help organizations make informed hiring decisions. It also helps to prevent fraud and reduce costs by reducing the number of false claims made.

For example, if a candidate claims to have a medical degree or licence, the employer can verify that they really do. A simple call to the licensing board can confirm that the applicant is legitimate and has the necessary qualifications for a position. This is especially useful in professions that require licenses, such as nursing and law enforcement.

A background check can reveal a lot of information, including criminal convictions, driving records, and financial history. A check of a candidate’s employment history can also be conducted to verify their work experience and salary information. It is also a good idea to run a drug test on all candidates. Mandatory drug tests can increase accountability and reduce safety risks in the workplace. They can also help to keep the company in compliance with federal and state laws on employee drug use. Additionally, a drug test can be used to confirm that the candidate is not an active user of illegal drugs. This can be particularly helpful in positions that involve handling finances or sensitive information.

Education verification

Education verification is a critical component of an Individual background check, as it provides proof that a candidate has the training and qualifications necessary to perform their job. It also helps employers avoid hiring fake credentials. It is common for people to embellish their educational records, but it is not always easy to catch them. In fact, it can be more difficult to verify a person’s claimed educational credentials than their employment history.

Many companies use third-party education verification services. These services can verify an applicant’s academic records in a fraction of the time it would take an employer to do so manually. They can also provide detailed information about a person’s education, including dates of attendance and degrees awarded. However, some universities may not be willing to release this information and there are also privacy regulations (FERPA) that limit who can access student records.

While the FCRA restricts how far back many types of background checks can go, education background checks are not subject to these restrictions. This means that an employer can ask for transcripts from a person’s high school or college, up to and including their highest degree achieved. In addition to confirming a candidate’s claimed academic achievements, an education background check can also reveal whether the institution is accredited. This is particularly important for positions that require specialized skills, such as medical professions.

Past employment verification

Employment verification is an important component of a background check, and it confirms the work experience stated by a job candidate. It can also be used to verify the applicant’s educational qualifications, or to learn more about their previous employer. However, employers must be careful when performing employment checks, as some states have laws restricting what information can be revealed. Employers may also face legal consequences if they violate these laws.

Conducting employment verification involves searching databases and contacting past employers to confirm the start and end dates of employment, job titles, and salary history. While this process can be done by HR teams, it is more efficient to use a consumer reporting agency (CRA) to perform these searches. This will save time, effort, and resources.

During the hiring process, most companies will run a full background check. This will include checking the applicant’s criminal record and work history. In some cases, an employer will want to go back more than seven years, especially if the position works with at-risk or vulnerable populations or requires handling finances or security clearance.

If an employer wishes to do a thorough background check, they should request permission from the candidate in writing, according to federal law. This document should state that the company is requesting an employee background check and will contact former employers to verify their work history.