What is the best Background Check in California?

Background Check in California

Background checks in California are becoming more and more popular in recent years as companies want to not only abide by California law but also provide fair employment opportunities. Criminal background checks are an essential part of a job applicant getting a chance to get a good job. This is because as part of the employment process employers will want to ensure that you are a reliable candidate unlikely to cause any harm to the business.

California employers will check for a number of things during the background check, these will include criminal background checks, court records, the applicant’s criminal history, credit reports, juvenile records, education verification checks, and employment verification. These pre-employment background checks can help the employer decide between five or more employees who should get the job or the promotion.

If you are currently in the hiring process, don’t be afraid to provide a conditional offer of employment that requires the applicant’s written consent to proceed with a background check. As per state and federal laws, employees are required to be informed if a background check will take place. Upon the completion of the background check, you can provide an offer for employment with the security of knowing the candidate’s background.

There are many different background check services in California that you can use that abide by California laws. To assist you with selecting the best services for your needs, we have curated a list of the 9 best employment background check report services you can use to verify your future employees’ details. If you are going to be doing a background check as part of a commercial business, you will need to do it through an accredited website.  

List of Best Services for Background Check in California:

TruthFinder – Best for wide search for employment purposes

Instant Checkmate – Best for searching through criminal history background

Intelius – Best customer support

Spokeo – Best for searches of third-party data

Been Verified – Best affordable background check service for criminal records

People Finders – Best for editing information available about yourself

Verifirst – Best for commercial use

Info Tracer – Best for specialized searches

Coco Finder – Best free background check app

 


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TruthFinder was originally founded in 2014 in San Diego, California. Naturally, this meant that not only is this company aware of California law regarding background checks, but they also abide by them. In recent years, they have become one of the most popular background check services as they can scan millions of public records and social network data to verify your employee’s information.

What helps set TruthFinder apart from many of the other similar criminal record background check services is that in addition to public records, it will also scan private records. The information you will be able to find through their background check reports is usually a lot more extensive than the information you might have gotten from other services.

One of the other important aspects of using TruthFinder is that it also scans the dark web to find any compromised personal data. The site can ensure that all of the information on the reports is not only up to date but also accurate. With their monthly subscription, you can also order an unlimited number of background checks which is beneficial if you are using this service during the hiring process.

The type of directories that TruthFinder looks through include: phone books, reverse phone searches, dark web scanning, criminal records search, family tree search, and some more general background checks. This means that as part of the report you will receive from TruthFinder you should also see a credit report, which will include information about someone’s assets.

General personal information such as location history and identification information will also be included in the search. Education verification checks are also a part of what you will find using TruthFinder. You will also find information from social media profiles. 

The monthly membership is not that expensive and you can pay on a month-to-month basis, which means you won’t be required to keep your membership active for a full year. Even if you have a membership, you will still be required to pay to download PDF versions of the background check reports, which is not necessarily the best if you need to print many of them to keep them on file.

For those who want to use TruthFinder, it is also important to note that they have a good customer support team and have a lot of information on their website on how to use their service. There are also additional safety measures that allow users to securely use the website and Android app.

Pros

  • Pros icon Looks through both public and private records
  • Pros icon Up-to-date background check reports
  • Pros icon Information about the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to use the reports as per state and federal laws

Cons

  • Cons icon Monthly subscription is required
  • Cons icon PDF downloads cost extra

Star Rating

/ 5.0


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Instant Checkmate is a people search finder that predominantly uses public records to complete a background check. The reports can take a bit of time to generate and it is generally a slower service compared to other entries on this list. However, despite its shortcomings, Instant Checkmate is one of the most popular background check report services, and on their website, they note over 1.4 billion searches have been completed.

Those using Instant Checkmate will also need to purchase a subscription, which is relatively pricey, especially when compared to some of the other services on this list. They also don’t include any single purchases for background checks so the subscription is the only option for those wanting to use Instant Checkmate.

The site combs through court records, credit history reports, and criminal history reports. As their service only checks public records, they don’t offer any information on the individual’s employment history or educational background. If you are just looking to find out someone’s criminal history information then this service is great for you.

If you want to run a criminal background check as part of a pre-employment background check, then remember that as per the Ban the Box Law and California laws, employers are only allowed to consider a candidate’s criminal history information in the latter part of the hiring process. 

Outside of the background check results, this service tends to be secure and easy to use which is why so many users tend to select it. While there is no private information available through this search, the in-depth criminal background check is wide and it helps create valid background check reports that can be used during the hiring process.

Pros

  • Pros icon Unlimited monthly reports
  • Pros icon Extensive search of public records
  • Pros icon Easy to use service and Android app

Cons

  • Cons icon Only carious out a search of public records
  • Cons icon There is no iOS app
  • Cons icon Pricing is subscription-based

Star Rating

/ 5.0


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Intelius is a Seattle-based people search service that can be used for extensive background checks. What makes this service a great one is the added features they have which include theft protection and reverse phone lookup. These often allow for more extensive California background checks with more information about a candidate’s background.

The way that they manage to include so many different things in their background check report is by looking at several different directories. These include everything from phone directories, to public records and reverse phone lookup searches.

Much like many other background check services in California, this service is completely subscription-based. They do have the option for a short trial which allows users to carry out multiple background checks per month. The way that these searches can be carried out includes looking for someone by name, address, or even phone number. As such, there are a lot more options for those who want to be able to carry out searches on arrest records and other criminal records on someone.

What should be noted with Intelius is that they can’t carry out employment background checks, this is because they are not an accredited employment screening service. As such, Intelius is mostly used for personal use and not for employment purposes.

Pros

  • Pros icon Customer support is widely available
  • Pros icon Reverse phone lookup available
  • Pros icon Many extra unique features

Cons

  • Cons icon No upfront pricing
  • Cons icon It can’t be used for an employment background check in California
  • Cons icon Can be complicated to use with misleading content

Star Rating

/ 5.0

4 Spokeo


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Spokeo is a background check company located in the U.S. IT currently isn’t a Consumer Reporting Agency, as is described by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Because of this, it can’t be used for employment screening, credit background checks, or tenant searches. This means that the use of Spokeo is quite limited and can’t really be used for any professional services.

With Spokeo, there are a number of different ways in which you can carry out a search to find background information on different people. These include searching by name, email, address, and even phone number. For more accurate results, Spokeo uses a geo-grouping algorithm to narrow results down by location. If you are using the free search option, then the results these searches will give you are quite limited and oftentimes inaccurate.

Spokeo mainly looks through public search directories to find information for the background check. As this is all publicly available information, they might not always get the most up-to-date information for the check, which can be a problem for users. They also use data from third parties, such as Google and Criteo to increase the search results they are receiving.

To use Spokeo’s more extensive features, you can utilize their 30-day free trial. Some of the features available through the trial do not actually relate to the background check capabilities of this platform.

If you want to carry out a background check on arrest records, court cases, and the general criminal history of someone including misdemeanors and felony records, you will need to purchase an add-on as these are not normally available as part of the free plan available with Spokeo. There are also other background check options available with Spokeo.

These include a reverse background check, which allows for an extensive search into someone’s criminal history information, identification, and even education. These reviews are not always accurate and there have been many reports of inaccurate background checks being completed with Spokeo.

Finally, you can use the reverse phone number tool and find who is calling you. All of these are easily accessed through the Android app. Spokeo is currently available only for Android users.

Pros

  • Pros icon Basic features available for free
  • Pros icon Easy to use interface
  • Pros icon Option to remove data and information

Cons

  • Cons icon No plans for unlimited searches
  • Cons icon Highly inaccurate background searches
  • Cons icon Not a part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Star Rating

/ 5.0


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Been Verified is a New York-based company founded in 2007. The company is meant to be used for extensive background checks mainly through the use of online databases. It also has a number of features that are specific to this particular company that has allowed it to climb up in popularity.

As of 2020, BeenVerified has around 10 million monthly visitors. This is because it is a great source for those who want to access public records, property records, credit reports, social media accounts, and other criminal records as part of their search.

This subscription-based service does not offer a free option, as all of its features are only available for paid members. In general, using the service is relatively easy as you only need to provide the personal information of the person you are searching for to get an extensive background check completed. With BeenVerified, what you are paying for is convenience. While there are ways in which you could potentially track down all of the records and information yourself, it would probably take days if not weeks of visiting multiple different public offices.

The monthly subscription service will offer you all of those results without the need for you to hunt them down. BeenVerified is also one of the more affordable options for background checks which can be important if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on this.

Pros

  • Pros icon Transparent background check company
  • Pros icon Easy to use interface with a simple pricing plan
  • Pros icon Comprehensive background check reports are available

Cons

  • Cons icon Searches can take a bit of time
  • Cons icon Inaccurate results
  • Cons icon No free trial options

Star Rating

/ 5.0


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People Finders is one of the brands with the best brand reputation in the background checks industry. This is in part because of the many great reviews that they have received both on Trustpilot and BackgroundCheck.org. This is a California background check data-as-a-service provider that can generate extensive background checks based on someone’s name, address, and phone number.

There are many different pricing options available as well as a free trial which can be important if you want to try the service before committing to it. What’s more, they are one of the few background search companies to not only have a subscription service but also allow for single background checks. This can be important if you are only looking to carry out a single background check.

Among the searches that People Finders will carry out will normally be a scan through all available public records based on the name and location of the person. The results found will usually include criminal records, criminal conviction history reports, arrest records and criminal charges, birth and death records, property records, and credit reports. This extensive list means that you will get a report that covers most bases.

One of the best things about People Finders though is that you can use it to polish your online image. This is because if you carry out a search on yourself there is also the option to use their opt-out service. This service allows you to ask for the removal of certain information you might find about yourself based on “General Privacy Concerns.”

Pros

  • Pros icon Great reputation
  • Pros icon One of the most accurate background check services
  • Pros icon Many different pricing options allow for more specialized use

Cons

  • Cons icon Cancellations can take time as you need to contact the support team
  • Cons icon Often times the search is too wide with unnecessary information about the person’s relative included in the report
  • Cons icon No social media searches

Star Rating

/ 5.0


Verifirst

Verifirst is a part of a larger business called the BYL Group. This organization collects invoices and background checks. This is mainly considered to be a commercial organization as it has FCRA compliance and it can be used according to both California law for commercial purposes, including employment checks.

As a part of the background check, Verifirst looks at both federal and state criminal charges, civil actions, court records, driving records, and credit records. They also pass an education and employment verification to ensure that the information the person has provided you with is accurate. When requested they also offer drug screening as an additional service.

The company was founded in 2004 and since then it has developed a generally good reputation for providing relatively accurate results. However, the price of these reports is unclear from their website as they don’t provide an accurate price list with their service. This can be quite confusing for people who want to sign up and use the service.

It also doesn’t offer great customer support when compared with other services. This is in part because while information-heavy, the support provided is only offered during limited hours.

Pros

  • Pros icon FCRA compliant
  • Pros icon Extensive and accurate criminal history and employment verification checks
  • Pros icon Good reputation

Cons

  • Cons icon Unclear pricing structure, with pay-as-you-go pricing plans
  • Cons icon No 24/7 customer support
  • Cons icon Previous inaccuracies with reports have led to litigations against companies

Star Rating

/ 5.0


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InfoTracer has one of the most all-encompassing search engines out of all of the background check services. This is because their criminal background check service actually goes through an extensive search of public information before a report is generated. Much like many other background search companies, this one is also not accredited according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act and it can only be used for personal purposes.

One of the best features of InfoTracer actually relates to its search tool. This is because you can actually find someone’s information by name, phone number, address, email, and even username. This is not the only unique search tool that InfoTracer offers. In fact, they are the only service to offer facial recognition search.

This means that you can use this service to identify someone using one of their photos. As all of the information that InfoTracer uses is taken from public data, it is completely legal to use this service. However, facial recognition may not be permitted under certain state laws.

When it comes to other unique features that InfoTracer offers, the fact that it actually allows users to limit the type of search results they are going to be seeing in the report can actually be useful. Many background check services in an effort to gain more traction will often use all sources they can find. As a result, the report generated can have some generic or irrelevant information not just about the person, but also about their family members.

With InfoTracer, you will not have to worry about receiving a report full of uninteresting facts. Instead, you can limit your search by assets, criminal histories, arrest records, criminal records, and other various categories. This allows for more targeted and substantial reports to be generated.

Outside of official public records, InfoTracer also uses forum posts, business associates, and other occupational and political affiliations as part of its search. This allows for the creation of a more complete and all-encompassing California background check. They do not offer any Dark Web scanning so if this is something you are wanting you might need to search through a different company.

Pros

  • Pros icon Many specific search options
  • Pros icon Very secure search and platform
  • Pros icon Up-to-date databases

Cons

  • Cons icon Some incomplete reports
  • Cons icon There is no web accounts search
  • Cons icon Facial recognition is not legal everywhere

Star Rating

/ 5.0


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CocoFinder is widely believed to be one of the best online platforms for background checks. This is because it includes many different features including background checks, address lookups, reverse phone number searches, and a general people finder. What really sets this company apart from others is that it is essentially free.

In fact, you can use CocoFinder without actually even setting up an account. This means that all you have to do is visit their website and search for the person you want to complete background checks on. However, as a free service, it does have some limitations that other companies would not have.

For example, the reverse phone search lookup can work great for landlines and mobile phones, but it fails to recognize any virtual phone numbers. This means that if you are trying to find who a spam caller is, chances are you will have limited success with that.

Their website in general is relatively simple in both its interface and the way that it works. Their Whitepages page is essential as an old-school phone book where you can type in someone’s name and get results about how to contact them. Because it’s free you can actually access all of the results immediately, and the searches you make are not saved.

As such, using this service is quite secure and you won’t need to worry about anyone potentially finding out what your searches were. As you don’t need to sign up to use the service it is also unlikely that anyone will access your account to see what you have been searching for. The servers are also encrypted which adds an extra layer of security.

The background checks feature especially can be great if you want to find some general information about people in your life. However, before you start using this for commercial services try to remember that there are certain California laws you need to abide by for the use of employment background checks as an employer.   

Pros

  • Pros icon Free to use
  • Pros icon Simplistic design
  • Pros icon There is no history of what you have searched

Cons

  • Cons icon Might not always be legal to use as an employer based on state and federal laws
  • Cons icon Phone reverse search capabilities are limited
  • Cons icon Search time is long

Star Rating

/ 5.0

 

Conclusion

When it comes to carrying out background checks on anyone you know you will need to remember to always check whether the company you are using is legitimate. If you are choosing to run pre-employment background checks as a California employer, make sure to do so through an accredited website or service to ensure there won’t be any legal troubles in the future when screening job applicants. As most websites tend to have fairly similar capabilities, choosing one is mainly a matter of preference.

You should also make sure to check the California background check laws and fair chance act. This will help ensure you are abiding by the California Civil Code when looking at who to make a conditional offer of employment to. The applicant’s criminal history can only be used in the later parts of the application by California employers according to the California Department of Justice. This helps ensure fair employment opportunities for all applicants in the Los Angeles County.

If you want specific types of search results relating to Dark Web scanning, criminal records, criminal history, education records, or employment records you might need to focus on using one company over another. These choices will certainly help you narrow down which of these services is best for you. This individualized assessment can help you decide as a private employer which of the five or more employees is best for a certain job or position.

Finally, knowing what information you already possess before going into your search will help you select the best California background checks services. For example, if you only have someone’s address then you might need to select a service that excels in property record searches, while if you want to search based on the phone, choosing one with a strong reverse phone feature can be important.

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