Background checks in Massachusetts can be requested by members of the public, as well as companies or government agencies. The purposes of obtaining an MA background report can vary depending on the need and the ways to get a background check can differ.

In Massachusetts, the agency responsible for conducting complete background checks is the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Although background reports typically contain publicly available information, requestors of criminal background checks in MA must comply with Massachusetts laws and regulations related to releasing such information.

How to Get a Massachusetts Background Check

Getting a background check in Massachusetts must be done with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Requestors can obtain a Criminal Offender Record Information online, using convenient specialized background check services or with the EOPSS directly.

You may also request a background screening for yourself online or by mail. Note that although employers and companies are the most common requestors of background verifications, it is illegal for them to ask the subjects for copies of their MA background reports.

Ordering a Massachusetts Background Check Online

The easiest way of obtaining an online background check in Massachusetts is to order one from professional background check companies, although you may also use the MA iCORI online service. Usually, if you need to get a background check for someone, you will need certain personal information about them, such as:

  • Their full name.
  • Their date of birth.
  • Their Social Security Number (or the last four digits).

Note that you may register as an individual or an organization when requesting a background check online and pay a specified fee in order to receive a full background report in MA.

Ordering a Massachusetts Background Check by Mail

To perform a background search in Massachusetts by mail, individuals may only do so if they are the subject of the background verification.

Requestors will need to fill out a special Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Personal Request Form and complete it with the following details:

  • Full name (first, last, middle initial and suffix).
  • Date of birth.
  • Parents’ full names.
  • The last six digits of Social Security Number.
  • Any former last names (if you need a personal background report including your previous last name).
  • Address.
  • Any additional paperwork relevant to the purpose of the CORI (i.e. immigration or visa purposes).
  • Payment for the fees by check or money order.

Send everything to the main Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in Chelsea.

Who needs a Massachusetts background check?

Background screenings in Massachusetts are most frequently sought by employers (individuals and companies alike) in order to assess the personal and professional qualities of the job applicant. An MA background check is also often requested by landlords who need to make sure a potential tenant is responsible and will pay the rent on time.


Renter background reports in Massachusetts are typically ordered by landlords who wish to assess any potential tenants and review their credit history and criminal record in order to estimate whether they will pay the rent and utility bills on time. MA rental background checks can also help the landlord determine whether the tenants will take care of the property.


Employee background checks in MA are often requested by employers who need insight into the candidate’s financial and professional history.

Massachusetts employment history checks can be of great help for the hiring process, as they provide a review of the job applicant’s personal and professional qualities, which ultimately determine whether he or she will be a good fit for the company.

EMS/First Responders

EMS background reports are issued to employers in the medical field and are requested before hiring EMS workers or first responders. As these employees work in a stressful environment, their ability to remain composed and make the right decisions in tense situations can easily be concluded from the results of a medical background report.


Getting a complete background check in MA for caregivers is in high demand because these workers are usually hired to take care of a sick individual at home.

Relatives of the individual in need rely on full background checks in order to determine whether the caregiver has demonstrated professionalism in the past, but also to examine any potential behaviors that may affect their work.


Companies hiring candidates for managerial positions require full background checks in order to select the best candidate. By conducting thorough background screening of job applicants, the HR department can easily make a decision about who will continue with the application process.

Personal background reports in Massachusetts typically contain the individual’s professional, financial and criminal history.

When You Will Need a Background Check

Besides business background checks in MA, residents may also be subject of other types of background verifications, as stated in the following instances:

  • Applying for or completing adoptions.
  • Legally purchasing firearms.
  • Reviewing an individual’s credit history.
  • Obtaining a commercial driver’s license at an MA DMV office.

The Difference Between Standard and Criminal Background Checks

Massachusetts full background checks are different from criminal history checks in the type and amount of information listed on the background report. Massachusetts criminal background checks usually contain the subject’s adult criminal history such as arrests, pre-trial or judicial proceedings, criminal charges, sentencing, rehabilitations, releases and more.

On the other hand, a standard background verification in MA contains the individual’s professional, financial or personal history.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.