If you need to obtain a Minnesota background screening, you must do so with the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Background verifications are requested from members of the public or employers for a variety of purposes such as employment, visa or adoptions.

In Minnesota, the most convenient way to get a background check is online, but requestors may also visit a local BCA office in person or send a request by mail. All background reports in MN must comply with state laws and regulations regarding release of such information and the requestor must obtain a signed consent from the subject.

How to Get a Minnesota Background Check

Getting a Minnesota background check must be completed with the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, offering several application methods. Thus, depending on your needs and the type of information you would like to request, you can obtain an MN background report for an individual online, in person or by mail.

For each background verification method, you will need to submit certain documents about the subject and pay the appropriate fees. Note that some background screenings may display limited information about the individual, in accordance with Minnesota laws.

Ordering a Minnesota Background Check Online

The simplest way to conduct a Minnesota background investigation on a subject is online.

The BCA system contains all the relevant information about an individual’s criminal history, such as sentences, offenses, courts and dates of convictions, although the final background report will not include out-of-state criminal history, arrest data, juvenile criminal history and federal data.

To perform a search, the online background check system requires certain personal details about the subjects, such as their full name and date of birth. Note that this may lead to overlaps if there are individuals with the same personal information. A more detailed background account may be obtained either in person or by mail.

Ordering a Minnesota Background Check in Person or by Mail

Background checks in Minnesota can also be obtained in person or by mail if you are not able to order a background check online. To get a background check in MN in person, you must visit the BCA office in St. Paul.

If you decide to mail your request for a Minnesota background screening, you must send it to the main BCA office along with payment for the issuance fees. You will be able to request different types of background checks using documents such as:

  • A General Informed Consent (which you must obtain from the subject in order to perform a background check).
  • A Serve America Act (requiring background checks to be performed on employees working with vulnerable individuals such as children, elderly or disabled).
  • School Hiring Authority Consent Form (for performing background checks on employees who have contact with children).
  • Child Protection Background Check Act (for requesting criminal history checks on children’s service workers).
  • Firefighter Background Checks (for obtaining background reports on applicants for employment at fire departments).

Who needs a Minnesota background check?

Minnesota background check are offered to employers who wish to assess their job applicants prior to offering them employment. According to Minnesota law, employers must comply with the rules, regulations and limitations when obtaining a background check on a potential employee and may need to obtain consent from the subject to do so.

Also, landlords often perform background screenings on their tenants and individuals who wish to hire a caregiver also rely on Minnesota criminal history checks before hiring somebody.


Landlords often request rental background checks in Minnesota before renting out a unit to tenants. This is so because a MN background screening will display the tenants’ financial, personal and criminal past – information used by landlords to assess whether the tenant will make rent and bill payments on time.

Tenants with a decent personal and criminal background verification will have greater chances of being selected. Landlords may order a Minnesota background report before negotiating the final renting price.


Employee background checks in MN are ordered by employers such as companies or government agencies when they need to assess a job applicant. According to Minnesota law, background screenings must be conducted only after a job interview has been completed.

This way, applicants cannot be eliminated from the job process before being assessed on their professional merits. Employers may need to obtain consent from the subject before performing a Minnesota background check for employment purposes.

EMS/First Responders

EMS background investigations are common in emergency units and hospitals that hire first responders. As the nature of the EMS job is stressful, these individuals must be mentally and physically fit to handle the challenges it brings.

Thus, medical background checks in Minnesota are often performed to assess an individual’s professional, personal and criminal history, which will determine whether he or she is fit to be an EMS worker.


Personal background checks in Minnesota are ordered by individuals who plan to hire a caregiver to take care of a child, an elderly or a disabled family member.

As these workers are involved with individuals in need, they need to display a clean background report in order to be hired. You may get a background check online or use another method to complete a background verification.


Complete background checks in Minnesota are requested for job candidates for managerial positions in companies or government agencies. A manager must be a responsible and hard-working individual and in order for the employer to assess these qualities, an employee background check is performed.

The final MN background report contains the candidate’s professional, criminal and personal history that employers then review to determine whether the job applicant will meet the job requirements and be a good fit for the position.

When You Will Need a Background Check

Full background checks in Minnesota are requested when an employer needs to assess a potential job candidate or when you need to hire a caregiver for a child or an adult. Other instances when you may need an MN background screening are:

The Difference Between Standard and Criminal Background Checks

Personal background checks in Minnesota typically contain an individual’s personal, professional and credit history. On the other hand, criminal background checks contain the criminal history of the subject and any convictions, misdemeanors or sentences in his or her adult life.

Juvenile, federal and arrest data are all excluded from an MN criminal background check. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension offers different types of Minnesota background reports, depending on your needs.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.