A background check in New York shows details about a person’s criminal and financial history. By getting a copy of an applicant’s background report, an organization has at its disposal a very strong recruitment tool. The results of NY background screenings allow companies to weed out candidates that could potentially become a liability.

As it is an open records state, New York requestors of criminal background checks can obtain the public record of an individual or company they wish to investigate.

How to Get a New York Background Check

Getting a background check in New York is a process that can be carried out through one of three channels: online, by mail or in person. State criminal record searches for all 62 counties are available online. However, in order to obtain NY background reports in certain towns and villages, requestors must visit that specific local municipal court.

Ordering a New York Background Check Online

Learning how to get a background check online in New York is simple as doing so only requires an applicant to know a few specific details about an individual. The following details are the minimum that must be provided for the background search to help ensure accurate results:

  • The subject’s first initial and last name.
  • The subject’s date of birth.
  • The subject’s Social Security Number (optional).

An online background search can also be run if you know the subject’s Social Security Number and last name.

Who needs a New York background check?

Those who require NY background reports can be individuals but they can also be businesses. Though, most often a company or organization will request a background check on an individual applying for a certain position such as an employee or a rental property tenant.

Background investigations in New York are also routine for drivers applying for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement on a commercial drivers license.


Landlords perform NY rental background checks on potential lessees to take precautions to safeguard their properties. If you plan to rent an apartment or house, be prepared and order a renters background check for your own reference. In such case, both parties can arm themselves with useful information to make the selection process must easier.


When reading a detailed employee background check in New York, employers check for unusual behavior. Improve your chances of job success by looking into the report details and preparing answers for questions your potential employer may ask. Your employment history check reinforces your resume, job history, and indicates what kind of employee you would be.

EMS/First Responders

First responders and EMS employees need pass a New York medical background screening to verify their credibility. Hiring managers conduct EMS background screenings as a compulsory employment requirement for candidates for first responder positions.

Such high-stress jobs that require dealing with critically dangerous situations therefore, a candidate is expected to have demonstrated their preparedness for the responsibility via record free from any alarming events.

Care Givers

With a full background check in New York, leaving the care of a loved one with an unfamiliar person can be made easier. Choosing a caregiver for a close family member puts you in a challenging position.

Conducting a complete background check allows you to flag any records from an applicant that may indicate he or she is not a suitable candidate for caring for vulnerable individuals such as children and the elderly.


The demanding responsibilities of a top manager are a part of the job description. Corporate and government institutions rely on the NY employment history check to screen for candidates who can handle level of responsibility a managerial position demands.

A good business practice for a hiring manager is to order a complete criminal background check for promising applicants.

When You Will Need a Background Check

An individual may be required to undergo a NY background check in various instances throughout his or her life. Below a some of the most common reasons people and organizations get background checks in New York:

  • To hire an employee or volunteer.
  • To work with children, the disabled or the elderly.
  • To secure rental housing.
  • To purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer.
  • To adopt a child or become a foster parent.

Note: New York state law requires employers to notify potential employees in a written statement that a credit report may be obtained during the hiring process.

The Difference Between Standard and Criminal Background Checks

Two types of New York background reports are usually conducted by an individual or organization: criminal background checks and general background screenings.

Criminal record searches in NY must be conducted through the Office of Court Administration (OCA). Individuals, as well as companies, are permitted to obtain a public criminal record of an individual or on themselves for a fee.

The general background investigation can include a criminal record search but it also includes other activities of an individual such as their financial history as well as their employment history. The easiest way to receive a full background report of an individual is to apply online.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.