A background search in Rhode Island is a common procedure to check an individual’s professional, financial or criminal history. Requestors can perform an RI background verification for their own purposes or to screen a third party, only if they are authorized to do so.

A Rhode Island background investigation can be conducted on a state or national level for employment, operating a business or other purposes. State background checks are typically name-based, while the national background screening is often fingerprint-based.

How To Get a Rhode Island Background Check

The background investigation in RI is available by mail or in person. For an in-person background screening, the requestor will need to appear at an RI Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) window with a valid proof of identity (a state ID, an RI driving license or a US passport) and payment (cash is not accepted).

If the applicant decides on a mail-in RI background check, an additional signed and notarized release form will be needed. Note that you can submit a copy of the valid ID form to complete the process.

For a background report in Rhode Island to be released to third parties, they must provide an approval form signed by the requestor. Individuals who are travelling outside the country must indicate this in order to receive the right documentation.

Note: The in-person Rhode Island background search can be performed on one subject only. Should requestors need to obtain a background report on multiple individuals, they are advised to mail the correct paperwork to a BCI window.

Ordering a Rhode Island Background Check Online

Performing an RI online background check is the most convenient way to screen the criminal history or credit scores of an individual.

Though the state’s BCI does not offer an online check at the moment, requestors can still order one through third parties. When conducting a background investigation in Rhode Island, applicants may need to present several personal details about the subject of search, including:

  • The individual’s first and last name.
  • The individual’s date of birth.
  • The individual’s Social Security Number.

Who needs a Rhode Island Background Check?

In general, an RI background investigation will be performed if a subject is considering to work as a caregiver or a first responder in a hospital.

Individuals may also need to undergo a background screening in RI if they plan to operate a business. As well, a background check will be conducted on a person applying for a HazMat Endorsement on his or her current RI commercial driver’s license.

Note that professionals such as firefighters, nurses or private security personnel will be subject to both state and national background verification.


A rental background check in Rhode Island is standard for applicants planning to rent a residential property. RI renter background checks are often an inevitable part of the process, as it is important for landlords to select the best candidate for their house or apartment.

Property owners tend to conduct not only a criminal record search, but also a financial check to gather the necessary information on the subject. You can order your personal background report just before applying to fix any existing issues and obtain the best rental price.


Background checks for employment in RI are probably the most required, as employers tend to screen the candidates for any misdemeanours prior to hiring them. An employee background check will include the applicant’s criminal past and credit history report.

Note that a Rhode Island criminal history check can be conducted upon the subject’s approval. Also, the state law requires recruiters to inform the person of search that a consumer report is requested, and that any information included in the report may be used during an interview.

EMS/First Responders

Hospitals will request an EMS background report when selecting a candidate to work as a first responder. An extensive medical background check in RI is much needed, as job positions in clinics, hospitals and other similar institutions require someone who is reliable and ready to handle the stress.

A Rhode Island full background check will only confirm whether the applicant meets the strict requirements.

Care Givers

Families often do a background screening in RI on babysitters or others serving as caregivers. It is not unusual for a complete background report to be ordered, especially when individuals are entrusting the care of their closest family members to unknown subjects. A clean Rhode Island background report will show they have chosen the right applicant to do the job.


The RI background check for job is also highly recommended for subjects aiming for the managerial positions.

Public and private companies often perform an employee background screening in Rhode Island to find any potential criminalities which may harm the workplace. Future managers are advised to order their background report before starting the employment procedure.

When You Will Need a Background Check

A background verification in Rhode Island may be asked for in a number of different situations. Generally, government agencies and private entities will need to conduct this procedure for the following purposes:

The Difference Between Standard and Criminal Background Checks

When getting a background check in RI, individuals may look into the criminal history, as well as the professional and financial activities of the subject. The criminal background check is controlled by the state’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and it may include any potential arrests or past convictions.

The standard background screening in Rhode Island will include the person’s credit history, which may be very helpful particularly when hiring an employee or securing a rental housing. The RI background verification must be conducted with the record holder’s authorization.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.