Virginia background screenings investigate the consumer, criminal, financial and other public records of an individual or an organization. Complete background checks are most often conducted by private organizations or government agencies.

Employers order VA background checks prior to hiring candidates to fulfill a job vacancy. Other parties that have a vested interest in the various records of an applicant include landlords and adoption agencies, to name a few.

How to Get a Virginia Background Check

Virginia background search requests are accepted by mail or online. Online background check requests are the preferred method of conducting criminal history searches. However, online police background checks are only accessible to organizations such as employers and other pre-approved agencies.

To complete a mail-in request, members of the general public must submit identifying details of their subject including:

  • Full name
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number

The Virginia Criminal History Record application form must also include the subject’s approval to be investigated, in the form of their signature. The criminal record search request must be signed and notarized before being mailed to the return address listed on the form.

Ordering a Virginia Background Check Online

Although members of the public cannot request criminal background checks online in Virginia without the subject’s permission, they can freely obtain information on a subject’s other activities such as records of marriages, divorces, lawsuits and more. Additionally, one can order a VA driving record or credit report to gain insight into a record holder’s past.

Note: To conduct a criminal background check in Virginia, individuals and private companies must submit a completed Criminal History Records Check (form SP-167) application form to the Virginia State Police.

Who needs a Virginia background check?

Getting a background check in Virginia is not only commonplace for individuals with a commercial driver’s license but also for individuals in various other situations. For instance, many public and private employment agencies require background screenings of the new hires.

As well, professional licensing organizations, such those that certify nurses, teachers, etc., require applicants to complete a background check.


Virginia rental background checks are reserved for those who plan to rent a new apartment. Property owners usually require them along with a tenant’s application.

Landlords are interested in your financial and criminal history, which will inform them whether or not you can be trusted to respectfully maintain their property. In order to fix any issue in your past, order your own renters background check to help you to negotiate a better rental price.


Background checks for employment in Virginia are conducted on candidates applying for jobs at both public and private companies. An employment history check along with a VA criminal record search is done in order to find out whether the candidate is a responsible person.

The hiring process also tests the responsibility with their finances through a credit history report. It is always a good idea to conduct your personal background check before an interview. It is the best way to prepare yourself for any needed explanation for the information found on your background history report.

EMS/First Responders

An EMS background check in VA is needed for every potential first responder candidate, since conducting a personal background check will uncover any criminal actions or financial circumstances of the person in question.

A medical background search will help give an employer further insight into how a first responder job candidate handles him or herself in matters and pinpoint any areas of concern.

Care Givers

A Virginia complete background check is an efficient tool to choose the best caregiver possible. If you are in the need of a caregiver, order a full background report in order to know if he or she the record of someone you can trust.


When you apply for a job position as a manager, you are highly recommended to conduct a VA employee background check to find out what potential employers will see when they conduct a background investigation. Some companies may require you to provide a copy of your background report for the upcoming interview.

When You Will Need a Background Check

Virginia background screenings are routinely performed in many sectors of the professional world. Business and government institutions use the tool to help sift through candidates for any a number of positions or privileges, including the following:

  • To apply for a job with a government agency.
  • To purchase firearms from federally-licensed dealers.
  • To obtain a HAZMAT endorsement on a commercial driver’s license at a local DMV.
  • To adopt or foster a child.

Note: In Virginia, employers are not permitted to inquire about an applicant’s record of arrests or criminal charges that did not result in a conviction.

The Difference Between Standard and Criminal Background Checks

Background investigations in Virginia can take a few different forms. The two most common types of background checks conducted on individuals include criminal history checks and general background inquires. A police background check will result in a record of a subject’s convictions.

A general background query, such as those performed by hiring organizations, can include a wide variety of available records such as an applicant’s credit history, lawsuit filings, property ownership, among other public records.

Virginia is an open records state. However, third-party criminal records requests may only be conducted with written, notarized permission from the subject of the report.

Also, public records are limited, meaning that only convictions are displayed and not arrests or charges that did not result in a conviction. Only law enforcement agencies and other authorized organizations, such as adoption agencies, are granted access to an individual’s full criminal record.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.