Utah Background Check General Requirements

In accordance with the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), it’s permissible for anyone to view and obtain public records in the state of Utah, as long as they are not considered to be invasive of one’s privacy rights.

The Bureau of Criminal Identification of the Utah Department of Public Safety handles all background checks. Only the subject of the background search may initiate the request, but they can then have their record sent to a third party of their choice by filling out a release form. This is the procedure that should be followed for employment background checks in Utah.

In order to obtain a criminal record, the requester must submit an ID and a $15 fee, along with a request form. A request for a criminal background check in Utah can be made in person or through the mail.

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Federal Laws Regulating Background Checks in Utah

When seeking a background report in Utah, all employers must abide by Fair Credit Reporting Act regulations. FCRA (pronounced “fickruh”) was put in place in an effort to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies which in turn may serve to protect job seekers who may have criminal backgrounds. Reducing the number of inaccuracies in credit and criminal records--such as reporting crimes which may have been expunged or misclassified, or including crimes committed by someone with the same name--can help make the background check process easier. When it comes to FCRA inquiries for background reports, the following laws apply:

  • Prior to initiating a background search, employers must obtain written consent from the candidate.
  • Employers must keep all information obtained through the background check process confidential.
  • Information obtained through the background search should only be used for the intended purpose of the background check, and in accordance with FCRA law.
  • If the information in the background report disqualifies an individual from being hired, employers must follow FCRA procedures to notify the candidate.

FCRA Limitations

When it comes to FCRA guidelines for a background check in Utah, there are some limitations to consider. Employers may only have access to a candidate’s non-conviction activity (tax liens, civil suits and judgments, and arrest records) that occurred during the prior seven years. Note that non-FCRA accredited websites may contain information beyond that time span, and it is legal in Utah to use those sites in certain circumstances.

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