North Carolina is a closed-record state, which means that, generally, a person can only request a criminal background check on themselves. Therefore, in order to conduct a North Carolina criminal background check, the employer will need to have their employees or job applicants complete the Criminal History Request Form and submit it, along with an FD-258 Fingerprinting Card and $14 fee, to the North Carolina (NC) State Bureau of Investigation. Alternatively, the employer can contact the appropriate Clerk of the Superior Court’s Office in order to request a Single Criminal Background Check by name. This service costs $25 and is only effective at tracing an individual’s criminal history within a single county by the name provided. Although there are no state-wide restrictions, certain counties in North Carolina have passed “Ban-the-Box” laws, which places limitations on how an employer may inquire about their employee or applicant’s criminal history.

Cost – $14 for a fingerprint-based check from the NC State Bureau of Investigation, $25 for a criminal background report from the Clerk of Superior Court’s Office (certified check or money order)

Laws –§131E-265 to 274§132

Criminal History Request

To begin a NC criminal background check, the subject must obtain a Criminal History Request Form and then present themselves at either a County Sheriff’s Office or municipal police department for fingerprinting. At this appointment, they will need to present a NC driver’s license or another government-issued identification card and page four (4) of the Criminal History Request Form. Once fingerprinting is completed, the subject will be given an FD-258 Fingerprinting Card. Before submitting their request, the subject must fill out the form by providing the following information:

  • Full name
  • Date
  • Mailing address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Reason for request

Once the form is complete, the subject must either send or hand-deliver this package with the completed form, the fingerprinting card, and a certified check or money order for $14 payable to NC State Bureau of Investigation to the following address:

NC State Bureau of Investigation
Criminal Information and Identification Section
Attention: Applicant Unit – Right to Review
PO Box 29500
Raleigh, NC 27626-0500

Single Criminal Background Check by County

To perform a criminal record search by county only, you can contact the appropriate Clerk of the Superior Court’s Office and submit a Single Criminal Background Check Form along with a certified check or money order for $25, payable to the appropriate county court. This background check is by name only and only applies to one county, so if the result is “No record,” this does not mean that the individual has zero criminal history.