A Texas criminal background check can be performed by an individual or company by using the Department of Safety (DPS) website and setting up an account. Any individual who has been arrested is subject to have this information released to a potential employer as long as it occurred within the last seven (7) years. Felonies remain on a person’s record for life. If the position for employment has an annual salary of more than $75,000, the individual or company performing the search may go as far back as necessary in their search.
Cost – $3 per individual plus transaction fees (total = $3.32)
Laws – § 20.05
Step 1 – Background Check Authorization Form
If the background check is being executed by a third-party consumer reporting agency, the individual that is being searched must grant consent. This is a 1-Page document that must include the Fair Credit Reporting Act Disclosure if a credit report is also being generated. Once the form has been signed by the applicant, the employer may perform the check.
Step 2 – Texas DPS or a 3rd Party
The following two (2) options are available for performing a background check:
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) – Use this website (and the below steps) to learn how to create a profile and begin searching for criminal reports.
Step 3 – Create a New User
On this webpage, you can create a New User by entering the following:
- Account Type – Individual or Company
- Email Addresses – Public or Private
- Contact – New User’s First and Last Name
- Phone Number – US or International
- Address – US or International
- User ID – Enter E-Mail
- Password – 8-32 Characters
- Security Question
☑ – Click the checkbox to agree to their Terms and Conditions and you will be allowed to perform a search.
Step 4 – Select Type of Record to Search
Select which type of search you would like to perform:
- Yours – Search of your own personal criminal history
- Someone Else – Search another individual’s criminal history
Click Continue after making your selection.
Step 5 – Enter Personal Details
Enter the following information in the empty fields to specify the subject of the search:
- First Name – Required
- Last Name – Required
- Birth Date – Year, Month, Day
Afterwards, click Continue to proceed.
Step 6 – Purchase Credits
According to the DPS FAQ Webpage, the State requires one (1) credit to perform a search. Each credit costs $3 plus a fee of 2.25% and another $0.25 transaction fee (totalling $3.32). The $0.25 transaction fee is for every transaction and is not based on how many credits purchased, therefore, it is most advantageous to buy as many credits as possible.
Step 7 – View Information
At this time, you will be able to view the full criminal history for the last seven (7) years.
Past Employers Reference – It is recommended that the background check be complimented by a reference of previous employer(s). This is to verify the character of the individual and to ensure that they will benefit the new company with an accommodating workplace.