What is on an NCIC Background Check?

NCIC background checks are commonly used by police officers.
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Many employers and organizations require background checks before an individual is allowed to start working or volunteering for the organization. These background checks help an employer avoid employing a criminal or an individual who could place their company or organization in jeopardy. Police officers use the NCIC database during traffic stops and other routine encounters while on duty. An officer enters the license plate of an individual and the NCIC database responds with known warrants or outstanding citations for that person or vehicle.

Property Files

The NCIC database maintains seven property files. The categories in the property files include: record for articles, boats, guns, license plates, securities, vehicles and parts. The NCIC database can determine if an individual owns a piece of property or vehicle, and if that property was involved in criminal activity or if any legal actions are being taken against it.

Person Files

The 11 person files in the NCIC maintains the record of convicted sex offenders, foreign fugitives, identity theft, immigration violator, missing persons, protection orders, supervised release, unidentified person, U.S. secret service protective, violent gang and terrorist groups, and wanted person files. The person files are accessed most often when completing background checks. An individual may be listed in one or more of the person categories depending on what has been recorded. The NCIC background check will list all of the categories where the person is found.


The NCIC also stores pictures that can be returned with the background check. This picture part of the database helps to ensure that the person the background check is being completed for is in fact the person who applied for the position.

Additional Information

The NCIC has three main areas in the database where information is stored; however, it also stores additional information that can be made available. Much of this information is valuable to law enforcement agencies. Enhanced name searches can produce variations of an individual's name phonetically similar to the last known name for an individual. Probation and parole records of people on probation or under supervised release give their last known location.

Requesting Background Checks

While the original purpose of the NCIC database is to assist law enforcement officials, corporations and private organizations can gain access. To request a background check on an individual, the requesting party must obtain a signed consent form from the person getting the background check. This can then be presented to the local records office at the courthouse. The results of the check are returned to the requesting party. A fee is charged to process the request.

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