Turning Point Data


Criminal Check FAQ

Q. What is the difference between an Enhanced National Criminal Check and a National Criminal Check?

If you are looking to uncover criminal records that may not be under a person’s current name, the Enhanced National Check is a must.

Here is a brief description of each search:

National Criminal Check: For this search, we require the person’s name and date of birth as search details. We search our criminal record data coverage of over 650 million criminal records for any criminal records that match the name and date of birth you entered as search details.

Enhanced National Criminal Check: This search requires the standard name and date of birth, but it also requires a social security number (SSN). Like our National Check, over 650 million criminal records are searched. However, the search details entered for the enhanced national search start a three step process.

1. First we search the SSN. We check which state issued the SSN and the approximate date of issuance. We also run the SSN through the Death Master Index and alert you if the SSN belongs to a deceased person. This allows you to better identify the person and prevent identity fraud.

2. Next, we run a name and address history, based on the SSN, to obtain a list of alias names the person has used. This may include maiden names, former married names, middle names used as first names, nicknames, various spellings of the name, and other aliases.

3. We then run a National Check on each of the names returned in step 2. This is where the benefits of the enhanced national really stand out. By searching each name returned in the name and address history, we may return criminal records that would not be returned using a National Check. The National Check searches the name you enter in the search details. Other forms of the person’s name are not searched as an SSN search is not done to obtain the other names the person may have used.

For example: We recently had a case where a woman had been married, returned to single status, and then re-married. She had three different last names in her lifetime. The employer searched her current married name using our national search. We were told by the employer that no results were returned and they believed the woman may have had a criminal record. We suggested that the employer try running an enhanced national search. The enhanced national search returned two felony records that were recorded under her maiden name.

Q. Does the result on the Turning Point Data report of “No criminal records were found that match the Subject's Search Details” mean that my search subject does not have a criminal record?

If the search details were entered correctly, any criminal record that was recorded at one of our criminal record sources with the same name and date of birth will be returned in our report.

Some of the more common reasons that a criminal record will not returned are as follows:

You entered incorrect information - like a misspelled first or last name or an incorrect date of birth. For all of our checks, except the enhanced checks, you need to enter the name exactly as it would be on the criminal record. Use the person’s legally given name – not a nickname.

You entered a prefix or a suffix such as Mr., Mrs., Jr., Sr., II, etc. in the search details. You should not enter a prefix or a suffix under any circumstances.

Do not use apostrophes (enter O’Brien as OBrien), accent marks or tildes (enter Adrián Muñoz as Adrian Munoz).

The search subject has a juvenile record - by law we can’t return it.

The record you might have expected to find is expunged or sealed by court order.

The record you might have expected to find is not within the available criminal record sources we can electronically search. Before ordering a search, you should review our list of criminal record sources to be sure we search the criminal record source in which you believe the criminal record was recorded.

Q. Does Turning Point Data return arrest records in their criminal checks?

No, we do not report arrest records. We only report convictions or dismissed records. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has held multiple times that the use of arrest records in the employment process discriminates against potential employees.

When an arrest leads to a conviction that is when Turning Point Data reports the criminal record.

Q. Can I use the Turning Point Data criminal check to make a hiring decision or to screen potential tenants?

Yes, we are a FCRA complaint website and therefore we follow the rules of the FCRA. By law, you must comply with the FCRA when running a criminal background check on a person you are potentially going to hire or if you are using the criminal background check to screen a potential tenant’s criminal history.

Q. What is the FCRA?

The FCRA is the federal law that governs any information provided by a consumer reporting agency (CRA). As a criminal background screening company, Turning Point Data is a CRA.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was first enacted in 1971 to ensure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer’s right to privacy. In short, the FCRA protects the subject of a report by putting limits on what consumer reporting agencies can include in their report.

Even though it is named the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the FCRA applies to much more than credit reports. The FCRA covered reports can include the consumer’s credit standing, but can also extend to character, reputation, and similar information that can be used to determine a person’s eligibility for credit, insurance, or a job.

If you are an employer and you plan to evaluate criminal records as part of your pre-employment screening process, you need to be aware of and comply with the FCRA requirements. The FCRA can be confusing to understand and comply with. Turning Point Data can assist you in this process. Please review our information on completing a FCRA compliant criminal background check and our sample FCRA forms which are available at the FCRA link on the bottom of this page.