Background checks come in many various forms, and depending on the information needed, the constraints of the data source, and the laws in force, varying turnaround times apply to each type.
A background check may take up to five business days, or it may be completed in less than a minute, depending on the specific information an employer requires.
If manual searches or assistance from other institutions, such as professional licensing certifications, universities, and prior employers, is necessary, it can take longer.
To ensure a safe workplace, employers frequently conduct ongoing background checks on current employees through annual criminal background checks or routine employee drug testing.
Depending on the database being searched, such as the National Criminal Database, the turnaround time for a criminal background check can be substantially faster than the standard one to three business days.
The FBI processes universal background checks, sometimes known as gun background checks, through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in 2 to 3 minutes (NICS).
A fingerprint background check is often used along with another background check, most notably employment background checks. If there’s a successful match, a response will be returned within three days.