McGrath: Background Checks Now Available Online
HELENA – Attorney General Mike McGrath today announced a new service that allows Montanans to do background checks online rather than by mail.
“For agencies that need to ensure the safety of the children, elderly and disabled in their care, doing background checks online will save a lot of time,” McGrath said. “They will be able to run a check at any time of the day or night, seven days a week, and get the results within a few minutes rather than having to wait days.”
An online background check costs $11.50 and includes searches on up to four aliases. To search, users enter an individual’s complete name and date of birth. While Social Security numbers aren’t required, they help distinguish between people with similar names and birth dates. Montana law requires that the person conducting the search must also enter his or her name.
“Online access was something three-quarters of our background-check customers identified as a high priority,” McGrath said. “And this new service makes name-based background checks much more accessible to the general public as well.”
The criminal history information available to the public includes:
- notations of arrests
- complaints, indictments or information filed and any related dispositions
- correctional status
The record also will note whether an individual is registered as a sexual and/or violent offender in Montana.
Public criminal history records do not include driving records, except felony DUI. Other information that is not available includes personal descriptions and photos, dismissals after a deferred imposition of sentence, protection orders, warrants, federal offenses (including tribal), or out-of-state records.
Searches based on fingerprints must still be requested by mail from Montana Criminal Records,
P.O. Box 201403, Helena, MT 59620-1403 or call (406) 444-3625.
The Criminal History Online Public Record Search (CHOPRS) service was cooperatively developed and is supported by the Montana Department of Justice, the Montana Department of Administration’s Information Technology Services Division and Montana Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment provider NIC (Nasdaq: EGOV).