With many jobs requiring applicants to get a background check, Colorado makes doing records searches for a CO background check easy and fast.
Although it may seem a bit intimidating, a typical Colorado background check is nothing to worry about and most people shouldn’t have any problem passing it for employment, depending on their personal criminal history (more explained below).
This guide explains everything applicants should know before undergoing a background check, including what to do if someone failed a background check after a job offer, and how to search official CO records and databases for the most accurate, up-to-date background check information.
Many people wonder, “Is there a free background check in Colorado?” And while many agencies claim to offer a free criminal background check, the disclaimers on these sites specifically state that they are not legal to use for official employment or professional background checks, often because these searches can be conducted without permission.
However, the state of Colorado has specific databases and records search tools that can be employed to run a background check on yourself or another person, even without that person’s permission. But, if the check is being used for professional reasons, consent is required.
The county clerk will have a wealth of public information available such as vital records, voter registration records, real estate and property ownership (who lives here), tax records and marriage license records.
Most people that are trying to figure out how to run a background check are really interested in criminal history information. If a full background check is needed, then the best choice is usually to hire a reputable background check company (that creates legal background check reports) to perform the check. However, if only a full criminal history is needed, getting this information through the Colorado Court records system may be a more efficient and cost-effective option.
There is also the option to obtain a full background check through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Specific steps for obtaining records from all of these sources are outlined further down.
Find Colorado Public Records through County Clerks
For non-criminal Colorado public records requests, contacting the county clerk will likely be the best option. County clerks will have almost all non-criminal related public records available by request, including:
Requesting public documents through the county clerk is extremely easy.
Step 1: Access the Local Clerk and Recorder Website.
Each county clerk and recorder in the state of Colorado has a dedicated website. On this website, there is information detailing the kinds of records that can be requested as well as multiple options on how to make a records request, such as the Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder website.
Simply search the name of the county, plus the words “county clerk” to find the official website.
Step 2: Access the Online Services for the County Clerk
Each website will usually have a link to access its online services, which includes a way to search for records and make records requests online. In most cases, this is the easiest and quickest way to access public records.
If the county doesn’t have an online search option, there should be information about making records requests by mail or in-person, including links to the various forms required for a particular search.
Step 3: Search Documents and Request Records
Once the online document search website has been located, simply follow on-screen prompts to perform the search. The name of the individual and/or the type of document being searched will be needed to perform the search.
Results should be available instantly but obtaining a copy of the document usually requires a small fee.
Find Colorado Court Records
Colorado Court records are an easy way to obtain an individual’s criminal history information for a background check Colorado. In most states, court records are held by each individual court, making it difficult to track down records for someone who has lived in multiple counties.
However, for a background check, Colorado makes this much easier by using a third-party website that allows citizens to search and access court records electronically.
Step 1: Access the CoCourts website.
The proper website can be found through the Colorado Integrated Justice System website or can be accessed here.
Step 2: Create an Account
In order to search court documents, users must create an account with the CoCourts website. Basic contact information and an email address will be required to complete the registration.
Step 3: Perform Search and Pay Fees
Fees will vary based on what is being searched, but all searches can be completed for less than $10, and some are as low as $5. Searches can be completed using a variety of information such as the date and location of the case, the names of individuals involved, or the case number.
Besides accessing court records through the method above, there is also the option to contact the court directly to request documents. Each court jurisdiction will have a slightly different system to obtain public records so contacting the court directly for specific instructions is the best course of action.
Free Criminal Background Check: Colorado Bureau of Investigation Background Check (CBI)
Although searching through court records is the easiest way to obtain criminal history information, for an official background check, Colorado users will need to go through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI is the central repository for all criminal history information for the state of Colorado.
Although going through the CBI to get a background check is not always necessary, many professions require a CBI background check, such as healthcare level 2 background checks, education verification, and volunteer background check options.
The CBI criminal history check is a fingerprint-based check, so crimes not supported by fingerprints will not show up as part of the search.
Step 1: Access the Colorado Integrated Criminal Justice Information System Website.
The CICJIS will contain a link to the State of Colorado Internet Criminal History Check System (ICHCS). The ICHCS can also be accessed here.
Step 2: Enter Search Information
Select the “individual,” option on the homepage to access the search function for the website. Simply enter in the name and date of birth of the individual being searched. More information can be entered which may result in more accurate results.
Step 3: Enter Personal Information and Payment Information
Personal information and payment information are required to complete the search and view the results. Basic contact and address information will be needed as well as credit card or PayPal info. The cost is $5 per search. With personal and payment information entered, results should be available immediately.
Search CO Sheriff’s Office Records
How to check criminal records can also be done by submitting a request through the local sheriff’s office and police department in Colorado. Sheriff’s offices will not have access to court-related records but will have arrest records, incident reports, and other similar information available by request.
Detailed steps on how to request records through the Sheriff’s Department are outlined below.
Step 1: Access the Local Sheriff’s Office Website & Navigate to the Records Page
Using the list below, access the correct Sheriff’s Office website and navigate to the record-keeping section of the webpage.
The records section will have detailed information on what records are available, and how to contact the records office and will usually have a link to the records request form, such as the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.
Step 2: Access the Records Request Form
Although contacting the sheriff’s department directly is an option to request records, the easiest way is to fill out an online records request form which can be submitted electronically.
Step 3: Complete Request and Wait for Results
Simply follow the onscreen prompts to complete the request form. This will involve the basic information for the documents such as what kind of records and the name of the individual involved. There is a small fee that varies depending on the request but will not exceed $10.
Below is a link to the Sheriff’s Office website for each county in Colorado.
Colorado Pre Employment Background Check (Colorado Background Check Law for Employment)
Like all states, Colorado has specific background check requirements for certain jobs, like a caregiver background check. The specific checks required for each of these industries are outlined below.
Colorado Background Check for Employment: Teachers
Teachers in Colorado are subject to the childcare background check laws, which are outlined below. Colorado teachers are also specifically required to undergo a state fingerprint-based criminal background check as well. This is completed through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Healthcare Background Check CO: Background Check System
Colorado healthcare workers will need to undergo additional checks that are specific to the healthcare field. In particular, various fraud and abuse registries that keep track of healthcare workers will need to be checked.
There are also several other databases such as the FDA Debarment list that will be searched as part of a background check for a healthcare facility. All of these checks are in addition to typical background check information and a fingerprint-based criminal history check.
Education Background Check Colorado
For an education background check, Colorado requires all persons involved to submit to the same check that is used for teachers.
Colorado Child Care Background Check
The Colorado office of early childhood outlines very specific background checks that are required of anyone who works in child care, and who will have unsupervised access to children at any time. Many of these requirements are mandated by federal law. There are also several requirements specific to Colorado.
Checks include FBI criminal history checks, neglect, and abuse registry checks, and sex offender registry checks amongst others.
Get Colorado DOT Record
Some jobs, such as those that require the operation of heavy machinery, will require a driving record check. Driving record checks can be obtained through the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles.
Colorado Inmate Lookup and Sex Offender Registry Screening
Finding inmates in the Colorado prison system as well as finding registered sex offenders in the state can easily be done through the use of free online databases. Detailed steps for using both of these databases are outlined below.
Looking up inmate information in Colorado can be done easily using the Inmate lookup tool that is maintained by the Colorado Department of Corrections.
To use the tool, access the Colorado Department of Corrections website, or use the link provided. Simply enter in the information for the inmate such as their name and the locator will display information such as their location, sentence, and any other available information.
Sex Offender Registry
The CBI maintains an updated list of the whereabouts of all registered sex offenders in the state of Colorado. To perform a search, simply enter the name of the individual and the website will display the address and crime information for the individual.
There is also the option to perform a search using a map area, to find all registered sex offenders in a certain area.
Colorado Gun Background Check Wait Time (Colorado Shooter Background Check)
All Colorado gun purchases must first be processed by the CBI before the transfer takes place. The CBI will perform both state and national background checks as well as checks of other databases before the transfer of the firearm is approved.
Background checks are also required by private gun sellers, rather than just licensed dealers.
Colorado Background Check Laws
Colorado background checks must abide by all of the regulations set by the FCRA. In addition to the federal laws, Colorado is one of many states to adopt “ban the box,” laws. The law prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on the initial application form.
How Long Does a Background Check Take In Colorado? (Colorado Background Check Wait Time)
Colorado background checks should be completed in less than two weeks, even if fingerprints are required as part of the background check. For checks that do not require fingerprints, the process can take less than a week and as little as 2-3 days.
As background checks become more common, knowing what is included in a Colorado background check as well as how to search public records in official CO databases can make the background check, Colorado process, much easier.