What Does an FBI Federal Background Check Consist Of?

by Danielle Fernandez

Though the extent of reporting may vary from state to state, an FBI Federal Background Check is often required for a number of reasons -- including pre-employment screenings for a government or childcare agency and before international travel. The process involves a fingerprint submission and various informational reports which are then verified through the FBI database.

The FBI Background Check Process

FBI background checks require fingerprinting -- most local, county and state law enforcement agencies will take your fingerprints for a nominal fee, though some printing companies also offer the service. You will also need to complete the Applicant Information Form -- which requires information about your physical appearance, address and social security number -- and pay a small fee for processing.

Streamlining the Experience

The application form and a blank copy of the fingerprinting card are available on the FBI's website, though law enforcement agencies may require that you use their materials instead. Once you have made payment -- credit card, money order and certified check are acceptable; personal check and money order are not -- you can expect processing time for the background check to take approximately five to six weeks.

About the Author

Based in Tampa, Fla., Danielle Fernandez been writing, editing and illustrating all things technology, lifestyle and education since 1999. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, Working Mother magazine, and a variety of technical publications, including BICSI's "Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual." Fernandez holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of South Florida.

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