Q & A

Frequently asked questions are found below. For other questions click here.



Q. Is there a “National Criminal Index”?

A. The NCIC (National Crime Information Center) is a compilation of arrest records (and much more) from each state, and offers the only comprehensive national arrest/criminal records. This index is used for law enforcement and is available to private individuals or businesses only by submitting a person’s fingerprints to the CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Center). This process involves having your applicant secure fingerprint cards (usually for a fee), then you can submit the card (for a fee), and wait 2 to 6 weeks for a return.

Q. Companies like EISi and others offer a “National Criminal Check”. What does that offer?


A. This is the next best thing to the NCIC, however, it does have it’s limits. “National Criminal Checks” are provided by many information brokers or resellers of information. Usually, the brokers contract with each state, either their Department of Corrections or various jurisdictions that will sell the information to the brokers. Typically, within each state, several jurisdictions will sell the information but not all will. The brokers tend to rely mostly on records from the Department of Corrections from each state. Unfortunately, those records reflect records of individuals that have actually been found guilty and INCARCERATED in a state or county prison. Some estimate that nearly 50% of persons convicted of a crime are actually incarcerated. Most pay fines or get probation. These records will not reflect the ARREST HISTORY. These records usually do not include the Federal Criminal records (i.e. criminal cases brought by the Feds (US Dept. of Justice) for such things as drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder, fraud cases, etc

Q. How do I know where records come from?


A. EISi employs DIRECT SOURCING for most searches. The obvious exception is the “National Criminal Search” for reasons cited before. EISi obtains Alabama Criminal & Civil records directly from the State of Alabama Court System. Federal Criminal & Civil and Bankruptcy records are from the Federal Court System. Driver’s License (MVR) records are obtained directly from the State of Alabama and Georgia, while other states are accessed through vendors that have access to all the other states driver’s records. As an END USER, you should ask your provider where they are getting their records. DIRECT SOURCING is the surest and best way to get the coverage you deserve. If they are not direct sourcing, you should contact EISi.

Q. Why are the searches limited to 7 years prior to the application date?


A. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the primary regulation for pre-employment screening and for consumer reporting agencies. We are including a link for your own reference. Section 605 (page 22) defines the reporting periods allowed. The 7 year window is mandated for civil suits, judgments, paid tax liens and records of arrest; however, there is no limit on reporting of criminal convictions. Bankruptcy records are limited to 10 years antedating the date of the report.

Q. What is the difference between the State Criminal records and the Federal Criminal records?


A. This applies to Civil Litigation records as well. When thinking of criminal records, many people are not aware of, or just do not think about the Federal records. Like each state has its own set of laws and records, the US Government (Department of Justice-DOJ) prosecutes violations of Federal Law that may include extortion, drug possession and trafficking, kidnapping, murder, and many other crimes. Similarly, the Federal Civil records may reveal litigation involving fraud, suits against insurance companies and employers or cases brought by or against the IRS, EEOC, VA or many other government entities.

Q. Why are Civil Litigation searches important for pre-employment screening?


A. Consider this, “am I about to hire my next lawsuit”? The Civil records search may reveal that a person has an extensive litigation history that could include evidence of financial problems, evictions, claims against prior employers, etc. Because the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits inquiries about an applicant’s workers compensation claims history before making a conditional offer of employment, some clients do not want that reported (reference ADA Section 12111, Subchapter 1-Employment and The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) If you have a concern about discovering those types of suits even though you do not ask that in the application process, please check with your legal department for their position. If you prefer not to see WC suits, we can omit those and still report other civil actions.

Q. How is EISi different than the “National” or online companies?


A. EISi can do what these companies cannot do!


  • Provide personal assistance to answer questions and do additional investigation.
  • Transparency and openness about search sourcing and content.
  • Response or turnaround cannot be beat (we strive for 2 hours).
  • Costs less to use. Package pricing is about as good as it gets…the more searches you order, the less it costs. Volume discounts are also offered.
  • Easy to set up the account and get started.
  • Ordering is simple by having the authorization, disclosure and release on the same document that contains the applicant information and your search request. Simply email or fax it, then wait a couple of hours for the return. Why do you want to enter the information into a computer, then send in the order and wait up to 8, 24, 36 or even 72 hours? It is much easier to let us do the work.


Q. Can we do background checks on current employees?


A. YES. Re-screening is necessary for FULL DUE DILIGENCE in maintaining hiring standards and workplace safety, etc. A “clean” record at the date of application is no guarantee that once hired, the applicant- now employee, will not commit a crime or actions inconsistent with your hiring or employment standards. Caution must be exercised when making such a policy. EISi will gladly discuss these precautions when you consider this policy. We incorporate into our release that the authorization to do a background check is extended, if they are hired, to the date of termination of their employment. Consideration must be given to randomness, frequency, what action is to be taken if negative information is found, equal application to all employees, and other methods of application to insure fairness to your employees. In cases of suspected mal feasance against your company, investigations may be done without notice, etc. as an internal investigation. Our “sister company” CSSi Investigations handles these types of investigations, as well as workers’ comp and liability claims filed against your company.

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