Frequently Asked Questions
Criminal Justice Information Service FAQs Index
Use the following links to obtain your information or contact information (411):
- County - http://www.courts.state.md.us/circuit.html
- State - http://www.courts.state.md.us/
- Federal - http://www.uscourts.gov/ContactUs/ContactUs.aspx
Background ChecksClick questions to see answers
What is the status of my background check?
- You can find out the status of your background check by calling Customer Service at (410) 764-4501 or toll free at 1-888-795-0011. Be prepared to provide the Reference Number or Social Security Number in order for the status to be checked. Only the subject of the background check or authorized requestor may make inquiries.
How long does it take to complete a background check?
- When the application is received it is reviewed to insure that all required information is present. Application fees are accounted for, demographic data is entered, the fingerprint search is conducted, and a return response (with results of the background check) is prepared, reviewed, and mailed to the requestor. In most cases result of the state background check is mailed out in less than 10 working days from receipt of the initial approved application.
How much does a background check costs?
- Combined Maryland and Federal - Background Check $37.25 (Must have an agency authorization number to process request)
- Combined Maryland and Federal - Volunteer Check $33.25 (Must have an agency authorization number to process request)
- “Gold Seal” Background Check $19.00
- Individual Review - Maryland Only $18.00
- Maryland Mentor $15.25
- Maryland Background Check $18.00
Note: An additional $20.00 charge for fingerprinting at CJIS and Motor Vehicle Administration Sites.
Do you take credit cards?
- Yes. Credit cards are accepted, personal checks may be used to pay for background checks. Cash payments are not accepted.
Can I obtain the necessary forms I need for a background check prior to being fingerprinted?
If you are being fingerprinted for employment purposes, you need to obtain a form (CJIS Form 015) from your employer.
If you are being fingerprinted for reasons other than employment (Examples: adoption, immigration, visa, individual review, etc.) you’ll be provided the appropriate card at the time of fingerprinting.
You may also request a card by calling CJIS Customer Service Line on (410) 764-4501 or toll free 1-888-795-0011 between the hours of 8 am. To 5 pm. Monday thru Friday.
Can I request a background check on someone else?
- No. The Maryland Security and Privacy Act and the Code of Maryland Annotated Regulations (COMAR) prohibit backgrounds checks being performed on citizens without proper authorization
- How do I clear my name if someone else is using my name?
- Because of the unique circumstances of each request, please contact CJIS Customer Service by phone at (410) 764-4501 or toll free 1-888-795-0011 and explain your situation.
- Is my background information public information?
- No, all information gathered and possessed by Criminal Justice Information System - Central Repository (CJIS) is kept secure and is not available to the public without proper authorization.
- Can I request a background check on myself?
Yes. It is a two part process. First, you must submit the CJIS 015 Form to the CJIS - Central Repository, along with a check or money order for $18.00 for a request for an Individual Review Background Check.
In order to conduct a nationwide Background Check on yourself contact the FBI through www.fbi.gov click on "Stats and Services" then click on "Background Checks".
- How do I request a background check on my employee?
To initiate a background check on employees, complete the “Private Party Petition Packet” or General Registration Form, then fax to (410) 653-5690 or 6320, or mail to: CJIS Authorization Administrator, Post Office Box 32708, Pikesville, Maryland 21282-2708. Upon approval you may then request criminal history record information on the potential employee.
- I received a background check on my employee but I didn’t learn what they were charged with. How do I find this information?
- State of Maryland background checks disclose the crimes committed. FBI background checks do not disclose specific crimes committed.
- Is it possible to have a background check done on the same day?
- Same day state background checks are possible only in extreme, verifiable situations. This type of request can be made only in-person at the CJIS location at 6776 Reisterstown Rd. Suite 102, Baltimore, Maryland 21215. Be prepared to present valid documentation to justify your request.
- How can I get an FBI background check?
- FBI background checks can only be done for authorized reasons based on state statute. Individuals cannot initiate FBI background checks/ for personal reason you may go to www.FBI.gov click on stats and services then background.
- How do I obtain a copy of my court disposition?
- In order to obtain a copy of your court disposition you must contact the court that heard your case (i.e. The Circuit Court for Baltimore County) or go to the Maryland Judiciary Case Search Website http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp.
- How do I find court case numbers?
- In order to find out a case number you must contact the court that heard the case (i.e. The Circuit Court for Baltimore County) or go to the Maryland Judiciary Case Search Website http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp .
- Where do I get my security clearance cards?
- Contact information (411) for the Maryland State Police Licensing section, look through the local yellow pages under the state government listings or visit the State Police office in person to information about obtaining the security clearance card.
- Do you have the phone numbers and addresses of the police departments?
- Phone numbers and addresses for police departments can be found in the phone book in the government pages or in our web page links.
- Is driving while intoxicated (DWI) on my criminal record?
- Some MVA charges are part of your criminal information, for clarification contact MVA toll free 1-800-950-1682
- I received a rejection letter with D5 on it. What does this mean?
- D5 is one of several “Rejection Codes” you may receive in a rejection letter. The description of the rejection code immediately follows the alphanumeric code. This code means the quality of the fingerprint characteristics is too low to be used. You must send in another set of fingerprints to continue with the process of your background check
- What does the highlighted field on a rejected document mean?
- Highlighted fields are used to draw your attention to the area of the application form that needs correction or additional information on state cards. Checks (v) are used for this purpose on FBI cards.
FingerprintingClick questions to see answers
- Where do I go to get fingerprinted?
The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has agreements with authorized private contractors at more than twenty locations throughout the state. The State of Maryland also operates six locations. You may go to our website www.dpscs.maryland.gov click on fingerprinting services for locations.
Some local law enforcement agencies also provide fingerprinting services. Follow these links for more information regarding your local State Police Barracks, local Police Departments or Sheriff’s Departments.
Note: Please call the location to inquire about their fee, days, and times or obtaining fingerprints.
- What are the business hours for having fingerprints done?
Follow this link to learn where authorized fingerprinting services are located throughout the State. There are many convenient locations and times available.
The CJIS Fingerprinting Office is located at 6776 Reisterstown Road, 1st Floor, Suite 102, and Baltimore, Maryland 21215 is open:
- Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Why do I have to be fingerprinted?
Certain occupations are required by law to have fingerprint supported record checks (Example: child care providers, Public Service Commission)
Private employers may also require a fingerprint supported record check, but law may not require it.
- I have previously had my fingerprints taken. Can they be used again or do I have to have my fingerprints taken again?
- State law requires fingerprints be taken for each requested background check.
- What forms of payment are allowed?
- Personal checks, and credit cards are accepted. We accept Master, Visa and Discover. Credit cards cannot be used over the phone and the writer of the check must be present. Cash is not accepted.