Conducting a cursory nationwide criminal database search on its own, independent of any other searches should never be considered a proper criminal background check.

However, running a nationwide criminal search in conjunction with a county level criminal search could reveal additional criminal offenses that may otherwise have been missed.

When A Social Security number address trace is completed, it reveals all residential addresses associated with the Social Security number. But what if an applicant works or previously worked in a different county? Any hit(s) revealed on a cursory nationwide database search should be researched in the county of record for complete case details.

For instance, if you have an applicant that has resided in Los Angeles County for the last 7 years (which can be determined by the Social Security number trace), a county-level criminal search should be conducted in Los Angeles County. The cursory nationwide criminal search may reveal cases in two counties that neighbor Los Angeles County (let’s suppose the applicant has worked in Orange County, CA for three years and also went to school in Riverside County, CA).

These two counties wouldn’t have come up if one had relied solely on the Social Security number trace, as it only captures residential addresses. When combined, a Social Security number trace, county-level searches and a nationwide cursory search can become a powerful screening package.