While some background check information may be available through federal or national databases at little cost, higher quality and more accurate information is only typically available directly from the original source. In some cases this data is subject to government data acquisition fees. These “access fees” are additional charges, similar to a tax that is added to the background check price and may change from time to time. Essentially, the fees are passed through to the customer accessing the source.
Access fees vary depending on the source of the data or even the access method and fortunately, not all sources charge access fees. For example:
- County Criminal Courts (only about 5% of US counties charge an additional fee). Employment Verification and Education Verification are subject to a fee.
- Statewide Repositories often have a fee, these can vary from a few dollars to the most expensive state (New York) charging a $95 fee per name searched. MVR Driver License Records also have access fees.
Because many background screens use county court houses as their primary source of criminal data the access fees generally do not have a huge impact on the overall cost. The exception is if you are seeking candidates located in an area where the nearby counties do charge access fees for their data your background screening costs will increase.
If you have concerns about access fees, they are generally publicly available on source court’s websites so you can confirm the pass through charge.
Background checks that are priced to include access fees are common in the industry. In these cases, the background screening company attempts to predict the average access fees your searches may generate based upon your location and anticipated search volume. You should expect that these background check prices will be slightly higher as they include the fees. While the overall cost will most likely be very similar to a background screen that includes access fees and you lose the ability to understand the cost impact of the access fees.
BIB’s Transparent Approach Towards Access Fees
BIB does charge for access fees and is transparent about the cost of these fees. We work with every client to ensure the best cost structure within their budget as well as make recommendations that will help maintain a high level of quality with the background checks. We also provide our Access Fees Guide so you know what to expect.