For individuals conducting a background check, Delaware has specific methods for retrieving records that are kept for use with a Delaware background check.
Knowing how these databases and local laws are employed can make the process go smoothly and quickly. For example, with a few clicks, anyone can gain access to a number of public records, including free criminal background checks, employment history, and personal information, such as specific addresses and even someone’s middle name.
If you know where to look.
This comprehensive guide to Delaware background checks provides all the information needed about how to search and find Delaware criminal records, public records, and more.
Conducting a Free Background Check: Delaware Public Records and Info
Getting an official background check through the state of Delaware is a great option for many individuals, especially those who need a more thorough background check. However, getting a full background check through the Delaware State Police isn’t the only option for individuals who are just looking to get criminal history information on themselves or on someone else.
Criminal history information as well as other public records in the state of Delaware are held and can be accessed through several different state agencies.
Each agency will have a slightly different process for obtaining the records and, although certain records are held by multiple agencies, most agencies will specialize in one kind of record. Individuals looking to obtain all possible background information on an individual will likely find that hiring a reputable background check service is the most convenient and cost-effective option, as each government agency will have its own fees to obtain records, which can add up rather quickly.
However, there are some databases that contain criminal records, which are completely free to search in Delaware.
Find Delaware Public Records through County Clerks
When running a background check, Delaware provides resources that allow it to be done in several ways, but getting certain records through the local county clerks is often the best option, depending on the kinds of records that are needed. Individuals who are looking to run a basic public records check should be able to find any important information through the county clerks.
County clerks keep public records that include:
- Voter registrations (with addresses and names)
- Business and professional licenses (unless houses through the Delaware State Department)
- Property ownership and tax leins
- Marriage, divorce, and public contact info
Health records are not considered public, but individuals can request health records using the state’s Department of Health, to obtain birth records and similar private information.
Keep in mind that, unlike a full background check that is performed by a background check company or by the Delaware State Police, county clerks rarely hold criminal history information. Some states also have what is commonly called a “Clerk of Court” at the county level, and this office maintains civil court records, information on the charges that were brought, court dates, case numbers, and the outcome of the case.
Information that is part of police records will not be held by the county clerks, such as arrest records and incident reports. That can be accessed using a police background check.
Specific steps to obtain public records involve:
Step 1: Access the County Website
The first step is to access the county website for where the records in question are being held. Keep in mind that Delaware county clerks do not have access to criminal history or court records. These records must be obtained through the individual court.
Step 2: Access the Record Keeping Services
Each Delaware county will have a page on its website where individuals can get access to public records for the county. For example, New Castle County has an online document search that can be accessed through their website.
Step 3: Request Records
From there, simply follow the on-screen instructions for each county’s unique steps. For certain records, contacting the clerk directly may be the only way to obtain these documents.
Find Delaware Court Records
Finding Delaware court records can be done in two main ways. The first is to contact the court directly to request documents. This is most easily done by phone, where individuals can be guided through the process of requesting records, filling out records request forms, and paying the record request fees.
In order to make a record request by phone, individuals will need to contact the specific court where the records would be held as only records for that specific county will be held at any specific court.
The second option is to use the online case search option that is offered by the Delaware court system. In most cases this will be the easiest and quickest option to obtain court records. The system allows individuals to search all court records for the state of Delaware, rather than having to contact each court individually.
Specific steps to use the online Delaware Court Connect system5 to request public records are outlined below. Keep in mind that this will only allow individuals to obtain criminal records and is often not a full background check in Delaware. This is only a part of it.
Step 1: Access Delaware Court Connect
The first step is to access the website where all Delaware court records can be searched. The website can be accessed through the Delaware Courts website.20 Or through the link provided above.
Step 2: Select Search Option
The court connects website is fairly simple to use. The only step that needs to be completed prior to performing a search is to select what kind of search individuals wish to perform.
There are two different search options: one to search using the name of an individual to find all case information that matches that name, and another to find all judgments against an individual or business. There is also a third option that allows users to view docket reports on a specific case.
Step 3: Perform Search
With the proper option selected, simply use the search bar to complete the search. Results will be available immediately.
Obtaining a Certified Criminal Background Check: Delaware Bureau of Identification (SBI) Delaware
Although many individuals may choose to go with a background check company to obtain a background check on themselves or another individual, in certain situations it may be better to get a background check in Delaware is by getting a certified criminal history through the Delaware State Police. Although likely more expensive than the criminal reports provided by background check companies, many jobs in the state will require a certified criminal history.
The background checks provided by the Delaware state police are also more thorough than those done through private companies. While most background check services perform name-based criminal background checks, a certified criminal history from the Delaware state police is a fingerprint-based background check.
Specific steps to obtain a certified criminal history report from the Delaware State Police are outlined below.
Step 1: Locate the Closest SBI Delaware Office
The Delaware Bureau of Identification (SBI) is in charge of all official background checks in the state of Delaware. In order to receive an official state background check, individuals must visit an SBI office in person6 and get fingerprinted.
Step 2: Gather Documents and Fees
Once the closest SBI office has been identified, the next step is to gather the necessary documents: a $52 fee and photo identification. A social security card is not needed. Keep in mind that the Sussex County SBI office does not accept cash so be sure to bring another form of payment.
Step 3: Visit SBI Office and Get Fingerprinted
The final step is to visit the SBI office, pay the fee, and get fingerprinted. There are currently no appointments necessary so simply showing up to the office and getting fingerprinted should pose no problems. The results of the check will then be mailed to the individual as soon as the check has been completed.
Keep in mind that there is still an option to obtain a Delaware Certified Criminal History for individuals who do not reside in the state. To do so, simply follow the specific instructions for out-of-state residents on the Delaware State Police website.
Criminal History Record Check Authorization Form Delaware (State Police Criminal Background Check)
Criminal history records can also be obtained through the Delaware State Police as well as any of the local sheriff’s departments in the state of Delaware. Both of these agencies will have criminal history information available to the public such as charges and arrest records.
These records requests are easily made by making a freedom of information act request directly to the agency that holds the records, such as the state police or a specific sheriff’s department.
Related reading: Check for Charges Against You Online
Although contacting these agencies directly is an option, the easiest way to file a freedom of information act request is through the online form provided by the Delaware State Police.
Detailed steps to use the online freedom of information act portal are outlined below.
Step 1: Access the DPS website.
The Delaware State Police website 6 can be accessed through the directory tab on the state of Delaware’s website.7
Step 2: Access the FOIA Request Page
From the DPS website homepage, the easiest way to access the Freedom of information act request page is to use the website’s search function to search: FOIA.
Step 3: Submit an Online FOIA Form
The FOIA page8 will have information on the various options to submit a freedom of information act request, as well as a link to the online FOIA page. Simply click the link and fill out the form as needed to submit a request. Requests will be reviewed and returned to individuals in a timely manner and should take less than two weeks.
Users may also locate the DSP Troop location9 to learn more.
|DSP Troop Number||Location and Contact|
|DSP Troop 1||Wilmington, (302) 761-6677|
|DSP Troop 2||Newark, (302) 834-2620|
|DSP Troop 3||Camden, (302) 697-4454|
|DSP Troop 4||Georgetown, (302) 856-5850|
|DSP Troop 5||Bridgeville, (302) 337-1090|
|DSP Troop 6||Wilmington, (302) 633-5000|
|DSP Troop 7||Lewes, (302) 644-5020|
|DSP Troop 9||Odessa, (302) 378-5749|
Or, contact the county sheriff’s office:
Delaware Pre Employment Background Check
Like all states, Delaware has numerous laws that determine specific background check practices to be followed for certain industries. Although most jobs, such as those in the retail industry, will be unaffected by these laws, others will have strict and specific requirements that they need to adhere to. Detailed information on the background check laws for various industries in the state of Delaware is outlined below.
Background Check Delaware Teachers (Education Background Check Delaware)
The state of Delaware does not have any specific background checks that are required by those that are teaching in the state. However, there are background check laws in place that are required to be completed by anyone that is working with children. This, of course, applies to teachers.
The background check laws required by those that work in child care are part of a federal law13 that the state of Delaware must enforce. Although some states have additional background check laws for child care employees besides those required under federal law, Delaware does not and instead only uses the federal laws.
Background check requirements for child care workers, and therefore teachers, in the state of Delaware, are as follows:
- FBI fingerprint check
- National Crime Information Center’s National Sex Offender Registry Check
- State criminal registry search
- State sex offender registry search
- State-based child abuse and neglect registry and database search
Besides the above checks that are required, the checks must also be completed every 5 years, per federal laws.
Healthcare Background Check DE: Background Check System and Fingerprints in Delaware
The state of Delaware requires any individual14 that is working in a long-term or at-home healthcare facility to undergo a state fingerprint-based background check that is performed, for example, by the Delaware State police troop 2 fingerprinting. (Although, any troop can be used)
There are also mandatory drug testing requirements for healthcare workers in the state.
Besides the state background check laws, many health care facilities will run additional checks of abuse, neglect and fraud registries, like those listed in a FACIS check.
Delaware Child Care Background Check
Delaware does not have any additional laws besides those federally mandated when it comes to child care background checks in the state. Although the state of Delaware does lay out the specific requirements for child care background checks,15 they are the same as those required under federal law. The checks required are the same as those included for educators.
Get Delaware DOT Record
Obtaining a Delaware DOT record may be required for certain jobs, such as those that involve the operation of heavy machinery. Individuals who are looking to obtain their driving record can do so by submitting a Freedom of Information Act Request 16 to the Delaware Department of transportation.
Delaware Inmate Records Lookup and Sex Offender Registry Screening
Locating inmates in the state of Delaware is easily done by using the VINElink database that is provided by the Delaware Department of Corrections. To search for inmate and inmate information, simply access the Vinelink website and select “Delaware,” as the state on the website’s home screen. These criminal history searches are completely free.
From here, simply enter in the inmate information to perform a search. The inmate can be searched using their inmate number, case number or the name of the individual.
Searching a sex offender registry may also be necessary for certain situations as part of a criminal background check. Performing a search of the Delaware Sex offender registry can be done in minutes and is totally free.
Simply access the Delaware Sex Offender Registry17 and perform a search using the name of an individual, or searching a geographical area to find all registered sex offenders in a certain area.
An official state police fingerprint-based background check is required to obtain a firearms permit in the state of Delaware. In order to obtain a firearms permit, individuals must contact the Prothonotary’s office for more information.18
Delaware Background Check Laws
Aside from Delaware laws that require certain background checks for individuals that want to work in certain industries, there are currently no other background check-related laws in the state. This means that a background check in Delaware is able to go back indefinitely and is not restricted to 7 years as it is in other states.
Delaware must still abide by the laws set out by the FCRA.19 Such as notifying employees of background checks, getting the employees written consent, etc.
How Long Does a Background Check Take In Delaware?
A Delaware background check should take less than two weeks. In the case of only a name-based background check taking place, the results of the check can be available in as little as 48 hours. Fingerprint-based checks such as those performed by the DPS will take longer, but still less than two weeks.
Background checks can be stressful for everyone, especially if it’s a pre-employment check. Luckily, getting a background check Delaware is made fairly simple through the state police, and private background check companies are always a great option to get a Delaware background check.