How Do I Remove Something from My Background Check?

How Do I Remove Something from My Background Check
How Do I Remove Something from My Background Check

Everyone knows that job and rental applications are stressful. Prepping yourself and going through the application process hoping to get accepted is bad enough, but it gets worse when you see the words “applicant is subject to a background check.” If you know there is something from your past that will reduce the chances of your acceptance, there are a few steps that you should take.

Clear Your Record

For certain crimes, you can request a seal or expungement. With an expungement, the person’s record gets cleared completely, and nobody can look at it again. With sealing, the public will no longer be able to access the record, but it is available to view with a court order. This will remove the record from the majority of background checks. The exception is if you try to apply for a gun license or a police officer position, where public safety comes into play.

Expunging or sealing a record is not an easy process, as it costs a lot of time and money. You will need to file a motion at court to seal or expunge your record and pay the fees. They might be able to give you an estimate on the amount of time needed for a decision, but it will depend on how severe the crime was and when it occurred. You may want to consult with legal representation to help with this process.

Google Yourself

If you have a mugshot, this is very likely to appear on any background check. To remove it, type your name into Google (or your search engine) and take note of all the websites that contain your mugshot. After this, you can try contacting the websites to see what they need to take the picture down. Many websites will not remove mugshots on their own, so it is up to the individual to request the removal.

If you have already expunged or sealed your record, it will be much easier for you to convince them to remove the mugshot. You will need to send them a copy of the legal order, and hopefully, they will act accordingly. When you complete the process of speaking with all the websites, run a test and conduct a background check on yourself. If your mugshot is still showing up on a website, you may want to seek legal advice about ensuring its removal.

Correct Inaccuracies

Unfortunately, many people find themselves victim to inaccurate information showing up on their background checks. This can happen for a variety of reasons but you should correct it as soon as possible so that it does not impact any of your opportunities. If you receive a rejection notice from a job or living arrangement due to a background check, they must provide you with a copy of the report. Read it through carefully to catch all the discrepancies.

For inaccurate credit reports, you may find that it contains old debt that you have already paid off or fraudulent charges due to identity theft. Gather up all your supporting documentation to prove the mistake, and then file a claim with the credit reporting bureau. They will need to investigate the matter and make corresponding corrections to your record.

For inaccurate criminal records, this can sometimes be due to you having the same name as the person who committed the crime. Otherwise, it may occur because it is showing very old records that were already sealed. In this case, you will need to contact the third-party company that did the background check on you. They will inform you about what proof you have to submit to clear your name.

In any case, you should inform the employer or landlord about your current situation. They will likely understand and be willing to wait for a resolution to the problem.

What To Do If You Can’t Clear Your Records

If you are unable to clear something off your record, it is best to be open with the person who is conducting the background check. If they discover the incident on their own, it is sure to be an unpleasant surprise for them. By letting them know ahead of time, you are telling them that you are honest and upfront about your past. This might be the indication to tell themselves that you are right for the job or the home (depending on whether it is a job or rental application), no matter what happened in the past.

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