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Background Checks in Hawaii and Alaska

A Hawaii background check is far simpler than in many other states simply because of the ready availability of information.

The Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center (HCJDC)is responsible for the statewide criminal history record information system (CJIS-Hawaii). In turn, the Hawaii Attorney General's office is responsible for the HCJDC along with the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), a central database of criminal records identified by fingerprints. Hawaii also offers a free sex offender search website that is open to anyone with an internet connection.

Tools of the courtroomAn official Hawaii criminal records check is a search of a person's criminal history by name or fingerprint, and is also called a police abstract or rap sheet. You may obtain a criminal report at one of 5 Public Access sites throughout the state, and at the Adult Criminal Conviction Information (eCrim) Web Site. Arrests resulting in non-convictions and also pending convictions are not available to the general public for obvious reasons. Hawaii state criminal records include the following:

If you wish to fill out a form and take it to a Public Access Site, necessary information may include a name, SSN, date of birth, and physical description. Of course a fingerprint search is the best method to determine if a person has a criminal record and costs approximately $20. The fingerprinting can be done for an additional $15 at a law enforcement agency.

The easiest option is of course the Adult Criminal Conviction Information Site or (eCrim), which can be used to instantly search by name or additional identifying information. You will need to sign up for an account and the cost per search was $15, plus $12 if you wish to have an official printout.

If you do not wish to go through all this, Hawaii is one of a handful of states where you can obtain an online background check with a consumer service that is complete as services offered by the state itself. Criminal records include statewide felony, misdemeanor, traffic and ordinance violations, and you can also get civil court records, address, phone numbers along with vital records for those who really want to be in the know. Want some choices? eVerify (more info); U.S. Search; Net Detective (more info); or Kroll(more info).

Getting access to an Alaska background check that will give useful results is a simpler process than in other states. However, if you have been trying to figure out how to go about it and have come up empty handed, let me assure you it's not a shortcoming on your part. Rather, it's because the system in place in Alaska, like in many other states, isn't always designed for ease of access to the consumer. Nonetheless, if you know where to look, finding complete and useful records is relatively simple.

Your first consideration for acquiring Alaska records should be the Alaska Criminal Records & Identification Bureau (R&I). This agency maintains the state's central directory of criminal history information records, and is responsible for who can view the records and how. Records included are only criminal and include the following:

Current or open criminal charges
Charges that resulted in convictions

To get this information you can begin by submitting a request using either a name based search for a non-refundable fee of about $20, or a fingerprint search which is over $35. That's all great, but there is one little problem, to view another person's record, you have to get them to sign a form authorizing you to snoop around in their file. I'm sure you can see the problem here.

Providing John Smith does give you permission, the background check form than has to be sent by snail mail back to the Alaska Criminal Records & Identification Bureau. Of course, name searches are based on exact matches only and if you get it wrong, the money is gone. There are also fingerprint searches which certainly help avoid misidentification, but again you have additional costs plus a fingerprint card you need to obtain from a law enforcement agency.

To my thinking, this system is a little strange because you can acquire very comprehensive background checks using an online consumer service such as USSearch or Intelius. No doubt this is an oversight so take advantage while you can.

However, be advised that at times not even the top companies will have the records you want.