The time it takes to complete a background check varies considerably, sometimes it can take seconds, or you could have delays that mean you’ll be waiting several days. One of the major factors is what kind of background check you’re running. A basic background check, like the kind that you’ll find from most services, can take under a minute while people searches take just a few seconds. Meanwhile, more in-depth background checks, like the ones performed by employers, can take up to three days to complete. That’s especially true if the check requires submitting extra information like fingerprints or processing drug tests.
All these times are estimates and they depend on the service you use, which means the final result may be faster or slower. Unfortunately, sometimes background checks have unexpected delays and will take longer to process.
Why Your Background Check May Be Delayed
There are a few reasons why your background check might be delayed. One common disruption is due to the fact that not all public record information has been digitized yet, meaning that completing a background check requires a physical trip to a public records office.
Delays can also be caused by gaps or complications in the results. For instance, time spent abroad can have a big impact, especially due to different international privacy rules. Closer to home, a person with different aliases can also confuse background check services. Indeed, anything that relies on cooperation from other organizations could potentially cause delays. This could be the case when dealing with information such as licenses or permits. Finally, a delay could be caused by human error. Incomplete or incorrect forms are often an issue, as well as background checks that haven’t been submitted with the person’s consent.
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