Frequently Asked Questions
Seek Answers and Ye Shall Find
+ I forgot my password. How do I access my account?
Very simple! Click on our “Forgot password?” link under the login box on the homepage. After submitting your e-mail address, an e-mail with a link will be sent to you. This will allow you to enter a new password and will give you access to your NCS account.
+ Which search package should I use?
NCS offers many search packages and options. Try to match the package up to the position for which you’re hiring. Don’t spend more money than needed, but make sure you order a package that includes the information needed to make a good hiring decision. For example, if the applicant will be driving for the company, order a package that includes a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR). It’s also good to include a County Criminal History search in your search package. For additional information, you may view our Package Comparison Chart or contact NCS for more information.
+ How long does it take for me to receive my search results?
Many search results are available instantly or within minutes; however, many of our services require hands-on research by one of our court researchers. Even though most county criminal searches are returned within a few days, some jurisdictions may take up to 5-7 business days. Please refer to the search details by clicking on the specific link for more information.
+ How long does it take to get back non-instant search information?
There are three common non-instant searches. County Criminal History searches may take up to 5-7 business days. Motor Vehicle Reports typically take less than 1 business day except for a few states that take longer. PA, for example, takes 10 business days. Employment Credit Reports are typically available in less than an hour. Please refer to the search details by clicking on the specific search link for more information.
+ Are Social Security Numbers used when searching for criminal records?
No. Typically, criminal record information is located by a Name, Date of Birth (D.O.B.) match. Social Security Numbers (SSN’s) are often required for some of our packages to help validate the SSN and to provide a list of know names or addresses to better help identify the applicant; however, criminal records are typically filed by Name & D.O.B. Because of the sensitive nature of SSN’s, jurisdictions don’t want to make SSN’s public record.
+ Is there a monthly fee or a minimum charge?
No, NCS does not charge a monthly fee. You only pay for the searches you run and there are no minimums.
+ What are my billing options?
You may pay for your NCS services via credit card or ACH / electronic check. NCS bills on a monthly basis. You may also be billed through one of our NCS Partners. Please contact them for more details.
+ How do you validate my credit card information?
Once you have completed the credit card form below and submitted the information, NCS will issue an AUTH request to validate your credit card. During that validation process, a random AUTH amount will be sent to the processor, not to exceed $200. This is an authorization only, not a charge, and will be voided automatically if the card is valid and the process can be completed. NCS has been informed, that for some credit card companies, this authorization may remain on your online statement for more than 48 hours before it is removed.
Also, in some rare instances, the credit card company may refuse the authorization with a “Do Not Honor” message. This will cause your billing informatioin to fail and not be saved properly. In this instance, please contact the bank issuing the credit card and notify them of your intentions of an upcoming charge from National Crime Search. They should be able to flag NCS as an approved vendor. Once you have done this process, please then return to your account billing information screen and re-run your credit card.
+ Should I rely strictly on a database search when making an employment decision?
No. NCS provides full service employment screening services. Our instant searches are outstanding screening tools, but are only part of what we’re able to provide. In addition to the multi-state database searches, you should also consider a County Criminal History Search. As an employer, you should also familiarize yourself with FCRA requirements.
+ How often is your information updated?
Our databases are updated frequently.
+ How long will my completed reports be available on the NCS site?
Your completed reports will be available online for at least 6 months, but we will occasionally be required to archive them. To be safe, you may want to save the PDF version of your reports.
+ Do I have to receive a signed Authorization Form before running a search?
Yes. As an employer, you must follow FCRA rules and you should always have the applicant sign an authorization before running any background search.
+ How long should I keep my signed Authorization Forms?
We recommend that you keep the forms on file for at least five years.
+ What do I do if I choose not to hire an applicant based on their search results?
Familiarize yourself with the FCRA requirements. A Pre-Adverse Action Letter and/or an Adverse Action Letter may be required. The NCS site will help you generate this information, but you are ultimately responsible for following the FCRA rules and regulations.
+ How do I get more information about the FCRA?
More information regarding the FCRA is available on our Forms & Downloads page and on our Links & Resources page.
+ Can I add other employees to my account?
Yes. You may add additional users to your account. They will have the ability to run searches and obtain the information if you so choose.
+ What does Nolle Prossed or dismissed mean?
This typically means that the prosecution elected not to prosecute the person and the charges were dropped.
+ What does it mean to be adjudicated delinquent?
An adjudicated delinquent is a youth who has been found guilty by a judge of committing a delinquent act. The court can commit an adjudicated juvenile or place the juvenile on community control.