BCA staff performs statutorily-required and discretionary criminal history record checks. The Minnesota Criminal History System (CHS) and, when authorized, the FBI's records are searched. Different types of background checks require different types of forms (see below) and different fees. Requests for background checks may be made in person at the BCA between 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by mail:
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
1430 Maryland Ave. E.
St. Paul, MN 55106
For questions regarding any of background check options, contact the BCA at 651-793-2400.
Who is allowed to do background checks?
State and federal statutes determine what kinds of agencies and organizations can conduct criminal history record checks. These may include school hiring authorities; agencies which employ private security personnel; organizations that work with children, the elderly or disabled; rental property owners who hire individuals to manage their properties; and more.
National fingerprint-based background check requirements
Agencies that conduct national fingerprint-based criminal history record checks are required to follow certain FBI processes.
Agencies must provide the applicant with the Privacy Act statement and the applicant must acknowledge receipt of that statement.
Applicants who are the subject of a national fingerprint-based criminal history record check have certain privacy rights.
What kinds of background checks are available?
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension can provide criminal history information as statute allows.
General Informed Consent
With the notarized consent of the data subject, anyone may request a criminal history record background check.
Serve America Act
Federal law (H.R. 1388, Sec. 1614) requires organizations receiving grants funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service whose employees work with vulnerable individuals (children, the elderly or disabled) to complete a background check on those employees, including state and federal criminal history check and a search of the predatory offender database. Appropriate permissions must be provided by the employee.
For individuals working with youth, refer to the Child Protection Background Check Act (299C.60-64)
For individuals serving other vulnerable populations(elderly and disabled), refer to the following:
If your program is in a state other than Minnesota, and the applicant was a Minnesota resident at the time of their application, please use the Serve America Act Consent Form when requesting the state criminal history background check.
School Hiring Authorities
Minnesota schools (123B.03) are required to conduct background checks on any employees who will have contact with children as part of their jobs. Organizations who conduct background checks on behalf of schools or school districts may also be provided with this information. These schools/organizations must have the employee fill out a School Hiring Authority Consent Form to obtain this data.
The Kari Koskinen Manager Background Check Act (299C.66, 299C.67, 299C.68, 299C.69, 299C.70, 299C.71) requires Minnesota rental property owners to conduct background checks on any employee who may access a tenant's home as part of their duties.
Child Protection Background Check Act
The Minnesota Child Protection Background Check Act (299C.60-64) authorizes children’s service providers to request criminal history background checks on individual children’s service workers. Children’s services include: the provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction or recreation.
Firefighter Background Checks
Minnesota Statute (299F.035
) requires criminal history background checks on all applicants for employment at a fire department. For applicants who have not lived in Minnesota for five years, a federal criminal history background check is also required.
Private Security Officers
Minnesota Statute (326.336) requires businesses which hire private security officers to conduct background checks on those employees.
States without statutes authorizing an FBI criminal history check
The Private Security Officer Employment Authorization Act (PSOEAA) (Public Law 108-458 Section 6402) authorizes a state and national (FBI) fingerprint based criminal history check to screen prospective and current private security officers. This law allows for an alternate state, in this case Minnesota, to submit the requests to the FBI on behalf of the employing agency.
Predatory Offender Registration Check
In addition to criminal history information, the BCA maintains private Predatory Offender Registry information. This information may be accessed in conjunction with a criminal history record check when the appropriate consent is submitted.
For questions regarding any of these background check options, contact the BCA at 651-793-2400.