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Background Checks

BCA staff performs statutorily-required and discretionary Criminal History Background Checks. The Minnesota Computerized Criminal History (CCH) 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

CHA Unit

1430 Maryland Ave. E.

St. Paul, MN 55106

For questions regarding any of background check options, contact the BCA at 651-793-2400.

New Criminal History System - RAP sheet and downtime

Beginning on March 19, 2018, the Criminal History Record report - the information provided in response to a background check request - will take on a new look. The report, also called a RAP sheet, will organize information chronologically, starting with the most recent arrest, along with a few additional changes. See a sample of the new RAP sheet.
The BCA is transitioning to a new system for criminal history data and must convert the data from the current system to the new system. While this is happening, the BCA cannot produce complete background checks. As a result, the BCA will not process background checks from March 14-20, 2018. The BCA will begin processing requests again on March 21, 2018, in the order received. The BCA encourages you to plan accordingly.

Who is allowed to do background checks?

State and federal statutes determine what kinds of agencies and organizations can conduct criminal history 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.


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 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.

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.


Rental Properties

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 applications who have not lived in Minnesota for five years, a federal criminal history background check is also required.

Private Security Officers


Minnesota Statute (326.336requires 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.