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Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Background Checks

​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 by mail or in person:

Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

CHA Unit

1430 Maryland Ave. E.

St. Paul, MN 55106

For questions regarding any of the background check options or to request an appointment, contact the BCA at 651-793-2400, select option 7.

Adult Use Cannabis Act and Clean Slate Act

Individuals whose criminal history records may be impacted by the Adult Use Cannabis Act or the Clean Slate Act may request their complete criminal history record, including sealed offenses.  To request your criminal history record, complete this form​ and submit it to the CHA Unit of the BCA at the address provided above. Requests may be submitted by mail or in person.  The request is subject to an $8 fee that must be paid at the time of the request. 

If making the request in person, you must show a current, government-issued photo ID.  If mailing the request, the form must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public.  Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your request.

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.

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.

​Minnesota Child, Elder and Individuals with Disabilities Protection Background Check Act

The Minnesota Child, Elder and Individuals with Disabilities Protection Background Check Act (299C.60-64) in accordance with the National Child Protection Act/Volunteers for Children Act, authorizes Qualified Entities (a business or organization, whether public, private, for-profit, not-for-profit, or voluntary, that provides care or care placement services, including a business or organization that licenses or certifies others to provide care or care placement services) to request criminal history background checks on Covered Individuals (an individual: (1) who has, seeks to have, or may have access to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities, served by a qualified entity; and (2) who: (i) is employed by or volunteers with, or seeks to be employed by or volunteer with, a qualified entity; or (ii) owns or operates, or seeks to own or operate, a qualified entity). Care is the provis​ion of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision, or recreation to children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities. 

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 (326.336requires businesses which hire private security officers to conduct background checks on those employees.

States without statutes authorizing an FBI criminal histo​ry 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.​​​

​Requirements to receive criminal history information for Non​criminal Justice Public Agencies

All Noncriminal Justice (NCJ) Public Agencies receiving federal criminal history information must enter into an agreement with the BCA and obtain a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) assigned ORI.  These items are required by the BCA as we begin implementing a FBI required audit of all NCJ Public Agencies.

  1. Request information on obtaining an ORI for a Noncriminal Justice Public Agency.  You may contact the BCA CHA Unit by phone at 651-793-2400, option 1, or by email at BCA.CHA@state.mn.us and request information on obtaining an agreement and ORI.
  2. Follow the instructions in the letter to start the agreement/ORI process.
  3. Communicate with the BCA as needed during the agreement/ORI process.
  4. After receiving your assigned ORI, enter this number on the fingerprint card when submitting background checks to the BCA.
  5. An auditor will be assigned to your agency.  The auditor will contact your agency to begin the onboarding process that explains the audit and the overall process.  The audit will not take place immediately.  With the guidance of your auditor, the agency will have time to acclimate to policy requirements and to understand the audit process.