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Background Check Authorization Form Download

Background Check Authorization Form Template:

Download our free background check disclosure and authorization template in MS Word format and adapt it to suit your needs.

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Why is a Background Check Authorization Form Necessary?

State and federal laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), require employers to have written consent from a candidate before they can conduct a background check on them.

Once a background check has been completed, candidates may request a copy of the report as well as the details of the company that conducted the check. They are also entitled to dispute the results of their background check and request that a correction be made if applicable.

What to Include in Your Background Check Authorization Form:

  • Include FCRA-required language that details what background information will be obtained and inform applicants that this information is for employment purposes only.
  • Businesses with workers and/or operations in California, Minnesota, and Oklahoma must include a checkbox for candidates to indicate if they would like a copy of their report.
  • Include a summary of the candidate's rights under the FCRA.
  • Include space for the candidate to fill in their full name, date of birth, Social Security number, driver's license number and issuing state, and their physical address(es) for the last seven years.
  • Ensure that your consent form is clear and concise and that it is a stand-alone document isolated from all other documents in the application.
  • In addition to the authorization form, you must include a disclosure form stating that candidates can request a copy of the report, dispute the results, or request the reason for dismissal.

Background Check Laws by State — PDF Download:

View the full list of state-specific background check laws in our free PDF download.

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Additional Considerations:

Certain states have instituted Ban the Box legislation, which centers on the section in a consent form that requires candidates to disclose their criminal backgrounds. Ban the Box restricts employers from requesting this information until later in the interview process or until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

Several states have additional statutes outside the FCRA that should be included in your background check authorization form. To ensure compliance with state and federal legislation, you should remain abreast of local laws and regularly review your authorization form.

Free Background Check Services

Information about free background check services, and a step-by-step guide to doing your own.


What is a background check authorization form?

A background check authorization form is a written release that allows an employer or third party to run a background check on the signee.

Do you need authorization to run a background check?

Yes. Employers must have the consent of applicants to run a background check on them.

An FCRA-compliant consent form is a background check authorization form that is compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

A pre-hire consent form is another term for a background check authorization form.

What is a pre-employment background check?

A pre-employment background check is an investigation into the credit history, criminal record, work history, driving record, living conditions, and personal character of an applicant intended to verify the information provided on their application.

Where can I download a background check authorization form in Word format?

You can download our background check authorization form template in MS Word format.

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