How Long Does a Background Check Take in Florida?

David Weisselberger | June 3, 2024

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Agencies do background checks to access the applicant’s given information. That includes educational background and employment history, even driving records, credit scores, or any possible criminal records of the applicant. That allows employers to know more about the candidate and choose the most qualified person for the job- ensuring the productivity and safety of the company. 

How long a background check takes in Florida can vary, but it usually takes two to five business days. Make sure to include accurate information when applying to avoid further delay. Records sealed and expunged can help keep your criminal records from public access.

How Long Does a Background Check Take in Florida

In Florida, a background check takes 2-5 business days

A background check in Florida usually takes two to five business days to complete. However, the time required to complete a background check in Florida varies depending on how extensive the pre-employment background check is. 

The estimated times for each kind of background check are listed below:

  • Criminal background checks: 1-3 business days
  • Employment background checks: 1-5 business days
  • Tenant background checks: 1-3 business days
  • Professional licensing background checks: 1-4 weeks
  • Financial and credit checks: Instant to 1-2 business days

Types of Background Checks in Florida

Keep in mind that the legislation and processes pertaining to background checks in Florida may differ based on the purpose of the check and the parties involved. Furthermore, prior to being carried out, some background checks may need the subject’s consent. Check details below:

  • Background checks on candidates for jobs: Florida background check for employment is frequently performed by employers to confirm job histories, educational history, and to look for any criminal histories of a job candidate. Depending on what the employer requires, the extent of these tests may change.
  • Background checks on renters: Landowners will usually assess a tenant’s creditworthiness,rental history, and criminal history through background checks. This allows property owners to make informed decisions about the people who wish to rent.
  • Background checks for crimes: To find out if someone has a criminal background, background checks usually entail looking through both state and federal criminal records. There are national databases that may be accessed in addition to Florida’s own criminal records database.
  • Credit and financial check: People may have their credit histories checked in order to determine their level of financial responsibility when applying for loans, mortgages, or certain employment. The credit history and score of the individual are examined during these checks.
  • Professional background checks for licensing: Employers can verify that a job candidate or employee has the proper licenses needed for a particular position by using a sort of background check called professional license verification. How far back do employment background checks go in Florida also depends on the company you are applying for.

Florida Level 1 Background Check Disqualifying Offense

A Florida Level 1 background check is a pre-employment screening tool used to evaluate potential employees. This type of check typically involves a search of an individual’s criminal history, including arrests and convictions.

Certain disqualifying offenses can bar a person from passing a Level 1 background check. These offenses generally include violent crimes such as murder, manslaughter, and assault. Sexual offenses, including sexual battery, lewd and lascivious acts, and child pornography, also disqualify individuals. Additionally, drug-related crimes like drug trafficking and manufacturing are significant disqualifiers.

Florida Level 2 Background Check Disqualifying Offense

A Florida level 2 background check is a fingerprint-based state and federal check conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

What disqualifies you from a level 2 background check is the same thing with Florida level 1 background checks that includes not having been arrested, found guilty, or awaiting the outcome of a criminal case until the record has been sealed or erased.

Any offense connected to sexual misconduct, child abuse, neglect or exploitation, murder or manslaughter, assault, battering, kidnapping, any kind of child misconduct, prostitution, indecent exposure, arson, burglary, incest, or any gang-related activity are among the other disqualifying offenses that do not pass a Florida background check.

Only felonies are disqualified for several offenses, including voyeurism, drug abuse-related misbehavior, theft, robbery, and the fraudulent sale of a restricted substance.

Factors Influencing the Duration of Background Checks

Ever wonder why background checks take so long? The answer isn’t always straightforward. Several factors can influence the turnaround time, impacting how quickly you receive clearance. Here’s a quick breakdown of the key culprits:

  • Scope of the Check: Basic checks focusing on criminal history might be faster than comprehensive checks that include employment verification, education confirmation, or reference checks.
  • Record Availability: Locating and verifying information across different states or with slow-responding sources can add delays.
  • Third-Party Response Times: Background checks often rely on contacting employers, schools, and other entities for verification, and their response times can significantly impact the overall duration.

How Far Back Do Background Checks Go in Florida?

There are no legal restrictions on how far back an employer can investigate a candidate’s criminal record history in the state of Florida.

Florida is subject to federal laws, including the The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), even though it does not have any state laws of its own. FCRA, is designed to safeguard data gathered by consumer reporting organizations, such as credit bureaus, which is prohibited from being disclosed to third parties unless necessary for the purposes specified by the Act. Information may be given for insurance, job, or credit purposes (Even DUIs are accessible to background checkers). But when a negative decision results from these reports, the consumer has to be informed. 

Furthermore, FCRA includes a “seven-year rule,” which states that convictions must be not disclosed to any background checks that are no more than ten years and arrests of more than seven years. 

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David Weisselberger
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"David Weisselberger is the founder of Erase The Case. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Florida, & also his Juris Doctor from UM School of Law. Afterwards, He has been working as a former Miami-Dade County Assistant Public Defender. Also, as a solo lawyer and former associate at South Florida’s honored Saban & Solomon Law Firm. He has learned firsthand the effects people face from having a public criminal arrest record mark their lives. Therefore, David has always been working hard to help people get rid of haunting crimnal past and have a second chance in life"

Trusted process. Proven results.

We have provided more expungements than any other law firm in the state of Florida, but don't just take our word for it.  
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