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Frequently Asked Questions - Background Checks

I am applying for a job that requires a criminal background check on myself. How do I obtain one?

You should contact the Division of Criminal Investigation at (605) 773-3331 and ask for the Identification Section. A supply kit, along with an explanatory letter, will be mailed to you at no cost. State law (SDCL 23-5-12) requires that an authorization of release waiver be signed by the applicant and that the background search be based on fingerprint identification. One exception is for those applicants applying for a job with a South Dakota school district, contact that school district for the procedures and necessary supplies since there are additional requirements per SDCL: 13-10-12.

How long does it take to get the results of a criminal background check?

Currently, the Division requires five business days plus mail time in order to process the background search and return the results.

How much does it cost to get a background check done with the state criminal repository?

There is a $24 fee when the applicant card and signed waiver is returned to the Division for processing per SDCL 23-5-13. Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Division of Criminal Investigation.

What type of response is returned to the applicant?

Either a letter stating no record was found or a letter stating that a computer print out of the criminal record is enclosed as a result of the technical search. The response is mailed to whomever is specified on the signed authorization.

Will juvenile delinquency incidents show up on the background check results?

No. The Division does not maintain juvenile records, only subjects who were under the age of eighteen and transferred to adult court. The criminal history information maintained at the repository are 100% fingerprint-supported arrests. If you have never been fingerprinted upon arrest, the Division will have no record for you.

I received a suspended imposition of sentence which was discharged and ordered sealed by the court. Will that information be released?

No. Sealed record information is not released for the purpose requested with the exception of certain sex crimes, when the applicant is seeking certain employment such as a school teacher, law enforcement officer, etc.