What is a Pennsylvania Background Check?
When an individual or business wants to obtain information about a person, they often will include a background check as part of the process. A background check provides details on publicly available information. Items may include court records, police activity, real estate transactions, tax liens, and other items. Many of these records are accessible online. This makes completing a background check a practical way to research people that we interact with.
What is a Pennsylvania Public Record?
There are public records on every person in Pennsylvania. These include birth and death certificates, property tax information, business records, court, and tax records. Most of these Pennsylvania public records are available for anyone to obtain. Some are protected because of confidentiality laws. Laws protecting the release of medical records would be an example of protected information.
Pennsylvania Official Background Check and Pennsylvania Public Record State Resources.
Court Records: Pennsylvania Judiciary Web Portal provides the public with access to various aspects of court information, including appellate courts, common pleas courts and magisterial district court docket sheets. See https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/.
Recorder’s Office Records: Free sytem utilizes 29 counties in Pennsylvania see https://www.landex.com/webstore/jsp/cart/DocumentSearch.jsp. Paid system: INFOCON County Access System is a cooperative fee based subscriber service that provides internet access to certain public records contained in participating County databases. See http://www.infoconcountyaccess.com/.
Criminal Records: Patch (Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History) offers a statewide criminal backround check. See https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp. Cost is from $20 to $27 per report depending on the report type.
Business Lookup: Search business entity’s for free at https://www.corporations.pa.gov/search/corpsearch.
Incarceration Records: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Inmate and Parolee search. See http://inmatelocator.cor.pa.gov/#/.
Sexual Offender Registry: Search options include a name search and location based searches. See https://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us/.
Official Resources for Top Counties in Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia County: Top City Philadelphia
Arrest / Inmate Records: https://legacy.phila.gov/prisons/inmatelocator/InmateLocator.aspx
Property Records: https://property.phila.gov/
Allegheny County: Top City Pittsburgh
Court Records: https://dcr.alleghenycounty.us/
Recorder’s Office Records: https://pa_allegheny.uslandrecords.com/palr/controller;jsessionid=0D85452A91F3B0009CC9A8C7D5BE2392
Property Records: http://www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Search.aspx
Montgomery County: Top City Norristown
Court Records: https://www.montcopa.org/933/Court-Records—Civil-Criminal
Recorder’s Office Records: https://rodviewer.montcopa.org/countyweb/login.do?countyname=Montgomery
Property Records: https://propertyrecords.montcopa.org/pt/Search/Disclaimer.aspx
Bucks County: Top City Doylestown
Recorder’s Office Records: https://www.landex.com/land-records-access.asp
Arrest / Mugshots Records: http://inmatelookup.buckscountyonline.org:8082/IML
Property Records: http://www.buckscountyboa.org/pt/Search/Disclaimer.aspx
Delaware County: Top City Media
Court Records: https://delcopublicaccess.co.delaware.pa.us/
Recorder’s Office Records: http://rodpublicaccess.co.delaware.pa.us/delcopa_net/publicaccessrodframe.html
Arrest / Mugshots Records: http://inmatelocator.cor.pa.gov/#/
Property Records: http://delcorealestate.co.delaware.pa.us/pt/forms/htmlframe.aspx?mode=content/home.htm
Lancaster County: Top City Lancaster
Recorder’s Office Records: https://searchdocs.lancasterdeeds.com/countyweb/login.do?countyname=Lancaster
Arrest / Mugshots Records: https://co.lancaster.pa.us/756/Whos-In-Jail
Property Records: https://co.lancaster.pa.us/205/Map-Gallery
Chester County: Top City West Chester
Recorder’s Office Records: https://chesterpa.countygovernmentrecords.com/ChesterRecorder/web/splash.jsp
Property Records: https://arcweb.chesco.org/cv3/
York County: Top City York
Property Records: http://assessments.yorkcountypa.gov/
Berks County: Top City Reading
Recorder’s Office Records: https://countyfusion4.kofiletech.us/countyweb/login.do?countyname=Berks
Property Records: http://gis.co.berks.pa.us/parcelsearch/
Westmoreland County: Top City Greensburg
Court Records: Civil records http://prothonotary.co.westmoreland.pa.us:8080/ijems/#/main
Recorder of Deeds: http://www.wcdeeds.us/dts/default.asp
Arrest / Mugshots Records: https://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/1265/Active-Inmates-Display-Options
Coroner Records: http://www.wcobdocs.us/publicaccess/coroner.aspx
Marriage Records: https://countyfusion2.kofiletech.us/countyweb/login.do?countyname=WestmorelandWills
Property Records: http://realproperty.co.westmoreland.pa.us/EGSWM/RPSearch.do
Lehigh County: Top City Allentown
Court Records: https://lehigh.tylerhost.net/ofsweb
Recorder’s Office Records: https://www.lehighcounty.org/Departments/Assessment-Home/Search-Records
Luzerne County: Top City Wilkes-Barre
Public Records: https://www.searchiqs.com/PALUZ/Login.aspx
Northampton County: Top City Easton
Court Records: https://web.northamptoncounty.org/CountySuite.CivilPublic/(S(gbfdlakaefxkoslz12ylojx2))/Disclaimer.aspx
Recorder’s Office Records: https://www.ncpub.org/_web/forms/htmlframe.aspx?mode=content/home.htm
Arrest / Mugshots Records: https://www.northamptoncounty.org/CORECTNS/Pages/Inmate-Search.aspx
Property Records: https://www.ncpub.org/_Web/Search/Disclaimer.aspx
Erie County: Top City Erie
Recorder’s Office Records: http://www.infoconcountyaccess.com/
Property Records: https://www.eriecountypa.gov/property-tax-records/property-records.aspx
Cumberland County: Top City Carlisle
Court Records: Civil records at https://onbaseweb.ccpa.net/psi/v/search/case
Recorder’s Office Records: https://www.landex.com/
Arrest / Mugshots Records: http://ccweb.ccpa.net/inmatelisting/
Property Records: http://gis.ccpa.net/propertymapper/
Lackawanna County: Top City Scranton
Public Records: https://www.searchiqs.com/PALAC/Login.aspx
Court Records: Civil and Family Court Records http://www.lpa-homes.org/LPA_Applications.htm
Property Records: http://ao.lackawannacounty.org/index2.php
Washington County: Top City Washington
Arrest / Mugshots Records: http://inmatesearch.washcopa.com/inmatesearch
Property Records: http://tyler.washcopa.org/pt/forms/htmlframe.aspx?mode=content/home.htm
Butler County: Top City Butler
Property Records: https://www2.co.butler.pa.us/paxworld/
Centre County: Top City Bellefonte
Arrest / Inmate Records: https://centrecountypa.gov/index.aspx?NID=232
Property Records: https://gissites2.centrecountypa.gov/java/publicparcelviewer/
Schuylkill County: Top City Pottsville
Court Records: Civil records http://www.co.schuylkill.pa.us/info/Civil/Inquiry/Search.csp
Recorder’s Office Records: https://pa.uslandrecords.com/palr2/PalrApp/index.jsp
Warrant Information: http://www.co.schuylkill.pa.us/info/Warrants/List.csp?OfficeCode=S#Here
Property Records: http://gis.co.schuylkill.pa.us/mapviewer/
Cambria County: Top City Ebensburg
Public Records: https://www.searchiqs.com/PACAM/Login.aspx
Fayette County: Top City Uniontown
Recorder’s Office Records: https://pa.uslandrecords.com/palr2/PalrApp/index.jsp
Arrest / Mugshots Records: https://www.fayettecountypa.org/225/Inmate-Lookup
Property Records: http://property.co.fayette.pa.us/Disclaimer.aspx
Lebanon County: Top City Lebanon
Recorder’s Office Records: https://www.landex.com/webstore/
Blair County: Top City Hollidaysburg
Recorder’s Office Records: https://www.landex.com/recordalert/?county=blair
Property Records: http://www.courthouseonline.com/AOPropertyRec.asp?State=PA&County=Blair&Abbrev=BL&Office=BL&caller=X
Mercer County: Top City Mercer
Recorder’s Office Records: https://recorder.mcc.co.mercer.pa.us/User/Login.aspx
Arrest / Mugshots Records: https://www.mcc.co.mercer.pa.us/jail/jailreport/default.htm
Property Records: https://www.mcc.co.mercer.pa.us/GIS/Disclaimer.htm
Lycoming County: Top City Williamsport
Arrest / Inmate Search: http://www.lyco.org/Departments/Prison/Inmate-Search
Property Records: http://lycomingpa.devnetwedge.com/
Adams County: Top City Gettysburg
Recorder’s Office Records: https://landrecordspa.adamscounty.us/external/User/Login.aspx
Property Records: https://mapping.adamscounty.us/apps/Public_Parcel_Viewer/
Difference between a Pennsylvania state and nationwide background check?
States report much of the information in their records to the federal government. States normally do not share non-crime related information with each other. A nationwide background check is helpful for those people who have lived in different states. Beyond that, most of the information you would gather to successfully complete a background check would be able to be accomplished at the local level.
What shows up on a Pennsylvania background check?
The information obtained from a Pennsylvania background check is dependent on the agency providing the information. For example, an employer who is considering hiring someone may want to look at whether a candidate has a criminal record. They may review property tax records to check for liens on a property owned by the candidate.
How long does a Pennsylvania background check take?
The time to perform a background check is based on the types of records being searched and how far back the search goes. If an agency has an online portal, a background check can be completed quickly. For agencies that do not have records online, either because they have not automated or they do not have their archives online, the time to process the background check is lengthened.
How far back does a Pennsylvania background check go?
Agencies have different requirements on how long they will report information. For example, someone who files for bankruptcy will have that information publicly available for a period of 10 years from the date the bankruptcy was filed. If a person has been convicted of a crime, the information will always be available unless a judge has agreed to have the conviction removed from public records. Each agency has requirements that may affect how much information they can make publicly available.
How do I find free Pennsylvania public records online?
The best place to start looking for public records online is at the county level. Researching property records is most effectively done at the county level as this is where the transactions are recorded. Most counties have this information online.
How can I do a free Pennsylvania background check?
For court records, start at the Pennsylvania state level. From here, you can search for information online. This will make sure that you are accessing all possible civil and criminal court resources. The information gathered here will tell you whether there are any financial judgments, bankruptcies or criminal convictions.