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We offer answers to frequently asked questions about pre-employment and fingerprinting topics. Click on a subject heading below to read questions and answers related to your selection.

Is it essential for us to screen each individual we bring on board? If so, should we conduct the same type of screening on each employee?
While Ascertain strongly recommends a consistent employment screening practice – screening each and every new hire – the level of background check can vary based on the position of your candidate. For example, a Motor Vehicle Report may be necessary on employees operating company vehicles, but not for every employee. High level positions may require a more in-depth screening than an entry level or contractor position.

What is the Social Security Trace Report?
The Social Security Trace is a crucial first step in our screening process. Data is compiled from the three major credit bureaus, providing possible name variations and previous names used, as well as a residence history for the individual. The second component of the report is a validation of the SSN provided directly from the Social Security Administration, reporting the year and state the SSN was issued. This valuable information helps to identify where records checks may need to be conducted.

Will a National criminal database search cover all residences?
Ascertain strongly recommends conducting records searches at the county level of each residence. Multi-jurisdictional databases (often referred to as a “National Criminal Check”) are valuable to supplement searches at the county level. However these databases do not include records from all jurisdictions, and may contain incomplete identifiers or out-of-date records, such as those expunged. For this reason, any possible records found in a database search should be verified directly through the court in which it occurred, in conjunction with FCRA guidelines.

What if we decide not to hire an individual based on an unfavorable background report?
An Adverse Action process is extremely important if you choose not to hire an individual based on derogatory information in their background screening report. Further information about the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Adverse Action process is available in the Compliance section on this website.

How much does it cost to screen our employees?
The cost of a pre-employment screening can vary, depending upon the level of service we provide. A basic background check can cost as little as $25.00, while an extensive pre-employment investigation can be significantly higher in cost. Other factors include the number of residences and previous names used by your applicant.

How long does it take to complete a background screening?
Many screenings are available within the same business day. If Ascertain is verifying employment or conducting reference interviews, it may be three to five days before completion. If the applicant has lived in a remote county, or a court clerk assisted search is needed, these screenings can also take a couple of days longer to complete.

How do we get started?
After an initial conversation to learn more about your unique background screening requirements, and your completion of our End User Agreement and Client Profile, we can provide you with access to our screening services within one day.

How do we request a pre-employment screening?
Once you have your applicant’s signed consent/disclosure authorizing a background check, Ascertain’s services can be requested securely and conveniently through our web-based system using your secure client log-in. Requests are transmitted to Ascertain instantly and securely, allowing us to proceed without delay.

Do I need an appointment?
Ascertain offers convenient walk-in hours, so no appointment is needed. Please contact our office at for our current walk-in times. Click here for map to our office.

How much does it cost for fingerprinting? What forms of payment do you accept?
Please contact our office for current pricing. Ascertain accepts cash or credit/debit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover Card).

What do I need to bring with me?
You will need to know exactly what type of background check you need (BCI, FBI or both). Your driver’s license (or state id card), form of payment and the name/address of the agency/organization receiving the results will also be required. (We cannot complete fingerprinting unless the full address of the recipient is provided.)

How long will it take to be fingerprinted?
The entire process should take no longer than five (5) to ten (10) minutes.

Can the results be provided directly to me?
BCI and FBI results are mailed directly from BCI. While the employer/agency usually requires that the results are mailed directly to them, we can have BCI results mailed to you. FBI checks cannot be mailed to the individual.

How long does it take for the results to be mailed?
BCI results are generally available and mailed within 24 to 48 hours. FBI results can take a few days longer, although they are generally received within a week to ten days.

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