Sometimes we make mistakes either due to a lapse in judgment or immaturity, and unfortunately, our potential employers discover them. Therefore, you may want to know what employers can view in a background check and how long the negative reports remain.
Each state varies its retrieval investigation method. There are four primary categories that employers tend to investigate: criminal CSA, PSP reports, driving, and employment. In general, the duration of negative reports falls into these three years, five years, seven years and indefinite categories.
DOT Drug and Alcohol Violations generally stay on your record for three years; however, there are states that have passed laws so that alcohol violations can remain on your record for ten years. Some states show that for a CDL holder, regular moving violations can stay for up to ten years.
Generally, crash data retrieved from the FMCSA MCMIS system stays for five years.
Consumer reporting agencies (CRA) obtain employment information that helps determine your employment status for seven years.
Basic information such as dates of employment are reported but other information that potentially are negative such as eligibility for rehire, job performance, accidents etc. disappear after the 7-year timeframe. After ten years, even all the basic information disappears.
For criminal record arrest information that does not have a conviction, they can only be reported for seven years. However, a conviction means the information remains indefinitely in most cases.
Criminal record conviction data is the most common type of information that does not expire although some states keep driving records indefinitely. Another item to remember is that an older negative report matters less than a recent one. For example, a negative employment reference from five years ago matters less than one from your current employer.