Free Connecticut Background Check Online (Includes Criminal Records)

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Jayson Baxter
November 15, 2022
On the right is a tan man with black hair who has his arms crossed and to his right is a chubby man in a yellow shirt and blue jeans as he scratches his head looking at a Connecticut background check report that's shown on a computer minor along with other CT records and the outline of the state.

Table of Contents

A Connecticut background check can be done online and for free through the various government directories within the state, or by simply filling out the search form here.

Both methods include criminal records along with marriage records, court records, driving records, if someone is a registered sex offender, are on probation, have a warrant out for their arrest, and much more.

No matter what you’re looking for, we’ll guide you on how to obtain pubic records through government agencies and record custodians for both personal searches, and professional background checks too since those must adhere to both federals and state laws when it’s for things like, licensing, leasing, and employment purposes.

In addition, we’ll cover how far background checks go, what shows up, disqualifying offenses, how long it takes, and associated costs so there’s no surprises when submitting or requesting a background check in CT.

Free Connecticut Background Check (Access Free Public Criminal Records in CT)

There are several government agencies in Connecticut where a person can access public records to complete a BCI background check on a potential employer, tenant or for personal reasons.

Using these governmental agencies helps ensure the information is correct and up-to-date, as well as provided in compliance with state and federal laws.

Find Free Criminal Conviction Records Through the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch

For a criminal conviction background check Connecticut provides an online search portal through the Judicial Branch at no cost to the public.

A screenshot of the Connecticut Judicial Branch online search feature that can be searched by last name, court location, and type of record.

Searches can be conducted by defendant name or docket number, and information provided includes defendant’s name, year of birth, court where the matter was heard, docket number, case disposition and year the matter was tried in court.1

Clicking on the docket number in the search results reveals arrest date and arresting agency, charges, and sentencing information. As a name-based search, it is important to make sure the record matches the subject of the search before the information is used to make a hiring decision.

Search Free Motor Vehicle Accident Summary Reports By The Connecticut State Police

Vehicle accident reports can be a vital part of a Connecticut background check for positions that require regular use of a motor vehicle. An accident summary search can also help the parties involved file insurance claims or as supporting evidence in small claims court action.

To search accident reports through the Connecticut State Police, individuals must enter at least three pieces of information from the following list in the online search portal:

  • Incident number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Driver’s last name
  • Vehicle license plate number
  • Accident date

Accident reports are typically available online within 30 days of the incident, and while there is a free search option, this provides limited information. A completed case-report can be purchased.2

Discover Free Criminal History Records Through The Connecticut Department of Corrections

The Connecticut Department of Corrections maintains an online search portal where individuals can conduct free searches of individuals who have been incarcerated in the state prison system or placed on supervised probation.

A screenshot of the CT DOC or Connecticut Department of Corrections offender or inmate search feature that can find prisoners housed in a state prison.

Searches can be conducted by inmate number, inmate’s first and last name, or date of birth. For a criminal history records check, Connecticut corrections’ records include both those sentenced and those awaiting trial.

Information provided in a search includes admission date, location, release date (if the person has already served their sentence), offense that resulted in DOC sentencing, bond amount if applicable, and inmate status.3

Locate Free Criminal Records Through the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry

For a sex offender background check Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection maintains an online portal that can be searched free of charge by the public.

Searches can be conducted by offender name, geographic location or a list of those not in compliance can be pulled up through the online portal.4

Information provided includes offender’s mugshot, name and aliases, age, date of birth, biometrics, identifying marks, scars or tattoos, address (or last known for those not in compliance), charges, conviction date, conviction state (for those sentenced in and out of Connecticut), and date person was released from custody.

The registry also provides details of the offense with the exception of victim data. (4)

Free Criminal Background Check Through Local Jails & City Police Departments

Police reports become public record once a case has been disposed of in court and can be requested by the public at the local police department.

For example, the Hartford Police Department maintains online arrest logs showing incident response in the city limits, and how to find recent arrests or how to find out if someone is in police custody.

A screenshot showing the City of Hartford Records Division requires a certificate of birth to obtain a copy of your criminal history.

The arrest log contains the arrestee’s name, case number, where they were taken into custody, charges, officer’s name and biometrics for the alleged offender. Do arrests without conviction show up on background check reports?

Until the required waiting period to expunge the record has passed, these matters can show up on a background check.5

Pre-trial detention centers, known as jails, are maintained by the Department of Corrections, and inmate searches are conducted for pre-trial confinement the same as for sentenced offenders as outlined above.

Those awaiting hearing will have a status of unsentenced to distinguish them from those who have been convicted of a criminal offense. (3)

While these searches are free, there are other governmental agencies that provide official background check information in Connecticut for a fee.

Connecticut Background Checks With a Nominal Fee

Some state agencies charge a nominal fee for a Connecticut background check to cover the costs of searching for the record, printing and delivery. Agencies that use authorized third-party vendors are also subject to the fees set by the vendor.

Locating Connecticut Criminal History Through the Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification

The Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification under the Department of Emergency Services and Public Safety is the official source for a criminal record history in the state. Record requests must be submitted by mail to along with money for fees:

A background check request form where individuals can check their criminal history through the Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification.

Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification

ATTN: Department of Emergency Services and Public Safety
1111 Country Club Rd
Middletown, Connecticut, 06457

Fees should be paid by separate check or money order depending on the type of fee (record, fingerprinting, or state-wide or nation-wide search), and request form DPS-0846-C must be included.6

For example, separate payments will be required for fingerprinting ($15.00), state-wide criminal history report ($75), and nation-wide search through the FBI’s online portal ($13.25) for the most comprehensive report. Fingerprinting must be done through the State Police by appointment only.7

Conduct a Public Record Check Using Connecticut Town Clerk Records

Town clerks in Connecticut are responsible for maintaining property and tax records (including ownership information) on all residents within that area. Address or identity verification can be completed through town clerk records, in addition to accessing certain vital records. Vital records show who lives here and what property they own.

For example, Bridgeport Connecticut Town Clerk’s office has an online portal through a vendor that lists all property ownership in that area. This search is accessible to the public and purchased for $60 per record for the first page, and $5 per page thereafter.8

Request a Driving History Through The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles

When conducting a driving history background check Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles accepts requests online, via mail or in person. Online requests by the driver can be processed within 5 to 7 minutes in most cases for a fee of $20.

The CT DMV online feature that allows individuals to obtain driving history and the only information needed is first name, last name, and their residential street number.

Mail in and walk-in requests also require payment of the $20 fee, and mail in requests can be sent to:

Attention of Motor Vehicle Record
60 State St.
Wethersfield, Connecticut 06161

All requests by third-parties for someone else’s driving history must be mailed to the address listed above and the required fees must accompany the mail-in request.

CT's DMV request form to obtain copies of driving records.

All requests must also be accompanied by the required DMV record’s request form.9

Marriage Background Check CT: How To Check if Someone Is Married or Divorced in Connecticut

To find out if someone is married or divorced in Connecticut, a person would turn to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, State Vital Records Office for information on marriage, and the Connecticut Judicial Branch for divorce records.

An screenshot of the USA with the "state of divorce" listed at Connecticut and to the right shows marriage certificates can be ordered by clicking continue.

Marriage background checks can be requested online via VitalChek for a fee of $20 plus VitalChek’s vendor fees. This includes both marriage and civil unions which are recognized in Connecticut. Records can also be requested via mail:

Connecticut State Vital Records Office
410 Capitol Ave, Floor 1
Hartford, Connecticut 06106

Records can also be requested in person at the local vital records office in the nearest town. These also require payment of a $20 fee.

Divorce records can be accessed for free via the Connecticut Judicial Branch family court online portal.

Searches must include the party’s last name, and can be narrowed down by type of court or court location. Information provided includes docket number, parties involved, courthouse, date of action, and final disposition.10

A screenshot of the Connecticut Judicial Branch search feature where marriage and divorce records can be searched by entering a person's last name.

Knowing where to look is half the battle in completing a Connecticut background check. It’s also important to know why screenings are conducted and how they can be used.

Reasons Background Checks Are Used in Connecticut

There are a number of reasons a background check will be conducted in Connecting including employment screenings, licensure, firearms purchases and transfers, tenant screenings and volunteer checks for non-profit background checks.

Background reports pulled for official or commercial purposes must adhere to all state and federal laws regarding public records, and when agencies use commercial vendors, the third-party vendor must certify it follows those CT background check laws and regulations.

Free Criminal Background Check: Connecticut Criminal Search (Criminal History Records Check Connecticut)

Regarding an official criminal background check Connecticut rules and regulations dictate they  can be used for pre-employment background check, CT ongoing employment screenings, licensure background reports, and firearms purchases to name a few.

The table below outlines who conducts official background checks or requires official background checks in Connecticut.

Official Background Check Agency Screening Brief
State Police Bureau of Identification
  • Employment (Pre-screening and ongoing)
  • Licensing boards
  • Health and safety
  • Working with at-risk populations
  • Volunteers
Department of Public Health
  • Medical and surgical professionals
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Aides
  • X-Ray Technicians
  • Surgical Assistants
Department of Consumer Protection
  • Accountants
  • Amusement facilities
  • Architects
  • Bedding and furniture manufacturing
  • Charitable solicitors
  • Community association managers
  • Controlled substance practitioners
  • Crane operators
  • Pharmacists
  • Cosmetologists
  • Electrical engineers
  • Elevator workers
  • E-cigarette vendors
  • Fire protection
  • Food and beverage workers
  • Glaziers
  • Health clubs and martial arts studios
  • Health product dealers
  • HVAC
  • Hemp manufacturing
  • Home inspection workers
  • General contractors
  • Interior designers
  • Land surveys
  • Liquor vendors
  • Landscapers
  • Lottery agents
  • Locksmiths
  • Medical marijuana professionals
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
  • Plumbers
  • Public service technicians
  • Real estate workers
  • Telecommunication technicians
Department of Education
  • School administrators
  • Teachers
  • Teacher assistants
  • Volunteers
  • Support staff
  • Bus drivers
  • Housekeeping staff
Department of Children and Families
  • Social workers
  • Foster families
  • Child care workers
  • Adult care facility workers
  • Volunteers
  • Adoptive parents

Firearms Background Checks by FBI and Local Law Enforcement

Connecticut requires a background check for all purchases and transfers of handguns and the person receiving the weapon must have a permit to purchase or possess the weapon. Firearms background checks in Connecticut begin at the local first selectman’s office or police department.

A 60 day permit is issued, and the local office that provided the permit is responsible for the 5-year permit processing as well. In accordance with federal law, the local agency runs all checks through an FBI NICS screening to make sure the person can legally possess or purchase a firearm.11

Child and Family Services Background Checks by Connecticut Department of Children and Families

The state Department of Children and Family services is responsible for conducting background checks on individuals that work with children or disabled or elderly adults, foster parents and individuals wishing to adopt a child.

Searches include a background check through the child protective services (CPS) database, a criminal history through the State Bureau of Identification, and a search of the child abuse registry to make sure the candidate is not a danger to at-risk populations.

Education Verification Background Checks by Universities Within CT Counties & Cities

Verifying someone’s education credentials means reaching out to the institution where the diploma, certificate or degree was earned and awarded. This could include getting unofficial and official transcripts, copies of certifications, or a copy of the person’s diploma.

For example, students (current and former) at Eastern Connecticut State University can request unofficial and official transcripts are forwarded to a potential employer for consideration and verification.

A screenshot showing Eastern Connecticut State University will send transcripts to potential employers.

Students at Capital Community College in Hartford, Connecticut can also request official transcripts or enrollment verification when needed for employment purposes or to show proof of employment for probation or other court ordered matters.12

If there are not three agencies, list out each agency in order of largest to smallest. If there are misc. Or additional agencies, be sure to include those too.

What Is on a Background Check in Connecticut? What Shows Up?

There are several things that can show up on a Connecticut background screening. Criminal history will show convictions for misdemeanor and felony charges unless the record has been sealed or expunged.

Charges that have been dismissed, dropped or returned a verdict of not-guilty are automatically removed from the record 13 months following the date of the action to cease prosecution.13

Credit history can show information from the previous seven years of the date of the background check. Employment and education verifications do not have a limit on how far back they can go in Connecticut. Does getting fired go on your record in Connecticut?

In Connecticut a former employer can reveal a person was fired during employment verification; however, the employer cannot make false statements about a former worker.14

Driving history will show infractions, accidents, misdemeanor and felony traffic offenses, and can show up on a background check when the position requires a person to use a motor vehicle in the performance of job duties.

Background check information can also show if a person is a registered in the national child abuse registry or if there is any other disqualifying offense on the person’s record.

Do Warrants Show Up on Connecticut Background Checks?

While warrants are court records and can be public, most warrants do not show up on criminal background checks until they are served and the case has been placed on a docket. Warrants are attached to pending criminal charges, and employment agents must weigh these matters carefully when making hiring decisions.

So when knowing warrants are generally pending charges, those asking do pending charges show up on a background check in Oregon should keep in mind they can, and do, but generally will not show a disposition until the matter has been disposed of in court.

Does Probation Show Up on Background Check?

Probation can show up on a Connecticut background report because it is the sentencing portion of a criminal conviction.

Supervised probation as part of a pretrial diversionary program will show up on a record until the program has been successfully completed, at which point the matter will be dismissed by the court and the record erased per Connecticut statute 54-142a.

Ultimately, a person’s criminal record is used to determine if there are any disqualifying offenses that would prevent a person from performing certain job duties.

Connecticut: Background Check Disqualifying Offenses

Disqualifying offenses are those that automatically remove an employment candidate from consideration due to the nature of the crime. Disqualifying offenses in Connecticut include:

  • Arson
  • Assault and assault related crimes
  • Child pornograpy and/or exploitation
  • Conspiracy
  • Cruelty to people (adult and child)
  • Domestic violence
  • Drug offenses (felony)
  • Fraud
  • Harassment
  • Homicide/murder
  • Kidnapping, false imprisonment and related crimes
  • Larceny/theft and related crimes
  • Manslaughter
  • Perjury
  • Sex offenses
  • Subordination
  • Stalking
  • Threatening others
  • Unlawfully restraining someone
  • Violations involving weapons.15

The lookback period for a Connecticut background check depends on the type of screening and the information requested.

How Far Back Do Background Checks Go in Connecticut? How Many Years?

When doing a background check Connecticut law does not limit the lookback period for criminal offenses; however, many companies do not consider very old offenses unless they are a disqualifying offense.

Credit history can only lookback seven years per federal law, with the exception of some bankruptcy matters which can have a 10-year lookback period per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

FCRA rules also prevent arrests records and non-conviction records more than seven years old from appearing on a background report. FCRA is one of many laws governing background checks in Connecticut.

Connecticut Background Check Laws

There are Connecticut background check state laws that provide guidance to employers and protections for potential job candidates, as well as federal legislation.

Federal laws that protect applicants regarding background screenings include the FCRA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. FCRA laws prevent credit history older than seven years from being disclosed, and prohibits disclosing arrests and non-convictions older than seven years as well.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), prohibits employers from unlawfully using a person’s criminal history to exclude that person from employment.

This law makes using a person’s background report in a discriminatory practice against a protected class of persons illegal, and the EEOC can take action when allegations of discrimination are substantiated.

Connecticut statute 31-51i is the state’s ban the box law which removes questions about criminal history from applications. Employers can inquire about criminal history at any time after the application has been submitted.

Additionally, under Connecticut statute 46a-80, an employer must honor a certificate of rehabilitation when presented with one by an applicant and cannot deny employment based solely on criminal history when a certificate is made available.

However, employment can be denied if the criminal conviction would automatically disqualify an applicant regardless of rehabilitation certification.

Compliance with CT employment background check laws also means following guidelines for assessing fees.

Background Check Cost in Connecticut: How Much Is It?

Costs for a background screening in Connecticut varies depending on the agency supplying the information and the type of screening requested. The table below outlines fees for records from agencies discussed earlier.

Agency Fees Assessed
Connecticut Judicial Branch Free
Connecticut State Police (Motor Vehicle Report) Free to $20
Connecticut Department of Corrections Free
Connecticut Sex Offender Registry Free
State Bureau of Identification $75 per record, $15 for fingerprints, $13.25 for FBI report
Town Clerks Varies from town to town
Vital Records (Marriage) $20 plus VitalChek fees when requested online
Vital Records (Divorce) Free online through Judicial Department

Once fees and requests are submitted, the searcher simply has to wait for the results.

How Long Does a Background Check Take in Connecticut?

The amount of time a background check takes depends on whether it’s Level 1 background checks, a Level 2 background check, or if the agency is requesting bulk background checks.

Typically, online checks can take a few minutes to hours to return information. Mail-in requests can take up to two weeks, and walk-in requests can be handled in a few minutes to hours depending on how deep the searcher has to dig for the record.

If a person needs a background check several government agencies provide ways to research records free of charge or for a small fee. There are multiple ways to learn a person’s criminal history at no charge for a Connecticut background check as outlined in this free guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Do Driving Tickets or Moving Violations Go on Background Checks in Connecticut?

Any speed in excess of 85 miles per hour in Connecticut is considered reckless driving and is a criminal offense rather than an infraction. Moving violations such as driving while under the influence or driving on a revoked license are also considered criminal offenses.

Do Speeding Tickets Show Up on Connecticut Background Checks?

Speeding typically will not show up on a background check unless the speed was 85 miles per hour or greater or was part of additional charges.

Are Misdemeanors Revealed on Background Checks in Connecticut?

Misdemeanor convictions appear on a background check, and Connecticut law allows non-convictions less than 13 months old to stay on the record before they are sealed or expunged.

Do Felonies Go on Connecticut Background Checks?

Felony convictions will appear on a person’s criminal background check in Connecticut.

Does a Restraining Order Go On Your Record In Connecticut?

Restraining orders and domestic violence protective orders can appear on background reports in Connecticut. The order itself is a civil matter; however, a violation is a Class D felony under CT statutes.16


References

Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. (n.d.). State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://www.jud2.ct.gov/crdockets/SearchByDefDisp.aspx>

Reports and Records. (n.d.). CT.gov. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/DESPP/Division-of-Emergency-Service-and-Public-Protection/Reports-and-Records/Reports-and-Records>

Department of Correction Inmate Information Search. (n.d.). Department of Correction Inmate Information Search. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <http://www.ctinmateinfo.state.ct.us/detailsupv.asp?id_inmt_num=288442>

Sex Offender Registry. (2022, January 17). State of Connecticut, DESP. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://www.jud2.ct.gov/crdockets/CaseDetailDisp.aspx?source=Pending&Key=53411e88-3e33-4695-86f3-6be72649304b>

Hartford Police Department Daily Arrest Log. (n.d.). Hartford.gov. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://www.hartfordct.gov/files/assets/public/police/police-documents/blotter.pdf>

STATE OF CONNECTICUT. (n.d.). CT.gov. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DESPP/reports_and_records/DPS0846CCriminalHistoryRecordRequestFormRev120117pdf.pdf?la=en&hash=EA50398A227AA13333672A334F53FB6B>

State Police Bureau of Identification. (n.d.). CT.gov. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/DESPP/Division-of-Emergency-Service-and-Public-Protection/Reports-and-Records/State-Police-Bureau-of-Identification>

Welcome to 20/20 Perfect Vision Land Records I2. (n.d.). Welcome to 20/20 Perfect Vision Land Records I2. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://i2h.uslandrecords.com/CT/Bridgeport/D/Default.aspx>

IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED SEE REVERSE SIDE. (n.d.). CT.gov. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DMV/20/29/J23pdf.pdf>

10 State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. (2022, January 17). Superior Court Case Look Up. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/CaseDetail/PublicCaseDetail.aspx?DocketNo=FBTFA215046135S>

11 Firearms. (n.d.). CT.gov. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/Services/Public-Safety/Firearms>

12 Capital Community College. (n.d.). Capital Community College. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <http://capitalcc.wpenginepowered.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/myCommNet-Bookmarks-4-12-18.pdf>

13 Connecticut – Guide to Pardon, Expungement & Sealing. (n.d.). Collateral Consequences Resource Center. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://ccresourcecenter.org/state-restoration-profiles/connecticut-restoration-of-rights-pardon-expungement-sealing/>

14 Sabatini, J. V. (2008, August 28). Can A Former Employer Give A Bad Reference? Connecticut Employment Lawyers. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://www.sabatiniemploymentlaw.com/employment-law-blog/2008/august/can-a-former-employer-give-a-bad-reference-/>

15 Fact Sheet – Criminal History Background Check. (n.d.). CT.gov. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/DDS/SelfAdvocacySelfDetermination/Self-Determination-Fact-Sheets/Fact-Sheet---Criminal-History-Background-Check>

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