Free Indiana Background Check: Criminal, Employment, 2023 Laws

A portrait of Background Check Records founder, Jayson Baxter.Written by Jayson Baxter

Background Checks | June 7, 2023

A woman with red hair, a blue dress shirt, and black pants is on the left pointing at a screen that has the state of Indiana outlines in yellow with the words "Indiana Records" on it as a man in a long sleeve yellow shirt is on the right holding a blue and white magnifying glass over the screen as he wonders what's the best way to run a Indiana background check.

Anyone can run a free Indiana background check by searching public records that reveal matters such as someone’s criminal history, marital information, probation or parole status, sex offender infractions, driving violations, and more.

And if digging through countless public record databases from government agencies seems cumbersome, use the form above to execute a free background check on anyone in Indiana.

On the other hand, professional background checks can be performed on any one of the 6.7 million residents within the state for employment, licensing, firearm, and tenant screenings as well, but for official purposes, 2023 laws must be abided by, and consent must be obtained to be sure the background screenings are FCRA compliant.1

With that being said, there are several federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations regarding Indiana background screenings, as well as agencies that perform these screenings, so a working knowledge of the intricacies helps to pass a background check, get one done, figure out how long it takes, what shows ups and how far back they can check too.

Free Indiana Background Check (Access Free Public Criminal Records in IN)

The first step is knowing where to look for a free Indiana background check. Public records are created, maintained, and provided by several federal, state, and local governmental agencies, and, in some cases, free to the person listed on the record.

Other records require a nominal fee, usually those used for professional reasons. Professional background checks must adhere to certain laws and regulations as well.

Criminal History Check Through the Indiana State Police

The Indiana State Police only provides a limited criminal background report that includes all felony and class A misdemeanor arrests that occurred in the state and were reported by the counties to the state police. Note: many agencies in Indiana no longer accept the limited background check by the State Police, and require a much more extensive background check than an Indiana police background check.2

The Indiana State Police site explaining that a limited criminal history record only contains information such as felonies and some misdemeanors, and can be submitted via an online request form or by mail.

Searches for limited records can be made online, by mailing a request form and money order (the only acceptable form of payment for mail-in and in-person requests) to ISP, CHLC, Post Office Box 6188, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46206-6188, or by going to the State Police offices at 100 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana, 46206.2

Free Indiana Criminal Records Using Court Records

Another way to look for Indiana criminal records is to check with local court records. The Indiana Judiciary Branch allows for the online search of court cases (criminal, civil, family, probate), protection orders, and the child abuse registry.3

A screenshot of the MyCase.In.Gov website's case search feature that allows non-confidential criminal, civil, family, probate, appellate, and commercial court records to be found via case number, citation number.

Case searches can also yield information on driving offenses. The information provided through the online portal may only be a partial record depending on how often the county clerk of the court’s office updates the system. For more extensive records, a person would need to go directly to the courthouse.

Indiana has 26 judicial districts, most encompassing more than one county. Counties with higher populations are one-county districts. There are 318 Trial Court Judges in the Indiana Judicial System as well as 16 town court judges and 38 city court judges. Each court maintains records in the clerk’s office.

The clerk of court for each county also acts as the county clerk for other records outside the court system.4 Individuals can visit the clerk of court’s office to use a public terminal to view court records free of charge.

Free Public Record Checks Using Indiana County Clerk Offices

Indiana has 92 counties, and each one has its own County Clerk. The county clerk is responsible for maintaining all court records created in that county, vital records such as marriages, births and deaths, voter registration records, and property ownership. Individuals can request public records at the county clerk’s office online, in person, or via mail.

For example, in Marion County, home to the state capital Indianapolis, individuals can search court records regarding criminal cases, traffic offenses, protective orders, or family courts, for any records that have not been sealed or expunged, online using the online portal provided through the Indiana Judicial Branch.

Marion county maintains records for a background check in Indianapolis regarding vital records and court history.

Searchers can also go to one of the three Marion County County Clerk’s locations to request records in person. The three locations are:

  1. Indianapolis City-County Bldg, 200 East Washington St, Suite W122 Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
  2. Community Justice Campus, 675 Justice Way, Indianapolis, Indiana 46203
  3. Records Facility, 1330 Madison Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46225.

Free Criminal Record Check Through Local County and City Police Agencies

Local police and sheriff’s departments also maintain limited criminal records that can be requested by the public. For example, the Indianapolis Police Department accepts requests for incident reports via mail.5

The request should include as much detail about the incident as possible including people involved, date, time, location, responding officer’s name, and any other pertinent information. The request should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the record to be returned, and the cost per page is $.04.5

Marion County Sheriff’s Department allows for online search of inmates at the county jail. Inmate searches can be made via the individual’s name or inmate number. The results include the reason for incarceration in jail, bail/bond information, physical description of the individual, and if the charges were felony or misdemeanor offenses.5

There are other ways to locate criminal history on someone through a check of the state sex offender registry (or the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Registry), the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (for personal driving history), or through licensing boards that publish when adverse action is taken against a licensed professional in the state. The state Department of Corrections also allows for inmate searches online.

How To Check if Someone Is Married or Divorced in Indiana

Indiana marriage and divorce information can be searched online; however, certified copies of the marriage license or divorce degree must be obtained from the clerk of the court’s office where the marriage or divorce occurred.

Marriage information from 1958 to the present can be searched through an online portal maintained by the Indiana State Library system and shows the names of the parties on the license, date of marriage, and county in which the license was received.

The Indiana State Library showing that marriage records can easily be searched online using the persons name.

Divorce information can be found through the mycase portal maintained by the Indiana Judicial Branch (under family court). The search yields the following information: names of persons dissolving the marriage, the date filed, and if the matter is still pending or has been resolved.6

There are a number of reasons why a person may undergo a background check in Indiana.

Reasons Background Checks Are Used in Indiana

In addition to personal reasons, a person may be subject to a background screening to gain licensure, secure a job or rent a house or apartment. Positions that require interaction with vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, or the disabled use background checks to look for disqualifying offenses.

An Indiana background check for employment pertains to both paid and volunteer employees. Agencies that rely on volunteers also conduct a background screening on a candidate before allowing them to perform duties at the agency.

Additionally, licensure background checks are also looking for those disqualifying offenses that would indicate the person is a danger to others and not suitable for licensing.

Tenant screenings look at rental history and credit, but may also look at criminal history to make sure the person applying for a home or apartment is not violating any laws or would be a danger to other tenants.

Those wishing to purchase firearms must undergo a national background check when purchasing from a licensed firearms dealer.

Official background checks must be in compliance with state and federal laws and are used for several reasons outlined below.

Indiana Background Check for Employment Through the Indiana State Police and FBI

When anyone applies for a job in Indiana, they will undergo a background screening. The extent of the screening will be determined by the position and the amount of responsibility attached to it. For example, someone with a non-skilled labor position may undergo a limited background check through the Indiana State Police.

A person with a c-suite (executive) position, however, may undergo an FBI national background check.

Certain agencies may also require additional information than just a criminal history. For people working in childcare or with children, a search of the child abuse registry would also be required prior to employment. For example, Indiana school volunteer background checks look at the child abuse registry to make sure no children will be placed in danger.7
A screenshot of the IN Child Abuse Registry that shows people can be searched by case number, first name, last name, and by year of offense.

Licensure Background Check by Professional Licensing Agency

Those seeking professional licensure in Indiana also must undergo a background screening to make sure there are no disqualifying offenses. Licensure is necessary for a number of professions in the state, and in some cases is even a requirement to graduate with certain degrees or certifications.

The PLA license search tool that allows users to sort by profession, license type, attribute type, license number, license status, where they're doing business at, name, and city.

The Professional Licensing Agency (PLA) oversees background checks for a number of professions in Indiana. For example, an Indiana notary background check is completed through the PLA.

Rental Background Check

When someone is renting an apartment, house, or commercial establishment, they must undergo a background screening in Indiana. While the primary focus is on credit and rental history, the criminal background can also be considered.

These are usually performed by third-party, commercial search sites that are in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

A screenshot showing that the FCRA or fair credit reporting act combats discrimination and companies who provide background checks must remain compliant.

Firearms Background Check Through NICS

Individuals wishing to purchase a firearm in Indiana from a licensed dealer must undergo a NICS check through the FBI. The dealer can call or submit information electronically and get results in minutes to determine if a person can legally purchase or possess a gun.

The NICS showing that a federals firearm license must be obtained through a federal background check to ensure the purchaser isn't a criminal.

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

Agency Purpose of Background Check in Indiana
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Firearms
  • Employment Fingerprint Checks
Indiana State Police
  • Employment Limited Criminal History Check
Indiana Department of Child Services
  • Foster Family Care
  • Out-of-Home Placement Care
  • Adoptions
  • Employment
  • Volunteering
Indiana Department of Education
  • Teachers
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Staff
  • Administrators
Indiana Department of Insurance
  • Individual Insurance Agents
  • Insurance Agencies
Indiana Department of Health, Division of Acute Care
  • Home Healthcare Providers
Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
  • Accountants
  • Acupuncturists
  • Anesthesiologist Assistants
  • Landscapers/Architects
  • Athletic Trainers
  • Auctioneers
  • Behavioral Analysts
  • Behavioral Health and Human Services
  • Chiropractic Care Providers
  • Cosmetologists
  • Dentists
  • Diabetes Education Providers
  • Dieticians
  • Engineers
  • Funeral Directors/Cemetery
  • General Counselors
  • Healthcare Facility Administrators
  • Hearing Aid Retail Specialists
  • Home Inspection
  • Interior Designers
  • Manufactured Home Installation
  • Massage Therapists
  • Medical Professionals
  • Midwives
  • Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Optometrist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physician Assistants
  • Plumbers
  • Podiatrists
  • Private Investigators
  • Security Guards
  • Psychologists
  • Real Estate Agents and Appraisers
  • Respiratory Care Providers
  • Speech/Language Pathologists and Audiologists
  • Surveyors
  • Veterinarians
Indiana Department of Health, Vital Records
  • Birth
  • Death
  • Marriage
Indiana Judicial Branch
  • Divorce

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

What shows up on a background screening in Indiana depends on the type of screening and who is conducting the search. The table below outlines what shows up on screenings from various agencies on the state and federal levels.

Agency Conducting Screening What Shows Up on the Report
FBI National criminal history (felony and misdemeanor convictions)
Fingerprint/Identity Verification
Indiana State Police Felony and Class A misdemeanor arrests within Indiana.
Indiana Department of Child Services Fingerprint based check
Local criminal history
National sex offender registry
Child Protective Services report
Child Maltreatment Registry check
DCS background check
Indiana Department of Education National criminal history
National sex offender registry
Child Maltreatment Registry
Indiana Department of Insurance Felony and Class A misdemeanor arrests in Indiana
Indiana Department of Health, Division of Acute Care Expanded and national criminal history checks
Indiana Professional Licensing Agency National criminal history
National sex offender registry
Test/Certification scores required for the profession
Any adverse action against the professional (such as censure, complaints, or fines/suspensions)
Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles Personal driving history
Accident reports

Do dropped charges show up on a background check? In Indiana, if the charge was dropped 60 or more days prior to running a records check, it will not show up on a screening per Public Law 14-2022; however, this only applies to offenses committed after 30 June 2022.8

What information an agency receives depends on the requested background check and the reason for the screening. For example, a job that requires the use of a motor vehicle will include driving history, whereas a position that does not require the use of a vehicle typically will not show traffic offenses unless they are misdemeanor or felony charges.

Do Warrants Show Up on Indiana Background Checks?

Warrants usually do not show up on a background check; however, if the screening includes fingerprinting, the warrant may appear on the report. Most departments do not publish warrants to prevent the wanted individual from fleeing the agency’s jurisdiction.

Does Probation Show Up on Background Check?

Does probation show up on a background check in Indiana? Probation can and does show up on a background check because it is part of the sentencing phase of a criminal case. Since probation conditions may limit a person’s job availability, it is an important piece of a criminal background check.

Criminal history is designed to see if a person has a conviction for an offense that would disqualify them for certain positions.

Indiana: Background Check Disqualifying Offenses

Indiana breaks disqualifying offenses into three distinct categories: violent crimes, sexual crimes, and repeat offenses during the disqualification period. The table below lists the crimes that are considered disqualifying under Indiana Statutes.

35-50-1-2(a) 35-31.5-2-216)
  • Murder
  • Attempted Murder
  • Manslaughter (Voluntary and Involuntary)
  • Reckless homicide
  • Battery (Level 2-5 felony)
  • Domestic Battery (Level 2-5 felony)
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Criminally deviant conduct
  • Child molestation
  • Sexual misconduct with a minor (level 1 felony)
  • Robbery (Level 2-3 felony)
  • Burglary (Level 1-4 felony)
  • Operating a vehicle while impaired causes death or catastrophic injuries
  • Operating a vehicle while impaired causing bodily injury
  • Child exploitation (level 5 felony)
  • Resisting a law enforcement officer (felony)
  • Possession of a firearm by a serious felon
  • Strangulation (level 5 felony)
  • Rape
  • Criminal deviant conduct
  • Child molestation
  • Child seduction
  • Prostitution
  • Making an unlawful proposition
  • Incest
  • Sexual misconduct with a minor

When looking at these offenses, the agency can take into consideration any aggravating or mitigating factors and the length of time that has passed since the disqualifying offense, along with the laws regulating how long a background check in Indiana can go when reviewing a person’s record.

A list of disqualifying offenses for employment such as rape, exploitation, endangering children, violent crimes, and theft.

How Far Back Do Background Checks Go In Indiana? How Many Years?

Background checks in Indiana regarding credit history must comply with the guidelines established through the FCRA, limiting data to a seven-year lookback period (except for certain bankruptcies which may remain on the credit report for 10 years).

Criminal history has no restriction on how far back an employer can look back; however, many adhere to the same seven-year lookback period established by the FCRA.

While Indiana doesn’t have a lookback period in the state statutes, there are some laws that limit what employers can do with a criminal background check.

Indiana Background Check Laws

The Federal Trade Commission oversees the Fair Credit Reporting Act which limits employers from reviewing credit history more than seven years old in almost all cases. The FCRA also requires that a person be notified in writing if an adverse action is taken against them because of information in the background check. Most commercial background agencies will disclose FCRA compliance information on their website.

Can someone run a background check without my permission? In Indiana to run a background check on someone other than a personal record for personal use, written consent is required before the record can be searched and produced.

When prospective employee feels they have been discriminated against, and that the background check was used in a discriminatory manner, they can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to file a formal discrimination complaint. The EEOC oversees compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination against protected classes of individuals (such as disabled persons, discrimination based on race, sex or sexual orientation, or age discrimination to name a few).

Indiana Senate Bill 312 was passed in 2017 which effectively prohibited state and local governments from enacting any type of “ban the box” law within Indiana. The governor did, however, sign an executive order stating executive branch positions would “ban the box” on applications at that level.

The new statute removes some of the restrictions placed by Indiana pre-employment background check laws previously passed.9

Indiana law does prohibit employers from asking an applicant if they have had a criminal record sealed, restricted, or expunged. Employers are prohibited from refusing employment, firing someone, denying licensing or licensing renewal, or otherwise discriminating against someone due to a sealed record under Indiana Code 38-25-9-10.

In addition to laws that outline how the records can be used, Indiana background checks may carry fees depending on the agency and the type of check being performed.

Background Check Cost in Indiana: How Much Is it?

Firearms background checks through the NICS are free of charge; therefore, the person attempting to purchase a firearm is not charged a separate fee for this service.10

Indiana State Police background checks are $15 per person searched for subscribers to the system, and $16.32 for those not subscribed and paying via credit card.2

Marriage license and divorce decree searches are free using the online portals provided by the Indiana State Library portal for marriage records and the Indiana Judicial Branch my case portal for divorces.

The Indiana Department of Insurance charges between $7 and $17 for a criminal background check.11

Indiana Professional Licensing Agency charges $38.20 per background check for each licensure applicant.12

An official driving record through the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles is $4; however, an unofficial record is free of charge.13

Credit history checks are usually conducted by third-party vendors and the amount can vary from agency to agency.

How Long Does a Background Check Take In Indiana?

Most background checks can be completed in minutes in Indiana unless it requires fingerprinting, then the check can take up to 5 days to complete. Additionally, the amount of time a background check takes depends on if it is a local search or a national search, and if it includes identity verification.14

Employment verification checks can take several days to complete since it requires calling or emailing previous employers to verify the information contained on an application or resume.

There are a number of factors to consider regarding screenings in Indiana from the information reported, costs of checks, and the laws regarding how those records can be used. For free Indiana background checks regarding criminal history, employment, and more, try the state agencies outlined here or use the form above.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Driving tickets or motor vehicle violations appear on background reports when they are misdemeanor or felony offenses or when the background check specifically requests a driving record due to the job duties. Otherwise, they do not show up on a routine background check.

Do Speeding Tickets Show Up on Indiana Background Checks?

Unless the job requirements include a clean driving record, speeding tickets will not show up on a background report unless the speed exceeds 24 mph of the posted speed limit.15

Are Misdemeanors Revealed on Background Checks in Indiana?

Misdemeanor convictions will appear on a background check in Indiana.

Do Felonies Go on Indiana Background Checks?

Felony convictions can and do appear on a background check in Indiana.

Are There Any Indiana Background Check Requirements for Child Care Positions?

For childcare and elderly care, the background check requirements are to be at least 18 years of age and not have any disqualifying offenses such as child abuse, child neglect, violent crimes, sexual offenses, rape, murder, battery, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, or any other felonies that are similar.

There may be different requirement for other types of positions and background checks, but these are the requirements for any positions in the state where childcare is in the job duty.


INDIANA: 2020 Census. (2021, August 25). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

Indiana State Police – Limited Criminal History Search. (n.d.). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

Judicial Branch FAQs. (2022, January 1). Indiana Judicial Branch. Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

Indiana Judicial Branch: Learn about Indiana’s Court System. (n.d.). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <> (n.d.). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

MyCase Portal. (n.d.). MyCase: Indiana Supreme Court public access case search. Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

Index – Child Abuse Registry. (n.d.). IN Courts Public Portal. Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

McNamara’s, D. G., & McNamara, D. G. (2022, July 8). Automatic Expungement of dismissed charges now the law. Fletcher Van Gilder. Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

Briggs: Indianapolis can’t ‘ban the box’ anymore, but a new policy might have the same effect. (2017, August 11). IndyStar. Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

10 Is there a charge for NICS checks? | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. (n.d.). ATF. Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

11 IDOI: Background Check. (n.d.). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

12 PLA: Frequently Asked Questions for CBC. (n.d.). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

13 BMV: Resources: Driver Record. (n.d.). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

14 ISP: Get More Information. (n.d.). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from <>

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