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Ali Gordon | 24 March, 2021

An address trace on prospective employees can help business owners determine all kinds of information to ensure honest, reliable hire choices. Depending on the role, address history could help confirm the veracity of information provided on a job application or in an interview, project an applicant’s possible moving patterns for job longevity, indicate criminal, rental, and credit history, or flag potential fraud and false identities. There are a few ways you can validate someone’s address history.

Cross-Reference Public Records

One of the easiest ways to validate aspects of someone’s address history is to cross-check with public records. This is a legal, free way to explore some of a person’s history through government documentation available to the general public. Typically, if criminal records exist they will be filed with a county clerk’s office or can be found in court records, usually viewable online.

Referencing public records is not just about criminal history or fraud, however. Public records can also be useful address trace tools to corroborate driver’s license or occupational license histories. Individuals usually have to file a legal address for these kinds of authorizations, and confirming addresses through a DMV or other public records depending on state laws can help you validate someone’s address history alongside other useful aspects of their background.

Purchase Comprehensive Background Screening

Free public records can be helpful to an extent, but one of the safest and most precise ways to validate address history is to hire a qualified background investigator. While you can use some tools to explore an applicant’s address history yourself, a qualified and comprehensive background check service will provide you the most updated, accurate, and trustworthy information. You can gain a sense of timelines, relocation tendencies, and employee reliability from the information provided by a professional service like eKnowID’s address verification, and this is a great option to mitigate some legal risks your business may otherwise undertake by trying to investigate yourself.

Request Tax or Credit Records

Tax and credit records are not public, but can sometimes be requested to validate background information. A fee paid to the IRS or reporting agency is usually required, but with written consent an employer could use these reports to verify some prior addresses. These can be used to reference employment and other background patterns. Since using these records can be risky, it’s usually a good idea to try other forms of verification first or to use these records for more than one type of search--such as validating addresses, credit reliability, and past employment history all at the same time.

It’s important to note that not all states legally allow an employer to request tax information until after a conditional offer of employment has been made, and in other states, uses of credit history is quite limited when making employment choices. Some employment lawyers suggest avoiding asking for these records altogether, so it is critical to understand the state and federal employment laws impacting your hiring process and how much of this risk your business should take on for a particular hire.

Make sure you’re using the right address trace tools and background screenings to hire well for the job placements you’re seeking.

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