Each state has different laws when it comes to background checks for felons. Some states have more years of required background checks than others. In this article, you will learn about the different states and what their requirements are for background checks. You will also learn about the penalties associated with not completing a background check and why they are necessary.

What are background checks for felons and why are they necessary

What are background checks for felons?

Background checks for felons are a process by which individuals with felony convictions can have their criminal records checked. This is to ensure that they are not convicted of any other crimes and to protect the general public from harm.

Why are background checks for felons necessary?

Background checks are necessary to keep the public safe. It is important to know if someone has a felony conviction, as they may be more likely to commit another crime. Background checks also ensure that people who have been convicted of a felony are not able to get jobs or housing that they may not be qualified for.

What are the penalties associated with not completing a background check?

The penalties for not completing a background check can vary from state to state. In some states, it is a felony offense to not complete a background check. This can result in a prison sentence and/or a fine. In other states, it is a misdemeanor offense. This can result in a jail sentence and/or a fine.

What are the limitations if you have a background check?

In many states, a felon is not able to vote, possess a firearm, or serve on a jury. They may also be restricted in where they can live or work. Some jobs may require a background check as part of the application process. For example, positions that involve working with children or the elderly might require a check to see if the applicant has any previous convictions of abuse.

For example on October 1, 1997, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed. The VAWA requires that anyone who is convicted of a felony and receives a full pardon from the President, or any other person who has been convicted of a qualifying misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to submit to a background check before being able to possess firearms or ammunition (18 U.S.C. 922(d)(9)).

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act) requires that a background check be conducted on all individuals who wish to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, manufacturer, or importer (18 U.S.C. 922(t)).

And finally, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a computerized system that helps FFLs determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to receive firearms or explosives. Before ringing up the sale, cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn’t otherwise ineligible to make the purchase.

How many years of background checks for felons are required in each state

Background checks for felons are required in all 50 states. Depending on the state, they may last from three to ten years or more. The background check is a requirement for all felonious crimes and is necessary to protect employers who would otherwise be liable if someone with a felonious criminal past were hired by them. There are also other reasons why these background checks are important.

States and their requirements for background checks

  • Alabama: 3 years
  • Alaska: 2 years
  • Arizona: 10 years
  • Arkansas: 5 years
  • California: 7 years
  • Colorado: No background check required
  • Connecticut: 5 years
  • Delaware: 5 years
  • District of Columbia: 10 years
  • Florida: 7 years
  • Georgia: 5 years
  • Hawaii: No background check required
  • Idaho: 7 years
  • Illinois: 10 years
  • Indiana: 10 years
  • Iowa: 5 years
  • Kansas: No background check required
  • Kentucky: 5 years
  • Louisiana: 10 years
  • Maine: 5 years
  • Maryland: 10 years
  • Massachusetts: 5 years
  • Michigan: 7 years
  • Minnesota: 7 years
  • Mississippi: 5 years
  • Missouri: 7 years
  • Montana: No background check required
  • Nebraska: 5 years
  • Nevada: 10 years
  • New Hampshire: No background check required
  • New Jersey: 10 years
  • New Mexico: No background check required
  • New York: 7 years
  • North Carolina: 5 years
  • North Dakota: No background check required
  • Ohio: 10 years
  • Oklahoma: 10 years
  • Oregon: No background check required
  • Pennsylvania: 7 years
  • Rhode Island: 10 years
  • South Carolina: 5 years
  • South Dakota: No background check required
  • Tennessee: 7 years
  • Texas: 10 years
  • Utah: 5 years
  • Vermont: No background check required
  • Virginia: 7 years
  • Washington: No background check required
  • West Virginia: 10 years
  • Wisconsin: 10 years
  • Wyoming: No background check required

As you can see, there is a wide range of timeframes that states require for felon background checks. Some states, such as Colorado and Hawaii, do not require any background checks at all. Others, like Oregon and Vermont, have no felon background check requirement but do require background checks for other purposes.

There are a few states that do not require background checks for felons. However, these states typically have very lenient laws when it comes to felonious crimes. It is still advisable to check with the state’s department of justice to see if there are any specific requirements.

The best states to move to avoid background checks for felons

The best states to move to avoid background checks for felons
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

So, if you’re a felon looking to move to a state that doesn’t require background checks, you have plenty of options. However, it’s important to keep in mind that just because a state doesn’t require a background check, that doesn’t mean an employer can’t choose to do one anyway.

The best states to move to avoid background checks for felons are Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. These states have the shortest waiting periods for felons to have their rights restored. In some cases, it may only take a few years for a felon to have their voting rights reinstated.

For example, in Alaska, a felon only has to wait three years after they have completed their sentence before they can vote again. In Oklahoma, a felon can have their voting rights restored as soon as they are no longer on parole or probation.

How to complete a background check for a felon

The felon background check is a requirement for all felonious crimes and an important step to protect employers. There are many reasons why these background checks are necessary, including the fact that felons have been convicted of felonious crimes, which means they may not be able to fulfill their duties as employees. Felon background checks can also help law enforcement officials identify criminals who have not yet been caught.

There are a few ways to complete a felon background check. The most common way is to use an online service, such as CheckThem or Intelius. These services will allow you to search for criminal records in all 50 states. Another way to complete a felon background check is to contact the county clerk in the county where the felon resides. The county clerk will be able to provide you with a list of all felonies on record in that county. Finally, you can also contact the state department of corrections to obtain a list of all felonious crimes committed in that state.


Felon background checks are an important step to protecting employers and ensuring that criminals don’t have access to positions where they could harm. By completing a felon background check, you can feel confident that any potential employees you hire will be able to safely carry out the duties of the position. There are a few ways to complete a felon background check, all of which are relatively simple and easy to do.


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