What does each search include?
County Criminal Record Check - Accessed via the clerk of courts in a specific county, these public records are searched by utilizing our nationwide network of investigators located in each county nationwide, as well as via access to direct, real time links with a number of courthouses. The majority of the searches reveal information pertaining to felony crimes, which are generally viewed to be crimes of a more serious nature.

Misdemeanor Criminal Record Check/Other Public Record Information - These records are searched at the lower courts which specifically post Misdemeanor record information. Misdemeanor crimes are typically categorized as crimes of a lesser offense.

Federal Criminal Record Check - This check involves a search of the federal courthouse in a designated region. Information reported includes crimes involving violations of federal law (i.e.- money laundering, counterfeiting, racketeering and crimes committed across state lines, to name just a few). Federal criminal record searches are conducted at the specific U.S. district court covering the region where a person has resided.

Statewide Criminal Record Check (optional) - This check is a statewide criminal search in states that permit the legal dissemination of criminal record information housed by various law enforcement or criminal record information repositories. Crimes reported may include felonies, misdemeanors and traffic violations.

National Search - The National Search is a check involving a nation-wide criminal record database that contains hundreds of millions of criminal record files. Information in the national criminal record file is compiled from a variety of sources including local law enforcement, statewide criminal record repositories, state department of correction records, state parole and probation records, and local public record sources.

Sex Offender Registry Check - This search may reveal information relative to people with histories of sexual crimes, the severity of those offenses, personal defendant identifiers and arrest dates.

Global Terrorist Watchlist Search - This is a search of the Federal Government’s suspected terrorist watchlist, which includes information on individuals listed by the US government as terrorists.
I'm concerned with entering my personal information on the internet.
Your personal information is required in order for Sterling to confirm during the public record search process whether or not a specific record may belong to you. Be assured that our website uses the highest level of security and that we will not share your information with any outside sources.
How do you know the report has been requested by the name on the order and not someone else?
You will be asked a series of challenge questions, based upon information derived from public record databases, to which only you would know the answers. If these questions are answered incorrectly, you will get another chance, but if you do not pass the second time, you will not be permitted to continue with your order. To try again, navigate to and re-input your information.
Why does the name on the credit card need to match the order name?
This background check is for you. Sterling’s verification processes have been designed specifically to protect you by ensuring that this report is run for you, and only by you.
What if I don’t have a credit card or debit card with Visa/MasterCard logo?
Unfortunately at this time we are only able to process requests using either a major credit card or a debit card with the Visa / MasterCard logo.
What if I have any billing problems or credit card issues?
Please check with the bank or credit card issuer to ensure there is available credit on your credit card account. In addition, check that your billing address matches the address you have entered on the website. Lastly, review the numbers you are entering for any potential typos or translation errors. If you are still having difficulty please contact our Customer Service line 1-800-853-3228.
How long will it take to run my background check?
The turnaround time for background checks can vary from county to county as well as person to person. A good general guideline for completion is around two business days. (Business days exclude weekend days such as Saturday or Sunday)
What if my report is taking longer than expected?
Completion takes generally around two business days. We ask that you please wait for 5 - 7 business days in case court closures and/or known delays are slowing down the completion of your report. However, if you have questions, you may contact our Customer Service for assistance 1-800-853-3228 or email at
How long is my report available?
web The information will remain available for 90 days from the time of submission.
What do I need to do to dispute information on my report?
If you feel the information on your report is incomplete or inaccurate, please contact our customer service department at 1-800-853-3228 or email
What is the difference between a Public Access Code and a Private Access Code?
After a request for a background search has been submitted, you will be provided with 2 access codes to use at your discretion. The Private Access Code is only for you… do not provide this code to anyone else. This allows you to view your information as requested and contains a list of all who have accessed your report.

The Public Access Code is yours to give to anyone you wish to view your report. Detailed information about your residence and other personal information are not viewable on this report for security purposes.
What is the confirmation number used for?
The confirmation number at the end of this online process identifies you to the information provided and charges.
How do I see who has reviewed my results?
You may log into the Reporting website using your Private Access Code. Those that have viewed your report will be listed in the section labeled "My Report Activity."
How will I know that my order has been placed?
After submitting your request, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address provided on your order. This email will reiterate the service you have ordered and provide instructions for any questions or concerns.
To how many people can I provide the Public Access Code?
The number of people who can view your results is limited to 250 views with the private code and 100 views with the public code. You may pass your information to anyone you choose. In addition, you will be able to view who has reviewed your report when you log into the site.
What are Customer Service’s hours of operation?
Our toll free customer service line is open Monday through Friday 8 am to 6 pm Eastern Daylight Time.
What does the term “provisional” mean in the report?
The term provisional means that additional attention to that part of the report is required. Please read over that section carefully.
What is meant by "in person searches"?
Sterling has a proprietary network of court record researchers that visit courthouses in each county nationwide. Here, they physically search the public court records for information about a person’s potential criminal history. This type of search provides the most complete, detailed and up to date information about an individual's past history within the jurisdiction searched.