FBI Database and File Facts
The FBI does not keep a file on every citizen of the United States.
The FBI was not established until 1908 and we have very few records prior to the 1920's.
FBI files generally contain reports of FBI investigations of a wide range of matters, including counterterrorism, foreign counter-intelligence, organized crime/drugs, violent crime, white-collar crime, applicants, and civil rights.
The FBI does not issue clearances or non-clearances for anyone other than its own personnel or persons having access to FBI facilities.
Background investigations for security clearances are conducted by many different Government agencies. Persons who received a clearance while in the military or employed with some other government agency should write directly to that entity.
An FBI identification record or "rap sheet" is NOT the same as an FBI "file"- it is simply a listing of information taken from fingerprint cards submitted to the FBI in connection with arrests, federal employment, naturalization, or military service.
The National Name Check Program (NNCP) conducts a search of the FBI's Universal Index to identify any information contained in FBI records that may be associated with an individual and provides the results of that search to the requesting Federal, State or local agency. For the NNCP, a name is searched in a multitude of combinations and phonetic spellings to ensure all records are located. The NNCP also searches for both "main" and "cross reference" files. A main file is an entry that carries the name corresponding to the subject of a file while a cross reference is merely a mention of an individual contained in a file.
The results from a search of this magnitude can result in several "hits" and "idents" on an individual. In each instance where UNI has identified a name variation or reference, information must be reviewed to determine whether it is applicable to the individual in question.