National Crime Information Center (NCIC)

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NCIC is a computerized index of criminal justice information.

The NCIC Background Check reviews are handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the National Crime Information Center. It serves as an office where all data submitted by various agencies are deposited for safekeeping of records. For some other criminal history, there are also other repositories by state which compile the histories of criminal records.


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The FBI National Crime Information Center (NCIC) 2000 is a nationwide information system dedicated to serving and supporting criminal justice agencies -- local, state, and federal -- in their mission to uphold the law and protect the public.

The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is a computerized database of documented criminal justice information available to virtually every law enforcement agency nationwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The NCIC became operational on January 27, 1967, with the goal of assisting law enforcement in apprehending fugitives and locating stolen property. This goal has since expanded to include locating missing persons and further protecting law enforcement personnel and the public.




The NCIC database consists of 18 files. Seven property files contain records for articles, boats, guns, license plates, securities, vehicles, and vehicle and boat parts. The 11 person files are the Convicted Sexual Offender Registry, Foreign Fugitive, Identity Theft, Immigration Violator, Missing Person, Protection Order, Supervised Release, Unidentified Person, U.S. Secret Service Protective, Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization, and Wanted Person Files. In addition, the database contains images that can be associated with NCIC records to assist agencies in identifying people and property items. The Interstate Identification Index, which contains automated criminal history record

Its predecessor, NCIC, was established in 1967. NCIC 2000 serves criminal justice agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and Canada, as well as federal agencies with law enforcement missions. NCIC 2000 provides a major upgrade to those services provided by NCIC, and extends these services down to the patrol car and mobile officer. NCIC 2000’s additional capabilities are as follows:

  • Enhanced Name Search: Uses the New York State Identification and Intelligence System (NYSIIS). Returns phonetically similar names (e.g. Marko, Marco or Knowles, Nowles or derivatives of names such as William,Willie, Bill).

  • Fingerprint Searches: Stores and searches the right index fingerprint. Search inquiries compare the print to all fingerprint data on file (wanted persons and missing persons).

  • Probation/Parole: Convicted Persons or Supervised Release File contains records of subjects under supervised release.

  • Online Manuals: State Control Terminal Agencies (CTAs) can download manuals and make them available to users on-line.

  • Improved Data Quality: Point-of-entry checks for errors; validates that data is entered correctly (e.g., VINs); checks that data is entered in all mandatory fields; links text and image information; and expands miscellaneous fields.

  • Information Linking: Connects two or more records so that an inquiry on one retrieves the other record(s).

See for yourself. Get a comprehensive, all-in-one background check. Just input the full name of the person you want background info on, and in seconds - you have all the background details you should know.

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  • Mugshots: One mugshot per person record may be entered in NCIC 2000. One fingerprint, one signature, and up to 10 other identifying images (scars, marks, tattoos) may also be entered.

  • Other Images: One identifying image for each entry in the following files: Article, Vehicle, Boat, Vehicle or Boat Part. A file of generic images (e.g., a picture of a 1989 Ford Mustang) is maintained in the system.

  • Convicted Sex Offender Registry: Contains records of individuals who are convicted sexual offenders or violent sexual predators.

  • SENTRY File: An index of individuals incarcerated in the federal prison system. Response provides descriptive information and location of prison.

  • Delayed Inquiry: Every record entered or modified is checked against the inquiry log. Provides the entering and inquiring agency with a response if any other agency inquired on the subject in the last five days.

  • On-line Ad-hoc Inquiry: A flexible technique that allows users to search the active databases and access the system’s historical data.

How the NCIC is used


Criminal justice agencies enter records into the NCIC, which are, in turn, accessible to law enforcement agencies nationwide. For example, a law enforcement officer can conduct an inquiry of NCIC during a traffic stop to determine if the vehicle in question is stolen or if the driver is a wanted person, and the NCIC System responds instantly. However, a positive response from the NCIC is not probable cause for an officer to take action. NCIC policy requires the inquiring agency to make contact with the entering agency to verify the information is accurate and up-to-date. Once the record is confirmed, the inquiring agency may take action to arrest a fugitive, return a missing person, charge a subject with violation of a protection order, or recover stolen property.


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