Why I Need It
Double-checking the contents of your FBI Criminal History report (CHR) is similar to checking your credit score. Information in your CHR can affect your eligibility for many employment opportunities, may preclude you from certain benefits and may be cause to deny or revoke a security clearance.
The FBI relies on various law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system to provide updates to the record. If you were arrested, tried and found innocent of a criminal charge, the FBI only knows what information the local jurisdiction has updated. Therefore, it is possible that your report shows that you were arrested for a crime but does not show that you were later found innocent of all charges.
Furthermore, there may be things in your past that you believe were expunged from your record. The only way to be sure is to obtain a current copy of the report.
It is far better to know, with certainty, everything that your report contains before you apply for a job. This will save you time and possibly embarrassment if there is something in your history that you were not aware of or forgot to mention to your perspective employer. Furthermore, if the report shows an arrest but doesn't show that you were acquitted of the charges, checking your criminal history before applying for a job will give you time to correct the record before you miss out on an employment opportunity.
Additionally, some countries may require visitors who wish to live, work or travel in that country to provide a "police certificate" or "background check" that proves their character. A copy of your FBI Criminal History should satisfy any such requirements. Also, many jurisdictions require a Criminal History Report to adopt a child or meet other court-order requirements. NOTE: If you require a copy of your CHRI with an Apostille (a formal certification by the US Department of State) please see "Apostille" under "Restrictions and Limitations".