What Is a Level 2 Background Check and What Does It Show?

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what is a level 2 background check

Wondering what is a level 2 background check? This post has all the information you need.

These days, employers prefer to opt for background checks before making significant decisions that could put them at risk.

Moreover, there are different levels of screening. The choice depends on the amount of information you need about your target.

So, keep reading, and I’ll help you discover these levels and how to determine which one fits your needs.

What Is a Level 1 Background Check?

A level 1 background check is a name-based basic form of screening that allows you to search through available public records within a state to verify a person’s identity and history.

The information you can access includes:

  • Basic employment history
  • Criminal records
  • Sex offenders registry
  • Marriage and divorce records.

However, this information is limited to the state level.

So, any crime records outside the state where the background screening is performed won’t appear in the reports. It can be done online as many websites provide such reports on demand, although rarely for free.

What Is a Level 2 Background Check?

A level 2 background check allows you to search through national records databases to gather more detailed and comprehensive information about a person’s history and criminal actions.

This type of screening is fingerprint-based and more in-depth, unlike the level 1 check, which is usually name-based.

It goes through available public records at state and national levels to unravel hidden information about a person.

Usually, it’s done to reveal the background of people vying for important positions, known by law as positions of trust.

Also, it’s carried out on people working in the healthcare sector and actively dealing with patients and related populations.

What Does a Level 2 Background Check Show?

Owing to its access to a huge database of public records, a level 2 background check is very detailed and can show a wide range of information, including:

1. Sealed Court Records

Usually, some court records are sealed to protect an individual’s privacy. They’re inaccessible to the public but can only be accessed via a level 2 background check.

These records include court convictions, juvenile delinquency convictions, crimes against children and vulnerable people, and detention.

Hence, if you’re an employer that needs detailed information about your prospective employee, a level 2 background check will disclose everything.

However, expunged records erase all traces of related information.

2. In-depth Criminal History

what is a level 2 background check - criminal records check

As discussed, level 2 background checks search through criminal records at the state and federal levels, revealing instances of arrests, convictions, and ongoing court cases.

This will reveal if the person you’re searching has a felony conviction to their name, misdemeanor convictions, or any history of criminal activities.

However, civil lawsuits and judgments older than seven years won’t be included in the report.

The same goes for arrests older than seven years and didn’t lead to convictions; they won’t be revealed in the check.

Nevertheless, the report from a level 2 screening has a more detailed criminal history.

3. Comprehensive Employment History

Comprehensive employment history

Level 2 background checks reveal a more detailed employment history. This includes the individual’s previous employers, actual dates of employment, and job titles.

In comparison, the level 1 report only shows the job history.

This information makes it easy to identify a falsified resume as you can access the real employment history to verify their claims.

In this case, the potential employer can either send an email or call the previous employer to know the individual’s job conduct.

Other information shown in a level 2 background check includes:

  • Prison records
  • Sexual offense records
  • Records showing involvement in domestic terrorist watchlists
  • Financial information.


So, now you know what is a level 2 background check. It’s mostly used by government agencies and companies looking to fill sensitive roles.

This is because it’s fingerprint-based and has access to a larger database of public records. It’s much more detailed than the level 1 screening.


What disqualifies you from a level 2 background check?

Offenses that disqualify you from a level 2 background check include:

  • Violence
  • Abuse and neglect of children
  • Various types of felonies
  • Murder
  • Arson
  • Stalking and assault
  • Robbery and burglary
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Fraud
  • Kidnapping
  • Prostitution.

Also, offenses considered harmful to the vulnerable populace can disqualify a person from a level 2 background check.

Can I do a level 2 background check on myself?

Yes, you can perform a level 2 background check on yourself. In fact, it’s advisable for anyone with a history of certain criminal offenses as it provides all the information an employer will see if they request a background check on you.

Hence, you can use it to pre-qualify yourself for specific job roles and increase your chances of employment.

How long does a level 2 background check take?

A level 2 background check may take anywhere between 2 to 5 business days to complete.

The duration solely depends on how intense the background check is, although fingerprint checks at both state and national levels are completed quickly.

However, certain aspects like education credentials and past employment history, may require manual verification, which may prolong the process.

Also, the mode through which the fingerprint is submitted is another determining factor. If it’s in a paper format, it’ll be sent to the FBI on an FD-258 fingerprint card. It’ll then be manually digitized before comparison with the automated FBI database.

If submitted electronically, the fingerprint gets immediately transmitted into the database, ensuring faster completion.

What type of background checks are there?

There are many types of background checks, such as:

  • Education verification
  • Criminal records
  • Sex offenders registry
  • Driving records
  • Social Security Number verification
  • License and identity verification
  • Reference checks
  • Drug screening
  • Employment verification
  • Credit background check.

What does level 1 mean on a background check?

Level 1 background check is the most standard review of an individual’s available public records and criminal history.

It’s commonly used for individual and pre-employment purposes and reveals basic information about a person, unlike the level 2 background checks. It doesn’t investigate credit and financial status, drug screening, and more.

However, the details included in the level 1 background check may differ based on the country, state, and other local laws and regulations.

Read the rest of the article to find out what is a level 2 background check and more.