The Importance of an Identity History Summary Check

An Identity History Summary Check (also called a “rap sheet”) lists information from fingerprint submissions kept by the FBI and related to arrest data and, in some cases, federal employment, naturalization, and military service. It is available to individuals for review and can also be challenged. This process involves submitting a written request, satisfactory proof of identity, and a processing fee to the FBI. An individual may also work with an FBI-approved channeler to help expedite the process.

Background Checks

A background check is a research service that verifies an employee or volunteer’s work history, education, identity, and more. It’s an important part of the hiring process, as it reduces the risk of crime such as theft or violence. But there are laws regulating how deep of an investigation you can conduct without violating an applicant’s privacy rights. Fortunately, many quality screening services can help you make the right decision for your business.

The FBI offers the identity history summary check (or criminal background check) to US citizens and permanent residents. Applicants must provide fingerprints and complete a form requested by the FBI to receive this report. 

An IHSC provides information about a person’s arrest history, including the agency that submitted fingerprints, the date of arrest, and the charge or disposition. It also includes physical biological information like sex, height, weight, and eye color, depending on the discretion of the submitting criminal justice agency.

The FBI also allows the IHSC to be released to governmental licensing and employment agencies for noncriminal justice purposes under Public Law 92-544. This is why it’s so important for businesses to have a consistent and compliant screening policy. This will allow them to hire the best employees and volunteers while staying within federal regulations and protecting their business from liability lawsuits.

Credit Reports

Credit reporting agencies use information lender report to create a detailed account of your financial history called a credit report. Lenders, insurers, and other businesses can then use this information to evaluate applications for loans, credit cards, and even housing. As part of a background check, a credit report can help you see if there are any errors on your file.

It’s important to review your credit reports regularly. Doing so can help you spot identity theft early and stop it from getting out of control. Check your credit reports for unusual activity and accounts you don’t recognize. A good practice is to request a copy of your report from each of the three credit reporting companies simultaneously and compare them against one another.

The FBI conducts what it calls Identity History Summary Checks (IdHSC). IdHSC culls court and law enforcement records to find all arrests and, in some instances, federal employment, naturalization, and military service. The FBI can offer IdHSC processing services via authorized channelers—private businesses that have contracted with the FBI to submit IdHSC requests on behalf of individuals. A good IdHSC channeler can reduce the time it takes to receive a physical, apostille-ready IdHSC from weeks to days.


Whether you’re trying to get a job, a security clearance, or an education credential, it may be important to check criminal records. Getting a federal background check through an FBI-approved channeler can distinguish between being approved and denied.

The FBI can provide individuals with an Identity History Summary (IdHS) report for a fee. Also known as a rap sheet, it lists information from fingerprint submissions related to arrests and, in some instances, federal employment, naturalization, and military service.

Individuals can apply for an IDHS directly with the FBI, but it’s often easier to use an FBI-approved channeler who collects your fingerprints, submits your request, and receives your results. 

Prevent Fraud

Keeping your business updated on new red flags is vital as criminals become more sophisticated. These include new ways identity thieves access and use your customers’ data, the types of accounts that are opened or maintained in your business, and how you open and provide access to those accounts.

The FBI conducts Identity History Summary Checks (IdHSC) that cull court and law enforcement records to find all criminal activity linked to an individual’s fingerprints. These checks also contain information based on federal employment, naturalization, and military service.

This check, often called a rap sheet, is strictly confidential and can only be accessed by enforcement officers, judges, and defense attorneys whom the FBI approves. However, private companies compile this data into an informal criminal record that employers and landlords can access for a fee.

The IdHSC report will list all arrest charges interlinked to fingerprints. The record will include:

  • Details like the agency that submitted the fingerprints.
  • The date of the arrest.
  • The arrest charge.
  • The disposition of the arrest, if available.

It will also include any names used during the arrest, including aliases. The IdHSC is not used for employment or licensing background checks, and these should be coordinated with the appropriate state identification bureau for the specific jurisdiction.

Also, Read The Following: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

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