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Michigan Background Checks: A Complete Guide [2023]


Regardless of the industry, it is critical for your business to conduct thorough, accurate, and legally compliant pre-employment screenings during the hiring process.

A state of Michigan background check for employment can help your business to find trustworthy and safe employees who are fully qualified for their jobs. With the right employees, your business is likelier to succeed and grow.

You must be careful when you conduct a background check in Michigan and make certain that you follow all of the state and federal laws that govern the process. Different laws control how critical background information can be collected by consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and how employers can use the information they receive when making hiring decisions.

Following all of the relevant laws governing employment background checks in Michigan requires you to have current knowledge of all of the rules along with comprehensive access to resources so that you can gather important information about job candidates.

At iprospectcheck, we stay current with the relevant laws and rules that apply to Michigan pre-employment background checks and have conducted pre-employment screenings for companies in Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Flint, and more.

We have written this overview on how to complete accurate and FCRA-compliant Michigan employment background checks as a resource for businesses in the state.

Let’s get started.

Michigan Background Check Laws in 2023

CRAs and employers in Michigan are required to follow all federal and state laws that apply to pre-employment background checks and the information that can be collected and used to make hiring decisions.

If you do not follow the background check laws in Michigan, your company could face fines and lawsuits.

Below, we have included information about some of the most important background check laws that Michigan employers should know and follow.

Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks

At the federal level, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are the most important laws covering employment background checks in every state, including Michigan.


The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act is a comprehensive law that regulates how consumer information can be gathered and used. It is meant to protect consumers’ privacy in their confidential information and restricts the types of information that CRAs can collect and report. The FCRA also places limitations on employers when they use background check information to make hiring decisions.

Under the FCRA, CRAs are not allowed to disclose arrests older than seven years if they did not lead to convictions. CRAs also cannot report other types of information older than seven years, including civil judgments, civil lawsuits, collections, bankruptcies, and property liens.

These restrictions do not apply when employers are considering applicants for positions paying at least $75.000. Records of criminal convictions are not subject to the FCRA’s restrictions and can be reported no matter how old they are.

The FCRA’s restrictions also do not apply to other relevant background details, including information about an applicant’s prior employment or education. These types of information can be reported regardless of age.

Employers in Michigan that intend to conduct pre-employment background screenings must notify their applicants in writing and secure their written consent before the checks can be performed.

If negative background information is reported on a pre-employment screening report, employers must follow the FCRA’s two-step adverse action procedure before they make an adverse employment decision.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

Title VII is an integral part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a seminal law that was passed to prevent discrimination against people based on their protected statuses. Title VII forbids unlawful discrimination in the workplace against both applicants and employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces this law and creates regulations under it.

Title VII covers the pre-employment background check process when criminal history information is revealed. According to guidance issued by the EEOC, employers should individually assess conviction information as it relates to the specific job before making a decision not to hire the applicant.

State of Michigan Employment Background Check Laws

In Michigan, CRAs must comply with the FCRA and do not have other state law restrictions. Several laws govern how employers can collect and use the information for hiring decisions, however.

Under MCL § 37.2205a, employers are not allowed to rely on arrests not leading to misdemeanor convictions, including recent misdemeanor arrests. However, this restriction does not apply to felony arrests for charges that are still pending.

Under Executive Directive 2019-10, employers in Michigan are not allowed to ask applicants about their salary histories or to conduct searches of databases to try to find this information.

Under MCL §§ 37.271 – 37.278, employers may not ask applicants or employees for their passwords to access their social media sites or personal webpages. However, there might be an exception for an investigation into employee misconduct.

Birthdates to Be Redacted

Michigan employers need to be aware of two administrative orders that will impact the information they can receive on criminal history reports. ADM File No. 2020-26 and ADM File No. 2017-28 were issued by the Michigan State Court Administration Office. Under these orders, date of birth information will no longer be reported on state court records.

The Michigan Supreme Court issued an order on June 30, 2021, delaying the implementation of the administrative orders until Jan. 1, 2022. However, beginning on that date, employers and CRAs will no longer be able to use dates of birth to verify that a criminal record belongs to a specific applicant.

At iprospectcheck, we have identified internal changes and have adopted new methods so that we can continue to provide the most reliable criminal history reports possible to our clients in Michigan regardless of the changes.

What Shows Up on a Michigan Background Check?

Michigan employers that order employment background check reports from iprospectcheck might see different types of information, depending on which types of reports they request. Employers can customize their reports to meet their specific needs.

Most companies in Michigan ask for criminal history, employment, and education information on their requests. Below, you will find what you might see on each of these types of pre-employment background check reports.

Criminal History

For applicants with criminal histories, you will see the following information on your background check report:

  • Criminal case number
  • Date of arrest
  • Charge(s)
  • Disposition
  • Date of disposition
  • Severity of the charge (misdemeanor or felony)
  • Sentence

Employers are not allowed to rely on information about misdemeanor arrests that did not result in convictions.


Employers that request employment verification services from iprospectcheck can confirm where an applicant has worked, his or her dates of employment at each company, and the positions and job titles the candidate has held.

Employment verification can allow employers to check whether their applicants have been honest on their resumes and applications and have the experience they need for their jobs. Verifying the employment histories of your applicants can help to minimize your risk of negligent hiring lawsuits.


Education verification helps employers to confirm that their applicants have the diplomas, certificates, or degrees their positions require. When you request an education verification report, you will see each educational institution an applicant has attended, their dates of attendance, and the diplomas, certificates, or degrees the applicant has earned.

Verifying the educational information reported by your applicants can help you to ensure that the people you hire are honest and qualified for their jobs.

How Far Back Does a Background Check Go in Michigan?

The FCRA’s seven-year lookback period governs how far back certain types of information can be reported for applicants. Information that is seven or more years old about an applicant’s arrests not leading to convictions, liens, civil judgments, collections, civil lawsuits, and bankruptcies will not be disclosed on pre-employment background screens.

However, if you are offering a salary of at least $75,000, the FCRA’s time restriction will not apply. Criminal conviction records can be reported regardless of age.

The FCRA’s time limitation for reporting information does not apply to other important types of background information, including your applicants’ past employment, education, or credentials. These types of information can be reported and used no matter how old they might be.

How to Get a Background Check in Michigan

In Michigan, you can request name-based criminal history searches through the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) offered by the Michigan State Police.

This report will not contain information about out-of-state convictions or other important information about your applicants’ past employment or educational attainment.

Some employers try to perform searches online. However, the information you might obtain in this way might be incomplete, inaccurate, and not FCRA-compliant or reveal details that you cannot use to make employment decisions.

Trying to submit requests to numerous agencies, employers, and educational institutions may also be time-consuming and not provide you with comprehensive information.

The best method of conducting pre-employment background checks in Michigan is to work with a reputable, full-service, and FCRA-compliant provider like iprospectcheck. We fully comply with the FCRA and provide up-to-date, accurate, and comprehensive background check reports to our clients.

We also offer other important employment-related clinical services, including drug testing.

How Much Does a Background Check Cost in Michigan?

If you order a background check through the ICHAT system, you will have to pay $10 per report. However, this information will not include relevant details about your applicant’s employment and education and will also not include information about any convictions in other states or in federal court.

You might find sites online that promise free Michigan background checks. You should avoid these sites because they frequently return information that is inaccurate, incomplete, and not legally compliant. If you rely on this type of information, you could be sued.

It is a better idea to work with a third-party employment background check provider like iprospectcheck. We are reliable and affordable and offer fully FCRA-compliant background check reports in Michigan. You can tailor the types of information you request so that the reports you receive will only include information that is relevant to your positions.

We offer various packages at different price levels. Employers that anticipate ordering more than 50 background checks per year can benefit from significant volume discounts. Call us today to receive a free quote.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Background Check Completed in Michigan?

How long it might take for you to receive your background check reports will depend on the method you use. If you submit a request to the state police, the information will be provided once your payment is approved. However, it will not be all of the information you need and could leave out details about convictions in other states.

If you try to conduct background checks by submitting requests to different state agencies and contacting past employers and educational institutions, it can take several weeks to compile the information.

When you instead choose to partner with iprospectcheck, you can benefit from our fast turnaround times. With us, you can anticipate receiving your pre-employment background check reports within a few hours up to a couple of days.

iprospectcheck: Your Trusted Partner for Fast, Accurate, Compliant Michigan Background Checks

Conducting FCRA-compliant, accurate, and comprehensive state of Michigan pre-employment background check reports requires broad access to reliable databases that include information about an applicant’s criminal history, driving record, educational qualifications, credentials, employment history, and more.

When you rely on iprospectcheck, you can benefit from our vast resources and extensive access to reliable and current databases. We can quickly gather the information you need to make sound hiring decisions.

Each of our staff members goes through thorough training. They know how to collect and assess crucial background information for applicants. The results we provide are comprehensive, current, accurate, and FCRA-compliant.

Customer service is important to us. We want to make the background check process as smooth as possible for both our clients and their applicants. We are USA-based and never offshore our services. This helps us to protect the privacy of your sensitive data. We are available to answer questions when they arise.

To learn more about the services we provide, contact iprospectcheck today to request a no-obligation, free consultation.

DISCLAIMER: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Consult your counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

Know Before You Hire

About the Author
Matthew J. Rodgers

Matthew J. Rodgers

Matthew J. Rodgers is a highly accomplished business executive with over 30 years of experience providing strategic vision and leadership to companies ranging from the fortune 500 to iprospectcheck, a company which he co-founded over a decade ago. Matthew is a valued consultant who is dedicated to helping companies create and implement efficient, cost effective and compliant employment screening programs. Matt has been a member of the Professional Background Screeners Association since 2009 . When not focused on iprospectcheck, he can be found spending time with his family, fly fishing, or occasionally running the wild rivers of the American west. A lifetime member of American Whitewater, Matt is passionate about protecting and restoring America’s whitewater rivers.