Background Checks

Need a background check? All adult background checks are performed at our Customer Service Center in Cranston.

4 Howard Avenue (corner of Pontiac Ave. and Howard Ave.)
Cranston, RI 02920

Payment information

  • The cost for a state background check is $5.00*
  • The cost for a national background check is $35.00*
  • For in person transactions, credit/debit cards are the only form of payment accepted (fees apply).
    • Credit cards accepted include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
    • A processing fee of 2% plus .50 will be charged per credit card transaction.
  • For mail in transactions, check or money order are the only form of payment accepted (Payable to "BCI").

BCI records

All BCI records are confidential law enforcement documents. However, these records may be released according to state and federal statute for specified purposes.

Transaction types

Applicable transactions include in-person requests for state and national background checks, as well as security guard licenses and precious metal and pawn dealer applications.

Juvenile background checks

The Office of Attorney General does not have access to Juvenile Records. We can only process background checks for anyone who is 18 years of age or older. If you have any questions regarding juvenile records, please refer to Rhode Island Family Court. We apologize for any inconvenience.



Multiple background checks

It is our policy to process one state background check per person at the BCI window. If you require state background checks for multiple individuals, please consider sending via mail or dropping off in batches. 

For transactions involving multiple background checks, please allow two business days for processing. Remember to include contact information for pick up notification and bring your ID/proof of any organization you work for when picking up.

State background checks are performed using a person’s name and date of birth and are only conducted within the Rhode Island. A background check will not indicate if a person has an out-of-state criminal offense.

In person

To get a background check in person at AG's Customer Service Center in Cranston, you will need ONE of the following forms of ID:

  • Valid state issued driver’s license
  • Valid state issued identification card
  • Valid United States passport

By mail

To get a background check by mail from our Office, you will need to mail the following:

  • A signed and notarized release form
  • A copy of a valid form of photo identification
    • Valid state issued driver’s license
    • Valid state issued identification card
    • Valid United States passport
  • Check or money order for $5.00, payable to “BCI.” Credit cards and cash not accepted by mail.
  • Self-addressed, stamped return envelope. Include this inside the envelope sent to our office, for your request to be sent back.
  • Mail the above to:
    • Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General
      4 Howard Avenue
      Cranston, RI 02920

  • Please allow seven business days for return

For Third Party

To get a background check for a third party from our Office, you will need to present the following:

  • A release to the third-party, signed by the third party and notarized. If you are a company, please attach the disclaimer to your company header.
  • A copy of a valid form of photo identification (see above).
  • Check or money order by mail or credit card if presenting at BCI service window.
  • A self-addressed stamped return envelope for return (if mailed).
**Please Note: If you are requesting a third party check, you MUST provide an ID from the agency or individual that the notarized disclaimer is released to.**


Background checks for overseas purposes

If you are traveling outside the country and need a background check you MUST state that you are traveling outside the country in order to receive the correct paperwork. You MUST ask for the Attorney General's signature print out by letter or in person, then proceed to the Secretary of State’s Office for the Apostille (located at 148 West River Street, Providence).

There are a growing number of Rhode Island laws that require individuals to provide a fingerprint-based national background for purposes of employment, operating a business or serving as a caregiver. Below is a guide to where to obtain a national background check for specific purposes. The guide is subject to change as state laws are amended.

Required form

To obtain a national background check through the Office of Attorney General, individuals must read and complete the following form. To save time, we suggest you print and complete prior to coming in.

Please bring any additional paperwork required by statute or employer with you and valid identification.

If you are a Long Term Care applicant seeking employment at one of the following program types, you MUST be registered by your potential employer and present a letter of eligibility with the registration number in order to be fingerprinted for the national background check:

  • Adult Day Care Program
  • Assisted Living Residence
  • Home Care Provider
  • Home Nursing Care Provider
  • Hospice
  • Long-Term Care Hospital
  • Nursing Facility
  • Nursing Service Agency


Out of State:

If you live out of state and require a national background check, please download and complete the forms below and submit with your fingerprints to the Office of Attorney General.

How does it work?:

  • A trained and certified fingerprint technician will take your fingerprints using one of the LiveScan fingerprint machines. Your fingerprints are sent electronically to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

  • An FBI-generated criminal background report is sent back to the Office of Attorney General.
  • Once received, the fingerprint technician will review the information and send an email to the employer/state agency indicating whether the applicant is qualified or disqualified. No record information is disseminated.
  • If the applicant is disqualified, the applicant can come in person and pick up a copy of their record.
  • For questions or issues on your fingerprint results, please email

The Office of Attorney General can provide you with a set of your fingerprints to use as you need. A trained and certified fingerprint technician will use the Livescan fingerprint machine to capture your fingerprints and provide you with a copy. The cost is $15 and we only accept credit/debit cards (fees apply).

Please note: The fingerprints are not submitted to the FBI.