Get a background check

Attorney General Julius C. Michaelson Customer Service Center

4 Howard Avenue (corner of Pontiac Ave. and Howard Ave.)
Cranston, RI 02920
401-274-4400
bcifingerprints@riag.ri.gov

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday*
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(Fingerprint process stops at 4:00 p.m.)
*Closed on state holidays

NO APPOINTMENTS - This is a walk-in service only.

Check-in process for in-person transactions

Upon arrival, register to the walk-in virtual line service. No Appointments.

  • Register online by using text message or QR code provided on signage in our parking lot. After registering, you will receive a welcome text. Please wait for a second text message stating that you should enter the facility.
  • Registration is from 8:30 am to 4:15 pm. We are only accepting credit and debit at this time (fees apply). Fingerprinting Stops at 4:00 pm.
  • Any issues with registering, please call 401-274-4400 and select option 2 for BCI.

* As of January 3, 2023, the National background check (fingerprinting) fee will be increased to $45.00. All other fees will remain the same.

Additional Information

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
401-274-4400

Additional information about common background check topics.

  • The cost for a state background check is $5.00*
  • The cost for a national background check is $45.00*.
  • 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").

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

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.

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.

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 will only reflect Rhode Island records. A state background check will not indicate if a person has an out-of-state or federal criminal offense.

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

* We do not take appointments; this is a walk-in service only.

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 all documents above to the following address:

Rhode Island Office of The Attorney General
4 Howard Ave
Cranston RI 02920

  • Please allow seven business days for return
  • For questions or issues on State BCI's, please email BCIstate@riag.ri.gov

For background checks required to volunteer at a school, use the following form.

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

  • A signed an notarized release form. If this is for a facility, please attach this form to your facilities 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.**

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.

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.

NO APPOINTMENTS - This is a walk-in service only.

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

To get a national background check by mail from our Office (including out of state national background checks) you will need to mail the following:

  • A signed and notarized release/disclaimer form
  • A completed fingerprint form
  • The 'BCI Certification of Fingerprints' form completed by the agency that fingerprinted you onto fingerprint cards
  • Your fingerprint on a fingerprint card
  • 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 for $45.00, payable to 'BCI'. Credit cards and cash are not accepted by mail.
  • Mail the above documents to:

Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General
Attn: Fingerprint Dept.
4 Howard Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920

  • A trained and certified fingerprint technician will take your fingerprints (or fingerprint cards for mailed in requests) using one of the LiveScan fingerprint machines. Your fingerprints are sent electronically from our office 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 BCIfingerprints@riag.ri.gov

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.