Understanding the Criminal History Record Results

Information included on the Record Check

There are two types of non-law enforcement criminal history record checks:

  1. general public record check: used by prospective landlords, private employers, and others;
  2. regulatory or licensing record check: required by state law for individuals who are applying for licensure from a state agency, board or commission, for entry into certain types of professional licensing academic programs, and for certain state and local entities with authority under N.D.C.C. § 12-60-24(2).

Information Not Included on Record Checks

The following information is not available on a North Dakota record check (even for a law enforcement record check):  

  • Juvenile records;
  • Federal records;
  • Most traffic offenses (Contact the ND Department of Transportation);
  • Civil judgments (Contact the Courts);
  • Records from other states
  • Tribal records.

General Public Record Check

A general public record check provides North Dakota records of:

  • Convictions, regardless of how old. 
  • Charges that were dismissed, or did not result in conviction, or do not have a court disposition, and are less than three years old
    • When a deferred charge is dismissed, the charge continues to be reported on a record check for three years from the dismissal date, even if the court record has been sealed.
  • Jail or prison custody records less than three years old.

Not included in a general public record check:

  • Charges that were dismissed, did not result in conviction, or do not have a court disposition, that are more than three years old;
  • Jail or prison custody records more than three years old;

If no criminal record is found or the information is not releasable, the requester will receive a notice stating "No information is available either because no information exists or dissemination is prohibited."

Note: even if the information is too old to be included on the general public criminal history record check, it is always available to a regulatory/licensing criminal history record check and to law enforcement officials.  

Regulatory/Licensing Record Checks

Regardless of how old the information is, a regulatory/licensing criminal history record check provides North Dakota records of:

  • Convictions. 
  • Charges that were dismissed, or did not result in conviction, or do not have a court disposition.
  • Jail or prison custody records.

Pardons

The record check for an individual who has received a Pardon will show both the conviction and the Pardon. If the Pardon was granted With Removal of Guilt, that means the person’s conviction has been wiped and they may correctly state “No” to the question of whether they were convicted of the offense. See Memo from Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. More information about Pardons is available from the Pardon Advisory Board or by contacting an attorney.