Laws on a Level 2 Background Check

by Sophia Harrison; Updated September 26, 2017

It has become increasingly common for businesses to conduct background checks on potential employees. Depending on the type of job that you are applying for, you may be required to submit to a Level 2 background check. A Level 2 background check is not only legal in most states, but may in fact be required if you work in certain industries.


Employers want to hire people who can abide by laws and regulations, and be trusted with company information and goods. A background check can be a strong indicator of whether a person is the type of employee a company wants to have. Most background checks consist of state or local verification of a person's identity by name and or social security number, as well as, a report of any legal infractions or arrests. Because of the increased demand in background checks, private companies now specialize in such services.

Level 2

A Level 2 background check is more in-depth than a standard background check. When an employer requests a Level 2 background check, it is usually due to the sensitive nature of information that the company handles, which can include such information as Social Security numbers, financial records and credit card information. The financial services industry, for example, requires all applicants to submit to a Level 2 background check, during which an applicant is fingerprinted, the fingerprints are then sent to state law enforcement and the FBI for comparison with a nationwide database of records.


The FBI almost always has the legal power to exchange a person's criminal history with state and local officials. This authority is bestowed on the FBI when the U.S. attorney general approves a state initiated statute allowing background checks. If you live in a such a state, and are asked to submit to a Level 2 background check, any information connected with your fingerprints may be sent or exchanged with the FBI and local law enforcement.


You may also be asked to submit to a Level 2 background check if applying for a state professional license or volunteering with a public organization. Likewise, those who have contact with minors, such as teachers or publicly funded tutors, are often required by state law to submit to Level 2 background checks, where their information is run against local police records and sex offender registries. For information on the laws concerning background checks in your state, contact your state's department of state.

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About the Author

Sophia Harrison began writing professionally in 2007. She has a Master of Arts in economics from the University at Buffalo-SUNY, as well as experience working in the New York City financial industry.

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