November 13, 2023 | Sex Offender Registry

Your National Criminal Search Is Missing Sex Offender Registry Records and You Don’t Even Know It

National Criminal Database (NatCrim) searches are an essential element of a comprehensive pre-employment background check. These searches serve as the foundational step in compiling an individual’s criminal history, alongside Social Security Number (SSN) traces. Background screening companies and risk management professionals rely on the results of NatCrim searches to pinpoint jurisdictions necessitating follow-up county criminal record searches. However, there is a significant issue that often goes unnoticed. Pointer data from NatCrim searches can frequently overlook sex offender registry records, leading to gaps in background check results.

The good news is that our new offering, Sex Offender Registry+ (SOR+TM), is a comprehensive solution that bridges this gap. Let’s explore the reasons behind the limitations of NatCrim searches for sex offender data, and dive into how InformData’s solution, SOR+, solves this issue.

NatCrim Isn’t a Catch-All Solution for SOR Data

To get the full picture of a subject’s criminal history, a lot of Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) and background screening companies typically follow the process of performing an SSN Trace, National Criminal Database Search, and then County Criminal Search(es). The SSN Trace brings back all names, dates of birth, and addresses associated with that SSN, the NatCrim search provides information on an individual’s criminal data and sex offender registry data, and then the NatCrim results are used to drill down with county-level searches to get complete case and charge details to compile comprehensive criminal background check results.

All good, right? Not always. National Criminal Database search results are not a catch-all solution. In fact, sex offender registry records are often missed. The problem is that NatCrim searches are normally conducted using web scrapers, which is not ideal when it comes to sex offender registry (SOR) data.

We dug into those issues in a recent article, but here’s a quick breakdown of some of the bigger problems:

  • Data is scraped on a schedule (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.) so real-time additions to the registry are not captured
  • Scrapers may fail to collect data due to site blocking, site outages, or site changes

These pitfalls lead to a high risk of missed records and registry information. SOR+ solves this problem by using a direct API integration to the leading sex offender management database. This provides direct-to-source access to critical SOR data, enabling a real-time search that contains the most current and up-to-date information. Our direct API integration to the data also allows for greater uptime as it is not impacted by site blocking, outages or changes, proactively preventing missed records and mitigating risk.

Translation: web scraping is out, and SOR+ is in!

Insufficient Identifiers

Not only do National Criminal Database Searches occasionally miss important sex offender registry records, but they also often lack the necessary identifiers to report with maximum accuracy and eliminate false positives. For instance, one key identifier that NatCrim SOR results lack is SSN matching capability. This omission can be especially problematic when attempting to verify an individual's identity and background. NatCrim SOR results also fail to provide date of birth (DOB) information in 14 states, further complicating the verification and matching process. Without sufficient identifiers, it’s necessary to manually double-check the hits to attempt to retrieve additional personally identifiable information (PII) and confirm whether the results belong to the individual being searched. This process is incredibly labor-intensive, time-consuming and costly.

Thanks to our API integration, SOR+ can access and return full DOB and SSN matching for more than 50% of all registered sex offenders. This enhanced PII matching ensures more accurate and conclusive results, while eliminating manual labor and reducing false positives. And, because it’s an automated search, turnaround times are minimal (less than 60 seconds on average), whereas it can take weeks or months to verify NatCrim hits.

It’s worth noting that some CRAs may believe they are avoiding the pitfalls of National Criminal Database searches by conducting a separate sex offender registry check using a traditional SOR product. However, these traditional methods suffer from the same challenges as NatCrim searches. Historically, these have been the only options – until now.

The Solution: SOR+

You shouldn’t have to worry whether you’re National Criminal Database search results are missing sex offender registry data. Effectively mitigate risks and keep your clients well-informed by incorporating an automated, API-driven SOR search, like SOR+, in conjunction with your NatCrim and county-level checks. This proactive strategy ensures that no sex offender registry data goes unnoticed, strengthening trust with your customers and enhancing the safety of our communities.

icon-video  Check out our webinar to hear all about SOR+ - Unveiling SOR+: Enhanced PII and Lightning-Fast Results.

Ready for fast, efficient, and accurate sex offender registry results with SOR+? Contact us to discuss how it works or to see it in action.


Sex Offender Registry Search from InformData