How far back can background checks go?
Unless you are able to have a record expunged, it can linger indefinitely in your background screening report. This is especially true of criminal convictions. You may be wondering, however, how civil records are dealt with when it comes to your background investigation. The reporting of civil suits, civil judgments, arrest records, and paid tax liens are limited by the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s “7-year rule,” which mandates that these records be removed from consumer reports, like background checks, after 7 years. This applies to every state in the United States. So, if your civil record is more than 7 years old and shows up on your background check (which you have a right to see), you are able to contest it, per the FCRA.