BCA public criminal history information website.
If a city wishes to access public information for an employment or license background check, it can do so by using the BCA’s free website access. However, only conviction, sentence, and confinement information for 15 years after the discharge of the sentence will appear. No arrest data without a conviction is available using the website. The website search tool requires an exact match of name and date of birth. If there are multiple cases of “John Smith” with the same date of birth, for example, the website tool will not be able to distinguish between them.
Minn. Stat. § 13.87, subd. 3.
Cities that use this website tool for employment background checks must notify the applicant for employment that it intends to do the background check using the website.
Public data includes:
Conviction data for 15 years after discharge of sentence.
Sentence information for 15 years after discharge of sentence.
Confinement information for 15 years after discharge of sentence.
Minn. Stat. § 299C.46.
Police departments can have access to the BCA criminal history data only to perform the duties that are required by law, and generally this means performing law enforcement duties.
Minn. Stat. § 299C.72.
However, as of Aug. 1, 2013, police departments are statutorily authorized to use this data for employment background and certain license checks. The law requires that the law enforcement agency must receive the informed consent of the individual whose criminal history is being investigated and that the data must be maintained securely in the police department. However, the agency can share whether there is a criminal history that would prevent hire or issuance of a license to the appropriate decision makers within the city.
The League has developed a model policy that will help the city comply with the provisions of this law and ensure that the city has a well-considered process in place, including:
League of Minnesota Cities Information Memo: Background Checks: The ABCs of BCA Data
1/14/2014 Page 2