The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) maintains a centralized database that contains statewide criminal background information for adult subjects. Officially titled ‘Tennessee Open Records Information Services’ (TORIS), this massive resource is searchable by subject name only for ordinary members of the public. All TORIS criminal history data is based solely on fingerprints submitted by local law enforcement agencies. Thus, any criminal history search results that TORIS returns are derived solely from arrest records on file at the local Tennessee police agency listed therein. Below is a summarized list of vital tips to keep in mind at all times while conducting criminal history searches.
Tennessee Background Check
TBI provides both the general public and “qualified organizations” easily accessible platforms by which to perform criminal background checks that are thorough as well as cost- and time-efficient. However, each group must abide by a unique set of rules that govern legally permissible scope and mandatory procedures. Thus, please give very close attention to the basic guidelines below that best fit your specific criminal background search category.
Any party may obtain any adult’s statewide criminal history directly from TBI without being required to submit the subject’s fingerprints. Such adult background checks may be conducted via the Internet or U.S. Mail. To launch an online criminal history search, you will need to visit the TORIS site. If you’d prefer to use the U.S. Mail, you must submit a standardized request form that’s downloadable online.
Mail your completed request form and the appropriate processing fee to:
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation- TORIS Unit
901 R.S. Gass Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37216
You may also contact the TORIS Unit by phone at (615) 744-4057 or fax at (615) 744-4651.
Nationwide Background Check
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division serves as America’s centralized repository of nationwide criminal records data. Officially dubbed ‘Identity History Summary,’ CJIS files are commonly referred to as ‘rap sheets’ or ‘criminal history records.’ Such documents contain a comprehensive listing of specific data retained in FBI files about fingerprints submitted in connection with arrests, military service, immigration and naturalization proceedings or federal employment.
Pursuant to applicable current federal law and regulations, only the subject may obtain their own FBI criminal history by submitting a written request directly to CJIS or an approved FBI Channeler. Such channelers are independent private firms that accept and electronically transmit requests for CJIS processing, then receive and disseminate electronic Identity History Summaries to individual subjects thereof.
All FBI Identity History Summary check requests must include a full set of the subject’s fingerprints and the appropriate processing fee. You can find a full list of FBI-approved channelers at the FBI website. For more details or assistance with submitting a request, contact the FBI’s CJIS Division in Clarksburg, WV at 304-625-5590.
Should you ever want to challenge or change data contained in your criminal history
Applicable state and federal laws provide specific procedures by which subjects may correct or even have data permanently deleted from their criminal history record. Insofar as statewide criminal histories are concerned, Tennessee law allows subjects whose charges were diverted for a pre-specified period after they entered a “guilty” plea to petition TBI for removal of data expunged by order of the presiding court.
Likewise, 28 CFR § 16.34 of the U.S. Code sets forth procedures to request changes, corrections or updates of FBI criminal history records. For more information, please refer to the specific federal code referenced above.