Preparing for Your Background Checks

When you accept an offer of employment, you will go through a pre-hire process which includes completion of an I-9 for verification of identity, proof of authorization to work in the US, a background check screening, and based on the organization, a drug test. The standard background check screening will confirm information you provide based on your educational, employment and criminal history.

It is important to have a clear understanding of certain forms and documentation you must be able to provide that will support validating your identity and your authorization to work in the US.  Below are examples of commonly provided identifications on the I-9. For a full list of acceptable documents please view the I-9 Form.  Please note that examples below are not designed to indicate preference on which documents you provide.

Examples of documents provided for

  • Identification and Employment Authorization (If you can provide one of these three forms of identification, you don’t need to provide a second document)
    • U.S. Passport or Passport Card
    • Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
    • Foreign passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa
  • Identification (If you are providing this ID, you will need to provide a Citizenship ID as well).
    • Driver’s license or ID card issued by a State or outlying possession of the United States. It must contain a photograph and information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address
    • ID card issued by federal, state or local government agencies or entities, provided it contains a photograph and information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address
    • School ID card with a photograph
  • Citizenship (If you are providing this ID you will need to provide an identification ID as well)
    • A Social Security Account Number card, unless the card includes one of the following restrictions:
  • Certification of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Forms DS-1350, FS-545, FS-240)
  • Original or certified copy of birth certificate issued by a State, county, municipal authority, or territory of the United States bearing an official seal

Companies will generally start the background check after acceptance of a conditional verbal or written offer. Many companies use third party providers to validate accuracy of the information provided. At times these companies may face a delay in validating certain data points, potentially delaying your ability to start your job until the information is confirmed.

The below listed (original) documents represent items that you can proactively have on hand to help expedite the completion of a background check if the background check provider is having challenges verifying the information you provided

Supporting Documents for Your Background Check

  • Diploma, Transcripts or GED
    • May satisfy education verification requirements for a background check
  • W2 Tax and Wages Statement
    • May satisfy employment verification requirements for a background check
  • Prior Employment Letter of Acceptance
    • May satisfy employment verification requirements for a background check
  • Last Pay Stub From Previous Employer
    • May also satisfy employment verification requirements for a background check

How to Get Copies of Your GED Transcript & Diploma

There are various websites that you can access to obtain another copy of your GED Transcript & Diploma.  We have provided one below. All that’s required is to click on the link to arrive at the GED Grads and Transcripts homepage.  To Request your GED Transcript & Diploma, select the below link, choose the state where you completed the test, and click Visit State Site.  Please note, it may take up 8 to 10 weeks to receive your copies; timing and process will vary by state.  We advise that you always have a copy on hand.

Request Your GED Transcript & Diploma Online | GED®

How to Get Copies of Your High School Diploma

The easiest way to try to obtain a copy of your diploma is to contact your high school directly or look for an online record request system on your school’s website.

If it’s been years since you’ve graduated and your high school has closed, you might be able to obtain a copy by contacting your state’s Department of Education.  The Department of Education will have records for current and past high schools, and they should be able to put you in contact with someone who can help you get your diploma. Be ready to give them your name, the name of your high school, the town your school is or was in, and the year you graduated.

State Contacts

Contact education agencies in your state, including:

  • State Department of Education
  • Higher Education Agency
  • Special Education Agency
  • Adult Education Agency

What is a W-2 Wage and Tax Statement Form?

The W-2 Wage and Tax Statement Form is a document that verifies wages earned and deductible taxes for a specific year of which you worked for an employer.  The document is provided by the employer.  Federal law requires employers to make W-2s available to workers by January 31st each year.

Who to Contact and How to Get Copies of W-2 Statements

Contact present or previous employers to obtain copies of misplaced W-2 Statements.  For employment verification purposes, you will need to provide a W-2 for the first and last year of employment with the employer in question.  You may also be able to find copies of your W-2’s in your own historical tax filings.

Preparing for your Drug Test

If required, you will be informed of the need to complete a drug test. Typically, you will receive a link to schedule your test. Completing the actions associated with the link will give you an ePassport, confirming where you can go to take your test and the time-frame within which you can go. It is important to note, that some drug tests have time constraints within which they need to be completed based on client requirements. If the information in the ePassport does not allow you to complete the drug test within the requested timeframe, please notify the team that sent you the drug test request so you can be granted an extension.  When you go to complete your drug test, you will need to bring a form of ID that establishes your identity.