Reporting Criminal Convictions, the FCRA, and State Laws

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), criminal convictions can appear in a background report regardless of when they occurred. It does not matter how old the conviction is. However, some states have passed their own legislation similar to the FCRA that does place restrictions on reporting criminal convictions.

Which states restrict reporting on convictions?

California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, New Hampshire, Texas, and Washington all have laws that limit the scope of reporting criminal convictions to seven years. In Hawaii, the seven-year limit is for felonies only; the reporting of misdemeanors is limited to five years. The District of Columbia limits the reporting of criminal convictions to 10 years.

All states not listed above follow the FCRA rule that criminal convictions can appear in a background report regardless of when they occurred.

The Salary Exception States

Seven of the states listed above allow an exception to their rule of limiting reporting criminal convictions to seven years. The exception is based on the salary the candidate is expected to make. If the salary exceeds a certain threshold, the seven-year limitation does not apply, and criminal convictions can appear in the candidate’s background report regardless of when they occurred.

Salary Exception StatesCandidate’s Potential Salary Threshold
Colorado$75,000
Kansas$20,000
Maryland$20,000
New Hampshire$20,000
New York$25,000
Texas$75,000
Washington$20,000

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