Sometimes employers or landlords require a criminal record check -- possibly, you are just curious about someone's criminal history. Whatever the reason, criminal records are a matter of public record and may be checked by name upon the payment of the statutory $25.00 fee (certified check or money order).
The criminal records system, designed and maintained by the Administrative Office of the Courts, is name-based only and no guarantee can be made as to actual identity. For this reason, these record searches are more accurately described as a name inquiry check. The system is not based on any unique, identifiable characteristic such as fingerprints. Social Security Numbers are not indexed on the system; however, dates of birth, where known or reported, are reported on the system.
If the name to be searched is a relatively common one (e.g. John Smith), every John Smith charged with a criminal offense will appear on the name inquiry check. It is up to the employer or landlord to distinguish between the various individuals by checking dates of birth, addresses, or physical characteristics such as race and gender. If a more accurate search is required, it is recommended that a law enforcement agency be used to provide a search based on fingerprints rather than name.
The name inquiry checks you obtain from the Clerk's Office only searches criminal charges filed in Lee County, North Carolina, and will not pick up out-of-county, out-of-state, or federal charges. Some Internet sites provide this type of search for a fee.
To obtain a certified name inquiry check, you may visit Clerk's Office Cashier's Division located on the 1st floor of the Courthouse. You must be able to provide the person's name and pay the $25.00 fee (certified check or money order).
You may mail a written request for a certified name inquiry check. To do so, please clearly state in your request that you would like a certified name inquiry check; provide the person's first and last name, and middle name or initial if known); provide a $25.00 certified check or money order made payable to the Clerk of Superior Court; and provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope, for the copy.
Mail your request to:
Clerk of Superior Court, Lee County
P.O. Box 4209
Sanford, N.C. 27331