Update on DOB Redactions: Getting Candidates to Work in California

October 13, 2022
Checkr Editor

The redaction of date of birth (DOB) and driver’s license (DL) numbers in California county courts has caused delays for background check results. Learn more about Checkr’s advocacy to propose a legislative solution that benefits employers and candidates alike.

The decision

Efficient background checks benefit employers and candidates alike. The more quickly a background screening is completed, the faster employers can fill open roles and the faster candidates can begin work.

A 2021 California Court of Appeals decision added some hurdles to the process, ruling that an individual's DOB and DL number could no longer be used to identify criminal defendants in public records. The decision prompted courts across California to redact this information from publicly searchable records, including online databases and public-access terminals in courthouses.

Our advocacy efforts

Over the last year, Checkr has heard from our customers about the impact of these redactions and led the effort on Senate Bill 1262 – a legislative solution for restoring access to DOB in California court records to help resolve delays in the background check process. We pursued this legislative effort after trying to resolve this issue through both litigation of the original court ruling that had limited access to DOB, as well as exhaustion of any administrative solutions with the Judicial Council.

After more than a year of working with our industry partners, employee and employer stakeholders, and government officials to get this bill sponsored and passed, we were disappointed this bill was vetoed by Governor Newsom on September 29, 2022.

In his veto statement, the Governor indicated his rationale for vetoing was based on seeking a solution that would “strike a fair balance between public access to court records, public safety, and an individual's constitutional right to privacy.” Although this veto is a significant hurdle in our efforts, we remain committed to solving the redaction issues that have slowed turnaround times in counties like Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento. Stay tuned for updates on next steps.

An equitable future

Checkr believes a legislative solution is essential to ensure people can begin work in a timely manner—and continue to work with minimal interruption—regardless of the need to undergo a background check. We are dedicated to continual advocacy for legislative solutions like this and others as a step forward in building a fairer future–to get people to work quickly and equitably.

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“Every individual who is willing and able to work deserves a fair opportunity to access livable wage employment and economic mobility. We’ve seen first-hand how fair chance talent can drive business outcomes. Together, we’re working to create a more equitable future for every American.”
Ken Oliver, Executive Director

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