Understanding Background Checks

Truora’s Background Checks (from now on, checks) is a tool to swiftly inspect public records on different categories like criminal records, international sanction lists, vehicle information, among others. This tool helps companies screen people or other companies to see if they represent a potential risk for their operation.

These are some common use cases:

  • Delivery marketplaces use checks to screen their delivery assistants for criminal records.
  • Financial institutions use checks to identify legal records that may pose a credit risk before granting loans.
  • Ridesharing platforms use checks to verify that their drivers’ license and vehicle information is up to date and to identify any dangerous driving history by checking for any traffic fines related to the vehicle or the driver.

Checks inputs and outputs

To create a check, Truora needs a few inputs related to the person, vehicle or company. Additionally, to comply with data privacy regulations, we need confirmation of the person, vehicle owner or company’s authorization for the check to be performed.

Required inputs vary from country to country, but some of the most common are:

  • ID numbers (national identification number, foreign ID numbers, driving license number, ...)
  • Names and last names
  • Date of birth
  • Document issue date

Additional detail on check inputs can be found in our checks API documentation.

When a check finishes, it will include — among other things — two main outputs:

  • A global score based on the information found that represents the level of confidence of these records. This will help to make a pass / not pass decision.
  • The information found on each of the data sources. These are called the check details.

A completed check has many details. Each detail includes any information found on each database plus a severity assigned to it. This severity represents the risk associated with the records, based on the corresponding country’s legislation. In addition, severities are continuously being reviewed by our product and legal team.

Based on the details’ severities, aggregated scores are calculated, from which the global score is computed.

To learn more about scores, please refer to the Datasets, Scores and Types section

Checks lifecycle

A lot goes on behind the scenes when you create a check. A basic understanding of the lifecycle of a check will help you decide the best way to design your API integration. The following diagram shows a simplified version of the checks lifecycle:

Check lifecycle diagram - high level

The key points are:

  • When a check is created it can be enqueued, and can remain enqueued for some time.
  • As soon as all the databases yield results, the check completes.

While most checks complete on the order of minutes, the time that it takes a check to complete can vary from seconds to hours depending on several factors. These are explained in the Checks lifecycle: deep dive section.