When you're planning a trip, there are a lot of things to think about. You're probably thinking about what you'll pack, what you'll eat, and how much it's going to cost. But did you know that all of those things are secondary to one very important thing?
Checking your background report.
You might be wondering, "Why should I care?" Well, we've got four reasons why:
WHY TRAVELERS SHOULD CHECK THEIR BACKGROUND REPORT BEFORE THEIR NEXT TRIP
Reason 1: Check for Active Warrants
An active arrest warrant is a court order that has been issued to law enforcement agencies for making arrests that haven't been completed yet. There are various reasons for the issuance of arrest warrants. This could be because you missed a court date, failed to pay child support payments, or violated probation.
One thing that you can do with your background report is check to see if there are any active warrants out for your arrest. If you're traveling and an immigration officer sees that there's an active warrant out for your arrest, they can and might stop you—even if they don't know what it's for.
Reason 2: Ensure Identity (Check for Errors)
If there are any errors on your background report—like misspellings or wrong addresses—then this could cause you problems with getting through customs at airports upon leaving and reentering the country. It's better for you to get those fixed right away rather than let them become a problem and cause delays and headaches later on!
Aside from clerical errors, there are some instances where you might be a victim of identity theft. Some people change their names or birthdays for criminal activities and coincidentally they might use yours. Once you received your background report  and found out that you're a victim of identity theft, you'll need to immediately report it to the authorities and start the process of recovering your identity.
Reason 3: Obtain an Apostilled State Background Check
When you're traveling internationally and plan to stay in a country for quite some time or even immigrate, you might be required to undergo a criminal records check. In this instance, obtaining an apostilled state background check will be necessary. An apostilled state background check is different from a regular background check because it will have an attached seal that shows that your information was certified by the government of the state where you live.
For those who might need to obtain an apostilled state background check and have been in a situation in which the police were involved, you might wonder, do police reports show up on background checks? The answer to this will depend on the results of the police report. If the police report resulted in a conviction, a citation, or an arrest then the police report will appear in the background check. If not, then the police report won't show up in your criminal background check.
Reason 4: Ensure Reentry into the US
Not only is the apostilled state background check useful in traveling to another country, but it might come in handy for those returning to the US.
If you're a US citizen or resident and you travel outside of the country, then there's a chance that when you reenter the country, they will not let you back in. If this happens to you, it could be because of an outstanding warrant for your arrest or because someone has placed a stop on your passport.
In either case, the apostilled state background check can help clear up any issues with your passport so that it can be used again. It will prove that you are not on any watchlists or databases and are eligible to return to the US.
Most of us agree that traveling should be done with as little stress as possible. So checking your background report is vital to ensuring your trip isn't cut short or becomes memorable for all the wrong reasons.
 Akhbari, K., & Corbett, J. (2022, August 26). Traveling Outside the U.S. With a Criminal Background. LegalMatch. Retrieved November 19, 2022, from https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/traveling-outside-the-us-with-a-criminal-background.html
 FTC. (2022). What To Do Right Away. IdentityTheft.gov. Retrieved November 19, 2022, from https://www.identitytheft.gov/#/Steps
 Search Marriage & Divorce Records, Warrants, State Records Free. (2022). Records Page. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://recordspage.org/