Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Oregon Department of Human Services Search Site

Frequently Asked Questions about Background Checks

Information for subject individuals


​A subject individual (abbreviated "SI") is the person who is required to have a background check. ​See the Oregon laws and rules​ for background checks. 

Step-by-step training videos

What to include in a criminal history or abuse history disclosure

How to complete the applicant authorization and disclosure questions

Applicant disclosure portal

You will make any criminal or abuse history disclosures through the Applicant disclosure portal​ .

  • You will get an email from the Background Check Unit with instructions and a link to the website. The person at your agency who requests the background check is required to give us your email address so we can contact you ​directly. This ensures any information you​ disclose is confidential and can't be seen by the hiring agency.
  • You will need your application number. This is listed in the email you receive. 
  • Gather any history, details and documents before you log in.
  • Check out the videos ​above ​for step-by-step instructions.​​

Need help logging in?

Didn't get an email?

  • Make sure your background check has been submitted by the agency where you are applying ​and that they used the right email address. 
  • Check your junk email. The email is sent by "" ​

You will only get this email after the local contact submits the background check.

What you can do:

  • Make sure the local contact has your correct email address and that your application was submitted.
  • Check your spam or junk email. The email comes from “” 
  • If needed, you can do your authorization and disclosures without the email. You will need to get your application number from your local contact, then ​go to the Applicant Portal

Your last name must exactly match the way it was entered by the agency where you are applying or getting a recheck. It should exactly match the government photo identification you provided to the agency.​

Here are some ideas:​

  • Make sure you don't have any extra spaces before or after your application number or last name.
  • If you have two last names, try the name with and without a hyphen (for example Smith-Jones; if that does not work, try SmithJones).
  • Verify the spelling of your last name with the person who submitted the background check. (This person is called the "qualified entity designee" or QED.)​
  • Email with the error and we can investigate.

It depends on the position you applied for. This is because different federal and state laws apply to different kinds of jobs. 

Any criminal conviction could potentially be disqualifying, regardless of how long ago it happened. This includes felonies, misdemeanors, military crimes or international crimes. ​For some positions, we can do a weighing test to see if you can be hired even if you have a conviction. There are also some positions where you are automatically disqualified if you have certain​ convictions. See below for details.

Potentially dis​qualifying convictions (PDQ)

Below are the potentially disqualifying convictions and abuse history that might keep you from being hired, depending on the position you applied for. You could be disqualified for 5 years, 10 years or permanently.

Weighing test

For some positions, we do a weighing test to decide if you can be hired even if you have one or more convictions. If you disagree with the decision, you may​ be able to appeal.

Automatic disqualification under ​State law ORS 443.004 ​to protect vulnerable people

For some positions, you are automatically disqualified if you have certain convictions. There is no weighing test and you can't appeal the decision. This is because of State law ORS 443.004 that protects vulnerable people. Most convictions result in a permanent exclusion of the position you applied for, but there are some convictions that​ ​only disqualify you for a certain period of time.

ORS 443.004 applies to certain jobs in Aging and People with Disabilities programs (APD), Developmental Disabilities programs (DD) and Behavioral Health programs (BH).

Jobs covered by ORS 443.004 in APD and DD include:

  • Employees and contractors of residential facilities, including assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, residential treatment homes, residential treatment facilities and residential training facilities. Employees of staffing agencies, unless they work exclusively in nursing facilities.
  • Staff at adult foster homes including any licensed adult foster home for developmental disability, seniors or adults with physical disabilities.
  • Employees of in-home care agencies which are licensed through the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and have contracts with ODHS to provide care to client of Aging and People with Disabilities programs.
  • Home care workers, Independent Choices providers, and personal care assistants.
  • Anyone employed or contracted by programs for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Jobs covered by ORS 443.004 in BH include:

  • All paid mental health treatment providers, including peer support specialists, who work in licensed residential facilities.
  • All paid alcohol and drug treatment providers who work in licensed residential facilities.

ORS 443.004 does not cover nursing facilities, hospitals or any non-paid positions such as volunteers or adult foster home household members.

Approved: You may be hired for the position you applied for. Please note an approval doesn't guarantee employment or placement. Your contact at the place you applied should give you a clearance letter.

Approved with restrictions: You can only work with a specific client, work site or set of duties. You can appeal this decision in most cases. The Background Check Unit will mail a letter directly to you with details.

Denial: You can’t be hired or placed in the position you applied for because of your criminal or abuse history. We consider many factors when making this determination, including details about your history, the information you provide, and how circumstances have changed since your criminal or abuse history. If you already started working, you must be dismissed right away. You may be able to appeal this decision, but you can’t work in the position during the appeal. The Background Check Unit will mail a letter directly to you with details.

Ineligible: Under State law ORS 443.004, you can’t be hired for the position you applied for because of a specific conviction on your record. You can’t appeal this decision. There are also federal programs which might have mandatory exclusions. The Background Check Unit will mail a letter directly to you with details.​

Case closed: You may get a notice that your case is closed if you don't complete the background check process or send us information that we requested. You can’t appeal this decision. If the position is still open, you could apply again.

You will get a letter in the mail with the following information:

  • The reason you didn't pass.
  • Whether or not you can appeal the decision.
  • If you can appeal, it will include the appeal process and deadline.

An appeal could result in an approval, restricted approval or denial. An approval or restricted approval does not guarantee you will be hired for the position you applied for.

Hearing Request Form

​A recheck is the renewal background check for someone who already has an approved background check. 

Depending on your jo​b, your background check usually needs to be redone every 2 or 3 years. 

​Some applicants for certain kinds of jobs can use a previous background check when they apply for other positions. This is called portability. Learn about ​who can get ​portability. ​

No. The ORCHARDS background check system is not available to the public.

If you want to run a background check on yourself, visit the Oregon State Police website for information.


Can't find what you need?

Contact us