Ask anyone that knows a thing or two about Background Screening, and they’ll tell you one of the most important components of a quality-driven background check is a County Criminal Search. This is often considered the end-all-be-all for truly ...Read more
Slow turnaround time is often the number one complaint we hear from background screening companies regarding Motor Vehicle Record Searches in Puerto Rico. While the search itself is completed quickly, delays normally swell to weeks or even months while while waiting for document translation.
We can empathize. At SJV, we don't like long turnaround times either which is why we never stop innovating.
Today, I'm proud to share that we are now able to turn around Puerto Rico MVR's in just 2-3 days using the same sources you've come to trust.
We work closely with the Departamento de Transportación y Obras Públicas (DTOP) and complete MVR searches through in-person visits. Our special consent form provides consent and retrieval of Motor Vehicle Records while providing all required information needed to ensure swift retrieval.
In order to conduct a search, we need the following data:
Required forms or documents:
No. Our consent form is not required-- you can use your own form. However, we encourage you to adopt our form to ensure there are no problems or delays in obtaining the required information. We've also worked closely with our source to incorporate compliant language into the form (we still encourage you to have your attorney review it). It uses the specific terminology required to obtain record information. If you choose to use your own form it must include:
Our Puerto Rico MVR reports include three years of information about driving history, license status, license classification, restrictions, traffic violations, etc.
For searches with records, we provide translation of the results along with a copy of the abstract in Spanish. Clear results will be retuned without records, but a we maintain a copy of the abstract you ever need it.
We're happy to provide sample reports upon request.
Just reach out to your SJV Sales Representative for more information or contact us at Salesteam@sjvassoc.com .
For the better part of a month, courts around the nation have been reopening after suspending operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is great news for consumer reporting agencies that are trying to fill client requests. For criminal background checks that are fulfilled via automated court research, it's been mostly business as usual. However, in-person research has been more challenging in many courts throughout the country.
And some courts are doing a combination — or all — of the above.
Luckily, the courts around the nation are following the CDC guidelines, many even going above and beyond.
It's almost without exception that courts are requiring PPE when entering. Nearly all courts are also asking researchers health-related questions at entry. Many courts are also performing temperature checks to ensure that only healthy individuals (or at least asymptomatic) are entering the court.
As far as how courts look inside, we have been reassured there as well. Courts are sanitizing surfaces and wiping down terminals, and many courts have even installed plexiglass separators between terminals.
Our team has been proactively tracking what counties are doing. Here are some of the key stats:
The positive news is this: the courts are reopening and allowing in-person research where they weren't before. There is a clear emphasis on safety and following CDC guidelines, which makes researchers feel safer when conducting this necessary work.
With that safety comes reduced capacity. You should expect longer turnaround times due to limitations on the number of researchers allowed in the courts, availability of appointments, availability of public access terminals, and a cap on the amount of time that researchers can use the court resources. We may also see higher prices for in-court research.
In addition, many CRAs and end-users have a significant backlog of requests that came in while the courts are closed. These need to be completed along with new requests.
Below, we have some additional pictures that our researchers have sent us in recent weeks.
Just one month ago, SJV Data Solutions held its annual Kick-Off meeting to share their 2020 plans and get everyone excited about some of most impactful initiatives on their product and technology roadmaps. At that time, COVID-19 barely crossed anyone’s mind.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with SJV’s President and CEO Scott Vanek and Vince Brodt, Vice President of Client Experience to discuss the COVID-19 crisis, the impact it is having on the background screening community and their advice on how background screening companies can ride out the storm.
This is a must listen for any background check provider that is interested in gaining insights into what other CRAs are experiencing, is struggling to maintain operations, weighing the benefits of a fixed price cost model through increased reliance on third-party providers and for those that could use a good laugh as Scott, Vince and I occasionally stray off topics.
Key Topics Include:
I think the most insightful part is where both Scott and Vince discuss some of the positive developments they’ve seen both at SJV and among their background screening partners over the last few weeks.
Also, for those interested in learning more about what SJV is doing to help CRAs during this difficult time, check out our recent blog: “Helping Hands, The Cure for Unprecedented Background Screening Challenges”.
As we evaluate the increasing global concerns surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we want you to know that we are actively monitoring this evolving threat and to take a moment to share some elements of our business continuity plan (BCP) to ease concerns regarding our ability to provide service while we navigate the true impact of this pandemic. We also want to take this opportunity to provide the most up-to-date information we have on how COVID-19 is currently impacting background screening across the globe.
As an extension of our BCP we have plans designed specifically for reacting to a health epidemic/pandemic, to include multiple stages based on the risk severity. As of this moment, we are operating at a stage of heightened awareness and enforcing common sense practices around health and hygiene to ensure we maintain a healthy office and are able to maintain service levels. For clients that would like to review a copy of our BCP in full, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should the need arise, the majority of our workforce is able to be remote within less than 24 hours and can function remotely with little to no interruption to our service and communication. For now, our offices are open and we are operating, business as usual.
Updated: March 24, 2020
While our automation library and data products remain largely unaffected, there have been a significant amount of court closures throughout the country over the last 10 days. We are emailing our clients on a daily basis to notify them of all new closures, delays and reopenings.
Regarding International impact, at this time over 100 countries have laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, the only delays SJV has experienced are with criminal orders out of China and Italy. International employment/education verifications may also be intermittently delayed depending on school/business closures at the time verification attempts are being made.
Updated information regarding delays will be posted on SJV Connect as they are received. SJV clients will also receive email notifications in the event of any material changes. As an organization focused on the well-being of our employees as well as our responsibility to our clients, please rest assured that we are actively taking measures to ensure the safety of our team and viability of our services.
If you have any questions regarding our continuity planning or anything else, please do not hesitate to email email@example.com or call us at 800-203-0582.
We’ve all been there before, haven’t we? Ordering a criminal background check and the next thing you know, you’re being told delays are occurring because of…wait for it…stop me if you’ve heard this before…” it’s a clerk assisted search”! Oh, no, say it isn’t so! Far too often this type of update is provided without any education on exactly what ‘clerk assistance’ truly means. A clerk assisted search is typically defined as when research on a subject must be turned over to, or completed by, a Court Clerk. This puts the control out of the hands of the Court Researcher, and directly into the hands of an employee of the Court.
Clerk assistance can vary greatly from jurisdiction-to-jurisdiction, and it would be foolish to assume all clerk assisted areas can be explained in one blog post. However, there is one state that is notorious for their Clerk Assisted Search Delays, and that would be the state of Massachusetts. This blog post serves to provide insight into the MA Court Research process, and the challenges found within.
First, let’s define the types of Courts that are searched in MA:
Superior Court: Superior Court has a computer system, but it only shows name and year of case filing.
District Court: District Court is all docket books, and only shows name, DOB, and year of case filing. All other case info must be obtained via file retrieval that is done by Clerks and there are often lengthy delays due to limitations on the number of files pulled per day/per researcher, etc.
Non-Default District: These Courts rarely have any sort of computer system or docket books available to the public. They are 100% Clerk Assisted in nature.
Secondly, let’s take two specific counties known for having lengthy delays in turnaround time due to Clerk Assistance, and really break down what’s happening:
Researchers drop off lists of names in a basket, Court Clerks (about 6 of them) pick up and complete requests randomly—this is a challenge because researchers have no idea who is working on their lists.
As a final talking point on Worcester County, all hits must have files pulled. Court Clerks are not permitted to have contact with researchers. Extended TAT can stem from Clerks not pulling files on a first-come first-serve basis and researchers must reorder files to increase the chances that theirs will be pulled that day.
For this county, subjects are searched at Superior Court (done using computers that do not have IDs, only docket numbers) and the District Court (which is completely docket books).
So the next time someone tells you that there’s a delay occurring with a search because of ‘Clerk Assistance’, be sure to ask for these types of details. This type of information will hopefully help mitigate any pains surrounding the delays. Remember, if you can’t control the outcome of a search, or how long it takes to produce it, you can control how well you’re informing your customer on the nature of any delays.
Who doesn’t love a good trip to Chicago?! If you’re going to Chi-town to conduct criminal research, you may need a bit of advice, so consider this your official ‘tour guide’ for how research is done in Cook County. We’ve established a network of proprietary researchers in Chicago, meaning they’re employees of SJV that work directly and solely for us. This ensures that through their level of local expertise, we’re producing the fastest, most accurate, and most affordable results possible in Chicago.
Within the last few years, Cook County transitioned to a new web-based Public Access System. During this process, we’ve noted some discrepancies between the “new” web-based system and the “old” DOS-based system. To provide maximum transparency, we’ve provided visual comparisons between the systems and compiled a list of FAQs gathered from our customers:
Minor differences in Case Numbers can be noted between old and new systems.
Old system shows “Guilty” disposition while new system does not specify.
As a bonus, here are what ‘Archived Cases’ look like….wrapped up on a pallet withing the Daly Center. Ever wonder why it takes so long to get those older cases reported?!.... ;)
The old system generally goes back to around 1984, the new system goes back to around 1990. This is not to say all the information on the new system is correct, as we have come across inconsistencies in older cases when comparing the two systems; however, just because some cases from the late 80s are available on the old system does not mean that they all are. There is no guarantee to be able to locate a case past 1995, and the files prior to then have mostly been destroyed.
Cases before 1990 are not available on the new system—meaning a lot of old felonies are no longer available. Occasionally on the new system certain old felony cases will not open (as if they are expunged), however if they are searched on the old system they may be available.
Additionally, some information on traffic related cases that were previously available on the old criminal index, may now be indexed in the traffic index system or be incomplete in the criminal index.
This is because the old system is real-time in the sense that once a clerk enters information, it is available right away. On the new system, it takes 5-7 days to upload information. The end goal is for all the judges to start entering their own case information on the new system (to avoid error), and currently four judges are testing it out. There is concern that the system will be unable to handle the processing once all the judges start using it, which is why it is still in the testing phase.
Additionally, most long-time Cook researchers were highly proficient and familiar with the old system. It didn’t require the use of a mouse to point and click but rather only used arrow keys. There is a learning curve and obvious hesitance toward changing a system that has been in place in Cook since the 1980s.
Currently, there are still some “old system” terminals scattered throughout the Cook County courthouses; however, they continue to be fewer in number as the transition progresses. The main justice center – The Daly Judicial Complex – has eliminated all DOS based systems and implemented the new system 100%.
We’ve noticed that some common-name searches on the old system would display all results available. On the new system, we’ve noticed that a common name search is limited to about 48 pages (roughly 2000 names).
We continually maintain contact with Cook County court administration and are seeking further clarification and resolution, including sending increased test cases to this jurisdiction to gather more insight on any potential discrepancies.
Nothing about the Public Access Systems/Court Documents are black and white in Cook, as it is one of the largest counties in the country. Our recommendation is DON’T WORRY! We have full confidence that the accuracy and timeliness of your Cook County searches, results, and records, will continue to be of the highest quality available when working with SJV.
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