We have written in the past about some county turnaround times that have been unusually long due to Covid court access restrictions and some jurisdictions (particularly in California and Michigan) restricting access to date of birth—which absent a social security number is used as a secondary identifier.
Regarding turnaround times, our internal team was asked for their thoughts. Their feedback was that the most common reason for a delayed turnaround was incorrect information submitted or an incorrect date of birth. If there are enough other identifiers that match, we may question it and contact you to ensure you have obtained accurate information from the applicant and entered it correctly. But that will take time. Of course, incorrect information submitted to us may mean missing pertinent information altogether. It pays to double-check the information and compare it to any documentation the applicant may have before submitting the request—it will help your overall turnaround times.
We do have policies and procedures to refrain from conducting a “literal search”. For example, if you’ve submitted the name of “Dick Jones” we will not ignore “Richard Jones”. As a rule, use your applicant’s formal name, but you should also communicate name variants.
The name, date of birth, current and prior addresses, and gender are all used to some degree to determine if a record pertains to the individual you have submitted. It can be an investigative process.
Names change (typically maiden to married), addresses change and, genders are changing as well.
The more information we have to perform the search, the less time it will take as we will not have to contact you for tricky cases. If your applicants input their information directly, you might consider checking the information they input and notify us as quickly as possible so that we may correct the search criteria.