National Name Check Program

Working on a Computer

Overview 

Mission: The FBI’s National Name Check Program (NNCP) provides useful, accurate, and comprehensive information to enhance our federal partners’ ability to assess risk for the purpose of protecting the American people.

Authority: The NNCP currently supports partner agencies across the U.S. government as they vet government personnel for employment and access to sensitive information, systems, and facilities. We provide name check services in accordance with current law and policy (see resources) and the Federal Investigative Standards for initial background investigations and periodic reinvestigations. In addition, the NNCP may provide reportable information to requesting agencies if it is determined that the information may be released pursuant to applicable law and policy. The FBI is authorized by law to charge a fee for name checks submitted for non-criminal justice, non-law enforcement employment purposes.

Purpose: Many federal agencies seek information from FBI files before bestowing a privilege such as federal government employment or an appointment; a security clearance; entry into a White House event; immigration benefits; or privileged access to federal facilities, information, or officials. In addition to serving authorized federal agencies, the NNCP conducts name searches in support of the FBI's counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and homeland security efforts.

Source of Data: The NNCP searches the FBI’s Central Records System (CRS). The CRS encompasses the centralized records of FBI Headquarters, field offices, and legal attaché offices, as well as all investigative, administrative, personnel, and general files.

Function: The NNCP personnel review and analyze potentially identifiable documents to determine if information exists regarding a specific individual and, if so, what information may be disseminated to the requesting agency, subject to relevant legal and operational restrictions. It should be noted, the NNCP has no role in the adjudication process; it merely reports the results of its search and analysis to the requesting agency and that agency determines how the information is used.

Name Check Program Processing Volumes: The NNCP receives and processes more than three million name check requests from federal requesting agencies and internal FBI partners each year.

Major Partner Agencies: The FBI’s NNCP provides services to more than 50 federal agencies. Although most name checks are conducted for the requesting agency on a first-come, first-served basis, the contributing agency may identify priority or expedited cases. The following are major partner agencies supported by the NNCP:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)—Submits name check requests on individuals applying for benefits such as asylum, adjustment of status to legal permanent resident, naturalization, and waivers.
  • Department of Defense, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency—Submits requests to determine an individual’s suitability and eligibility in seeking employment, a clearance, or access within the federal government.
  • Department of State—Submits requests on individuals applying for visas. Not all visa matters require official FBI name checks.

In addition to serving federal government agencies, the NNCP also conducts name checks for National Special Security Events and other significant events.

NNCP vs. CJIS:  If criminal history record information and/or fingerprint identification is needed, please contact the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division at (304) 625-4357.  The NNCP provides reportable information from FBI investigative holdings; therefore, federal agencies should contact CJIS to obtain information relating to wants, warrants, and criminal history records.

How to Contact Us: If you are an existing NNCP requesting agency and have questions, or would like to become an NNCP requesting agency, please send an email to HQ-DIV17-NNCP-CUSTOMER@fbi.gov. 

Please remember, NNCP is only authorized to conduct name checks for U.S. federal agencies.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long will it take for my name check to be completed?

The time it takes for a name check to be completed can vary. When the name check requests are submitted, the names and submitted personally identifiable information are electronically checked against the FBI’s CRS. The searches seek all instances of the individual’s name appearing in FBI case files. 

Most name checks result in a “no reportable” response. A “no reportable” response, as defined by the requesting agency, indicates that the FBI’s CRS contains no reportable information pertaining to the name check request.

The remaining name checks may find a potentially reportable FBI record. At that point, the FBI record(s) must be retrieved and reviewed by an analyst. If the record is electronically available in the FBI’s CRS, it can be reviewed quickly. If not, the relevant information must be retrieved from an existing paper record. The average time required to retrieve, review, and analyze an FBI record for possible information related to a name check request depends on the number of files an analyst must obtain and review, the location and availability of those files, and the amount of information contained in a file. 

If the information is identifiable with the request and reportable per applicable law and policy, the NNCP then provides the reportable information to the requesting agency in a contextual response package. It is important to note that the FBI does not adjudicate the name check requests, but only provides available information to a requesting agency to inform its adjudication process.

How can I have my name check expedited?

The FBI operates on a first-in, first-out methodology. Only requesting agencies can request expedited handling of specific name checks. 

Is there a fee I can pay to expedite the process?

No, paying an additional fee will not speed up the name check process.

Who can I call to check on the status of my name check?

The FBI will only respond to status inquiries from its requesting agencies. Please contact the agency requesting your name check.

In citizenship and immigration cases, please contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 for the status.

The FBI is not able to provide information to anyone other than the requesting federal partner.