Effective July 1, 2021, Michigan will redact dates of birth from court records, rendering it far more difficult, if not impossible, to match records to applicants for employment and rental housing. The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered that dates of birth be removed from the public court records based on their interpretation of the redaction requirements in ADM File No. 2020-26. Additionally, Court Clerks may no longer verify a date of birth verbally for records.
As most of you are aware, court records are stored by a person’s name, and searches are first reviewed by name. Once a name match is found, researchers then look further to match dates of birth and other identifiers to ascertain if the record belongs to that particular person. If your applicant shares a name with at least one other person, without a date of birth match, it will be nearly impossible to determine to whom the record belongs.
We, along with our industry colleagues and many Michigan employers, have attempted to educate the courts to change this policy; however, our efforts have not impacted the court’s decision to this point. We have been working with our researchers on alternate means of requesting and matching records in Michigan, including submitting the applicant’s signed authorization along with the request. We do anticipate delays in receiving information from the Michigan courts due to this change.
We will keep you updated of any movement from the Michigan courts and of any delays in your searches.
Do you have any questions about your own background screening processes? Contact us to learn more about a thorough screening package, including employment and education verifications.