Your Customer Support Team: 1.877.982.9888

Frequently Asked Questions

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General Information
How do I access my SterlingONE reports?
To access reports you have purchased from SterlingONE, first login to your SterlingONE account.
  • Use the "Find a Candidate" search box to look for a candidate by name or ID. Once on the candidate view, click on the Report icon next to the Screening History section.
  • Look for a specific candidate under the Records tab. Once on the candidate view, click on the Report icon next to the Screening History section.
  • Go to the Screen tab and look for a specific report by report ID, candidate name or SSN.

We recommend you bookmark your login page(s) for fast access.

How do I find candidate related documents?
To access candidate related documents go to the candidate view, expand the Documents section and click to download the document. In addition, you can search for specific documents via the Documents sub-tab under the Records tab.
How current is the information SterlingONE provides?
This depends on the type of information in question, but generally very current. Some database-driven information is updated on a schedule (daily, weekly, and sometimes monthly). Other information is accessed directly from government archives via real-time Internet gateways, and is therefore as current as the government records can be. Finally, some information is pulled in-person, at the courthouse, and is the most fresh, up-to-date information available.
DMV records are as current as the states' databases, and credit information is real-time.
How does SterlingONE conduct a criminal search?
SterlingONE conducts searches through as many direct sources as necessary to deliver quality information. When quality, direct sources are not available, SterlingONE contracts with court retrievers to visit the local or state agency to directly obtain information. Our searchers/court retrievers are randomly audited monthly and quarterly to insure both accuracy and reasonable turnaround times. SterlingONE requires that all researchers obtain felony and misdemeanor information from state-, county-, district- and municipal courts.

County-Level Searches: SterlingONE conducts criminal record searches at the county-level for any jurisdictions in the United States wherein a state central repository does not exist or the repository has been determined to provide unreliable or inconsistent data results. Obtained information (per state laws) includes: 5, 7, 10, 15 year histories for Felony and Misdemeanor convictions. Deferred cases and pending cases are reported (where allowed by state law). Turnaround time ranges from 24-36 hours for clear records and 24-72 hours when criminal records are found.

Statewide-Level Searches: SterlingONE conducts statewide-level searches in 22 states where the data has been found to be accurate, timely, and more cost efficient than pursuing county-level records. Obtained information (per state laws) includes: 5, 7, 10, 15 year histories for Felony and Misdemeanor convictions, deferred cases and pending cases are reported (where allowed by state law). Turnaround time ranges from 4-36 hours for clear records and 24-72 hours when criminal records are found.

We typically recommend our customers run the most thorough searches possible, which would be based on a trace of an applicant's SSN, though it is possible to run criminal searches without an SSN.

Does SterlingONE offer other international criminal and screening services?
Yes! SterlingONE offers screening services in more than 285 countries worldwide. Contact sales for more information: 1.877.893.1665 or
Is there a setup fee for any SterlingONE service?
SterlingONE charges a nominal, one-time fee that covers account setup, training and credentialing. Additionally, SterlingONE may charge additional set-up fees for select products or services including but not limited to Onboarding and Credit Reports.
How long will On-Premise County courthouse checks take?
This can vary depending on the county and whether or not there is a "hit" for a criminal record. On average, reports are returned in 72 hours, but this can be longer if the county finds a need to verify detailed information or if the county clerk is backed up for any reason.
Can I use SterlingONE products to screen prospective in-home caregivers or nannies?
You must comply with the FCRA rules and have permissible purpose to access these reports.
When should I call in for volume discounts?
If you will be running five or more searches, you should call our sales department and inquire about a volume discount or customized package. That number is 1.877.893.1665 or you can email the Sales department at
Do nonprofit organizations get a discount?
Yes! Please contact sales at 1.877.893.1665 or email
Where should I turn if I have other questions?
If you have basic questions about website navigation, account creation, or order entry, please call our Customer Support team. They will be able to assist you with any questions. You can reach them Monday through Friday, 5 AM to 5 PM Pacific time, at 1.877.982.9888. Questions about products, pricing, and orders may be directed to your dedicated Account Manager, whose contact information can be found at the top right corner of the screen when you log into your account. You may also contact the sales team at 1.877.893.1665 or email
Account and Dashboard
What happens if I have unused credits that expire? Do I lose them?
Due to accounting constraints, SterlingONE has little flexibility with regard to expiration of credits. It is essential that you work with your account manager to purchase no more than you expect to use over the period of a year.
If I have numerous applicants I'd like to screen, is there an easier way than submitting them one by one?
Yes. SterlingONE is in a unique position to simplify this process for our customers, as a technology company that isn't reliant upon a licensing relationship with a third-party vendor. SterlingONE has established a number of successful customized software integrations with PeopleSoft and other HRMS software for large organizations.
For small to mid-sized companies, SterlingONE has developed a secure batch upload (XML/API) process by which customers are able to upload batches of applicants to expedite the screening process.
Do I receive an email notification when searches are complete and reports are available?
In some cases, with instant products, reports are rendered instantly on the screen.
In the case of non-instant products, a variety of email alert configurations are available to the customer. Emails may be received as each portion of a search is completed, or once an entire report is available, based on user preferences.
Am I going to get a hard copy of my reports?
No, all of our results are delivered through our secure website. Once logged in, you can print out or save reports to a secure location on your hard drive.
How do I update my company's billing and contact information?
You may adjust your billing, contact and other administrative information and settings under your account settings page which you can find at the top right corner of the SterlingONE application.
How do I print a report off your system?
A printer-friendly version of all completed Applicant Reports is available by selecting the "Print Report" option in the upper right corner of the report.
Does your system allow me to save search results on my hard drive?
You can save reports long-term on your machine, if you choose, by right-clicking on any report and selecting the "Save As" (exact steps may vary by operating system).
My organization screens for many different positions, and I have specific requirements for each. Can I customize my screening package so I'm only using the searches I really need for each?
Yes. SterlingONE offers customers the ability to configure customized packages of screening services to meet their screening needs, regardless of industry, company size or the variety of different positions screened within an organization.
To learn more about available products and see samples of some of our industry-specific packages, visit Or, for more information or to speak with a sales representative about your needs, call 1.877.893.1665 or email
How else can I customize my user experience?
SterlingONE delivers customers the capability to configure user settings a variety of ways, including creating subaccounts, customizing email settings, management preferences, billing codes, ad hoc management reporting and other features.
Contact your sales representative or account manager for more information about customization.
What are your ad hoc, customized management reporting capabilities?
All custom screening accounts can be given ad hoc reporting capabilities, accessible through the dashboard. Ad hoc reports can be generated for the following metrics:
  • Average Turnaround Time (turnaround time by applicant for a given date range, region, and/or applicant profile)
  • 48/72/96 Hour Reports (a listing of all pending reports whose turnaround time falls outside of the pre-determined range)
  • Hit Rate (statistics on SSN/criminal/DMV/etc. hits by region and/or applicant profile)
  • Cost Analysis (statistics on cost per applicant by region and/or applicant profile)
Do I need a release form signed by my applicants? Where do I get that?
Yes. Education and employment verifications require a signed applicant release, per the FCRA. For all other searches, employers are required to maintain a signed release on file. You can find sample release forms under the Resources section, by clicking the Resources link on the top right corner of the SterlingONE application.
What information do I need to get from an applicant in order to run a search?
Name, current address, date of birth and Social Security number are typically required in order to run a criminal check. Other services may require additional information or less information. If you have questions about requirements for a particular product, please contact your account manager or sales representative. Also, per FCRA requirements, employers must obtain and maintain on file a signed release form.
Multiple Users, Parents and Subaccounts
Can I allow multiple users to access my account and run reports?
Yes! Parent and subaccounts are configurable and highly customizable, enabling a parent account to allow access to a number of different users while also enabling the parent to monitor and conduct ad hoc reporting on the activity of the subaccounts. These settings must be established during the setup process. Contact sales at 1.877.893.1665 or email for more information about customized parent/subaccount setup.
Can I temporarily disable the access of a subaccount (secondary user) to the system?
Absolutely. Subaccounts can be created and disabled temporarily or permanently at the parent account's will, once this customization is set up during the account creation process.
Our account has multiple users. Do other users have access to view my search results?
They may. Access rules on subaccounts are set based on user authorization by the parent account.
Credit Reports
Who is able to access SterlingONE Credit Reports?
Property management companies and companies conducting employment screening are eligible to be set up to run and receive credit reports. On-site inspection is required for all organizations desiring credit reports with the exception of publicly traded companies.
What are Credit Report requirements?
Credit reports require two different types of verifications before a report can be run. These verifications include business verification documents and a physical onsite inspection of the organization's premises (no on-site necessary for publicly traded companies). Please contact the SterlingONE Sales Department to discuss the Credit Report requirements and approval process: 1.877.893.1665
Can home based businesses be approved to access Credit Reports?
No, home-based businesses cannot be approved for Credit Reports.
Can individual property owners be approved to access Credit Reports?
No, recent changes by the Credit Bureau require individual property owners to go through a Property Management company.
Can third-party companies or resellers have access to SterlingONE Credit Reports?
No, each end-user company must be approved directly with SterlingONE to access Credit Reports. Resellers are not eligible to access SterlingONE Credit Reports.
DMV Driving Records
What information is included in my DMV report?
Information in a DMV report will include the following:
  • Driver license class, endorsements, and restrictions
  • Current status and the expiration date of the driver license
  • Suspensions or revocations of the driver license; accidents, and moving violation convictions
What is the typical turnaround time for DMV reports?
DMV reports are instant in 44 states, and delivered within 1-2 business days, on average for most other states.
How far do the records go back on DMV reports?
A moving violation conviction or an accident generally remains on the record for three years. They may be reported longer, however, depending on the state.
Why can't I run a DMV check on myself?
DMV checks are currently available for pre-employment screening purposes only.
Do DMV records include points?
If the state has assigned points to a violation, we will show it within our records.
Can SterlingONE screen for DMV internationally?
Yes! Contact sales for more information: 1.877.893.1665 or
How do I get set up to run DMV searches?
Please contact sales at 1.877.893.1665 or email
What does the "Name Failed Verification" error message on my SSN check mean?
If the failure occurs within an employment/tenant nationwide or employment/tenant statewide check, there may be a few different reasons:
  • If there is a Names Reported section, review those names. If they are similar to the name of the applicant in question, the SSN trace likely failed because of the differences in the names. This can occur with maiden/married names as well as if the individual uses or has used two last names.
  • If the name you entered is completely different than the Names Reported, it is most likely due to an incorrect SSN.
  • If there is not a Names Reported section, it means that we are unable to verify the SSN. This does not necessarily mean that the SSN is invalid. This may occur when an applicant doesn't have open lines of credit, when an applicant is under 25 or when an applicant is new to the country (meaning they haven't had lines of credit for long enough to show up in public records).
  • If the failure occurs within a 7- or 10-year auto search, failures may occur because no full name match exists or the SSN run through the search is associated with a deceased individual. For more information about this failure and next steps, please contact your sales representative.
A known criminal's record is not showing up on my instant report. Why?
Background searches are conducted through various sources and jurisdictions and results are reported back to our consumers based on the services requested. SterlingONE conducts its criminal searches typically within the following jurisdictions, dependent on legislative accessibility:
  • On-Line National Criminal Record Index
  • On-Premise Federal Court Repository
  • On-Premise State Central Repository
  • On-Premise County Repository (includes Superior, District and Municipal Courts)
  • Fingerprint Submissions

SterlingONE compiles public record data from multiple sources, which typically include local, county, state and federal court repositories, state department of corrections and state sex offender registries.

SterlingONE maintains active updates daily, weekly and monthly, depending on the data source, but cannot absolutely guarantee all public records from all jurisdictions throughout the United States will be available; this would be impossible.

For example, the FBI's national crime information center (NCIC) currently maintains 57 percent of the criminal record information available within the United States, even though most law enforcement agencies are mandated to report to the FBI. Therefore, the NCIC is deficient and cannot guarantee a complete criminal background search for all jurisdictions across the United States.

The database search does provide a cost-effective way for consumers to do a general overall check that casts a wide net and is very inexpensive without having to provide signed releases and/or fingerprint submissions to each jurisdiction across the US under legislative mandate. However, SterlingONE generally recommends the most thorough search, which is a combination of an instant search and on-premise searches leveraging an SSN and in areas determined relevant by an applicant's address history in order to increase hit rate and depth of results.

Why is there no address history in my Employment/Tenant Checks?
An SSN must be included in the search parameters to get an address history. To ensure accuracy, the address history is gathered from the individual's Social Security Number. As a result, we provide the address history associated with the SSN rather than the individual's name. There may be no address history or the history may be missing addresses if the individual has used different name(s) in the past than those associated with their SSN.
I see multiple addresses on my report. Which address is most current?
Generally, the most recent address is listed at the top of the report.
Technical Requirements
Browser Requirements
SterlingONE is architected to use current web standards and supports major browser platforms without dependencies or additional plug-ins (e.g. Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX, etc.). There are no operating system (OS) requirements, just standard browsers:
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer - version 7 and later
  • Mozilla Firefox - latest version
  • Safari - latest version + tablet versions
  • Chrome - latest desktop version

For all browsers JavaScript, cookies, and SSL 3.0 must be enabled. Reports may optionally be exported to PDF or Microsoft Excel format; to view those exports the respective application or a compatible reader will be needed.

Internet Connectivity
Public internet access is required with no filtering of content, JavaScript or cookies originating from High speed connections are recommended for higher performance and smooth user experience.
Operating System
SterlingONE does not have OS-specific dependencies and as such compatible browsers are supported on their respective compatible OS platforms. This means that users running Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Apple iOS, and other major OS's can be used.
Optional Requirements
  • Microsoft Excel or compatible CSV/XLS reader
  • Adobe Reader or compatible PDF
Other technical requirements - Flash/SilverLight?
SterlingONE does not require Adobe Flash, ActiveX, Silverlight or other tooling in addition to the base browser requirements previously listed.
Security and Privacy
Does SterlingONE protect Social Security Numbers?
Yes. SterlingONE never reveals Social Security Numbers, internally or externally. Users may search by Social Security Number and name to screen an applicant, but SterlingONE will not return a full Social Security Number in a report or otherwise.
What is the SterlingONE Privacy Policy?
The SterlingONE Privacy Policy can be viewed here.
What are the SterlingONE Terms & Conditions?
The SterlingONE Terms & Conditions can be viewed here.
What other measures do you take to ensure the security of your customers and system?
Read more about the best-of-breed security measures, technologies and best practices of SterlingONE here.
Are you PCI compliant?
Yes, SterlingONE undergoes routine audits to maintain PCI-DSS type II certification.
Do you encrypt data in your database?
Yes, SterlingONE encrypts sensitive data which includes PII, billing, verification reports, etc. when at rest (stored in the database). This means that any information which can be used to identify an individual (SSN, DOB, credit card #'s, etc.) is encrypted when stored in the SterlingONE database. As part of the annual SterlingONE PCI-DSS certification these controls and mechanisms are audited to ensure compliance. Non-sensitive data is retained in non-encrypted form; this ensures that SterlingONE is able to deliver high performance web operation while providing maximum security.
How do you handle PII including SSN, DOB, and other sensitive information?
SterlingONE maintains PCI-DSS type II certification which means that special measures are taken and controls are in place to protect all Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Specifically, SterlingONE encrypts sensitive data which includes PII, billing, verification reports, etc. when at rest (stored in the database). This means that any information which can be used to identify an individual (SSN, DOB, credit card #'s, etc.) is encrypted when stored in the SterlingONE database. As part of the annual SterlingONE PCI-DSS certification these controls and mechanisms are audited to ensure compliance. Non-sensitive data is retained in non-encrypted form; this ensures that SterlingONE is able to deliver high performance web operation while providing maximum security.
Billing and Invoicing
How do I update my company's billing information?
You may adjust your billing information and settings through your Dashboard.
I have billing or invoicing questions. Whom should I contact?
Billing inquiries or questions will be addressed promptly. Please contact Customer Support for assistance.
Drug Screening
What Drugs are tested for in a 5-Panel SterlingONE Drug Test?
The 5-Panel SterlingONE Drug Test checks for the presence of the 5 most commonly abused drugs: Amphetamines, Cocaine, Marijuana, Opiates, and Phencyclidine (PCP).
Who/What is eScreen?
eScreen is SterlingONE’s preferred partner for delivering employment-related drug, alcohol and physical fitness screening services to you. eScreen is an industry leading provider of drug, alcohol and physical fitness testing to companies around the globe. eScreen is also the name of the company’s award-winning drug, alcohol and physical fitness testing products. SterlingONE has partnered with eScreen to develop a tightly integrated, turn-key solution that allows SterlingONE customers to launch, schedule and monitor drug, alcohol and physical fitness testing right from your SterlingONE dashboard.
As someone purchasing the test, do I have to administer the test?
No. After purchasing the test, the donor (candidate or employee) is sent an email notifying them that they must complete a drug test within a certain period of time. The email will direct the donor to schedule a test for him/herself at a location more convenient for them from any one of our 2,300+ collection sites that make up the eScreen Occupational Health Network. Once the donor has completed the test, the results of the test will appear securely in your SterlingONE dashboard.
What is an eScreen Passport?
An eScreen Passport is the unique, bar-coded confirmation receipt that a donor prints out and takes with them to the occupational health network facility to complete their drug test. The eScreen Passport will include the address and map/directions to the facility along with the scheduled appointment day/time.
How Long Does it Take to Receive the Test Results?
For a drug test that concludes with a negative result, the report is available within your SterlingONE dashboard in about 15 minutes. For results that return “preliminary positive”, the specimen is further evaluated by a Medical Review Officer (MRO). Once the MRO reviews the specimen, the results are returned typically within 24-72 hours.
Where are the results of the drug test going to be shown?
The results will only be shown in your SterlingONE dashboard. To view the status and/or results of your drug test, simply login to your SterlingONE account at; once logged-in, click on the Applicants tab and find the donor’s name; click on the report icon and view the results.
The applicant did not receive an eScreen Passport, how can I send another?
eScreen Passports are sent via email. If the applicant did not receive one, contact or call 1.877.893.1664 and a new Passport can be emailed to your applicant.
How can I reschedule a missed donation appointment or how can I change the date/time of an upcoming appointment?
The SterlingONE Occupational Health Services Team (OHS) will email you a “missed appointments” message when your applicant’s testing paperwork reaches its time limit. You can respond to OHS at that time, or feel free to proactively reach out to OHS if you would like to extend or limit testing time for your applicant ( or 1.877.893.1664).
What If I’m Interested in a Different Drug Test Than the 5-Panel?
As part of the online checkout process, you can upgrade your drug test to SterlingONE’s 10 or 12 panel test for an additional fee.
  • The 10-Panel SterlingONE Drug Test checks for the presence of the 10 most commonly abused drugs: Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Cocaine, Benzodiazepines, Marijuana, Methadone, Opiates, Methaqualone, Phencyclidine and Propoxyphene.
  • The 12-Panel SterlingONE Drug Test checks for the presence of the 12 most commonly abused drugs: Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Cocaine, Benzodiazepines, Marijuana, Methadone, Opiates, Methaqualone, Phencyclidine, Propoxyphene, Ecstasy and Oxycontin.

For any other Drug, Alcohol or Physical Fitness Testing needs, you can contact or call 1.877.893.1665 for more information.

How far into the past can a SterlingONE Drug Test detect the presence of drugs?
The time-frame varies greatly depending on the person the drug and frequency of use. In most cases, if the drug has been used within 48 hours of the test then the test will return positive. Some drugs are detectable longer; for example, it is sometimes possible a daily marijuana user could return a positive result even if they haven't used for up to three weeks.
What is the accuracy of the SterlingONE Drug Test?
SterlingONE Drug Testing and the eScreen test is considered the best 5-panel drug test available and has an accuracy of 100%.
Does the donor find out the results of the test?
No. Only the person that orders the test will have access to the results via the SterlingONE Dashboard.
What is a Medical Review Office (MRO)?
The MRO handles the legal process with drug screening. A laboratory will determine a result from the specimen, and the MRO will review it. If it were positive for a drug for example, the MRO certified doctor would perform all the necessary tasks such as contacting the donor and verifying prescriptions with other doctors. The MRO must legally finalize and report the result to us before we may report to our clients.
What is a Chain of Custody (CoC)? Do I need to collect CoC paperwork from a donor before they make a donation?
The eScreen Passport that the donor receives via email serves as the Chain of Custody paperwork. As the hiring manager or purchaser you do not need to do anything for CoC paperwork.
Where is the Chain of Custody (CoC) paperwork? Do I need to complete Chain of Custody (CoC) paperwork?
You do not need to worry about the traditional Chain of Custody paperwork when using the SterlingONE Drug Test powered by eScreen. The donor is sent an eScreen Passport which specifies all of the directions they need to schedule and complete the donation. The Chain of Custody paperwork and information is all included with the eScreen Passport. There is no paperwork for the person purchasing the test.
In the final step of selecting a clinic to take my test, it asks me to “email this document to:”; do I need to email the document to anyone in particular?
No. This option is for your convenience and allows you to email your testing paperwork to yourself, in case you are unable to print it at the time you create it.
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