Michigan has updated Rule 1.109 and Rule 8.119, creating a new identifier redaction policy that will go into effect on July 1, 2021. Under the proposed rules, an individual’s date of birth will be removed from court records before they are provided to the public, in essence fully redacting the date of birth from public view. Court clerks will not be permitted to verbally confirm the date of birth and cannot conduct a search by date of birth.
How does this proposed redaction affect background screening reports? Under the law, AccuSource is required to confirm that the individual in the court record matches the applicant being screened. We must match a minimum of two identifiers. Generally, a defendant’s full date of birth is one of those two identifiers used by AccuSource in its matching. If AccuSource cannot match at least two identifiers, we may not be able to legally report the record to you, our client, due to insufficient identifiers. While the updated rules will impact our clients located in Michigan the most, they could impact any of our clients who request background checks on individuals who live or have lived in Michigan.
The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), our industry’s trade association, has been working with the Michigan State Court Administrator’s office concerning its plans to redact the date of birth from court records. The background screening industry, led by the PBSA and supported by end users who are willing to assist, is hoping to prevent this rule from going into effect. If we are not successful, AccuSource’s reporting, and your receiving, of Michigan criminal records will be directly impacted starting July 1.
If you are willing to assist with the PBSA’s effort to address the industry’s concerns with as many Michigan officials as possible, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org receive a list of Michigan contacts and a sample letter written by the PBSA.