Here are five things you need to know about conducting background checks in Texas. 1. Best place to find criminal records in Texas: The county/district courts. 2. Everything is big in Texas (except for the size of its state criminal database): Don’t rely on the Texas Department of Public Safety Computerized Criminal History System (DPS) as a primary resource to conduct a thorough criminal background check. 3. No major state potholes in Texas: Generally speaking, the laws that govern employment background screening in Texas mirror their federal counterparts. 4. Let me see your badge: It is important to know that anyone conducting background checks in Texas be licensed by the state as a Private Investigator. This applies to all background screening companies whether they perform the actual research or utilize a network of contractors. No license will result in expulsion from the courts, significant fines and possible jail time. 5. Credit reports are fair game: The state of Texas has not yet enacted laws to curb the use of credit reports as basis to determine hiring eligibility. Still, employers are encouraged to use them responsibly by utilizing the search only when an individual’s credit report might have a bearing on how they might perform their job responsibilities.