Michigan Courts to Delay Decision to Redact DOBs

Posted: July 01, 2021

A partial win for Consumer Reporting was announced Wednesday June 30th around 4:30 pm eastern time. The Michigan State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) declared that it will be pushing back the effective date of the date of birth redaction rule to January 1st, 2022, giving employers and landlords who order Michigan County criminal records a little more time to prepare for the change. While this is good news, it is still important to familiarize yourself with the rule when it does go into effect.

Now effective January 1st, 2022, a new SCAO rule will require the redaction of dates of birth from Michigan Court public records. This is likely to have a huge impact on Michigan Employers and Landlords who order criminal record checks on applicants who currently or previously lived, worked, or went to school in the state of Michigan. With no dates of birth available, only one identifier (name) will be accessible on court records. Court clerks will not be able to perform a search using date of birth, nor can they verbally confirm the date of birth that exists on the record. As Federal law and industry standards require at least two solid identifiers, our ability as a Consumer Reporting Agency to identify and match records in Michigan to your applicants will be greatly impacted.

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) has been working diligently with the SCAO in hopes that the rule will be reversed; however, at this time the SCAO has decided to move forward with the DOB redaction. They have offered some solutions to our concerns; however, they are widely seen as unworkable, unrealistic, or unsatisfactory.

A main suggestion proffered by the SCAO is that background screeners can bring an applicant’s signed consent form to the courthouse in order to authorize the release of date of birth information. While this sounds like an easy enough solution, it is unfortunately likely to be unfeasible. Through discussions between PBSA and the courts, the consensus is that this option is not and will not be available. The courts simply may not have the resources available to add the steps of obtaining and reviewing consent forms to their already full workload.

Info Cubic and PBSA will continue to exhaust all options to reverse this disastrous rule which diminishes safety in our workplaces, homes, and communities, and will keep you updated on any changes to the current legislation as well as any changes to our products and services.

If you have questions, please contact us at (877) 360-4636.