Does Costco Do Background Checks? (All You Need To Know)

A common practice for employers across the country is to perform a background check on soon-to-be new employees. The reason companies conduct background checks is to see if someone has a criminal record.

However, if you’re thinking about applying for a job at Costco, you may be wondering if the bulk retailer conducts background checks. I’ve done the research, so here’s everything you need to know! 

Does Costco Do Background Checks?

Costco has a mandated background check policy for all applicants. At Costco, the background check reviews an applicant’s education verification, driving records, criminal history, and more. Additionally, Costco uses a third-party company to conduct accurate background checks. Finally, Costco even hires people with misdemeanors or felony charges on their background checks.

Read on to learn more about Costco’s background checks, what it covers, and how it impacts you as a job applicant!

Do I Have To Complete the Costco Background Check To Be Hired?

Yes, Costco requires all applicants to undergo a detailed background check before becoming an employee.

Although employment is contingent on taking a background check, Costco must ask for your written consent before going through with the process.

With that, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, all businesses must:

  • Let applicants know in writing that the information obtained from the background check may be used to make decisions about employment
  • Certify that third parties used to collect data on applicants received permission and notified the applicant
  • Not use the information in the report to discriminate or otherwise misuse the information

Also, applicants have the right to know about what information is collected on them. If you have any inquiries about your background check, you can submit them online using this link

Does the Costco Background Check Cost Anything For the Applicant?

Fortunately, when Costco conducts a background check on potential new employees, the company covers the fee that comes with a background check.

What Does Costco Need From You To Conduct a Background Check?

To complete your background check, Costco requires all applicants to submit the following documentation:

  • Social Security Card or Birth Certificate
  • Driver’s license or State ID Card

However, you can also submit other forms of identification, such as:

  • Passport or Visa (must include an up-to-date photograph)
  • Two forms of Proof of Residence (recent utility bill, mortgage statement, cable bill, or a school document with your name on it)

What Kind Of Information Does a Background Check Review?

Costco’s pre-employment screening process reviews the following aspects of an applicant’s history:

  • Criminal background check
  • Motor vehicle records check
  • Driving records check
  • Social Security verification
  • Reference checks (name, address, phone number)

Despite popular belief, Costco does not consider credit scores when hiring, so there is no access to your credit report.

How Does Costco Conduct Background Checks?

How Does Costco Conduct Background Checks?

At Costco, the background check process begins with your application. For example, the responses on your application regarding your contact information, education, work history, and references are cross-referenced with publicly available records.

Also, it is essential to know that Costco participates in E-Verify, a government-supported web portal that allows enrolled businesses to verify that applicants are eligible to work.

In other words, E-Verify confirms that the applicant is who they say they are.

With that, verification is possible by electronically matching information from the I-9 with the Social Security Administration records and the Department of Homeland Security.

With this in mind, applicants must provide a social security card or non-resident ID to confirm their identity.

How Far Back Do Costco Background Checks Look?

As a common rule of thumb, pre-employment background checks look back at the past seven years of your life.

However, you don’t have to worry if you cannot recall minor details like a phone number or address from seven years ago.

For an employment background check, employers are just looking to establish behavior patterns (any employment lapses, criminal records, etc.).

As long as you are honest when completing your application, you have no reason to worry.

What Company Does Costco Use To Conduct Background Checks?

Although I could not find the company’s name used to conduct background checks on the privacy policy page on Costco’s website, the company discloses that it may use a third-party company to perform background checks.

What Are Red Flags On a Background Check?

Background checks make job applicants nervous because of fear something will pop up that will cause them to lose a job opportunity.

It bears saying that background checks by themselves are only one tool used in the hiring process. However, there are red flags that trigger hiring managers.

With this in mind, commonly seen red flags on a background check are:

  • Application discrepancies
  • Derogatory remarks from past employers or references
  • Criminal record

As you can see, honesty and accuracy when completing the job application are essential, as an applicant’s biggest mistake is thinking they can cover up a murky past.

With that, if you have any past mistakes that may pop up on a background check, it’s best to be honest with the hiring manager rather than attempt to cover it up. 

Does Costco Hire People With a Misdemeanor?

In most cases, misdemeanors will show up on a background report. Misdemeanors are criminal offenses, so if you went to court, then it is on your record.

Now with that said, many misdemeanors are settled with a fine without going to court and are tried at the county level rather than the state.

So if an employer is searching state-wide for any offenses, then these county court convictions will not appear.

Also, the employer will not see anything that never went to court due to a settlement.

Regardless, it’s not common for employers to hold minor convictions as a way to bar employment.

Does Costco Hire People With a Felony?

According to, Costco is open to hiring individuals with felony convictions.

However, to maintain a safe work environment, certain charges are automatically disqualified. As previously stated, explain your situation early on and disclose criminal records.

To find out more, you can also read our posts on whether or not Costco hires part-time, whether Costco does drug tests and background checks, and whether Costco is an ethical company.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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