Does Costco Do Background Checks? [What They Ask & More]

Wondering if Costco does background checks for employees? Here's everything we've found about Costco’s background check policy. Keep reading.

Costco is widely known for having better business practices than other retailers on the market. This is because Costco workers are unionized, get a bunch of different benefits, and receive slightly higher pay compared to other workers in the same industry.

So, it should be no real surprise that Costco employs a lot of different people in the US and all around the world. But if you’re thinking of applying for a job at Costco, you need to make sure to read up on the application process.

That way, you know exactly what to expect from the company, the different tests you have to pass, and what other requirements you have to meet.

With that in mind, you may be wondering if Costco conducts background checks for employees and applicants looking to work at their stores.

Background checks are a staple of the hiring process of different companies, but does that include Costco?

If you’re considering applying for a job at Costco and are wondering about their background check policy, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will take a close look at Costco’s background check policy, what exact things they look for, how they conduct their background checks, and everything you need to know about the process.

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What Is The Costco Background Check Policy?

Costco Wholesale store exterior

Currently, all Costco applicants have to go through a background check before working in their stores. It’s company policy that all employees pass a background check before they work at Costco to verify their education history, check on their criminal record, and even their driving record, and if they have any convictions.

This is something every prospective employee has to go through and is done completely through a third party. However, if you have misdemeanor or felony charges that pop up during a background check, Costco may still hire you, but you may be asked about it before you start working.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for employers to use your criminal history information to make a decision on whether or not to hire you. However, it is still Costco’s company policy to conduct thorough background checks on potential employees through a third party.

Is A Costco Background Check Necessary?

For Costco, background checks are necessary. However, before Costco can conduct a background check on you, applicants must give their consent to allow Costco to do this.

When giving your consent, Costco will let you know that the results of the background check may affect your employment, that the background checks are done by a third party, and that they won’t misuse the information or discriminate against you based on it.

What Does Costco Look For In A Background Check?

Costco store 3

Generally, a Costco background check looks at your criminal, driving, and educational records. This is to first, verify that you have the right educational attainment for the job and that you didn’t lie about it. Secondly, this is to check if an applicant has a history of misdemeanors or crimes that may affect how they fit and function in the workplace.

However, unlike other companies, Costco doesn’t consider credit scores when hiring. Low credit scores are a huge hindrance to a lot of applicants as some companies will refuse to hire people with low credit scores.

With that said, Costco will look for any potential criminal records of its applicants. On top of that, they may also verify your Social Security and do a reference check. So, make sure that all the information you place on your application form is valid and truthful.

That way, you won’t run into any trouble if and when Costco decides to conduct a background check on you.

Is There A Fee For The Background Check?

Costco conducts background checks through a third party. So, that means that they have to pay a fee whenever they conduct a background check on an applicant. This is to take the weight off their shoulders while still ensuring that accurate background checks are conducted on all potential employees.

With that said, you won’t have to worry about shelling out money for a background check. While the third-party company charges a fee, this is completely covered by Costco. You will not be required to pay for your own background check when applying at Costco.

What Do I Give During A Costco Background Check?

Hobart Circa May 2018: Costco Wholesale Location. Costco Wholesale is a Multi Billion Dollar Global Retailer IV

To check on an applicant’s criminal and driving records, all Costco needs is your basic information. However, keep in mind that Costco background checks go further than simple criminal and driving record checks.

So, you will have to provide additional information and documents before they can conduct a background check. Usually, Costco requests your social security card. If not available, they may ask for your birth certificate.

Additionally, they will also need either your driver’s license or state-ID card to confirm your identity. However, if you don’t have these documents, there are some alternatives you can present to Costco instead.

These include a passport or a visa. Alternatively, you can also show proof of residence. However, you will need to give two different proofs of residence such as a cable bill, mortgage statement, or even any school document that has your name on it.

How Does Costco Do Background Checks?

Costco starts its background checking process with the person’s actual application. On your application, you have to put your educational attainment and work history. Costco will then cross-check your information with information available in public records to confirm these details.

From there, Costco uses E-verify. This is a government-supported web portal designed to help employers check if applicants are actually eligible for work. This is simply a system designed to confirm that applicants are indeed who they say they are.

Information on your application form is then cross-referenced with Social Security Administration Records and the records of the Department of Homeland Security.

This is why applicants need to provide a social security card and non-resident ID before Costco can offer them a job.

How Far Back Does Costco Look During Background Checks?

Costco customer service and membership counter

This largely depends on you and the type of background checking Costco is conducting. However, the general rule that people follow is that background checks go as far back as the last seven years of your life.

With that said, you don’t have to recall any minor details in your life from 7 years ago. Employment background checks are designed to check if a person is a good fit for the workplace and the role they’re applying for. So, they will see your behavior patterns by looking at your lapses, repeat offenses, and other things on your criminal record.

However, as long as you were honest during the application and interview process, you won’t have anything to worry about when Costco conducts a background check.

Does Costco Conduct Background Checks In-House?

Costco doesn’t conduct background checks in-house. Instead, they outsource a third-party company to do the job for them. But with that said, it can be pretty hard to find information on the exact company that Costco hires to do their background checks.

The company that conducts Costco’s background checks may vary depending on your area and the type of background check required. However, in most cases, a background check is nothing you have to worry about.

Typically, if you were honest during your entire application and interview process, Costco won’t find any reason not to hire you when conducting a background check, especially if you’re applying for more basic roles such as Costco maintenance assistant. This is a standard part of their employment process that everyone has to go through before they can start working at Costco.

So, rather than worry if you’re going to get a job at Costco or not, it’s worth checking if Costco’s dress code is something you can work with.


If you plan on applying for a job at Costco, keep in mind that it’s company policy to conduct a background check before you start working there. So, that is why we highly encourage any prospective applicants to be as honest as possible when applying for Costco.

A misdemeanor and even a felony charge won’t stop Costco from hiring you. Of course, certain felonies and crimes may prevent Costco from hiring you for safety concerns but in most cases, you won’t have anything to worry about.

So, when you are interviewed by Costco or submit your application, make sure not to lie. If you are honest during the entire interview process, especially in regards to your history, the background check won’t have that much of an effect on whether or not Costco will offer you a job, even though it’s an integral part of their hiring process.

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Arthur Beringer

Arthur graduated in 2002 with a Master's in Business Administration from LSU Alexandria. After working in the retail industry for almost 20 years, he decided to quit and write full-time to help readers who are searching online for consumer-related answers.