You can probably go through your state police and do a limited check. Local schools, sheriff departments, local police, etc. can run the check; however, it will be limited. To do a complete check you need to go to a private agency and pay the appropriate fee, usually $35-50.
I, like HM, use the state website to screen tenants, but he does it in Wisconsin and I do it in Virginia. In Virginia, the site is set up by county. HM, I hope your screening has worked better than mine. I have had some really bad tenants the last couple of years.
I use a detective agency to screen tenants. They do a thorough criminal and financial background check, as well as provide a list of all previous residences and landlords. Then I get on the phone and call the previous landlords. Well worth the time and money spent!
Thanks to all! At your suggestions, I found many sites but of course all had their fees! Tom Rhoads P.S. I felt violated by all my "buddies" who took advantage of me losing all my bets to them! Close to child abuse!