criminal background check and not a character of good standing certificate.
Ah okay. Just wondering, why did you have to go through it if you don't mind me asking (PM if you don't want to share publicly).
I've never heard of a 'character of good standing certificate' but the Kazakh government did ask me to get a FBI criminal background check sent over to them if I wanted to work there.
Some counties have searches available online as well. It's a big mess because like if you go to the DMV, you can get a printout of your driving record, some counties while have an electronic search or you'll have to go to the courthouse, whereas others only allow certain people access to these types of records.
I do know that there is a national criminal database that contains state and national records.
You can also consider a background check company - might be cheaper.. don't if they'll accept it though.