Federal Case Registry

Information for Families

Publication Date: December 7, 2016

What is the Federal Case Registry (FCR)?

Federal law mandated the creation of the FCR. Implemented on October 1, 1998, the FCR is a database that contains basic case and participant data from each of the State Case Registries (SCR). The SCRs, also mandated by federal law, are central registries of child support cases and orders in each state. The FCR is integral to the success of the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS).

The FCR is a national database that includes all child support cases handled by state child support agencies (referred to as IV-D cases), and all support orders established or modified on or after October 1, 1998 (referred to as non IV-D orders). It assists states in locating parties that live in different states to establish, modify, or enforce child support obligations; establish paternity; enforce state law regarding parental kidnapping; and, establish or enforce child custody or visitation determinations.

While information in the FCR is provided through the SCRs, the FCR is not a duplication of all of the data maintained in each state's automated child support system. Rather, it is a database of the most basic case and participant information.

When a state sends the FCR information about persons in a new case or child support order, this new information is automatically compared to existing person information in the FCR. If matches are found, the FPLS notifies all appropriate state child support enforcement agencies of the record match. In this way, a state will know if another state has a case or support order with participants in common with them, and can take appropriate action. The data in the FCR is also compared to the employment data in the National Directory of New Hires.

Why are non IV-D orders included?

Traditionally, the issuing court has maintained support orders in private cases. Effective October 1, 1998, all support orders issued or modified must be reported to the SCR. Non IV-D order information is included to assist states in processing interstate cases. The information will assist in locating parents across state lines by acting as a "pointer system" to other states, and helping states determine legal jurisdiction. Maintaining information about non IV-D court orders also allows for faster service, should there be a request for full child support services through a state child support office.

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