Being curious is part of human life. Have you ever used social media only to find yourself scrolling and trying to find out information about someone? Don’t worry you’re not alone. This guide will explain how to do a public records search and find information about just anyone.
A public records search will allow you to locate and view public records like contact information, arrest and criminal records, phone numbers, emails, social media profiles, and much more with a first and last name.
What are public records?
Public records are information like address, phone numbers, relatives, court documents, criminal court cases, and more that is open for public viewing. For example. If you get arrested and make your way through the court system that information is detailed and stored for public view. Either online or within the courthouse by the county clerk.
Here are some of the public records you could uncover when running a search:
- Criminal records
- Arrest Records
- Sex offender records
- Contact information
- Driving records
- Certain types of Federal licenses
- Possible relatives
- And more…
Are public records free?
This will depend on how you go about finding these records. You could probably find basic information from courthouse websites. However, if you need certified copies you will probably be paying a fee for these from the courts. Even a search service charges a fee. Why? Because it cost them money to retrieve and then take that data and deliver it into an easy-to-read report. You have to ask yourself is a few dollars worth the time it would take to find these records on your own? And even at that, you may not find as much information than using a search service.
What can you use public records for?
Once you find public records you can use this data in many ways. Some of the more common uses public records are used for are:
- Find lost family members
- Check out an online date
- Learn about your family tree
- Search criminal and arrest records
- Search your neighbors
- Search sex offenders in your area
- Childs friends parents
- Just being curious
- Learn what your background says
How to do a public record search online
There are a few ways to perform a public record search online. One of the easiest methods would use a search service. A third-party service that specializes in finding and displaying public records data to the public. All that is needed is the first and last name to get started. The name is then searched through thousands of databases from Federal, state, and county resources. To get started simply enter a first and last name below.
BeenVerified background check service searches through billions of records and dozens of databases.
The beauty of a search service above is that it displays the data into an easy to read, private report. This is what makes the service so great. Not only can it find these types of records is displays them in a way that makes sense for the users. Topics are broken up into categories and searches are really quick for the end user.
Courthouse websites to find public records online or in person
Do you know where the person you are looking for lives? If so, you can try the online courthouse from that area to see if they have public records on the person your looking for. Do a google search for the courthouse within that county to find the online website. Once you have this information you can continue to see if the courthouse website has a way to search for public records online. If they do not, almost all courthouses have a telephone number to the Clerk of Courts. This is who you would want to contact for help in finding public records within that county.
Other methods to find public records online
Because you can find all types of records online using different methods we will also explain the benefits of searching the below ways as well. Even though you will not find certain types of records like arrest or criminal records you still can find, email, names, and other types of records that may be useful in your search.
Social Media profiles
It’s simple to locate social media profiles. The easiest is if you already have social media accounts set up you can simply search them by using their find a friend or search feature online. Simply type in the person name to see what comes up. Most people today have some sort of social profile. This may be Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or more.
Google someone’s name to see what you can find. We do not expect too much in the way of public records data to be found like this. However, the method is free and takes seconds to complete, so why not do it. You could uncover some basic things this way, but nothing more.
Government websites to find records
You can also search for government websites like USA.gov. Ask yourself a few questions. How much time do I have to spend on searching public records data, and do I know where the person lives or lived to locate these records. You can find a lot of public record data from these types of sites but it will come with a lot of time and you’ll need to know a few things about the person your searching. If there seems to hard use a search service to start and go from there.
Is public records data open to everyone?
The short answer is yes. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act that allows public records to exist and be open for viewing to the public. However, there are certain types of public record data like juvenile records, certain medical records, birth certificates, and a few others that will be sealed from public view. The courts can seal these records so that only people that have the right to see them can. But for the most part, any criminal, warrants, contact information, most court documents are all public records that can be viewed.
Now that you know how to find records give it a shot
The above information should allow you or someone you know to find public records online or even at courthouses if you know the person your searching for was in that area. These types of data are beneficial for you to make safer and smarter decisions when it comes to the people in and around your life. Go ahead and run a search to see what you can find.