Table of Contents
How to Search Public Records

How to Search Public Records: Step-by-Step Guide

Search public records can provide you with essential details about the individuals you share your life with. It allows you to examine the history of your significant other, romantic interest, family, pals, and neighbors. 

Doing so allows you to decide if it’s secure for you to start or continue a connection or bond with them.

In case you’re searching for the correct instrument just to get some background data on somebody from your close life, we suggest utilizing BeenVerified, PeopleLooker, or TruthFinder

These are regularly our top picks for all types of background check administrations, from looking for general data to performing a reverse phone number search.

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How To Search Public Records

It may be essential for you to search public records in order to feel confident in your relationships with those around you. People search free public records for a great way to confirm the authenticity of the people they’re dealing with. 

Studying these records can provide you with valuable information. Search public records are data that anyone can look at. 

Though these documents are open to the public, it does not necessarily mean that they’re free, easy to get ahold of, or can be found on the internet.

That’s why you will need to become familiar with how to search public records in a systematic, effective way. Follow the three steps listed below to start your quest for public records.

Option 1: Use Public Records Search Tools

Utilizing search public records tools is a great way to access more details about the individual you’re conducting a background check on. Search public records services offer a great advantage as they can quickly provide data like contact information, address, and social media accounts. 

In addition, these tools search public records and organize the results, which can be easily located with a search engine. We suggest using BeenVerified, PeopleLooker, or TruthFinder as the best way to go about people search free public records.

These tools can capture all the details you need and set them out in a way that’s easy to comprehend. 

Moreover, the searches are completed in just a few minutes, whereas the other two methods could take weeks. Here is a list of the services we recommend most highly for public record searches.

Option 2: Search Online Databases

To undertake a background check, go to the website of the pertinent county, state, federal government or court.

Utilize the online database to search for public records, and make sure to type in the full name of the individual you’re trying to get information on to ensure correct results. Marriage and dissolution papers can usually be located in the offices of the county or state.

Death documents can be found on the website of the state's primary administrator. Immigration records can be accessed through the National Archives website or other immigration sites. 

In addition, criminal or civil court proceedings can be located in the archives of the district or county.

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Option 3: Request Public Records

It’s possible to find certain data online. However, to gain access to certain public documents, for example, motor vehicle registration documents and financial information, you may need to make a request to the state or county government.

To do this, you must contact the relevant government agency and make your request either via email, via post, or through the filling out of an online form, depending on the requirements of the government agency.

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), US citizens have had the right to request access to search public records from any federal agency since 1967. This applies to both the individual making the request and other people.

However, it’s important to be aware that the information may not be disclosed if it could put personal privacy, national security, or law enforcement protocols at risk.

Types of Public Records You Should Search For

If you’re trying to find out more information about a romantic companion, good friend, or relative If you're looking to search public records, you can look into a large selection of them. Listed below are some of the usual public documents you can access:

  • Certification of Birth
  • Suitability evaluations
  • Legal documentation of separation
  • Validation of marriage
  • Certificate of death
  • The Tenant's Rental and Eviction Record
  • Land ownership
  • Case files in civil cases
  • Past Experience Behind the Wheel
  • Background checks

People search free public records that are best for you to obtain will depend upon what info you’re looking for about a person. That’s why we suggest utilizing a background check service like BeenVerified, which can compile all the available data for you in one convenient location.

What You Need To Know About Public Records Search

Before you search public records, and embark on a quest, you need to be sure that this is the best way for you to obtain the data you require. 

People search for free public records by themselves, it can take weeks thus, it’s vital to ensure you already have the fundamental details before you start to avoid wasting time.

We have listed the most essential pieces of information about people search free public records that you have to comprehend before beginning.

What Are Public Records?

Search public records will reveal non-secretive papers that are lawfully accessible to the public. Anyone who wishes to view the details of such documents can go through them or download them. 

These records are either established or filed in accordance with public law or business processes.

Historically, they were physically created, but lots of government organizations are now upgrading search public records by generating digital copies which can be retained and retrieved using online systems.

What Is a Public Records Search?

Search public record is the activity of discovering papers that are openly accessible. This is usually done by individuals who are curious to know more about the history of people with whom they have a current or possible private association.

It’s also done by those who want to find out what kind of search public records are available about themselves.

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What Are the Benefits of Searching for Public Records?

Search public records research provides significant benefits in many areas of life.

  • Identification Verification: Official documents can be used to verify the true identity of a person as they include their complete name.
  • Accurate Information: Formal documents may include personal information such as birth date, marital status, and place of residence. People search free public records that are either established or filed in accordance with public law or business processes.
  • Safety Check: Looking at court documents is a great way to check if someone has been implicated in any prior or ongoing legal proceedings. If you’re concerned about your safety, it’s a wise move to go to people search free public records to investigate a person's history.
  • Informed Choice: A search public records can provide insight into whether you should continue or start a relationship with a person, either romantically or as a friend.

Best 7 Public Records Search Tools

Utilizing search public records tools can be a quick and easy way to discover information about the individuals in your life. Here are five of the top search public records tools that can be used for individual exploration:

  1. BeenVerified ($26.89/mo) - The Best Software for Finding Public Documents
  2. PeopleLooker ($22.86/mo) -The Fastest and Most Accurate Option
  3. TruthFinder ($28.05 / 1 month or $46.56 / 2 months) - Many sources of data + sophisticated search tools
  4. Intelius ($24.86 / 30 days or $42.25 / 60 days) - Secure server with 256-bit encryption + Privacy for the customer
  5. Instant Checkmate ($34.78 / 1 month or $83.47 / 3 months) - Convenient interface + specialized database for criminal records
  6. Spokeo (Custom) - Many data sources combined with multifaceted characteristics
  7. PeopleFinders ($24.95 / month or $29.95 / month) - Cost-effectiveness + Years of Experience

Are you curious about how to easily search public records? Utilize public records search tools to uncover essential information which can verify if people are who they claim to be. 

Investigate the characteristics and cost of the tools in our compilation to select the one that suits your people search free public records requirements.

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1. BeenVerified: Best Tool to Search Public Records Overall

BeenVerified logo

BeenVerified is an outstanding search public records service due to the fact that they provide a court runner facility. This means BeenVerified physically visits courts to acquire documents that haven't been added to the company's website yet.

Different mobile apps are available for both Android and iOS users. You can begin your inquiry with the data of your preference. If you prepay for three months, you will be eligible for a discount when people search free public records.

On the contrary, the site does not allow for single searches; only members can use the service. 

Once you have finished all the loading windows, you will only be able to observe the prices. Clients are displeased since the reports offer fewer details than those from other leading background check websites.

BeenVerified Review


  • Start at $26.89/: For unlimited reports after the first month
  • Cost of Unlimited Reports: Three Months: $52.44

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2. PeopleLooker: Best Public Records Search Tool for Speed & Accuracy

PeopleLooker is a convenient website that gathers data from a range of sources, like search public records online directories, and social media, to give detailed information about people.

It offers a wide variety of services, including address lookups and reverse phone lookups, as well as background screenings.

PeopleLooker provides its users with an expedient way to look up individuals and access their contact information, criminal background, and other personal details. 

Although the reliability of the data may be uncertain, PeopleLooker is a beneficial service for people looking for information on a person for either personal or occupational reasons. 

The accuracy of the data that PeopleLooker gives may be affected by a few elements, such as the origin of the information, the privacy settings of the person being searched, and how precise the facts in public records are.

Despite PeopleLooker's commitment to ensuring the precision of the details given, there are times when the data may be outdated, incomplete, or inaccurate.

PeopleLooker Review


  • A single month of membership: is $22.86
  • Three Months: For just $54.84 every three months, you may get unlimited reports
  • Price: $1 for one week trial

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3. TruthFinder: Best for Value of Money

TruthFinder is an effective people search engine that allows you to look up most individuals in the United States. 

It allows you to search public records, trawling through numerous third-party databases and compiling information from different county, city, state, and federal online sources. 

The data is then organized into a straightforward and comprehensive report which is simple to navigate.

By utilizing it, you can easily get the full name, contact details, mailing address, as well as email address of any individual in a couple of minutes. 

This tool allows you to access personal information, location history, licenses, criminal records, financial data, social media accounts, and dating accounts. 

Instead of exhausting trips to multiple government offices and courthouses, you can now access the data on the internet, eliminating the need for lengthy processes.

We praised TruthFinder as the number one search public records tool due to the expansive range of resources it provides, its sophisticated features, and its security options. You can customize the extensive results list through its filters and share the data with loved ones. 

The platform also encrypts the information it transmits in order to protect your private data. Furthermore, it provides you with instructions on how to use the records in an ethical manner, in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

TruthFinder Review


  • Price each report for 2 months: Is $46.56
  • A single month of unlimited reports costs: $28.05 a month

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4. Intelius: Best for Confidentiality

Intelius is a widely known source of public data pertaining to individuals and their associations with other people. It provides background checks which enable people to gain insight into the present and past of the people in their social networks. 

The search public records engine searches different sources and collects the information together in one place.

If you’re looking to make new acquaintances or catch up with past pals, Intelius is the perfect tool to turn to.

Intelius allows you to conduct public records search to find people, phone numbers, addresses, and criminal records, as well as discover what shows up in your background check and who is contacting you.

Intelius is the best provider of confidential search public records due to its dedication to securing customers' information. It utilizes a 256-bit encrypted connection to ensure that your searches stay private. 

Additionally, these public records search promises to never let the people you look up with this service know that you searched for them.

Intelius Review


  • One report per person per day for 30 days Price of membership per month: $24.86
  • Price of Membership ($42.25): For 60 Days of Unlimited Reporting Per Person

>> Try Intelius Now >>

5. Instant Checkmate: Best for Simplicity

Instant Checkmate offers a search public records service geared towards background checks of individuals located in the United States. This service allows users to look up someone's aliases, age, and address histories, as well as view court documents related to that person.

It’s possible to explore someone's criminal past through the internet, particularly if you’re uncertain about their potential for violent behavior. 

This search engine allows users to search public records for arrest records containing facts about felony accusations, sex offenses, misdemeanors, and speeding offenses.

It can tell you if an individual has been apprehended or served time in prison in the past. We recognize Instant Checkmate as the best for its user-friendliness among people search services due to its ease of use. 

After you initiate your inquiry, it will direct you via pop-up notifications to include more information about the individual to refine your findings. It also makes it effortless to remove yourself from the search repository through a visible selection in the footer section.

Every search is safeguarded by a 128-bit encrypted connection and Norton security.

Instant Checkmate Review


Normal Membership Packages

  • 30 Days Unlimited Person Reports: $34.78 / 1 month
  • 90 Days Unlimited Person Reports: $83.47 / 3 months

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6. Spokeo: Best for Versatility

Spokeo is a type of service that gives information regarding people. You can use it to search names, aliases, contact details, profiles on social media platforms, location details, family ties, and court records. 

Not only this but Spokeo can also be used to look up people and make contact with them. It will continue to update your reports as your Spokeo account remains active and will additionally add new data to your reports when databases save more information.

Spokeo is well known for its versatility when it comes to search public records tools due to its extensive selection of sources. 

It compiles an impressive collection of over 12 billion records from multiple sources, including property records, historical archives, court records, and social networks. 

People search free public records makes it a great choice for a variety of activities, like background checks, reconnecting with family and friends, and preventing potential fraud.

Spokeo Review


  • Custom: Spokeo's rates for its many offerings are variable. People search free public records to find out the costs for subscription services, which can vary based on factors like the subscription length, the products chosen, and any discounts available.

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7. PeopleFinders: Best for Speedy Results

PeopleFinders is an established people search platform that has been in use for numerous years. It can access white page listings and public records from over 6,000 sources. It allows you to look for people by their names, contact numbers, and locations.

Furthermore, it details possessions, real estate, criminal background, personal connections, and familial ties.

PeopleFinders has earned the reputation of being the most budget-friendly option for people search free public records due to their economic monthly plans.

An individual can select the regular plan if only basic information is required. If people search free public records and want comprehensive information with exclusive features, they can go for the premium package as it’s a great value for money.

PeopleFinders Review


  • Pricing for PeopleFinders' monthly membership: Is now at $24.95 USD
  • To use PeopleFinders' premium features, a monthly fee: Of $29.95 are required

>> Check Out PeopleFinder >>

Final Thoughts

Utilizing search public records tools provides individuals with the opportunity to uncover significant details concerning the people they already have a connection with or may form one. 

This data can help you determine if you should become friends with your next-door neighbors or increase the bond with your family members. It can even direct you in deciding if you should marry your significant other or not.

Even though there are numerous great choices, BeenVerified is the top pick from the bunch, according to our assessment. It's reasonable and simple to operate, and you can acquire the data you require within a few minutes. 

Register today and use your initial public records search to acquire an accumulation of facts available for your subject.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Trying to search public records can be a difficult task, and if one does not know the proper channels, it can take an extended period of time to locate them.

To assist in the search, we have put together a few of the most frequently asked questions to provide you with the relevant information for your search.

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Is It Legal To Conduct a Public Records Search?

It’s lawfully permissible to search public records can be a difficult task. If one does not know the proper channels, it can take an extended period of time to locate them in the U.S. due to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which was passed in 1967.

This grants the citizens of America the right to demand to search public records from federal government agencies. 

The only exclusions are records that may put national security at risk, breach someone's personal privacy, or disobey law enforcement procedures.

Why Should You Conduct a Public Records Search?

In order to guarantee your safety and feelings of serenity, you should conduct a public records search to locate documents that can give you essential information about other people. Search public records can validate the identity and particulars of other individuals. 

Their details can give you insights into the past and nature of your friends, family members, and romantic partners.

What Are Public Records Search Tools?

Search engines or services which compile data from different sources are known as search public records tools. They compile the gathered information into reports that are easy to comprehend. 

These tools can benefit you when trying to learn about the backgrounds of people you know. They can help cut the time and energy spent when doing research.

What Can I Legally Use Public Records Search Tools For?

It’s permissible to use search public records tools for individual needs.

You’re able to do background checks on people you currently have a connection to or may potentially have a connection with, such as your boyfriend, girlfriend, romantic interest, neighbors, family, and friends.

However, it’s against the law to use these tools for professional reasons under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), including employee selection, credit management, loan eligibility, or tenant assessment.

What Are the Best Public Records Search Tools?

With the numerous search public records programs now presented, it can be difficult to know which are authentic and which are fake.

We have gone through numerous ones in order to find the most suitable one for you and we have concluded that BeenVerified is the most reliable people search engine because it has a comprehensive collection of information resources, advanced capabilities, and safety protocols in place.

>> Run BeenVerified >>

DISCLAIMER: You may not use the non-FCRA approved services mentioned in this article or the information they provide to make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance. These services don’t provide consumer reports and are not consumer reporting agencies. (These terms have special meanings under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq., (“FCRA”), which are incorporated herein by reference.) 

The information available on our website may not be 100% accurate, complete, or up to date, so do not use it as a substitute for your own due diligence, especially if you have concerns about a person’s criminal history. The services we mention do not make any representation or warranty about the accuracy of the information available through our website or about the character or integrity of the person about whom you inquire. For more information, please review each service’s Terms of Use.