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How to Search Public Records: 3 Different Options

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How to Search Public Records: 3 Different Options

How to search public records by using our comprehensive search tools for accessing public records effortlessly. Acquire insights through this informative review.

Search Public Records
Search Public Records

By conducting search public records, one can obtain crucial details about individuals in their personal circle. This enables them to investigate the history of potential partners, family members, neighbors, acquaintances, and romantic interests. 

Such an inquiry assists in determining whether it's prudent to initiate or maintain personal relationships or friendships with them.

To obtain comprehensive background data on individuals in one's personal life, we suggest utilizing services such as BeenVerified or PeopleLooker

These services consistently rank as our top choice for conducting a wide range of background checks, including general information searches and reverse phone number lookups.

>> Visit BeenVerified >> 

How To Search Public Records

If you want to feel comfortable in your environment, conducting people search free public records may be necessary. This will give you crucial information to verify the identity of individuals around you and put your mind at ease. 

Although these people search for free public records that are accessible to anyone who wishes to view them, it's important to note that they may not be readily available for free or downloadable online. 

Therefore, it's necessary to learn an effective and systematic approach to locating public records.

Follow the three steps outlined below to begin to search public records.

Option 1: Use Public Records Search Tools

To conduct a comprehensive background check on someone, it's advisable to utilize search public records tools. These services can swiftly provide you with important data such as contact details, location, and social media profiles, saving you time and effort. 

By utilizing search engines, these search public records tools collect and organize public records, making it easy for you to access them. This is the preferred approach as it offers a thorough search and presents the information in an easily understandable format. 

Additionally, the search process takes only a few minutes as opposed to several weeks with other methods. Some of the recommended search public records services are BeenVerified, PeopleLooker, and TruthFinder. You can find a comprehensive list of our top recommended services for search public records here.

Option 2: Search Online Databases

To conduct a comprehensive background check, it's essential to visit the official website of the relevant county, state, federal government, or court. 

Utilize the online database to search public records, ensuring to enter the full name of the person you're investigating for accurate results. 

Depending on the type of search public records you're searching for, marriage and divorce records can usually be found at the county or state level, while death records can be accessed through the local secretary of state's website. 

Immigration records can be obtained from the National Archives website and various immigration portals, while criminal or civil court records are available at district or county archives.

Option 3: Request Public Records

Although some public information may be available through databases, certain types of records, including financial and motor vehicle registration, may require a request to be made to the state or county government. 

Requests can be made through email, letter, or web form, depending on the government agency's requirements. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Americans have had the right to request access to public records from federal agencies since 1967. 

However, in some cases, personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement protocols may prevent the disclosure of certain information. FOIA requests can be made on behalf of oneself or others.

Types of Public Records You Should Search For

If you're trying to find information about your loved ones, such as your partner, friends, or family members, there is an extensive range of public records that you can search for. Some of the examples of public records that are commonly available to you're mentioned below:

  • Lawsuit files
  • Felony convictions
  • The Possession of Real Estate
  • Proof of death
  • Certificate of Birth
  • Previous rental/eviction record
  • Authorization to Wed
  • History of Driving
  • The Divorce Publications
  • Financial standings

Selecting the appropriate search public records is reliant on the specific details you seek about a person. This is why we suggest utilizing a background check service , such as BeenVerified, which enables you to efficiently gather all the obtainable information in a single location.

What You Need To Know About Public Records Search

It's crucial to have a clear understanding of whether a search public records is the appropriate method for accessing the required information before commencing the search. 

If done independently, such searches may take several weeks, making it essential to possess fundamental information beforehand to avoid wasting time.

If you're about to embark on a public records search, it's essential to understand the fundamentals. To help you get started with your people search free public records, we've put together a list of answers to the most common questions that arise. 

Our goal is to make sure you have all the information about people search free public records you need before conducting your search.

What Are Public Records?

Public records are documents that are not confidential and can be accessed by anyone with a legal right to do so. They contain information that's relevant to public law or business operations. 

Although traditionally in paper form, many government agencies have begun digitizing public records, making them accessible through online databases. 

As a result, individuals who are interested in the information contained within these documents can read or download them easily.

What Is a Public Records Search?

The act of searching for public records involves searching for documents that are accessible to the general public. 

This people search free public records is carried out by those who wish to gain insight into the background of someone they have a personal relationship with or those who want to know what information is available to the public about themselves. 

What Are the Benefits of Searching for Public Records?

If you have personal connections with someone, conducting people search free public records can provide you with notable advantages. This approach allows you to access information that may be crucial for your personal or professional life.

  • Informed Choice: By conducting thorough people search free public records, you can gain valuable information that will help you make an informed decision about whether to pursue or continue a romantic relationship or friendship with someone.
  • Accurate Information: The personal details found in public records, such as birth date, marital status, and location, provide official confirmation of the accuracy of the information shared by another individual. 
  • Safety Check: To ensure personal safety, it's important to conduct a background check on an individual. This can be done by reviewing court documents for any criminal or civil cases the person may have been involved in, both past and present.

Such information is crucial for effective risk management.

  • Identification Verification: The authenticity of a person's true identity can be confirmed through public records, which contain their complete name.

Best 7 Public Records Search Tools

If you want to perform a fast and effortless investigation on individuals within your network, utilizing free public records search tools can be extremely useful. These resources enable you to conduct people search free public records, making it an affordable option for many. 

The top five search public records tools that can aid in such research are mentioned below.

  1. BeenVerified ($26.89/mo) - Best Tool to Search Public Records 
  2. PeopleLooker ($22.86/mo) - Best for Speed and Accuracy 
  3. TruthFinder ($28.05 / 1 month or $46.56 / 2 months) - Vast information resources + Advanced search features
  4. Intelius ($24.86 / 30 days or $42.25 / 60 days) - 256-bit encrypted connection + Customer confidentiality
  5. Instant Checkmate ($34.78 / 1 month or $83.47 / 3 months) - Easy to use + Criminal background search specialization
  6. Spokeo (Custom) - Variety of data sources + Multipurpose features
  7. PeopleFinders ($24.95 / month or $29.95 / month) - Value for money + Decades of expertise

If you're seeking an easy way to search public records, utilizing search public records tools can provide you with important information to verify the identity of others. 

To select the best tool for your research requirements, consider examining the features and pricing options of the tools provided in our list.

1. BeenVerified : Best Tool to Search Public Records Overall


BeenVerified is considered as one of the top search public records services because it provides a unique court runner service wherein an employee physically visits courts to obtain documents that may not yet be uploaded to the company's website. 

This service is available on both Android and iOS mobile applications and can be initiated with any chosen data points. A discount is available for those who prepay three months in advance. However, individual searches are not supported on the website, and membership is required. 

After completing the loading windows, only the prices are visible, which has caused dissatisfaction among customers as the reports offer fewer details compared to other leading background check websites.


  • 1 Month Unlimited Reports: $26.89/mo
  • 3 Months Unlimited Reports: $52.44 for 3 months

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


PeopleLooker is an online platform that offers comprehensive information on individuals by collecting data from various sources, such as public records, social media, and online directories. 

Its website is user-friendly and provides diverse services, including background checks, addresses, and reverse phone lookups . With the help of our platform, users can conduct people search free public records. 

Our service empowers you to view the personal information of individuals, including criminal records, effortlessly. 

Although the accuracy of the information may vary, PeopleLooker is a useful resource for those who want to obtain personal or professional information on individuals. 

However, the accuracy of the information provided may be influenced by several factors, including the source of the information, an individual's privacy settings, and the accuracy of the data in public records.

Even though PeopleLooker strives to guarantee the precision of the provided data, there could be instances where the information is obsolete, insufficient, or inaccurate.


  • $1 7-day trial
  • 1 Month Membership: $22.86/mo
  • 3 Months Unlimited Reports: $54.84/3 months

3. TruthFinder : Best for Value of Money


TruthFinder is an online search public records tool that provides access to billions of public records and allows you to search for most people in the United States.

 It uses third-party databases and consolidates public records from online archives at the county, city, state, and federal levels. The information is presented in a clear and comprehensive report that's easy to navigate. 

With TruthFinder, you can quickly locate a person's full name, contact number, mailing address, and email address. In addition, it allows you to view location history, personal data, licenses, financial information, social media profiles, dating profiles, and criminal records. 

This convenient tool eliminates the need to visit various government offices and courthouses, as all the data is available online.

TruthFinder has been recognized as the top-performing search public records tool for its comprehensive range of information, innovative functionalities, and safety features.

 Its search filters enable users to narrow down the extensive results and distribute the findings among their acquaintances. The platform ensures the security of user data by encoding all transmitted information. 

Additionally, it educates users on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to ensure they adhere to legal guidelines when using the reports.


  • 1 Month Unlimited Reports: $28.05 /mo
  • 2 Months Unlimited Reports: $46.56 / 2 months

4. Intelius : Best for Confidentiality


Intelius is a reputable organization that specializes in providing access to public information relating to individuals and their relationships with others. Their background check services allow you to gain insights into the current and past activities of people within your social circle. 

Using a search public records tool that collates information from various sources, Intelius enables you to find people, phone numbers, addresses, and criminal records, perfect for reconnecting with old friends or meeting new ones. 

Additionally, you can also use Intelius to investigate your own background check and identify unknown callers. Intelius is recognized as the top search public records tool for maintaining confidentiality due to its strong dedication to customer privacy.

The platform ensures the privacy of your searches by utilizing a 256-bit encrypted connection and promises to never notify the individuals you searched for via their service.


  • A Membership Report from Any Individual, for 30 Days: $24.86 for 30 days
  • 60-Day Period, Unlimited Members Reports: $42.25 for 60 days

5. Instant Checkmate : Best for Simplicity

 Instant Checkmate
Instant Checkmate

Search public records with ease using the specialized background screening services offered by Instant Checkmate. This service is particularly useful for people based in the U.S. who want to obtain crucial information about others. 

You can use it to uncover details about a person's aliases, ages, addresses, and court records. If you have doubts regarding a person's violent history, you can conduct a criminal background check online. 

The search engine provides data on felony charges, sex crimes, misdemeanor offenses, and speeding violations. It also reveals whether the person has been arrested or spent time in jail in the past.

Instant Checkmate is recognized as the top choice for simple people search public records tools due to its user-friendly interface. 

When conducting a search public records, it provides pop-up prompts to help you add more specific information about the person you're searching for, resulting in more accurate results. 

Additionally, it offers a straightforward option in the footer section to opt-out of being included in the search database. All searches are protected by a secure 128-bit encrypted connection and Norton protection.


Standard Membership Plans

  • 1 Month Unlimited Person Reports: $34.78 / 1 month
  • 3 Months Unlimited Person Reports: $83.47 / 3 months

6. Spokeo : Best for Versatility


Spokeo is a service that provides detailed reports on the background of individuals, helping users to access information such as names, aliases, contact details, social media profiles, location data, family relationships, and court records. 

In addition, the search public records tool can help track down and connect with people, and its reports are regularly updated with new data as the databases expand. These updates are available as long as the user's Spokeo account remains active.

Spokeo has been recognized as the most versatile search public records tool due to its ability to gather information from numerous sources. 

With over 12 billion records compiled from sources like property records, court records, historical archives, and social networks, it can be used for various reasons, including background checks, finding lost connections, and preventing fraudulent activities. 


  • Custom: The cost of Spokeo's services isn't set at a fixed rate. The pricing of subscriptions may differ based on the length of time they're used, the products selected, and promotions that are available. 

7. PeopleFinders: Best for Speedy Results


For decades, PeopleFinders has been one of the oldest and most well-established search public records tools for searching people. 

The tool has the capability to access white page listings and public records from over 6,000 data sources, making it a versatile platform to look for individuals using their name, phone number, or address. 

PeopleFinders also provides information about assets, properties, criminal history, personal associations, and family relationships. The search public records tool has been recognized as the best for its value due to its cost-effective pricing for monthly plans. 

Users can select from regular or premium membership packages, which offer basic and in-depth data, respectively, and special privileges at a relatively affordable price.


  • PeopleFinders Membership: $24.95/mo
  • PeopleFinders Premium Membership: $29.95/mo

Final Thoughts on the Best Public Records Search Tools

Tools used to search public records enable you to access important information about individuals you have or may have personal connections with. 

This information can aid in deciding whether to build friendships with new neighbors, strengthen relationships with family members, or even determine the suitability of a romantic partner. 

Among the various options available, BeenVerified stands out as the most effective search public records tool we have evaluated. It's reasonably priced, user-friendly, and provides you with the necessary data in a matter of minutes. 

Register now and perform your initial search to obtain a comprehensive collection of publicly available records related to your desired target.

Public Records Search Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

People search free public records can be a challenging task, especially if you're not aware of the right sources to explore. To make things easier, we have gathered some of the frequently asked questions that can guide you toward the accurate information you need. 

Is It Legal To Conduct a Public Records Search?

The act of searching for public records is allowed by law in the United States. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was established in 1967 and grants American citizens the ability to request public records from federal government agencies. 

However, certain records that could potentially threaten national security, invade personal privacy, or violate law enforcement policies may be exempt from disclosure.

Why Should You Conduct a Public Records Search?

To ensure your safety and mental peace, it's recommended to conduct search public records. The search can help you access necessary documents containing significant information about other individuals. 

Public records can confirm the identity and personal details of your friends, family members, boyfriend, or girlfriend. The data available in the public records can provide insights into the background and personality of the concerned individuals.

What Are Public Records Search Tools?

In the pursuit of gathering and organizing information from various databases, search public records tools have been developed as search engines or services. 

They present the compiled data in a straightforward and comprehensible format, which can be of great help in saving time and effort when conducting background checks on individuals within your personal circle.

What Can I Legally Use Public Records Search Tools For?

It's acceptable to use search public records tools for personal reasons, including conducting background checks on individuals you currently or potentially have a personal relationship with, like a romantic partner, neighbor, friend, or family member. 

However, it's against the law to use these tools for professional purposes, such as screening potential employees, processing credit, qualifying for loans, or screening tenants, as per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

What Are the Best Public Records Search Tools?

Numerous people search free public records that are currently accessible in the market. It can be difficult to differentiate between genuine and fraudulent ones, but after reviewing several options, we have identified the most suitable one for you.

BeenVerified stands out as the top people search engine due to its vast information sources, enhanced functionalities, and safety measures. 

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.


Disclaimer: The above is a sponsored post, the views expressed are those of the sponsor/author and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.


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