How to Search Public Records – Comprehensive Review

How to search public records easily with our complete search tools. Learn about the potential of Public Records Search tools through this informative review.
2:35 PM, Jun 30, 2023
2:35 PM, Jun 30, 2023
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Finding out crucial details about the individuals in your personal life may be done via public records. It enables you to background check your lover, potential love attraction, relatives, pals, and neighbors.

It aids in determining if it’s okay for you to develop or sustain close friendships or other intimate connections with people.

We advise utilizing BeenVerified, PeopleLooker, or TruthFinder if you just need to obtain background information regarding a person in your personal life.

It constantly ranks as our best choice for background check services of all kinds, from locating general data to running a reverse phone number search. 



How To Search Public Records

In order to feel comfortable interacting with those around you, it could be necessary for you to look up public records. After all, access to public records may provide crucial information and prove that people are indeed who they claim to be.

Information that’s open for everyone to see is known as public records. Although certain documents are accessible to the public, this does not imply that they’re unrestricted, simple to access, or available for download over the internet.

You must thus learn how to locate public documents in a methodical, effective manner. To begin looking for public documents, adhere to the following three steps.

Option 1: Use Public Records Search Tools

To learn more about the individual whose credentials you’re checking, use resources for searching public data.

By using people search services, you can rapidly obtain information such as contact details, a location, and social media accounts while saving time and effort. These technologies gather and classify public documents, which are simple to access using a search engine.

Because these tools locate all the information you're looking for and arrange it in a way, that’s simple to understand, this method is what we suggest. Also, compared to the other two ways that might last for weeks, the searches may be completed in a matter of minutes.



We advise utilizing BeenVerified, PeopleLooker, or TruthFinder if you decide to take this option. The full list of our best picks for public record searches is provided below:

Option 2: Search Online Databases

Go to the local, state, federal, or judicial website that applies to your background check. In order to receive correct results while searching for public records in the website's online database, be sure to include the entire name of the individual whose records you’re looking for.

The county or state level is often where you may obtain marriage and divorce records. The local secretary of state's website has a searchable database of death records. The National Archives website and different immigration portals are where you can search for records of immigration.

In addition, you can view court records from civil or criminal cases at the district or county archives.



Option 3: Request Public Records

Although certain information may be accessed via public databases, you might need to request the state or county government in order to have access to particular public documents, such as financial information and vehicle registration.

Depending on the criteria of the government agency you’re contacting, you may submit your public record request through email, postal mail, or online form.

Both for yourself and for others, you can submit FOIA requests. After all, citizens have been allowed to ask for access to public documents from any federal agency since 1967, according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Be aware that it's possible that the information won't be given to you if the data is a threat to national security, personal privacy, or law enforcement procedures.



Types of Search Public Records You Should Know

When you’re looking for information on your love partner, pals, or relatives, there are many different public records that you may explore. The following are some examples of regular public records that you can ingress:

  • Certificate of death
  • A birth certificate
  • Credit credentials
  • Crime histories
  • Certificate of marriage
  • Real estate property
  • Data about civil cases
  • Driving records
  • Records of divorce

What you're looking to learn about someone will determine the best record for you. This is just one of the many reasons why we advise utilizing a background check tool like BeenVerified to swiftly compile all the information that’s accessible to you in one location.

What You Need to Know About Search Public Records

It's crucial to determine if a public records search is the best way for you to get the information you want before you start. If you do one of these searches alone, it may take weeks. To avoid wasting time, make sure you have the bare minimum of information before you start.

The most fundamental informative queries concerning public records search that you should be aware of before beginning are addressed below.

What Are Search Public Records?

Non-confidential files that are legally accessible to the public are known as public records. Everyone interested in the information these materials provide may read or download them.

Public legislation and corporate procedures result in the creation or filing of public documents. Public records are typically in paper form, but many government organizations update them by creating digital versions that may be kept and accessible through internet databases.

What Is a Public Records Search?

The activity of locating data that’s accessible to the public is known as a public records search. Those who are interested in learning more about the history of someone they know or may come into contact with personally perform it.

It’s also carried out by people who are curious about what publicly accessible data there is on themselves.

What Are the Benefits of Searching for Public Records?

Searching for public documents regarding the individuals you’re personally engaged with has several benefits.

  • Proof of Identity: As public records show people's complete names, they serve as evidence of their true identities
  • Correct Information: Public records include personal information like residence, marital status, and date of birth. This authoritative information can verify the accuracy of the personal information that the other individual provided with you
  • Security check: If the subject of your investigation has ever been a party to a civil or criminal action, it may be revealed in court documents. To manage risk effectively for the sake of personal safety, background checks are a necessary step
  • Informed Decision: You can decide whether or not to begin or sustain a love connection or close friendship with someone by doing a background check using public sources



Best 7 Public Records Search Tools

Using search tools for public records, you may quickly and easily find out details about the people in your personal sphere. The top five resources for a personal search of public records are as follows:

  1. BeenVerified – Costs $26.89 a month and is the greatest public records search engine
  2. PeopleLooker – Costs $22.86 a month and is the fastest and most accurate
  3. TruthFinder – Costing $28.05 a month or $46.56 over two months and has massive data resources and sophisticated search tools
  4. Intelius – Costing $24.86 over 30 days or $42.25 over 60 days and has a connection with 256-bit encryption and customer privacy
  5. Instant Checkmate – Costs $34.78 a month or $83.47 over three months and is simple to use with a focus on criminal history searches
  6. PeopleFinders – Costs $29.95/$24.95 a month and has worthiness of the payment plus years of skill
  7. Spokeo Is custom and has several data sources and many features

You may utilize public records search tools to obtain important information that verifies whether other people are truly who they say they’re if you're seeking how to find public records quickly.

To find the tool that best suits your research needs, examine the features and costs of those on our list.

1. BeenVerified: Best Tool to Search Public Records Overall

Been Verified

One of the greatest court runner services is provided by BeenVerified, which sends a representative to courthouses to get records that have not yet been published on the company's website. This makes BeenVerified one of the top public record search services.

Both the Android and iOS platforms have released mobile apps. You can start your research with as many data points as you like.

You’re entitled to a discount if you prepay for three months. Nevertheless, the site does not allow for individual searches; membership is required. 

You will only be able to see the pricing once all of the "loading" windows have been completed. Consumers complain that the results are inadequate compared to those provided by other top background check websites.




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

People Looker

PeopleLooker is a website that compiles information on people from many sources, including public records, social media, and internet directories, to provide thorough profiles.

It’s an easy-to-use website that offers a variety of services, such as background checks, address lookups, and reverse phone lookups.

Users may quickly and easily search for people using PeopleLooker, and then check their contact details, criminal histories, and other personal information.

Even if the material's authenticity may vary, PeopleLooker is a helpful tool for those looking for personal or professional information about people.

The source of the information, a person's privacy controls, and the veracity of the data in public records are just a few examples of the variables that may impact how accurate the information offered by PeopleLooker is. 

Despite PeopleLooker's best efforts to ensure the quality of the data it provides, there may be times when it’s inaccurate, obsolete, or lacking important information.




3. TruthFinder: Best for Value of Money


Most people in the United States may be found using the people search tool TruthFinder. You have access to a staggering number of public records, thanks to it.

Public documents from county, local, state, and federal internet archives are gathered and searched through third-party databases. The information is presented in an easy-to-navigate report that’s straightforward yet significant.

In a few minutes, you may use it to quickly uncover a person's full name, contact information, postal address, and email address.

Seeing personal information, location history, licenses, criminal histories, financial data, social media accounts, and dating profiles are all made possible by it.

Because the information is now accessible online, there is no longer a need for time-consuming excursions to numerous government buildings and courthouses.

Since TruthFinder combines a wealth of information resources, cutting-edge capabilities, and security choices, we named it the best overall public records search engine. It enables you to share the information with your relatives and pals and filter a large number of search results.

It secures your data by encrypting the data it sends. Moreover, it provides you with recommendations based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), teaching you how to utilize the reports in a lawful way. Read our TruthFinder review here.




4. Intelius: Best for Confidentiality


Intelius is a reputable source of information for the general public on people and their relationships with others. It provides background check services so that you may learn more about the present and previous lives of the people in your social circle.

Using a variety of databases, our search tool gathers information and organizes it in one place. If you want to make new acquaintances or get in touch with old ones, you may use Intelius to look up persons, phone numbers, addresses, and criminal histories.

You may use it to learn who is phoning you and what information shows in your own background check. Because of its dedication to client privacy, Intelius is recognized as the greatest public records search tool for secrecy.

It uses a 256-bit encrypted connection to protect the privacy of your searches. Also, it promises never to alert the persons you looked up on this site.




5. Instant Checkmate: Best for Simplicity

Instant Checkmate

Instant Checkmate is a background-checking-focused public records search service. Important details regarding those who reside in the United States are provided. It allows you to look up information on a person's aliases, age, residence, and court records.

If you have any reason to think that a person has a violent past, you should do a criminal background check online. The search engine for public arrest records provides information on felony charges, sex crimes, petty offenses, and traffic infractions.

It reveals if a person has ever been arrested or served time in jail. Because it’s simple to use, we recognize Instant Checkmate as the best people search tool.

It will direct you via pop-up prompts to enter more information about the individual once you start your search to improve your results. Also, a clear choice in the footer area makes it simple to delete your information from the search database.

A 128-bit encrypted connection and Norton protection are used to protect all searches.


Standard Membership Plans



6. Spokeo: Best for Versatility


An informational report about a person's past is available from Spokeo, a people intelligence service. You may use it to search for names, aliases, contact details, social media accounts, location information, familial ties, and court records.

You may locate folks and contact them with the help of this tool. As long as your Spokeo account is active, it gives you report updates. When the databases fill up with fresh data, it updates your reports with the latest information.

Because Spokeo obtains its data from so many different sources, we consider it to be the most versatile public records search engine available. It gathers over 12 billion documents from social networks, judicial records, historical archives, and property data.

You may use it for a variety of things, like running a background check, getting in touch with lost loved ones, and preventing fraud.


  • Custom: For its services, Spokeo does not have predetermined prices. The subscription price may change based on how long it’s used, which products are chosen, and any current promotions.



7. PeopleFinders: Best for Speedy Results

People Finders

One of the first people search tools, PeopleFinders has been around for a long time. It offers access to public records and white page listings from more than 6,000 data sources. It allows you to search for people using their names, contact information, and addresses.

It details possessions, real estate, criminal background, associations, and kinship. Because of the affordable pricing of its monthly subscriptions, we rank PeopleFinders at the top as best for value.

If you simply need the most basic information, you can select the ordinary membership option. You may also choose the premium option, which gives value for money because it includes comprehensive data and exclusive benefits for a reasonably low cost.




Final Thoughts on the Best Public Records Search Tools

You have the opportunity to learn important details about the persons with whom you have a current or possible personal relationship thanks to public records search tools.

With the help of this information, you can decide if you should make friends with your new neighbors or strengthen your bonds with your relatives. It can even help you determine whether or not you should marry your lover.

BeenVerified is the greatest tool we've examined, even though there are many excellent alternatives. You may obtain the data you want in a matter of minutes, and it’s inexpensive and simple to use.

To acquire a compilation of the public record data about your target, sign up right away and try it out with your first search.

Public Records Search Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you don't know where to look, a public records search can be highly time-consuming and difficult. To provide you with the relevant information for your search, we've gathered a handful of the most often-asked questions.

Is It Legal To Conduct a Public Records Search?

Absolutely, it’s acceptable to look up public records in the United States. The American public has the right to ask federal government entities for public documents because of the 1967 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The only excluded documents are those that might jeopardize national security, invade someone's privacy, or contravene laws and regulations.

Why Should You Conduct a Public Records Search?

For your protection and peace of mind, you should do a public record search to gain access to papers that may provide vital information about other individuals. Public documents attest to other people's identities and personal information.

They provide information on the history and personalities of your partner, girlfriend, friends, and family.



What Are Public Records Search Tools?

Search tools for public records are programs or services that compile data from several databases and organize it. Reports that are easy to read and comprehend are created from the information.

When investigating the backgrounds of individuals in your personal circle, these tools can help you save time and effort.

What Can I Legally Use Public Records Search Tools For?

Tools for searching public records can be used for private purposes lawfully. Background checks are available for everyone you know or potentially have a personal relationship with, including your lover, love interest, neighbors, pals, and relatives.

Use of these tools for professional reasons, such as tenant screening, loan qualification, or credit processing, is prohibited by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

What Are the Best Public Records Search Tools?

Today's market is filled with several public search tools. Even if it's not always simple to tell which are real and which are frauds, we've examined many of them to locate the greatest choice for you.

The greatest person search engine overall is BeenVerified since it combines a wealth of information resources, cutting-edge features, and security settings.



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.

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