3 Different Ways to Search for Public Records

| Updated on March 21, 2024

A search of public data might disclose a lot about the individuals in your personal life that you didn’t know before. This program makes it much simpler to investigate the past of your romantic partner, family members, friends, and neighbors. To decide whether a personal relationship or friendship is safe for you, you can use this tool.

People search is a great option if you’re searching for basic information on a person in your personal life. Whether it’s a general background check or a reverse phone number lookup, it’s always at the top of our list.

Instructions on How to Search for Public Records

A public records check may be important for you to feel at ease with the individuals in your life. As a matter of fact, public records can establish that persons are exactly who they claim to be. In the United States, public documents can be accessed by anybody 

Public availability does not always imply free or easy access to these documents or the ability to download them from the internet. So, you need to understand how to search for public documents in an orderly and fast manner. To begin your search for public documents, follow these three simple steps.

Step 1: You Can Use Online Databases to Search for Information.

Go to the official website of the relevant government agency or court to do a background check. Use the website’s online database to search for public records, and be sure to provide the entire name of the individual whose records you are looking for.

At the local or state level, you may usually locate marriage and divorce records. The secretary of state’s website is where you may get death records. The National Archives website and several immigration portals allow you to look for immigration records. The district or county archives can also provide access to criminal or civil documents.

Step 2: Send a Request for Public Records

To access certain types of public documents, such as motor vehicle registration and financial records, you may be required to submit a request to the state or county government. Your public record request can be sent through email, mail, or online, depending on the needs of the government entity you are contacting.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests can be made on behalf of oneself and others. Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has allowed the public to request access to public documents from any federal agency. It’s important to remember that your personal information, national security, and law enforcement processes may all be jeopardized if you ask for this information.

Step 3: Employ Tools for Searching Public Records

If you want to learn more about the individual whose background you’re checking, you should use public records search tools. People search services may save you time and effort by providing you with information, such as contact information, location, and social media accounts. Use a search engine to quickly locate public documents with these tools.

Because they gather and arrange all the information you’re looking for, this is the technique we propose. In addition, the searches may be completed in a matter of minutes, whereas the other methods could take weeks. You should use people search if you decide to do this.

Public Records Types to Search for

Researching information on your love partner, friends, or family members is easier than ever before thanks to a range of public documents. Here are a few examples of commonly available public records:

  • Birth registration
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce judgments
  • Certificate of death
  • Driving background
  • Credit scores
  • Property ownership
  • History of evictions and rentals
  • Crime histories
  • Records of civil cases

If you’re wanting to find out more about a person, you’ll need to pick the correct record for your investigation. We recommend using a background check service like PeopleSearch to swiftly gather all accessible information for you in one location.

Searching Public Records: What You Need to Know

Prior to starting a search of public data, be sure that this is the best way to get the information you want. To avoid wasting your time, it’s necessary to have the most fundamental facts in your hands before you begin a search, which might take weeks. To help you get started, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions concerning public records search.

What Exactly are Public Records?

Non-confidential documents, such as public records, are those that may lawfully be accessed by the general public. Anyone with a desire to learn more about the topics covered in these materials is welcome to see or print them. Public legislation or corporate procedure may necessitate the creation or filing of official records. Public records have historically been kept on paper, but many government organizations are now converting these papers to digital form, which may be maintained and accessible online via databases.

A Public Records Search is What?

The process of locating documents that are accessible to the public is known as a public records search. People who are interested in learning more about the history of someone they know or may come into contact with personally perform it. People who are curious about what publicly accessible information is available about themselves may also undertake it.

Searching for Public Records Has Several Advantages, But What are They?

Searching for public documents regarding individuals with whom you have a personal relationship has several advantages.

Individuals’ complete names are included in public records, which serve as a reliable means of confirming their identity.

Accurate Data: Public records include personal information such as a person’s name, birth date, and marital status. You may verify the other person’s personal information based on this official information.

Court records can reveal if the individual you’re investigating has been engaged in any criminal or civil proceedings in the past or is now participating in any such cases. For personal safety concerns, it is important to do a background check on an individual.

The ability to make an educated decision on whether or not to begin or continue a romantic relationship or intimate acquaintance with a particular individual is made possible via the use of public records searches.

The Best Five Research Tools for Public Records

A public records search tool helps you quickly and easily locate information about persons in your own network. Using tools for locating public documents is the best way to find out if someone is who they say they are, and you can do this quickly and easily. If you’re not sure which tool is best for your study, have a look at our selection.



Using TruthFinder, you may search for the majority of individuals in the United States. It gives you access to billions of publicly available records. A third-party database is used to seek and combine public documents from various internet archives around the country. The data is presented in an easy-to-read report that is both basic and comprehensive.

In a couple of minutes, you may discover a person’s entire name, phone number, postal address, and email address. Using it, you may access personal information, such as your location history and your licenses and criminal records. Having the information available online removes the need for inconvenient travel to numerous government offices and courthouses.

It combines a wide range of information resources, cutting-edge technology, and security measures. You may use filters to narrow down the plethora of results and then share the information with friends and family. Using encryption safeguards your information.



For years, Intelius has been a well-known source of public data on people and their relationships with one another. It provides background check services that allow you to learn more about the people in your social circle, both now and in the past. Using its search function, it gathers data from a variety of sources.

If you’re looking to meet new individuals or reconnect with old ones, Intelius can help you find their names, phone numbers, addresses, and criminal histories. Use it to find out what shows in your personal background check and who is phoning you.

Instant Checkmate 


Instant Checkmate is a business that specializes in background checks. It’s a must-have resource for everyone who lives in the United States. Use it to look up someone’s aliases, age, and address information.

Online criminal background checks are available, especially if you have reason to believe that a certain person has a violent past. Data regarding felony charges, sex crimes, minor offenses, and speeding infractions are shared via the public arrest records search engine. You may see whether a person has ever been detained or arrested.

Checkmate is a simple tool to use. You’ll be guided by pop-up suggestions once you start your search to enter more information about the individual to fine-tune your findings. There is also a conspicuous option in the bottom area to delete oneself from the search database.



A people intelligence service called Spokeo provides in-depth information on people’s backgrounds. It allows you to look up people’s names, aliases, contact details, social media accounts, location information, familial ties, and court records.

You may also use this tool to locate and contact other people. As long as you have an active Spokeo account, you will get report updates. It updates your reports with fresh information as the databases fill up.

More than 12 billion records are gathered by Spokeo from a variety of sources, including public data, historical archives, court documents, and social media. You may use it for a variety of things, such as doing a background check, getting in touch with long-lost relatives, or spotting fraudulent activity.



If you’re interested in doing a background check, figuring out who called you, or just making sure your family is protected, peoplesearch is the way to go. To find out who your target is and where they are, you may use this service.

It also allows you to verify your target’s criminal records, court and work history as well as his or her education and training. Employers and recruiters can utilize people’s search to verify the qualifications of possible job prospects. People searching is, in reality, the best way to locate someone for free.

It takes only a few seconds for PeopleSearch to find out who you’re looking for when you input their details into the appropriate field on the website. Fortunately, the service is completely free.

One Last Thought on the Best Resources for Searching Public Records

The ability to look up individuals’ public records is a great way to learn more about people with whom you may or may not have a personal relationship in the future. You may use this information to help you decide whether or not you should make friends with your new neighbors or strengthen your bonds with family members you haven’t seen in a while. It can even help you decide whether or not to get married to your significant other.

One of the most useful things we’ve found is peoplesearch. Use it and you’ll be up to speed in a matter of minutes.

If you don’t know where to search for public documents, conducting a search will take time and effort. To assist you in your search, we’ve gathered answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Yes. In the United States, it is lawful to search for public documents. Citizens in the United States have the right to obtain public documents from federal agencies under the 1967 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Only documents that might jeopardize national security, infringe on personal privacy, or flout law enforcement regulations are excluded from the requirement.

To ensure your own safety and peace of mind, you should run a public record search to find papers containing vital information on other individuals. Other people’s identities and personal information can be verified through public records. They’re a goldmine of information about your significant other, close friends, and family members.

Search tools for public records: what are they?

Search engines and services that collect and arrange data from various databases are known as public records search tools. They provide reports that are easy to grasp and read. When conducting background checks on people in your social circle, these tools may save you both time and effort.

Public records search tools, what can I legally use them for?

It is legal to utilize for private reasons many of the tools that are available for searching public records. You have the right to do a background check on anybody you know personally or who could have contact with you in the future. This includes your boyfriend, girlfriend, or other romantic interest, as well as your neighbors, acquaintances, and family. Use of these tools for professional reasons, such as tenant screening, loan qualification, employment screening, or credit processing, is prohibited by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

What are the best methods for searching public records?

There are a wide variety of public search engines available nowadays. The greatest solutions for you may not always be obvious, but we’ve looked into a slew of them to help you sort out the real ones from the fakes. Peoplesearch combines a wealth of information resources, cutting-edge technologies, and security settings to create one of the top people search engines overall.

Chitra Joshi

Content Writer & Marketer

Related Posts