What is a Public Records Search
Some states in the US may have different approaches to the records that are allowed to be public. However, there will be some areas of public records that will be universal.
Additionally, all States are subject to the law that requires all convicted sex offenders to be registered and for that register to be provided as a matter of public record. It is legal for anyone, according to the Freedom of Information Act of 1966 to have access to public records like these.
Due to the variety of information that is kept on a public record, there is a wide range of data that can be found on anyone, especially online, nowadays. What is astonishing however is that most of the population are unaware that so much information is not only held on them but also available for public consumption.
The following are more often than not accessible on the public records database:
- Public court records
- Public arrest records
- Public marriage records
- Public death records
- Public property records
- Public divorce records
- Bankruptcy public records
- Eviction notice public record
- Military discharge records
How Can I Run and Access A Public Records Search?
With the use of the internet, conducting a search of public records for any means is a great deal easier than it once was. There are a whole host of background checking firms that now offer their services to answer people’s questions by running a search through public court records, public marriage records or even public death records.
What is records public about a background checking service is that they compile reports in an easy to digest way – it’s all in one place. The background checking firm, however, will have pulled information for this report from several different areas. Making it quicker and easier to run a background check than if you conducted a search yourself.
They key is to find a reputable service that provides useful and timely data.
Start a public record search now:
What Makes The Best Public Records Search Engine?
Before looking at our recommended list of public record search engines, it’s a good idea to understand why they made it onto our list in the first place. We rated and reviewed a whole range of public record search engines on the market ensuring that the best must have the following requirements:
While we all want to conduct a public record search that is accurate, we don’t want it to take months and months to come back to us. We found that for a public record search to be useful, it had to be completed quickly.
Another essential requirement for any public record search are the search options that are available. To be useful, the best public record search engines will search through public divorce records, public death records, public arrest records, and public marriage records – amongst many others.
The public record search engines that made it on to our top picks list all offer value for money. Customers need check that they aren’t paying for something that is already free through a basic Google search or that they’re not paying more for a public records search that is offered much cheaper elsewhere the market. If you do choose an expensive subscription plan from our recommended list, you can be confident that you are getting bang for your buck.
Whilst an obvious requirement, you would be surprised at how many public search engines exist out there that provide inaccurate results when asked to conduct searches of public records online. All our top picks are accurate and reliable.
Having a good customer service offering is vital for the best public records search engine. Customers undoubtedly have questions with regards to their searches so it’s essential that our top picks have an extensive FAQ on their website as well as easy to find contact details should customers need to send an email or speak to someone on the phone.
The Best Public Records Search Engine
BeenVerified has topped our list of recommended best public record search engines owing to their highly reputable and reliable service. BeenVerified will easily search all public records for you to find out what you need and provide a comprehensive report to all customers. It is the go-to search engine, particularly if you want to delve into a person’s criminal past.
A BeenVerified public search will check the following for you:
- Criminal court records
- County records
- Case numbers
- Relatives and associates
- Criminal check
- Property ownership details
- Offense details
- County records
- Civil judgments
- Tax Liens
- Full names and aliases
- Address history
Read more about BeenVerified in our extensive review.
TruthFinder is definitely one of the best public records search engines out there. They provide apps that are available on both Android and iOS devices so that all customers can search public property records or public divorce records, among others, on the go.
The other searches that TruthFinder customers can conduct are:
- Deep web search
- Social media profile search
- Educational information
- Reverse email lookup
- Reverse phone lookup
- Property search
- Interactive map of registered sex offenders
- Home addresses
- Criminal records
- Weapon permits
- Current or former roommates
TruthFinder are also an easy public record search service to work with. This means that customers have to provide minimal information for a thorough investigation to take place. In fact, often all TruthFinder customers have to provide is:
- Their name
- Their surname
Read more about TruthFinder in our extensive review.
Public records are vast and expansive, yet People Looker makes swift work of finding information out from them. Plus, it manages to do so to generate a report that is easy to understand yet is jam packed full of useful and pertinent information. It is one of the ultimate time saving tools.
The result of the powerful software that People Looker employs is that it can find the following data:
- An individual’s current and historical real estate assets with detailed property info
- Satellite maps
- Property tax amounts
- Home value
- Building specs.
- Buyer/seller info
- Sales prices
- Parcel numbers
- Country assessor data
- Arrest or conviction records
- Outstanding warrants
- Traffic violations
- Speeding tickets
- Detailed offense records, including the date and location of the crime
- Federal, state, county, and local court databases
- Most Wanted lists
Read more about PeopleLooker in our extensive review.
Instant Checkmate makes finding out information about people through public records easy. No longer do you have to wonder how to find public records or how to access public records to return the information you require. In the past, customers have used the service to search for long lost relatives or even to keep an eye on spouses or offspring.
Some of the features that made Instant Checkmate win a spot on our top picks list are:
- Mobile App
- People Search
- Reverse Phone Lookup
- UCC filings
- Confidential searches
- Detailed premium reports
- Search by name, phone number, address or email
- Business interests
- Firearm permits
- An online “Private Investigator” service
- Top-tier online support
- 24/7 telephone customer support
Instant Checkmate’s report and service are seen as one of the most comprehensive on the market – particularly if customers opt for one of their premium options which provides a private investigator.
Read more about Instant Checkmate in our extensive review.
Intelius is an excellent option for those that need a detailed report completed when conducting a public records search. It offers a monthly subscription model on either a Premier or Premier Plus basis – both of which are comprehensive.
Intelius will look at public records to determine:
- Tax evasion
- Securities fraud
- Criminal records
- Drug trafficking
Other more in-depth services can return information from the following background checks:
- Criminal background check
- Reverse phone number check
- Sex offenses
- Traffic violations
- Disposition filing date
- Case type
- Court dates
- Court type
Their customer service function is second to none which culminates in one of the speediest services out there.
Their mobile app is also particularly good – it’s incredibly quick and easy to install.
Read more about Intelius in our extensive review.
#6 US Search
US Search is a good value option for a public records search, especially given that they offer various membership pricing plans so that there should be a choice available for any budget. They even offer an pay per query option, which might be a very good option for occasional searchers.
US Search also finds information from a variety of other sources to add color to what is accessible on a public record. They can help discover the following about people:
- Public social profiles
- Phone and location information
- Neighborhood information
- Family members
- Current address
- Property information
It has been designed to help people use public records to find their birth parents if they were adopted as a child or baby. Information is found by using a public record to search birth records by parent name.
Their customer support service is also fantastic with an extensive FAQ section that also provides contact details for the company should customers need.
We also found that their website was one of the most logical sites to use making accessing public records easy. Importantly, US Search also returned accurate results quickly, especially in comparison to many competitors.
Read more about US Search in our extensive review.
The Bottom Line
We recommend using BeenVerified above all other public record Search engines. It is a reliable and accurate service offered at a price that provides excellent value for money.
In our eyes, it is quite simply the best public records database out there.
Still can’t decide? Read our detailed BeenVerified vs Truthfinder Comparison.