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Can You Really Search Public Records For Free Online?

Many people are always looking to search public records online for a large variety of reasons. Is it really possible to do this for free? I too have been in that group of people that was trying to look up public records about someone online, and I actually set out to do it for free. You know how advertising goes, and so I'm going to describe my experiences to help you decide what approach you want to take to looking up public records about people online.

Here Are Your Best Resources For Free Public Records Research

  • Do a search for "[your county] public records". Almost all counties have a website, and many have public information available online.
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • US Census Bureau
  • Do a search for "[your state] secretary of state". All US states have a secretary of state websites. Public information is available online, and business records and documents can be searched for a small fee.
  • Your parents and grandparent may have written documentation of death certificates, marriage certificates, official armed forces records, and other important documents that can help you trace your ancestry.
  • Visit and create a free account to start researching your family history.

I was quite skeptical about it being free, but the idea of doing it was alluring. The platforms for each service I looked into looked simple enough to input the information. Additionally, many of them would provide a little information about the person but of course not the best stuff that you're looking for. It's a preview of sorts.

There were only some sites that I could find that offered thorough results for absolutely free without any catch. However, there were sites that allowed you to get public records on a page by page basis, or for a small subscription fee. This means that you have to enter your credit card information of course.

Remember that in the past, the only way to check your public information profile, was to go down to the county courthouse and pull a bunch of micro records out. Now most of these records are online, and can be searched by last name, phone number, address, birth date, death date, and other criteria for free.

I'll tell you what though, there were many of them that didn't really give it to you for free. They would offer a single report for a small fee or you could opt for one of their subscription packages. Of course, you can do a traditional public records search in many ways online, but that is hunting and gathering all that information yourself.

If you want to do it quickly using one of the background check sites, they have definitely grown over the years. Since there are more of them, it really matters which one you choose. Of course you're looking to do it for free like I was, and that is something you'll have to find out whether or not its truly available.