How to View Public Records

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You can view many public records through government agencies online, as well as personal public records via online background check services. Viewing someone's public records can help you reconnect with relatives or allow you to make an informed business decision, such as renting your property or hiring an employee. The legal information you can access through fee-based sites includes criminal and driving records, credit history and marriage or divorce records.

Viewing public records through fee-based sites

Go to the website The top of the page will display various columns of search options including: "Verification," "Information," "Protection" and "Business Services."

Choose from the columns of services. If you wish to run a background check on a given name, click on the ''Background Check'' option. The Background Information section will display on the middle of the page, providing text fields for ''First Name,'' ''Middle Initial,'' ''Last Name'' and ''State'' as required fields to perform a search. Click on the ''Search'' button when finished.

Browse through the search results and locate the item that best describes your search. An option to see the full report will display as a ''View Details'' button. Depending on the search you have performed, you can view the records by paying a fee that ranges from 95 cents to $50.

Viewing free public records through government agencies online

Visit the website The initial page displays two columns: ''Free Resources'' and ''Professional Products.''

Browse through the options to view the free records you wish to research. If necessary, click on the ''See ALL FREE Resources'' link at the bottom of the ''Free Resources'' column.

Select from the choices provided under the various sections to begin viewing public records. The options include ''Free Government Public Record Sites,'' ''Government and Private Information Sources,'' ''Legislation Sites'' and more.


About the Author

Emilio Alvarez has a Bachelor of Science in computer science from San Diego State University and a minor in music composition from Southwestern College, San Diego. He has been writing since 2002 and has published short stories with Editorial Dunken (Buenos Aires, Argentina), where his work is part of a Spanish anthology: "El libro de talleres."