How to Eliminate Yourself From Public Records

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State and federal laws allow the public to access records containing your address, property value, how much you paid for a home and whether you are registered to vote. And that list does not include documents that might exist if you ever had any dealings with the police or court system. There are ways to remove yourself from many public records, but in doing so you would need to create a new address and potentially give up owning a home and vehicle and your ability to participate in elections.

Step 1

Contact your telephone service provider and ask for an unpublished listing. Be sure that this means your name, address and phone number will not be listed in the telephone book, the online directory or the automated directory that callers access with their phone.

Step 2

Obtain a post office box, which you can then use as your legal address. According to Zabasearch, a P.O. box is an effective and inexpensive way to minimize your exposure to public record. But with the new address in place, you still want to avoid voluntarily giving out your address to any new entities that you don't plan on doing business with.

Step 3

Stop at the county clerk's/recorder's office. Obtain a DBA (Doing Business As) license and create a fictitious business name. That title, which also notes your P.O. box, can be noted on future public records in certain cases.

Step 4

Stop at the county Board of Elections. You can either request to remove yourself from the voter registration rolls and forfeit your right to vote in all elections, or replace your street address with the P.O. box, so only a town or city would be listed next to your name and party affiliation. You cannot use a DBA identifier to vote.

Step 5

Decide, based on your circumstances, if your desire for privacy warrants selling your home and moving into a rental unit to eliminate current records of property ownership. You would need to make the same decision on whether to give up a vehicle, which requires registration with the state Department of Motor Vehicles.


  • If you attend any public government meetings or public hearings, keep in mind that if you address the board your name and comments will be entered into the meeting minutes, which is public record. Avoid including your name on the sign-in sheet, which may also be entered into public record.


About the Author

Aaron Gifford is based in New York. He has been on staff at the "Syracuse Post-Standard," the "Watertown Daily Times" and the "Oneida Daily Dispatch." He's also written for "Long Island Newsday," "Empire State Report" magazine and "In Good Health." He has been writing professionally since 1995. Gifford holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University at Buffalo.

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