Background Research Made Easy
People Search FAQs
Can you search public records online?
Yes - you can search public records online, though not always directly through a government website. In fact, the fastest way to check public records across the US is by using a public records search that combines records from every state- like the one offered by USA Trace!
How can I check someone's background?
Anything involving public records - including housing, employment, real estate, criminal activity, bankruptcies - leaves a footprint that can be traced using a public records search with as little as a name. Public record reports can provide current and former addresses and phone numbers, property records, criminals records, liens, marriage & divorce records and much more.
Is there a totally free background check?
Although there’s a lot of information available online - and a lot of information found on a background check are considered “public records” - a free background check that includes every bit of information doesn't exist. If you’re looking for particular public records - such as criminal records - it’s possible to find that information online for free (though you'll usually have to check one state at a time and the information available for free online may be limited). If you need a background check for an official purpose - such as employment, housing, or for a credit decision - you’re absolutely going to have to pay for it as these are specially regulated.
How can I look up someone's background for free?
It all starts with what background information you’re interested in. Address records and phone numbers can often be found with as little as a Google search, but deeper background information - such as marriage records, criminal history, incorporations, bankruptcies, etc. - are a little harder to come by. Some states provide some of these records online for free, but - if you’re looking for a background check on a national level - you’ll have to search state-by-state. Also, different state government agencies maintain information for different records (e.g. a state department of corrections might have criminal records, while a state corporation commission might have corporate records).
Can you do a background check on yourself?
Yes - you can try a public records search on yourself to see what kind of information is out there on you. If you are applying for a job, loan, or housing, you can also request a free copy of background checks conducted on you if any “adverse action” is taken against you, such as a landlord refusing to rent to you because of something in your background check.
How far back do background checks go?
Background checks are only limited to the scope of available records at the state or federal level. For example, some states have criminal records going back 70-years. Most instant public records searches include information from up to 30-years in the past.
Is a Social Security Number a public record?
From the mid-20th century, social security numbers were embedded into many public records as a form of identification; however, in 2008, the Federal Government and the FTC requested that all agencies using the SSN in their records cease to do so because of identity theft concerns. Those entities that still require it - such as banks and even the Social Security Administration itself - redact any correspondence that includes a social security number. The only time a social security number truly becomes a public record is three years after the death of the person to whom the SSN was issued.
Can you look up a SSN?
You can’t look up an SSN for someone else unless they have been deceased for more than 3 years using the Social Security Death Index (and many searchable databases will not show you the SSN until 10 years after death). It is possible to check whether an SSN is valid as long as you have the complete number and - if you’re trying to find out your own SSN - the Social Security Administration can help.
For 20 years, USA Trace has been helping to find people in the US with social security number search and background checks. Using national investigative database searches for public records, USA Trace has helped thousands of customers find people by name, reverse phone number, perform SSN trace/background checks, check criminal records and much more.
Now, we've added the power of one of the largest, most powerful public records search engines to our SSN Search and Background Check service to provide free, instant search results! Combing through billions of up-to-the-minute records, you can expect to receive the same in-depth information you'd get from a private investigator.
If you need thorough, instant people search results, trust USA Trace.
Happy USA Trace Customers
People Search Blog
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