Question: How do Private Investigators perform a social security number lookup?
Answer: Private investigators, lawyers and other legal professionals are often granted access to use special public record search databases that make running a social security number lookup a breeze.
Getting this access usually requires professional licensing and some pretty strict compliance requirements to ensure the information is handled and distributed appropriately. And, if you do qualify, the cost to access these people search databases is often thousands of dollars per year.
Fortunately, most of the information a private investigator gets from a social security lookup are actually public records, which means that – theoretically – anyone can access them. People finder companies compile billions of public records and link those records to credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, etc.), so you can access a ton of information whether you’re running a social security lookup or just a search based on a last known address. You can even try a free people search below to see what’s available:
That said, if you want to find out what another person’s social security number is, you’re probably going to be disappointed even if you go through a private investigator unless the person has been deceased for more than 3 years (see our post on social security number lookup for the deceased). Even if a private investigator or lawyer is able to get an SSN for a live person from their search, they’re not going to give it to you unless they’ve been legally cleared to do so.
If you have a social security number, but you’re not sure if it’s the correct one, you can try our free, instant Social Security Number Verification Tool to at least ensure it’s valid.
One thing to bear in mind is that you don’t have to be a private investigator to run your own social security number lookup provided you’re just trying to locate someone or even want to run a full public record background check. As you can see from our SSN search above, there are public records databases open to the public that provide results that are similarly powerful to the ones used by private investigators.
In fact, many PIs use them instead of the wholesale data companies because they are so fast and easy to use. For a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay a private investigator – and with a money-back guarantee – you can start your own social security number lookup right now.
Bottom Line: PIs can perform a ssn lookup with a specialized public records search company, but you can perform your own with USATrace.
Try a social security lookup now: