What information does a public records search provide?

What information does a public records search provide?What information does a public records search provide?

If you’ve been thinking about paying one of the people finder websites to conduct a public records search (i.e. a USA People Search), perform a social security number lookup, or are trying to locate people in the US, we’ve compiled some information about what you can expect to get so you can decide if it’s worth your money.

People finder websites use a variety of public records search data points compiled from a number of different databases to create 20+ categories of information on your subject. A public records search can be so extensive, in fact, that they’re often used by attorneys, law enforcement, private investigators and other professionals in the course of their business.

Different USA people search companies emphasize different public records search categories or may have differing capabilities, but most reports will give you more than enough information to locate, contact and/or learn about the person you’re searching.  You can even get free background check results at the bottom of the page – scroll below!

While we can’t guarantee specifically what a particular public records search reports will have – or even what specific people finder websites may offer, a public records search typically provides (or, at least, looks for) the following:

Subject Summary

This section will typically affirm your subject’s basic personal information, which may be stuff you already know, such as their full name and age.

Name Variations

Certain reports will list maiden names or any other names associated with the subject (i.e. AKAs). This way, if you know someone by a name other than the primary name they’re listed under, you can be sure you’ve got the right person.

Address Summary

In addition to the most recent address on record, you will also typically receive an address history going back 5-10 years (or capped at a certain number of past addresses, depending on the company you use). This information is how people finder websites locate the correct person even if you run a people address search with an old address.

Voter Registrations

When available, this information may indicate a person’s political affiliation and whether or not the registration is still active.  While this won’t necessarily help you locate people, it is often used to determine the age of a subject.

What information does a public records search provide?Professional Licenses

Certain professions/occupations are licensed by the state and – if a matter of public record – are sometimes indexed in people search reports. Licenses are issued for everything from medical professions to hairdressing, so having that license information is a great way to locate people.

Real Property Assets

You may receive information on property ownership, including assessments/valuations on those properties based on property tax records and other sources.

Bankruptcy Information

Again, this is a matter of public record and can be useful for a variety of reasons.


Information here may include the date of judgment, amount of judgment, recording information and the parties involved.


Court records of convictions, including everything from traffic citations to sex offender status – are usually included in your USA people search.

Potential Relatives

Though these lists are by no means comprehensive, these lists can be helpful in confirming the identity of the person you’re looking for as well as identifying other potential people you might be interested in investigating.


What information does a public records search provide?Using a subject’s most recent addresses, a public records search can also provide neighbor addresses and phone numbers.  These can be a great resource when you’re trying to locate people who have recently moved or to gather more information from people who may know them.

This is, by no means, a comprehensive list of the information that’s out there, but it should at least give you an idea of whether a public records search/USA people search is right for you. It’s easy to run a free preliminary search to get a sense of the available information that’s available for you, so they’re definitely worth a look for anyone trying to locate people.

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1. Free Public Record Search
2. What are Public Records?
3. Is it possible to run a Free USA People Search?