Public records are basically made up of information that has been recorded by public government agencies. There are many different types of public records such as birth, death, marriage, divorce, criminal and bankruptcy records just to name a few. These records are created by the federal and local government. Public records can also be created by the individual, for example when one gets a magazine subscription or performs a voter registration.
Public records can be used for many purposes such as locating people, checking your family tree, performing background checks on individuals, checking if individuals have a history of bankruptcy, to perform criminal record checks and even to check if they are on the sex offenders list. This information can help reunite long lost friends and family and help you avoid making business and personal mistakes by trusting the wrong people.
Many of the public records can be accessed by the public for free by the relevant government agency but they also often charge you an administrative fee. This can be a lengthy process though because you can only access these government agencies during office hours and you often have to wait weeks to receive the data you require, however, they are a reliable source of information. You should contact the relevant state government agency for the information you are searching. You can also perform a free public records search online via the numerous free public records search sites. Many of the free public records sites have limited files though and some also make charges if you require additional information.
Many of the free public records search sites specialise in a specific field of public records such as census records and obituary records. If you are looking for one particular type of public record, this could be an option for you. However, many people use public records to find lost family and friends and you may find you need to access different types of records to totally verify the data you get from the records and locate the person. These sites can easily be found by doing a simple search on a search engine for the particular type of free public records you are looking for.
US law provides the freedom for anyone to purchase and access many types of public records on individuals who are legal residents in the United States. Many individuals searching for public records online turn to paid services which are faster and hold more records for all states. The advantage of these services is that they are more efficient and you can check records for many states in one place, you can also check many different types of public records in one place as you may not get all the data you require from one type of record. Also, some records which are not generally available for free can be accessed such as corporate filings, business information, property records, mortgages, unclaimed property and professional licenses.