People Search

Find out how you can use public records sites for your people searches and what you can learn from those sites.


Start by searching a name, phone number, address or email, and see what interesting
and useful information you can find.

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People Search

People Search

Public Records for People Searches

Not everyone is lucky enough that they stay in contact with every person they meet in life. You might fondly remember an old friend you had from summer camp or a friend you made in college. Thanks to Facebook and other sites, it can sometimes feel as if everyone in the world has a social media account. Many people have accounts that they no longer use or accounts that they only log into a few times a year. While you can send a message, you have no guarantee that the person will ever see you or that it’s even the right person. That’s why it’s so helpful to use public records for your people searches.

Types of Public Records

Public records are any of the records that are available to the general public. You do not need to fill out any paperwork or wait months for a government agency or department to respond to your request. According to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), any person in the United States has the right to request public records. The information that you can get from those records may depend on where you live though. Some of the records that you can use include:

  • Birth records
  • Marriage certificates
  • Death records
  • Military records
  • Census reports
  • Court records

What Information Can You Get from Those Records?

It’s important to keep in mind that you cannot use public records when hiring someone for your company or hiring a worker to do a job in your home. Employment searches require a professional background check, which can cost much more than you want to spend. The public records sites that we recommend let you do quick searches that give you some basic information. If you want to find out even more, you can do a paid or premium search. Some of the information you might find online includes:

  • The name and current address of someone
  • If the individual served any time in jail or prison
  • Whether the individual is on the sex offender registry
  • If the person is married or divorced
  • Any social media accounts linked to his or her name
  • Whether the individual passed away
  • If the person owns any property and has taxes on that land

How to Use Public Records

The easiest way to use public records is through one of the links that you’ll see below. Not only did we rank the best public records sites on the web, but we also gave each one a score and a list of pros and cons along with the bottom line on each site. We recommend that you take a look at each one and do a sample search for the people on your mind. You can use any of these sites to find people around the world.

Our Top Ranked Public Records Sites 2024

Background Check Service


Bottom Line


Our #1 choice for the best background search site on the web is Intelius. It’s a subscription service that does not offer free searches

Great for public records, but doesn’t have the same volume of birth and death records as some of it’s competitors.

Search by name or phone number to track someone down. Also available on mobile for those who want to run searches on the go.

Discover new connections with cemetery listings, military records and surname histories. Great for beginner genealogists.

With no limits on your searches, this site is great for business owners. It does tend to run a little slower than other sites though and is more expensive too.