How Do You Perform a Phone Book Lookup?

perform-phone-book-lookup Credit: Justin Horrocks/E+/Getty Images

Online phone book directories allow a user to perform a search for a person, business, address or phone number by providing search criteria to the provider's search tool. Directories, including Whitepages, Yellowpages and Intelius, provide basic search services free of charge and advanced search options for a fee.

Free search options allow a user to input the name of a person or business in order to identify the phone number and address associated with it. Similarly, users can input an address, zip code or phone number to search for a person or business. Search results display a list of all possible matches. Once the chosen result is selected, further details show the owner's complete name, address and any associated landline phone number. Other information includes a map of the exact location and a list of neighbors.

If the phone number is unlisted or belongs to a cellphone, only the carrier information is displayed; however a user may generally pay to obtain further details. Other paid options available include background checks, criminal reports, driving records, address history and email addresses. Vital records, such as marriage, divorce and birth certificates, can also be obtained. It is also possible to pay to view a person's Internet social profiles for more personal data.