How Do You Use a Free Public Records Finder?

To use a free public records finder, first select the database to search. Enter as much information as possible about the subject of the inquiry into the search fields and click the button indicated to perform the search.

Most free public records finders offer multiple databases, including addresses, criminal records, vital records and family histories. Choose the database corresponding with the type of desired information, or perform searches in multiple databases.

After choosing the appropriate database, input available data into the appropriate fields. This information typically includes first and last name, address information, and dates of birth. If the database is offered by a government agency, as in the case of PACER, it may ask for the court's location or a case number.

If the search produces results, click through the records to find desired information and specific documents. If the search does not produce anticipated results, consider expanding it to another jurisdiction or expanding entered personal information to other spellings or dates of birth.

When using a free public records finder, be aware that records may not be complete or accurate. Most records obtained from non-government, free public records searches are not certified; contact the appropriate government agency for a certified copy of the records.