Personal phone records can usually be accessed through the service provider's website or by calling its customer support. Most phone company's websites store outgoing phone records online, accessed either with the phone number associated with the account or a unique username. If the phone records are unavailable online, the service provider will provide records as long as the account holder has proper identification.
Monthly bills usually include a record of outgoing calls and text messages for the last month. This includes online bills as well, which require registering an account with the service provider. If a phone company only keeps record of outgoing calls, a "trap" must be set to log incoming calls. A trap is also useful in showing the phone number of unknown or blocked callers.
Phone records show the date, time and duration of calls and may also include special features of calls, such as in-call recording. Phone records may also include records of outgoing text messages.
U.S. citizens have the right to receive and access their personal phone records. It's illegal, however, for anyone to access the phone or text records of someone else without their permission or a subpoena. A subpoena is used as a legal method of obtaining cell phone records of an estranged spouse for use in a court case. A subpoena must be approved by a judge and is the only way to get cell phone records that are admissible in court.