What are Public Records?

Have you ever wondered what type of public records information can be obtained about you? Have you ever had someone perform a public records search on you? Chances are you have, even if you didn't know about it!

As the term public records indicates, executing a public record search is not illegal because the information is freely available. In fact, in the United States legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act have made it easier to obtain public records.

Public Records Overview

There are different types of public records available, and each is valuable for different situations. One type of public records data is consumer protection information, which is meant to protect consumers from bad businesses. For instance, it could be seen on public record that a particular contractor has liens against his equipment or that they have multiple unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As a consumer you would want to know that information so you can choose a contractor that will deliver the best results.

Another type of useful public record information is real estate appraisal records. These records are kept to protect homebuyers and are accessible by anyone. One applicable use of these records is to monitor property values, which by extension can give people a better understanding of a particular neighborhood. If, for example, a home is appraised for much less than it was just a few years ago, that is a sign that there is a problem you'll want to look into.

Census records are a commonly overlooked type of public record. This information is collected every ten years in the United States and has all sorts of interesting insights. The government even uses the information collected during the census to appropriate regions for the United States House of Representatives.

Criminal Records

Criminal history is also part of public record, and much of it can be found via a criminal record search unless the information was from when person was a juvenile or if it has since been expunged. More specific criminal records can be found by searching sex offender records. This particular type of criminal search is helpful for people moving into a new neighborhood or for looking up someone moving into an existing community.

No matter your reasoning for wanting to look up public records, you can get the information you need quickly and easily right now on PeopleFinders.com.


PeopleFinders is dedicated to helping you find people and learn more about them in a safe and responsible manner. PeopleFinders is not a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This site cannot be used for employment, credit or tenant screening, or any related purpose. To learn more, please visit our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.