What Is A Public Record?

PeopleFinders is the premier trusted provider of public records. We’ve helped over 10 million people confirm their trust and obtain the data they need.

But what exactly are public records? Use this handy guide to learn what they are, what types of information they provide and how you can use them in everyday life.

Public Records Are


Public records are county, state and federal documents that are non-confidential, and therefore available to the public. Billions of these records are created every year in the United States.

Many of the documents you fill out, sign and submit become public records. For example, new records are created from voter registration cards, census documents and even magazine subscription forms. Common types of public records include:

  • Current and Historical Records
  • Birth & Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Phone Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Court Records

Public Records Provide


You’ll find a great deal of useful information in public records. Use them to learn about people, property, businesses, crime and other important topics.

Rely on public records when you need to find contact information, see details about a piece of real estate or check court records. See below for ideas on how you can use public records every day.

Public Records Do Not Provide


Public records are available to anyone because they do not contain PII: Personally Identifiable Information.

You will not find social security numbers, credit cards or other private data in a public record. They do not contain personal data, and there are specific rules about how these records can and cannot be used. For more on that, read our article PeopleFinders Do’s And Don’ts.

How Public Records Can Help You


Public records serve many purposes. Use them to:

Find People

– if you’ve ever lost touch with an old friend, former colleague or family member, then you can understand why people are so eager to reconnect. Public records contain current phone numbers, addresses and even email. Find anyone from your past with a People Search.

Learn About Someone’s History

– ever wish you could learn about someone before getting involved with them? Public records empower you to do just that. Use them to learn if a person ever declared bankruptcy, was convicted of a crime or has anything else on their record that you should know. Get all that and more with a Background Check.

Review Property Records

– need information about a business or residential property? Public records can help with that, too. Property records provide a wealth of practical information, including the square footage, number of rooms, date last sold and numerous other details. Find it all with a Property Search.

See Criminal and Arrest Records

– you might want to know if someone in your life has a criminal history. Criminal Records searches show you misdemeanors, felonies, arrest records and more. You can also find out if someone is a registered sex offender. It’s an ideal way to get facts that help you protect yourself and your loved ones.

New public records are created every day. When you’re looking for reliable public records data, turn to PeopleFinders.com. We give you direct access to billions of records that help you find people, get property data and learn about anyone’s past.