What Are Public Records?
Public records are documents that are not classified as confidential and are available to the public. In the past, they would have been accessible in a file in the county clerk’s office or a library. Today, they are easily accessible to anyone with internet access.
Many people search for public records such as criminal records, property records, or court records daily. There are many reasons why someone would need to find a certain public record. Some are available through court websites and are most easily accessed with a case number. However, there are public record search engines that can access the data that is available to the public.
What Types of Records and Information Are Public?
There are several different types of records that are available online. While some may be sealed or are only accessible through a court or clerk office, many are available by searching through a public records search engine.
One of the most common types of records to search for are criminal records. Someone can search for their own criminal record or the record of another person. Some criminal records may only be accessible through a court’s website, but the public information can be found online by searching public records.
Sex offender lists are one of the many types of records people search for. These are available online by searching in a sex offender registry. This is a great concern for parents as they want to know who is living around them and their children.
The traditional way of accessing court records is by going to the county clerk’s office and searching through the files. Today, court records are available online. The county where the court case took place will have a website where court records are searchable via a case number. There may be a different page for criminal and civil cases. If a case number is not known, then one can try using an online public record search engine to come up with results.
There are exceptions where a judge can seal a court case or conviction and it will not be accessible to the public. There are also cases when a charge will be expunged from someone’s record.
Another type of record that is available online is a divorce record. Marriage licenses, marriage records, and divorce records are all public information that is available through court records. To find divorce records, one can search their state’s website or contact the county clerk. There are also public records searches that can access divorce records.
Real Estate Records
Finding real estate or property records is also easy to do online. One may want to research the previous owners of a house they own or are considering buying. With an address, one can research the records that are available for a certain home or property. It is also helpful to have the AIN, or Assessor’s Identification Number.
Real estate records are helpful for those who are wanting to assess a property’s value, find information on who used to live in their home or those who may be curious about who has lived in the house across the street.
How to Search for Public Records on Yourself or Others
There are a lot of websites out there that can give someone access to public records about an individual. There are even more reasons why someone would need to access this public information, such as doing a background check on a potential date or just checking to see what information is out there about themself!
One of the best websites for doing a records search on a person is Kiwi Searches. Their easy-to-use interface allows someone to search for old friends, a lost child, or a loved one. Their website retrieves information such as phone numbers, email addresses, and social media profiles, and will give the user the information that will help them find what they are looking for!
Searching for public records no longer requires someone making a trip up to a courthouse or clerk’s office to search through files. Today, this public information is available online for those who need to access it.
- Introduction To Public Records
- How Much Do You Really Know About Public Records? (Quiz)
- 8 Types of Public Records You Can Easily Acquire
- Public Record By State
View our other Glossary Terms here.
*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.