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If you’re looking for the very best comparison site for public records services, you’ve come to the right place. PublicRecordsCenter provides up-to-date reviews of the leading online companies offering instant access to background checks and public records.

Are you looking for birth or death records? Do you want to find details on bankruptcies and tax liens? Is your search aimed at finding out about traffic violations? Or perhaps you simply want to find out which public data about you is available online? There are sites that can help with each of these situations and any other instances when you may need this data. And we have the knowledge you may need to sort through the noise and find the very best services.

FREE REVIEWS TO HELP YOU FIND THE RIGHT SITE FAST

We’re the leading website for comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of background check websites. There is an almost countless list of public records sites online and it can be hard to figure out which ones are worth your time and money. That’s why we’re here -- to streamline your search process and help try to point you in the direction of the very best websites.

Our experts have spent many hours trawling the internet to discover background check sites, and the reviews on PublicRecordsCenter represent the very best we’ve found

We base our reviews on several crucial criteria, including but not limited to:

  • Features and other perks each site offers
  • An analysis of the quality of background reports each site produces
  • Any special offers each site has at the time of the review
  • Success rates of each site in finding public records
  • Fees that sites might charge for canceling memberships
  • Details on the scope of the searches that sites will perform

Don’t waste your time browsing site after site trying to find the one that will give you the best public records results. We’ve already done the hard work for you.

OUR TOP PICKS

We offer detailed reviews of the leading background check and public records sites, so click on each site to read more about what you can expect when using them.

Below are the top three websites as hand-picked by our experts. They offer the absolute best combination of ease of use, quality of records, and other beneficial features. Each score is ranked on a score of 1 to 10, with 10 representing the very best in public records sites based on our criteria and experiences in performing searches on all three sites.

Our goal is to help you save your money and your time, simplifying your public records search so you can get the information you need quickly and at an affordable price. We believe the three sites below offer the best mix of quality of data and value for money.

  

  • 01 Editor Choice
    Score 9.8

    Incredibly accurate results that includes dark web searches, social media searches, and more

    Comprehensive website with easy to use interface, making for a pleasant searching experience

    Pros

    • Intuitive interface
    • Dark web scans
    • Social media scans
    • Detailed results
    • Accurate records

    Cons

    • Relatively new records site
    • Searches can often be slow
    • Fewer payment options than other sites
    • Prices sometimes higher compared to other sites

    Review

    • Star
    • Star
    • Star
    • Star
    • Star
    Conclusion

    The most detailed results, though at a price. Still, the high quality of information is worth the premium

  • 02
    Score 9.5

    A simple and easy to use website that has the benefit of allowing you to make a one-time use

    But some of the search capabilities are limited, the reports you get won’t include details on someone’s social media profiles and other usage

    Pros

    • Very simple interface
    • A+ BBB rated
    • Very detailed and accurate reports
    • Up-to-date background check service. Worth every penny if you're looking for an accurate background check.

    Cons

    • The lack of social media details means you’re missing out on potentially important records
    • Minimal customer support, with no live chat support

    Review

    • Star
    • Star
    • Star
    • Star
    • Star
    Conclusion

    Affordable searches but you’ll miss out on some key information, particular their past and current use of social media

  • 03
    Score 9.0

    Allows for you to use encrypted searches, helping to keep your identity a secret

    Yet you won’t get any results about a person’s use of social media, which can be a major limitation

    Pros

    • Compared to other sites the subscription fee is low
    • Easy process for encrypting or removing your search history

    Cons

    • The membership fee for canceling is unfortunate
    • There is no live support available, so you could be waiting a while to hear back on problems

    Review

    • Star
    • Star
    • Star
    • Star
    • Star
    Conclusion

    A good all-round website that strikes a balance between affordability and quality of results

  

PUBLIC RECORDS: WHAT THEY ARE AND WHY YOU NEED ACCESS TO THEM

When we refer to public records we’re using the terms “public records” and “background checks” interchangeably, but in the simplest possible terms a background check is a way to search existing data that state, local and federal governments hold on a particular person.

The difference between searching through Google, Bing, or some other typical search engine and using a special public records site is that the latter is usually better at finding information that the everyday search providers cannot easily see. Public records and background check companies have the tools and access they need to get you information that is otherwise difficult to obtain.

Several of our top-rated pubic records sites may go even further in the deep dive for information on someone you want to look up -- not just looking at government data but also expanding the search to include details of a person’s social media history, their birth and death records, arrest records, and many other personal details that are hard for citizens to get.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BACKGROUND CHECKS

Because most people have never had to perform a background check or search for public records on another person, it can be daunting when figuring out where to start.

That’s why we’ve put together the below frequently asked questions to help tell you a little more about public records and background checks, including more details on the type of information that you can find, as well as the main reasons why you might want to perform a search.

  • Why do people perform background checks?

    There are many reasons why you might want to consider using a site that can do a deep dive search on public records, whether it’s for a background check or anything other matter. Having access to the information that’s otherwise hidden from your view may be able to help you make important decisions about your love life, friendships, and more.

    Some of the most popular reasons that people like to search for information online include: finding out more details on their favorite celebrities, researching whether there are any registered sex offenders living in their neighborhood, looking up new friends and other acquaintances to discover more information about them, seeing if there’s any data on their neighbors or other people living nearby, searching to see what former school or university classmates are doing, and many other different reasons for looking.

  • What information is provided in public records and background checks?

    Background check sites are popular because they are effectively a one-stop-shop for almost every possible piece of public information that is available about a person.

    There’s a long list of the types of data that you can obtain through one of the sites. The lengthy list of information that you could possibly get access to via the top public records websites includes, but is not limited to, such data as: a person’s criminal past and any police record, judgments issued by courts against someone, details of a person’s bankruptcies or financial assets they might have,

  • Do background check sites provide information on creditworthiness?

    No. It’s important that you understand that sites offering to perform public records background checks will not provide you data on an individual’s credit score. That’s because the Fair Credit Reporting Act makes it unlawful for public records search sites to obtain and share this data. Because of this prohibition you should never trust a site that says it can provide this information to you, because it cannot by law.

    As a result, you can’t use the information you can obtain through public records search websites to check anyone’s creditworthiness. Beware of that limitation before paying for a search, because it’s impossible to use the data that background check websites provide for tasks like screening potential employees, checking the credit rating of a potential tenant, or any other decision tied to someone’s credit score.

  • Can I get public records and background checks for free?

    No, you cannot, because every major public records search site will charge you a fee. It might be a one-time usage fee or it might be a monthly subscription fee, but either way you will have to pay money to conduct an online background check.

    That’s why the team at PublicRecordsCenter has worked so hard to research every possible major public records site available. We believe you should only have to pay a reasonable fee for accessing the information that you need, and the cost of sites is one of the main factors we consider in our exclusive ratings.

    You should also be aware that many public records websites will require you to become a member and will then charge you with a cancellation fee if you decide to quit the site. We think it’s important that you know about these charges upfront and that’s why we include details on such fees in our detailed site-specific reviews.

  • What’s the total price I’ll have to pay for an online public records search?

    Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all price for conducting online public records searches, and each company charges different rates. Some will make you pay a very low fee for the search but offset that by imposing high fees for membership to their sites, and a charge if you decide to quit their website and deactivate your membership.

    At PublicRecordsCenter, our goal is to save you time and money, and that’s why we give you upfront reviews that clearly tell you when a site charges fees that we think are too high. We believe that you deserve to know all of the potential information about a site’s expenses upfront before you give them any payment details.

  • Are background check sites safe and legal to use?

    Yes. The information that the sites provide you is publicly available and legal for you to access, but the entities that hold this data -- such as local governments -- make it notoriously difficult for the average person to get hold of the information.

    That’s why public search sites are so useful, because they take over the hard work of uncovering these details and quickly getting you the data that you want. It also helps to explain why all of these sites charge a fee, because they are saving you a massive amount of money and time by collecting this information for you.

    Of course, at PublicRecordsCenter our priority is ensuring you have the best possible experience with background check sites, and that’s why we rate sites based in part on how much they cost people to conduct a public records search.

  • If I perform an online public records search, will the person know I’m searching them?

    No. You might be thinking about credit score searches which occur if you go online and try to open a credit card or other line of credit. In those instances a credit agency will be notified and you will get a message telling you that a credit check was made about you. But the same situation does not apply when performing background searches.

    Indeed, you can rest assured that when you enter someone’s information into a public records search website, they will never be told that you are looking up data about them. There’s absolutely no way that these sites use to get in touch with the person you are looking for, so you can be satisfied they will never find out about the search.

    Additionally, several of the sites rated most highly by our team of online experts at PublicRecordsCenter offer encryption and deletion services.

    Encryption services mask your identifying information and make it even harder for a hacker or someone else with malicious intent to find out that you performed a search. These services help to provide public records search site users with added peace of mind that their searches about a person are completely anonymous.

    Deletion services also help you to cover your tracks online because they give you the chance to get rid of details of whatever searches you have performed. This can be very useful for those instances where you’ve joined a site for a one-time search and want to delete all traces of that search after you have secured the information you need.

  • Does every public records site include a search of social media?

    The team at PublicRecordsCenter knows that social media can be an invaluable tool for finding out more information about a person. Sites and applications including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even dating services like Tinder and OKCupid can provide a massive amount of data on someone, including recent pictures of them.

    Some public records search sites will not include social media searches, and instead rely solely on more-traditional documents available from official government sources such as court judgments, other legal proceedings, and additional records.

    But some of the top-rated sites that we’ve visited and researched do include social media searches, which makes them more attractive to potential users. By adding the potential for searching social media accounts, these sites significantly increase the amount of potential information that they can find out about an individual.

    That’s why the team at PublicRecordsCenter considers the inclusion of social media searches among our key criteria when reviewing a public records search site. You can trust that when you read our detailed analyses of such sites, you’ll get complete disclosure about both their benefits and any of their potential drawbacks.

USE OUR EXCLUSIVE REVIEWS TO FIND THE SEARCH SITE THAT’S BEST FOR YOU

As the frequently asked questions above show you, there are many benefits of conducting a background check courtesy of a public records site -- and we are here to guide you on the best possible sites based on your needs and our highly targeted site reviews.

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ABOUT

PublicRecordsCenter.org is one of America’s most trusted background checking services. We’ve helped thousands of Americans reconnect with family and friends. Our service also provides people with an easy way to look up criminal records online. We scan hundreds of millions of available public records, social network data, and more to provide you with an in-depth report about the person you want to find. Results may include arrest records, contact information, address history, online profiles, and more.

DISCLAIMER

You may not use our service or the information it provides to make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance.Publicrecordscenter.org does not provide consumer reports and is not a consumer reporting agency. (These terms have special meanings under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq., ("FCRA"), which are incorporated herein by reference.) The information available on our website may not be 100% accurate, complete, or up to date, so do not use it as a substitute for your own due diligence, especially if you have concerns about a person's criminal history. Publicrecordscenter.org does not make any representation or warranty about the accuracy of the information available through our website or about the character or integrity of the person about whom you inquire.

ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE

This is an advertisement and resource that strives to offer valuable information to our visitors. We are compensated by companies whose products and services we review on this website. Our reviews are based on our views, knowledge and analysis but may be influenced by compensation we receive. We do not review all products and services in a given category. All opinions expressed on this site are our own.