Free Public Records
As a courtesy to our clients, we are providing you a collection of free government public records links. We have also included pay-per-use official law enforcement sites.
All 50 states have public records laws which allow members of the public access to obtain information and documents from state and local government agencies. Bear in mind, that public records laws are not identical to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The definition of what records are public varies depending on state and federal laws. For instance, there are some states that will not provide a “free” website for you to search on an individual. In those cases, you must physically go to the courthouse and request permission to do so.
What is the difference between public records and the Freedom of information Act?
The basic function of the Freedom of Information Act is to provide the public with access to government agency records at federal, state and local levels. It offers citizens transparency in government which is vital to the functioning of a democratic society. On the other hand, public records are documents or pieces of information that are not considered confidential and pertain to individual persons or business entities. Although considered public records, they may contain personal information about an individual. Examples of such are arrest and criminal records, civil court filings, real property records, marriage and divorce records, bankruptcies, corporations ownership, liens and judgments, etc.