How to Find People Using Public Records

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If you've lost touch with someone who is very important to you, it can seem almost impossible to find him again. Many companies may try to charge a considerable fee to help you find people you've lost. The truth is that you can use public records to find people for free or for a very small cost. These public records are provided by state, county and city government agencies and may contain the information you need to find the person you seek.

  • Gather together all the information you have about the person or people you're trying to find. Make sure you have the most important facts about the person, such as his full name, any previous addresses and telephone numbers he may have had, his social security number and the date and place of his birth. Keep this information close to you by the telephone or computer so that you can refer to it while you're applying to receive public records.

  • Navigate to PublicRecords.OnlineSearches.com. Search for public records by state or by type of record. When you select a state, use the links provided on the page to find people by searching records such as court records, property tax records, deeds and business licenses. When you click the type of record first, select a state on the second page.

  • Browse to PublicRecordFinder.com. Click on the state whose public records you'd like to search. Then select the type of record you'd like to search from the list of free public records state links. You can also search by a person's name, social security number and phone number on this site.

  • Go to the USA.gov website. This United States government website has many resources you can use to find people using public records. Search on the city or state and type of record you'd like to find using the search field at the top. For example, if you'd like to find a birth certificate for a person who you think may have started a business in Memphis, Tennessee, type "business license Memphis Tennessee." Browse the search results to find the government website where you can apply for the public records you're seeking.

  • Submit an application for the public record to the government agency which is responsible for it. Birth certificates are usually managed by the state. Other records, such as property tax, wedding license and business license records may be held by the county or municipal government of the city in which the license was taken. Be sure to search on multiple states, cities and counties to ensure that you receive the most current records. Keep in mind that although the websites above provide free information about finding and obtaining public records, there may be a fee to apply for the record itself. Check the records themselves for addresses and telephone numbers. If phone numbers are not included in the records, check an online telephone directory such as WhitePages.com in the city and state or zip code of the most recent records to see if you can find the person's current address and telephone number.

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