One of the most valuable skills in the modern age is to know how to get information very quickly. We do currently live in the age of information, after all. Fortunately, with just a little understanding of how to use the internet, you can do this with ease. The internet has made all sorts of information incredibly easy to access, whether you want to do an online public records search or you just want to find out when your favorite band will be in town, the internet has it all. But how exactly does one find this information quickly?
Why Would Anyone Want to do a Public Data Search?
For those of us that have never needed to find public data, it may be a little confusing to think that anyone would have a need for this kind of information. It really is quite simple, but the answer can vary a lot depending on the kind of information that someone is looking for. For instance, someone might access public business records for a publicly traded company so they can get a better idea about the risk level of their investment. Someone else might pull up property records so they can get a better idea of the amount they’ll have to pay in property taxes. Really, the reasons why someone might look into public data varies as much as the actual public data itself.
What Exactly is Considered Public Data?
Many powerful people all over the country made their careers off of establishing some kind of a public records system, and today you can find public information laws on the books in all fifty states, as well as on a federal level. This was important to so many people because it provides a level of transparency that the government had lacked for a very long time, and after these laws were passed the public had greater access to information about what their government was up to than they had ever had before.
Public data is kind of a loose term and can refer to any number of things, so it can be a little confusing when trying to pinpoint exactly what is and isn’t public data unless you know the actual, legal definition.
Public data is defined as, in essence, any records that the government doesn’t consider to be confidential in any format. The “in any format” part of that is especially important because that means that includes everything from paper documents to things like audio recordings, video recordings, computer files, pictures, and much more.
Because so many things can be considered public records based on this definition, many things do regularly fall into the public record, which means that anyone can access it if they just know which channels they need to take. Here are a few things that fall under public data:
- Marriage records
- Court records
- Business records, but only if the company is publically traded
- Driving records
- Real Estate records
- Criminal records
- Arrest records
- Immigration Records
- Declassified Military records
The few that we listed are far from a comprehensive list, but it does start to paint a picture of what kind of information you can find by checking public records. Now that we understand exactly what public records are, let’s start diving into how to find public records.
Where You Can Find Public Records
The internet has made finding public records a lot easier than it has been in the past, but you can’t find any and all public records online. Some information will require you to go into the physical office of whatever branch handles that information, and from there you’ll need to put in a request and wait for the information to come to you. There are a lot of types of information that require this approach, and others that require you to mail in paperwork and wait for the government to respond to your request.
While there are a lot of types of records that you need to put in a request to get, there is a lot that you can get online, as well as more than one method to get this kind of information. Where you would look for this information depends heavily on where in the country you are and what information you want to get. If you want to get property records, in most cases you’d want to check the county website for the property that you want to get information about. If you wanted to get marriage records, you’d want to try going through the courts.
By this logic, it might follow that if you wanted arrest records, you’d want to check with your local sheriff’s department or court’s website. You can get this information through either of those websites in many parts of the country, but that’s not the best way to get arrest records. That’s because of a number of reasons, the first being that not every county provides this kind of information on their own database for any number of reasons. They could simply not have the budget to keep such a database up and running, or they could prefer not to provide this information at all.
Another issue arises when you consider information accuracy. Some counties do have these kinds of databases right on their website, but they don’t have the time or resources to update it regularly so you could find out of date or even just entirely inaccurate information. On top of that, none of the databases that are provided by law enforcement are connected. That means that if you only know of a couple of counties where the person in question has lived, you might not get the full picture, especially if they have a criminal record somewhere that you wouldn’t have thought of checking.
The Best Way to Get Public Data
Just like with most things in life, you always want to be sure that you’re using the right path for the task. Using the wrong path could end up wasting valuable time and leave you with more questions than answers. With that being said, if you need to find things like criminal records, arrest records, court records, driving records, active warrants, or even phone numbers for someone anywhere in the country, there’s really only one method that’s going to meet all of your needs.
The industry that can best help you with this kind of search is far from new, but it’s been gaining a lot of traction over the last few years, especially with the rise of online dating apps. The industry that we’re referring to, of course, is that of the personal background check service. These companies are your best bet if you want to do a personal background check on someone in your life, no matter what your reasons may be, and they can work a lot faster than you may expect.
To understand why personal background check services are so good, you must first understand exactly how they work. They have specialized systems that are designed to scrub thousands of public records databases all over the country and then they provide their users with all relevant data. It’s as easy as filling out the required forms and hitting enter, and you’ll then be provided with a lot of high-quality information. The best part is, most of these companies are able to provide you with instant results. That saves you a lot of time in comparison to trying to sort through public records manually and compiling all of the information you find so you can be sure that you have it all in one place.
There are a lot of regular users of many different personal background check services, and it’s easy to see why. You can’t beat instant results, especially when the alternative may very well be nothing more than a wild goose chase. If you need to find out someone’s criminal record before you decide to go on a date with them, for instance, this method allows you to do so in such a short amount of time that you could start the search at the same time that you start your morning cup of coffee and still have some coffee left to drink.
The Wonderful World of Public Records
Public records are a godsend to many people all over the country. Everyone from politicians to journalists and even to your everyday Joe or Jane benefits from the availability of public records. This information helps us keep a better eye on our government and, also, on one another. All you really need is a basic understanding of how you can find the public records you’re looking for and the world is your oyster. The best part is that as an American it is your right to access this information, and many lawmakers all over this great nation have worked very hard to ensure that you have that right. Whether you need to check up on a coffee date to make sure they aren’t dangerous, want to find out what the property taxes are for a home you’re looking at, or even want to check if your neighbor is a sex offender, all of that information and more is available at your fingertips thanks to the existence of public records.
***SpyFly provides consumers affordable, immediate access to public record information. Federal laws prohibit businesses from using SpyFly’s service to make decisions about employment, insurance, consumer credit, tenant screening, or for any other purpose subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq.**