Are Public Records Free?
Nancy Patterson - May 18, 2020
No question that we all love the word “FREE”. It is something that resonates with warmth in our bodies like a warm cup of hot cocoa on a snowy winter’s evening. And if you are thinking about purchasing some public records, the questions has no doubt hit you at some point or another: “This is ‘public’ records, can’t I get this for free?”.
Heck, Google is free, I search it all the time. In fact, you’ll even hear a lot of people claim that everything you need to know about someone is readily available in a free Google search. That is ludicrous, and here’s why:
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There are many reasons to want to purchase a public records report. You may have to run a background check on a potential employee. Or even run a background check on yourself to see what pops up (like that one time you got arrested in college because everyone thought it would be funny to go streaking).
Perhaps you are dating a new someone and you want to make sure they are safe to into to your kiddos.
People even go as far as doing background checks prior to meeting someone from Craigslist for that awesomely ugly funky 70’s lamp, to make sure they aren’t walking into a scene from Leatherface.
There are two main types of public records:
Personal Public Records:
This includes information like your social media accounts, websites, blogs and even your more personal internet activity can be accounted for (yikes).
Government Public Records:
This data set includes information like your address (street, city, county, state, country). Your known phone numbers (current and past). Your known email addresses (current and past). This kind of data is quite a bit harder to find on Google. In fact Google has taken measures ensure that is harder to find someones contact information so easily. Until the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was put on the books in the 70s, government officlas were the ONLY ones who could access and look at your records. But that all changed when Lyndon B Johnson signed FOIA into the legislature on July 4, 1973 (what a day for more freedom eh?).
While FOIA was amazing in respects to transparency. The 70s and 80s weren’t really known as the “Tech Boom” was it? So naturally, even with FOIA in place, it was a pain in the ass to access and obtain the records you wanted.
But the 90s brought the masses the internet and with the internet public records searches have been drastically improved. Where as prior to the internet you’d have to go down to the jurisdiction of the information you wanted to request and go through the whole song and dance routine. Now you can search records in Wyoming and at the same time in Florida and in seconds!
As a company CheckPeople employs a large team to maintain both our website (your user interface) as well as our proprietary software that allows you to compile all the data at once in a very easily and categorical report.
Imagine, if you will, that government records were all held deep within a mountain in a giant vault, and the only way into the mountain is 1 tunnel, but the government owns that tunnel and charges us a toll to use it.
CheckPeople isn’t the only service/website that has to pay to use that tunnel either. Most of these “free people search” tools that advertise “totally free background checks” either don’t deliver the same quality of information that a paid background check would give you, or the word “free” really has to do with your account, and not the actual search (a bit of word play if you will).
With our service you pay 1 low monthly membership fee. The information you search is kept in your files and always accessible. You can search however many times you want, for however many people that you want for less than $8 a week. If you searched and pulled just 2 records a day (you can do 200 if you want), then each search and compiled report costs less than $0.50!! That is an unreal deal that can last you forever! Time is money and saving both is just icing.
Cancel your membership anytime without penalty and keep the access to your reports!