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How are Public Records Collected?

Before answering the question of how public records are collected, let us understand what, in essence, are public records.

Public records are most often referred to as civil records and they represent the pieces of information that are collected, stored, and utilized by the government. It is worthy to note that public records are not confidential pieces of information. Public records are crucial to the government as it encourages transparency and accountability. Public records come in different forms: tangible and digital. Public records stored inside tangible forms can be found on CDs, DVDs, memory cards, paper, and photographs, whereas digital public records are kept inside the computer databases.

Types of public records

Even though the word "public" refers to the information open to the public, there are exceptions. Namely, in some states of the United States, people can choose which of the public records they want to keep confidential. A good example would be the possibility to tick the box whether a couple wants to keep their marriage "confidential" or "public" in California when submitting a marriage license application. "Confidential" public records mean that the provided public records will not be revealed to the public once recorded. "Public" public records, on the contrary, suggest they are becoming public once registered.

Here are a few examples of public records:

Why was there a need to collect the public records?

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Since the earliest organized societies were founded, there has been a need to record some data. The earliest track of public records was collected in the 1086 Domesday Book of William the Conqueror. Technically, the marriage agreements that were conducted between royal families were the representation of international treaties. The first official need to place public records officially was set in 1838 by the United Kingdom Public Record Office Act by establishing the Public Record Office

In the 1960s, the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation was introduced in many jurisdictions. This has enormously simplified access to public information. Ever since the system was evolving, each government has adopted specific policies and regulations to govern the availability of information and access to it online.

Generally, the only source of information that cannot be disclosed to the public is private data about a person. According to the California Public Records Act (PRA), "except for certain explicit exceptions, personal information maintained about an individual may not be disclosed without the person's consent."

Several online companies provide public records for a fee. Some companies offer specific information, and others provide different public records. As a rule, the public records being "sold" are the pieces of information needed for professionals. There are even companies that sell certain types of software that provide unlimited access to public records.

Technically, the access to public records has dramatically increased in the past couple of years, making it easier for third parties, such as information brokers, to use public records to their own benefit. The only concern that the courts have raised recently is that with the access to public records, many of the highly sensitive information has a risk of being published (e.g., social security numbers, victim names, etc.)

How Public Records Are Used in a Free Background Checks

As mentioned before, public records are made available to you, so you have the right to access them when you desire. In the US, there are several types of background checks, and one type is a free background check; a free background check is providing an individual's criminal and personal history, which can include information such as criminal records, arrest records, marriage records, employment history, and education history. This type of check relies on public records, so you can find a vast amount of personal info online.

Is There a Difference Between a Free Background Check and a Professional Third-Party Background Check?

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Yes, there is; a third-party professional background check and a free online background check are two different types of background checks that have distinct differences in terms of the level of detail and accuracy they provide: Third-Party Professional Background Check: This type of background check is conducted by professional background check companies or authorized institutions that have access to various databases and resources to provide more detailed and accurate information. They will typically conduct a thorough investigation of an individual's criminal and personal history, which can include information such as criminal records, employment history, credit history, and education history. This type of background check can be more expensive than free online background checks but it provides more detailed and accurate information.

On the other side, you have Free Online Background Checks: This type of background check is typically conducted through free online services that use publicly available information to provide a summary of an individual's criminal and personal history. This can include information such as criminal records, employment history, and education history. The general public can use this type of service to find information about others. However, employers and homeowners cannot use a free background check for a screening service. It is intended for personal use only.

The Operation of Free Background Check Websites

Free background check websites work by searching and compiling publicly available information about an individual. They typically gather information from a variety of sources, including criminal records databases, court records, and other online resources. So, these websites rely of public records resources – which each state in the country operates. To enjoy the service, you need basic information about the person that are looking for: their full name and their state of residence. These identifiers allow public records resources to provide you with data about the said person, so they are important.

After you enter the name of an individual, the free background check search engine begins to scan public records resources. The more advanced the system, the quicker and more accurate are the results. At the end of the search, which should not last more than a few minutes, you get a public records search reports, that includes all the public data about the said person.

It's important to note that not all free background check websites have access to all the same information as paid services or authorized institutions, and the information they provide may not be as detailed or accurate. That's why it's important to choose a reliable, accurate and in-depth service that can provide you with all the information that you are looking for.

The Features of a Quality Free Background Check Website

When choosing a quality free background check, it's important to consider the following factors:

But Why Do I Need Access to Public Records?

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As you have seen here, there are many types of public records in the United States. Access to personal data allows the public to be in the know, and for people to find important data and protect themselves. In this day and age, you can never be too careful with who you talk to, and the people you let into your life. With a professional free background check, you can enjoy vast access to public records, and use data to:

It's always best to keep in mind that not all free background check websites have access to the same resources and public records. To enjoy all the benefits and access that a professional free background check service can give you, you should only choose professional services. Also, a pro website will have security measures to protect your personal information and search history, which less than professional websites do not have.

If you need a background check for important decisions like hiring an employee, renting a property or granting a loan, it's always best to use a professional background check or an authorized institution, and not a free background check. However, if you need to find data for your personal use and knowledge, a free website is exactly what you need. You can use these services to find information online, in no time at all, and enjoy quick access to official and reliable public records. To get the most accurate, reliable and quick results, you can use 24/7, with trusted results and quality reports.

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