Public Record Resources
For Legal and Investigative Professionals

Free Government Public Record Sites

The links below lead to government agencies who provide free online record searching and access to public record information.  The data is taken from The Public Record Research System.

Important Facts to Know About Searching Government Records

There are four important truths about searching public records online from government agencies—

  • Less than 70% of government maintained public records are found online. For example, only 65% of the state and local courts place access to felony data online.
  • Government sites can be free or fee-based. Generally, the fee-based sites are more robust.
  • Most free government public record websites contain no personal identifiers beyond the name. This can be a problem when researching a common name.
  • Depending on the type of record, often the searchable and viewable information found online is limited to name indexes and summary data rather than document images. Most access sites – especially the free access sites – permit the former, not the latter.

  Keep these four truths in mind and your public record searching will lead to better results.

If you are looking for the more than a links list - please check out BRB's Public Record Research System (PRRS).

public records image

State, County, and City Sites

State Occupational Licensing Boards

State Appellate & Supreme Court Opinions & Decisions

Federal Courts

Other Useful Federal Sites

U.S. Territories

Military Sites

Unclaimed Funds

Foreign Sites - Canada

Foreign Sites - Other


Sign up for the Free Monthly Newsletter

The "Public Record Update" is a free monthly electronic newsletter that reports on changes and current events affecting the Public Record industry:

2014 MVR Access and Decoder Digest
New Jan. 2014

The Manual to Online Public Records - 3rd Edition
New July 2013

Tip #29

Nevada and PI Licensing for Public Record Searchers

Nevada is the only state that requires an on-site public record retriever to have a Private Investigator's license. Note there is a confusing exemption to the license requirement for obtaining public information off of a publically available database.

Taken from BRB's Public Record Research System.

View Past Editions

Safe Hiring Course
Public Record Blog
State Rules Register


Browse by Topic
Find a Public Resource Record topic quickly.

© 2012 BRB Publications | Public Records for Professionals. All rights reserved