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

 

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2014 MVR Access and Decoder Digest
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The Manual to Online Public Records - 3rd Edition
New July 2013

Tip #16

Iowa Online Court Records

Two options are available - a free system and a pay system. The free system is NOT equivalent to an onsite search at the court house. The subscription system is equivalent; however case file images are not displayed.

Either system can be accessed. Visit site

Taken from BRB's Public Record Research System.
 

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