Perform your own background checks online

Search Public Records By State:. New Jersey. New Mexico.

Choosing the Best Services

New York. North Carolina. Puerto Rico. Most background checks are generated automatically from data repositories maintained by private companies and state and federal governments. When people say public records, they are usually referring to civil issues such as lawsuits, traffic tickets, vital records such as marriage, divorce, birth and death , bankruptcies and the like.

When people say background check, they usually have in mind criminal records, warrant searches, arrest records and other criminal information.

How to run a free background check on yourself

Believe it or not, almost all of this information is public record by law, and is available to anyone who is willing to make the effort to search for it. Some jurisdictions make it incredibly simple, and have dedicated web portals that allow you to search.

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Others are stuck in the paper age, and often require an on site search in the county courthouse. Should I search myself or use an online background check provider? Online background check services really shine in two ways. They spend a fortune sucking up all the data available, something that might take you years or you might not even be able to accomplish with a limited budget at all. We try to be unbiased about these things.

Every provider has its strengths and weaknesses, depending on how they collect their data and what kind of algorithms they use.

How to Run a Free Background Check on Yourself

Free background check - does such a thing really exist? There are definitely many sources of free online background information, especially on the state level. See our state by state guides above for specifics. There are even a few federal sources that are free to search, too.


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The problem starts with knowing where to search and who to search on. Or perhaps he committed a crime on the other side of the country. What kind of free background check info is out there if I want to search by myself? As mentioned above, start with our state by state guides. Bankruptcy records can also be searched online by opening an account on Pacer. Note that Pacer. Your federal government at its finest. Should I run a self background check? At best, there's nothing you need to worry about. At the worst, there's information that's either wrong or outdated, and you'll need to work to make sure it gets permanently fixed.

What if I want to run an employment background check? Remember to check with county, state, and federal courts if applicable. And if you want files from a county court, plan to visit the courthouse. Most county courts require someone to obtain records in person. If you had an arrest without conviction longer than seven years ago, potential employers shouldn't be able to see it, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act FCRA.

If you see a conviction from longer than seven years ago on your personal background check report, you can contest the errors. Laws about what's included on a driving record, and for how long, vary by state. You can check your personal driving records by going to the DMV website for each state that you ever held a driver's license.

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Note some states charge fees for obtaining records. Not all employers will check your driving records. These are generally only obtained for positions in which driving is a large part of the job, such as a truck or bus driver, nanny, etc. Potential employers can look at your credit report not your credit score to determine if you're a financially responsible person, but only if you give them written permission. Credit reports can often have small errors, so it's a good idea to check these regularly.

Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction FACT Act, you're allowed to check your credit report once every 12 months for free from each of the three national credit unions. That means you can get up to three credit reports for free a year. To see your credit report, visit the annual credit report website. Keep in mind that a credit report does not show your credit score — you need to pay for that separately.

If you believe there's an error on your credit report, follow the FTC's guidelines for disputing it. Employers or other organizations interested in verifying your education might go through a service like the National Student Clearing House, or they might ask for copies of official diplomas or transcripts.

If you think an employer or another organization is going to ask for copies of your transcripts, make sure there are no errors on them. If you're applying for a job, to school, to volunteer, etc.