General Question

SeventhSense's avatar

Is there a free way to check someone's background through public records online?

Asked by SeventhSense (18874points) April 18th, 2010

I’m trying to investigate a potential employee and every site I find has costs or memberships and I really don’t trust free trials that charge your credit card 19.95 and then 95.99 for a biannual membership (with of course a “guaranteed” refund). Anyone know some “really free” sources in NY, USA? Thanks

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15 Answers

slick44's avatar

I dont tink so. i have tried before, they always want you to pay, like you said.

phillis's avatar

There are a few high profile commercial websites that charge a one-time fee of $39.95 for complete access to one person’s file, one time. I use them, too. There aren’t any hidden fees, nor are you “signing up” for their services.

Jeruba's avatar

Not free. But you can go to a paid Q&A service such as XooxleAnswers or Uclue and post a private question for a fee that is less than you’d pay for access to one of those services. Some of the researchers will have professional memberships in databases like the ones you’ve found.

bobloblaw's avatar

You could check out your county courts’ website. Most courts put their records online for public viewing. You won’t get details, but a general idea as to what they’ve been up to. Of course, that assumes they 1) have a history in your state and 2) they haven’t changed their names.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@Jeruba: would be a better choice as XooxleAnswers states “research fees start as low as $50” while that minimum is only $20 at Also, Roger Browne is awesome!

Jeruba's avatar

True, @malevolentbutticklish. But I know that David Sarokin (XooxleAnswers) has that sort of resource at his disposal, and I am only guessing it with respect to the Uclue researchers.

Kayak8's avatar

You can go to the county sheriff (to get a record of any crimes committed in that county) for usually $15. You can go to your state Bureau of Criminal Investigation and get a statewide or national (includes FBI stuff) for about $25. They can typically give you same day reports.

Some employers require the potential employee to go get this report and provide it as a term of employment (they pay instead of you paying). Many organizations that use a lot of volunteers will have their volunteers get their own reports and submit them before considering them for volunteering.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

It’s hard to find something like that. Because records are kept under lock and key.

SeventhSense's avatar

There doesn’t seem to be any way other than paying a service or a county clerk. I don’t have the time. I need the labor. I guess I roll the dice like I do with all of ‘em while watching like a hawk from the shadows! Thanks everyone for your help.

trailsillustrated's avatar ten dolllars. if you know their name and state it’s all there. civil and criminal. you can cancel your subscription after finding out what you want to know.

SeventhSense's avatar

No games with the charge or subscription?

Jeruba's avatar

I sure wouldn’t want to be the prospective employee who’s being checked for $10 using nothing but name and state. The number of duplications even of seemingly unusual names is astonishing. How would you know you had the right person?

YARNLADY's avatar

May I suggest you require the prospective employee to cover the expense? When I applied for a child care position, I had to pay for the police report.

dann1's avatar
– that is one that gets good reviews. it is not free, however. background checks are never free (think of how easy it would be to snoop in other people’s business)

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