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Series 3 – Blog #12 – How to Perform a Background Check – Online Resources

Depending on the reason for a background check, investigators search through a variety of resources to collect a wide range of information. The simplest, easiest way to find data is through the internet. Online resources are large databases, allowing investigators to access records from huge areas. While it may take time to learn how to properly conduct a search, or learn what databases are best for which records, nothing beats the ability to perform a background check from a phone.  

Public Libraries

Public libraries subscribe to several online databases, often at the state and national level, accessible from any computer or smart phone. Typically, a local library card is required, but depending on the library it can be forgone by using one of their computers on site. Plus, libraries are very willing to share data between themselves for the sake of their patrons.

Government Websites

Often times county clerk offices or state government websites allow public records to be searched. Federal agencies, like the FBI, also allow public access to searchable records. The interface and search parameters will vary by site, but government websites are a great place for any private investigator to conduct a deep search.


Google can be a hit or miss venture, depending on how common a name is and what already known information can be used to help select the right search result. But for subjects with unique names, or common names stringed together with additional keywords  related to a location or company, Google can provide detailed information.


VoterRecords provides free access to voter registration details, often including addresses, political party, and relatives. For a quick look at how to get a hold of someone, this is a great option.

            Keep in mind, not all information is online and when conducting searches, they have to be phrased in the way a database will understand. If online resources are failing you, switch your search parameters or try offline sources.


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