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Using Public Records for Factual Research

Resources for research about people, businesses and more


There are many free online directories for locating people.  Try searching several, to verify a person's contact information.  If you register for an account on any of these sites, be sure to read the terms of service to understand what personal information you are sharing with the database.  There are also fee based services, to which BC Law does not subscribe, such as Accurint, TLOxp and LocatePLUS.  Try these free resources to get started:

Property Ownership Records

Records of land ownership, or deeds, verify property owned by an individual.  Many deeds are available online.   You can search property deeds through the county where the land is located.  Search for the county by name, and add terms like "real property, "deeds", etc.  To get started, here are links to a few states:

Property Value

If you know the address of a person's real property, you can use the assessor's office records for the town where the property is located to determine the property's current assessed value.  Additionally, you can get an idea of current market value using a number of free websites:


Vital Records

Vital records are maintained by states, and include birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates.  To get started, see:

Professional Licenses

States license many professions, from attorneys to contractors.  The state licensing board may also keep records of good standing and any complaints or findings of improper practice.  Try searching the Internet for the states name and the name of the profession you are looking for.  (e.g., "Massachusetts contractor license").  Below are links to some licensing resources:

Other Resources to Locate People