Are Public Records Free?

Can public records and civil recording be obtained free of charge?  Yes they can.  Anyone can search countywide public records free of charge.  All that’s required is a trip to the local courthouse where civil recordings are housed and maintained.  If you are retired and/or have plenty of time on your hands, this is the recommended course of action.  Time is the factor because courthouse research is tedious and very time-consuming to the average citizen.  Most courthouses are divided with county small claims records in one section, circuit court recordings in another and federal courts often in separate building or cities.  You will have to call the clerk in advance to research where to go and most often times seek their assistance when you get there.  Long lines can also be an issue. Other than a personal visit to the courthouse, public records cannot be obtained free of charge.  Anyone advertising free public records searches is scamming you, either to buy outdated subscription software and/or useless identity theft protection.  Stay clear of free public records offerings.

An alternative approach for those with less time on their hands is to hire a respected state licensed private investigator.  Docusearch Investigations conducts civil records research in over 4700 counties nationwide and only charges $49 per court searched.

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