It’s not easy trusting anyone these days. A background check service is the most reliable way to know all the information about a person. We often associate background checks with potential employees’ screenings. But it can have multiple uses today. For instance, you can use it for assessing a prospective roommate or tenant. Some people even run these checks to confirm if Ms. or Mr. Right is too good to be true. Besides, a free online background check can be a useful tool when locating long-lost relations.
Sadly, not all background check services are free. If anything, the best background check website options come at a premium. And with tons of options to choose from, obtaining the most affordable background check on someone might be challenging.
Other free online background check services may provide social media accounts and educational history. But if you need to secure the most reliable background check service, it means looking for one that gives quick reports with detailed and accurate information, including phone number lookup details.
The quality of background checking will vary according to how much you pay for the service. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to pay for premium services. That’s where a free online background check comes in handy. While it may not be as comprehensive as the paid alternative, it is still a great way to get essential details about someone.
Moreover, some free trial background check accounts provide comprehensive reports. We’ve done independent background checks and have put together a list of the ten best free online background check websites. We’ll also take you through the ins and outs of background checks, and help you find the correct answer to the question, ‘What is a background check?’ After that, we’ll provide answers to some frequently asked questions before wrapping up this post.
Table Of Contents
- Free Online Background Check: Everything You Should Know
- What Is A Background Check
- Why Are Background Checks Done
- Tenant Screening
- What Information Can You Obtain From A Background Check
- What Does A Background Check Exclude
- How Perform A Free Online Background Check
- The 10 Best Free Online Background Check Websites
- 1. Info Tracer
- 2. Free Background Check
- 3. Records Finder
- 4. Arrests
- 5. Vitalsearch-Worldwide
- 6. Instant Check Mate
- 7. Free People Scan
- 8. Unlimited Criminal Checks
- 9. Been Verified
- 10. Public Records Search Online
- The Bottom Line
- Related Articles
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Free Online Background Check: Everything You Should Know
You’ve probably already been background checked at least once in your life, especially before signing that employment contract. Employers often use background checks to screen prospective employees on the internet. It helps them get information about the candidates and ensure they employ the best available talent. When your boss runs a free online background check on you, they’ll receive basic details like your full name and social security number.
And if that’s the case, you’re probably wondering, ‘Can I run a free online background check on myself?’ Any person can run the checks on themselves, whether as a paid or free service. If you did that, you’ll still obtain the same information a third party would get by running a background check on you.
Some of the free online background check websites like Arrests US only need you to fill in the names of the person whose background you want to check and begin the process. So, you don’t expect such services to prevent you from conducting a background check on yourself. If you’re yet to experience this process, a self background check would be an excellent opportunity to know what your potential boss might unearth in your records.
While it’s always good to know what others may find when they run a report on you, there’s also nothing much to stress over. You could even stumble upon some old data that may be inaccurate and already obsolete. It’ll allow you to fix the details instead of letting it spoil your report.
Now we’ll be getting so ahead of ourselves not to talk about an important subject matter in this post.
What Is A Background Check
It is a process through which a company or an individual verifies a person is who they claim to be by collecting a summary report of court records, employment history, criminal records, educational background, plus other details about their present and past to confirm its origins and validity.
Why Are Background Checks Done
Different organizations and people have various reasons for conducting background checks. For example, human resource departments and government agencies regularly run criminal checks for employment and clearance purposes, respectively.
Here’s an in-depth look into the two most common circumstances that will warranty a background check:
Most employers find it critical to do employment screening when looking for a candidate to fill a specific position. In doing so, an organization protects itself from the onset by finding out all details about a prospective new hire. It helps to keep the business, employees, and clients safe.
Background checks are mandatory in multiple settings where the employee will be dealing with protecting other’s safety like in a courthouse, airport, banks, school, hospital, including the government.
When renting a property, it’s common to undergo a criminal background check. The landlord will look at the history of your addresses for mentions against you or tenant infractions. In this way, the landlord can make sure that they are leasing property to a good tenant. Property owners who can’t afford a paid subscription resort to using free online background check websites for the same reasons. As such, a criminal record is crucial for a landlord.
What Information Can You Obtain From A Background Check
With a comprehensive free online background check website, you’re likely to access plenty of free public records and details. Some of the things you’ll potentially see are:
- Address History: It contains previous details about tenant infringements and any citations against you.
- Criminal Activity: The list includes sex offenses, internments, and arrests.
- Immigration and Citizenship History: It shows whether someone is legally working in the United States or not.
- Legal Records: It gives information about someone’s criminal or civil lawsuits, as well as any previous litigations.
- Motor Vehicle and Driving Offenses: It shows whether you have a history of violating traffic regulations. Insurance companies and dealerships often use this information to determine if a customer is worth insuring and their policy rates.
- Social Security Authentication: It proves that a person is who they claim to be.
On top of the above details, a background check can also provide the following information:
- Credit report, bankruptcy records, as well as liens
- Educational background
- Employment history, including previous designations and terminations
- History of workers’ compensation, abuses, claims, and investigations
- Inclusion in terrorism watch lists
- Information on social media profiles
- Marriages and divorce records
- Military history plus discharge details
- Previous drug tests for illicit substances
- Special permits along with previous violations, complaints, and investigations
What Does A Background Check Exclude
Whether you’re performing a free online background check or a paid subscription, you won’t find the person’s mental health and medical records in the report. And if the individual is currently on prescription medication, you won’t have access to the info as well.
Note that credit checks and drug screening have been very controversial in the U.S., especially concerning a prospective employee. Consumer activists disagree with the need to run background checks, which they consider as an invasion of someone’s privacy.
Therefore, unless you are doing a self background check, it’s advisable to approach other scenarios with caution. You could get your company or your business in a lawsuit for privacy infringement.
How Perform A Free Online Background Check
Performing a free online background check is not as hard it may seem. First, you’ll need some information about your subject, which you’re going to feed into a free online search tool. The following are more tips on how to conduct a free background check on the internet:
- Check with the Fair Credit Reporting Act concerning what’s obtainable and what isn’t, plus how you should use the details you’ll collect. Keep in mind that you must destroy those records after a set timeframe.
- Consult your attorney for specific information about this process before you proceed so you don’t violate any provisions
- If you go deeper than a regular employment reference check, which leads you to reject a particular candidate, you must serve them a copy of that report.
- It’s mandatory to obtain written permission from the party in question. The person should fill out between one and two forms and append their signatures before you proceed. Your request must detail the kind of information you’ll be pulling.
- The law requires you to allow the person to explain or fix errors that might show on their report. It means that the information you obtain could be inaccurate or incorrect.
- You must be consistent with obtaining similar records for each candidate, without skipping any information.
You’ll need the following details at minimum, for a successful reference check:
- The candidate full name
- The person’s complete date of birth
- Details of the person’s social security number
Note that you’ll also need the same information when running a self background check.
The 10 Best Free Online Background Check Websites
You can use the details above on one of the following free online background check websites:
1. Info Tracer
The online platform allows users to run detailed background checks on other people. Since its 2003 inception, the service has grown to become one of the most popular sites for reference checking someone’s records. Info Tracer reports come with hard to obtain information like criminal accounts, residence history, court cases, and birth records, among others.
Its free online background check package offers a great deal of information, including:
- Likely relatives and friends
- Social media profiles
- Blurred out image
- Previous cities of residence and address
- Hints on phone numbers
You can pay $2.95 to subscribe to a five-day trial for a more comprehensive report.
2. Free Background Check
With FreeBackgroundCheck.org, you can look up someone’s background almost instantly. The free online background check website gives you free access to an extensive database with court cases, marriage accounts, arrest histories, criminal recordings, arrest warrants, divorce filings, free people searching, death records, and sex offenders, among others.
The site provides multiple search results like the following:
- Vehicle license plate
- Social security number
- Phone number
- Driver’s license
3. Records Finder
The service boasts its two billion record archive that’s still growing. Records Finder is a respectable background check company offering both free and paid services. The online database includes information from public sources like various public records offices, courthouses, police departments, sheriff offices, as well as vital records registries.
RecordFinder free online background check provides these details:
- Criminal records
- Civil cases
- Vehicle information number check
- Driving records
- Phone numbers
- Previous addresses
- License plate
Arrests is an internet-based public record service offering free do-it-yourself criminal records and inmate history searches for any concerned person about an employee, a neighbor, a colleague, and anyone else. With this website, you can obtain various details about someone’s criminal history, such as:
- Case numbers
- Business records
- Inmate histories
- Lawsuit records
- Civil activities
The online background check company lets you check through all the states’ public records for the accuracy of anyone’s history. Vitalsearch does not apply charges for its services, which offer the following information:
- Divorce records
- Close friends, family, and classmates
- Birth records
- Marriage account
- Death records
6. Instant Check Mate
Instant Check Mate is another company on our list with both premium and free online background check services. The trendy online platform carries the promise of useful and detailed information to its users. The data provider claims to provide a wide range of personal details on nearly everyone, which includes arrest records, phone numbers, professional licenses, and addresses, among others.
The most common search results on InstantCheckMate come with the following data:
- Address history
- Education records
- Financial responsibilities
- Social media profiles
- Closest relatives and friends
- Employment experience
7. Free People Scan
Free People Scan is among our favorite free online background check websites. The site uses top-level online background check engines along with an extensive database of the county, state, and local government reference records. Freepeoplescan.com applies a one-off fee for a full report and an alternative monthly charges subscription for reacquisition of reports. However, there’s also a free, instant complimentary records scan to show you whether any histories are available.
You can expect these results with the free version:
- Phone numbers
- Previous addresses
8. Unlimited Criminal Checks
Unlimited Criminal Checks has been collecting and storing department of corrections, sex offenders, and criminal court records since 1990. You can search the site’s database for traffic, civil, and criminal court records across the U.S. You’ll find information on traffic tickets, bankruptcy, felony, and violation, plus judgments and collections, among others.
Unlimited Criminal Check’s 100% free online background check offers:
- Active arrest warrants
- Reverse cell phone
- Criminal court records
- Dead beat dads
- Missing persons
- Most wanted persons
- Mug Shots
- Sex offenders
- Traffic tickets
9. Been Verified
BeenVerified is among the top-rated online data providers with premium and free services. The site is incredibly popular for its comprehensive search options, low rates, and ease of use. BeenVerified takes almost one minute to get you all the search results, such as bankruptcy filings, name changes, divorce files, criminal records, and marriage records, plus many others.
The company free online background check service provides the following search results:
- Civil cases
- Criminal records
- Driving records
- License plate
- Phone numbers
- Previous addresses
- Vehicle information number check
10. Public Records Search Online
Public Record Search Online makes it easy for you to find information online without paying, despite your reasons. The site lets you access criminal records, civil cases, marriages, deaths, births, court records, bankruptcies, and sex offenders. You can use different search filters to look up people, including:
- Driver’s license
- Phone number
- Social security number
- Vehicle license plate
The Bottom Line
Running a background check can be costly, especially if you depend on a paid subscription. Thankfully, there are plenty of free online background check services. Today’s free data providers have comprehensive databases and will complete the entire background search process for you in a few, easy steps. In this way, you can obtain all the vital information quickly, easily, and without paying.
But similar to other industries, you must be careful when working with an online service provider. The internet carries both good and bad free online data providers with varying proficiency levels and quality of services. It’s the same situation even when dealing with paid background check companies since all of them are not equal. Therefore, you must use due diligence when deciding the service to use for free background searches.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do all free data providers run employment checks?
No. Each background check provider specializes in different items. Some of the companies only deal with pre-employment record searches, while others focus on multiple categories like driving records and credit checks on one platform.
What information does free online background check services provide?
Free online background checks can offer a wide range of information, including birth certificates, professional licensing, arrest, and criminal records, as well as employment history, among others. However, these details will vary from one online data provider to the next.
Can you perform a background check on someone without seeking their approval?
The law directs anyone running a background check on someone to obtain permission from them. The party in question will sign a background check consent form before you proceed. But this is mostly the case with the screening of potential employees. You can use a free online background check website to look up anyone’s history without getting permission.
What’s the difference between a free criminal and government background search?
Free government record history searches are public registries that include criminal background records, which you’ll find with the best free online background check companies.
How do I complete a self background search without paying?
Simply visit one of the free online background search engines and enter your name to find information about yourself.
Whom can I look up with free online background check websites?
The majority of free online-based data providers will let you search for anyone in the United States. It means you can perform a free background search on neighbors, former schoolmates, tenants, friends, relatives, domestic workers, as well as employees.
What is the most accurate online background check website? ›
- TruthFinder: Best Background Check Service Overall.
- Intelius: Best for Phone Number Lookups.
- Instant Checkmate: Best for Looking Up Property Records.
- Spokeo: Best for Reverse Email Lookup.
- PeopleFinders: Best for Customer Service.
- US Search: Best for Affordability.
Is TruthFinder free? There is no free version or TruthFinder free trial. TruthFinder needs to pay money to public records offices to access their files, so they charge users for every search.What is the best site to search public records? ›
- TruthFinder: Best Public and Private Record Search.
- Intelius: Best for Searching More Sources.
- Instant Checkmate: Best for Finding Criminal Records.
- Spokeo: Best Social Media Search Service.
- PeopleFinders: Best Way To Search for Older Records.
To start, Truthfinder has the best all-around service with over 60,000 5-star reviews and a wide records database. However, for the best-detailed criminal and detailed social media and dating profile reports, then Intelius and Instant Checkmate are great options respectively.Is Intelius actually free? ›
Intelius allows users to perform one free people search that will return basic information about an individual, including a full name, location history, list of family members, and education history, but uncovering any further information requires the purchase of a one-time report or a full membership.Is Checkpeople free? ›
For just $1 you are given a 5 day trial of the site, after which you are billed $44.85/month.Is TruthFinder a one time fee? ›
TruthFinder does not charge for individual background checks, but rather requires a monthly membership fee in exchange for access to an abundance of reports. If you pay for two months at once, the price drops to $46.56, or $23.28 per month, from the original $28.05.What app is free for a background check? ›
Background Check, the Android app for BeenVerified.com, is free to install and to use, but it will only allow you to do free “comprehensive” investigative work once a month. If you want an unlimited number of background checks on BeenVerified, you need to register and pay. The service also has pay-as-you-go options.How reliable is TruthFinder? ›
Is TruthFinder Legit? Yes. In addition to multiple online reviews, we can confirm that TruthFinder is a legit background check service. The results are accurate and up-to-date.What is the best free search engine to find a person? ›
Whitepages, Zaba Search, TinEye, and Peek You are close competitors, offering a range of free search services that rank them among the top free people search sites available.
What is the best search engine to find information on a person? ›
Best People Search Engines for 2023
TruthFinder – Best Overall. Intelius – Best for Accurate Public Records Search. Instant Checkmate – Best for Searching Government Records. Spokeo – Best on a Budget.
- US Search.
- Instant Checkmate.
- Best for Comprehensive Background Checks. TruthFinder. Our Partner. Get Started. Price. ...
- Best for Customer Reports. Intelius. Our Partner. Get Started. Price. ...
- Best Mobile Experience. BeenVerified. Our Partner. Get Started. Price. ...
- Best for Unlimited Reports. Instant Checkmate. Our Partner. Get Started. Price.
You can use TruthFinder for dozens of different situations. However, the best feature of this people search engine is that it's easy to use and lets you stay entirely anonymous. The person you search for will never know you're looking for them unless you explicitly let them know.What's better instant checkmate or TruthFinder? ›
If you're looking for hard-to-find information like assets, liens, and even bankruptcies, we recommend Instant Checkmate. This is a great option if you need a one-off report. On the other hand, if you want to perform a dark web scan on yourself or on someone else, try TruthFinder.How much is Intelius cost? ›
A Criminal Record Search from Intelius People Search can be ordered. The price of $14.95 allows you to search the criminal records of one state, or it costs $29.95 for a nationwide search. For example, it's helpful to run criminal record checks on prospective babysitters for your children.Do people know if you search them on Intelius? ›
Intelius guarantees anonymity so all searches are private. It is confidential information that no one is allowed to see. Nobody can get to know that people had searched for them. Click Here To Visit Intelius Official Site Find people instantly, property search, background checks and reverse phone lookup.How accurate is PeopleWhiz? ›
PeopleWhiz has a consumer rating of 3.78 stars from 48,103 reviews indicating that most customers are generally satisfied with their purchases. Consumers satisfied with PeopleWhiz most frequently mention good experience, long time and credit card.PeopleWhiz ranks 1st among Background Check sites.How do you investigate someone online? ›
- Set Up a Google Alert. ...
- Check Other Search Engines. ...
- Check Mainstream Social Networks. ...
- Check Public Records. ...
- Check Niche Search Engines. ...
- Check Niche Social Networks. ...
- It's Easy to Find People Online.
Yes, Instant Checkmate is a legitimate company that is upfront about its services and does not scam its users, beyond some mildly misrepresentative advertising. In fact, the San Diego-based company holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
How safe is Peoplecheck com? ›
Check People has a consumer rating of 3.44 stars from 408 reviews indicating that most customers are generally satisfied with their purchases. Consumers satisfied with Check People most frequently mention background checks, phone number and facebook marketplace.How much does Spokeo cost? ›
Spokeo is the most affordable people search engine available. A one-month membership costs $19.95 per month, while a three-month membership is $14.95 per month. However, it's important to note that Spokeo's reports aren't as detailed as other services.Is there an app to check people's background? ›
TruthFinder is a background check service launched in March 2015. Our web app has provided millions of people with detailed information from public records. TruthFinder compiles relevant information from federal, state, and local government sources and organizes them in an easy-to-read report.What are the pros and cons of TruthFinder? ›
Plans starting at $27.78/mo. TruthFinder is one of the most accurate background check services we tested. We particularly appreciated the accurate contact information and easy-to-use interface. The main downside of TruthFinder is the mandatory monthly membership—there's no option to run a background check without one.Is TruthFinder hard to cancel? ›
You can cancel online or over the phone by calling TruthFinder's member care center at (800) 699-8081. Once you've canceled, you should receive an email confirmation within the hour.How do I find out what people are searching for for free? ›
Google Trends is a tool that lets you explore what the world is searching for by entering a keyword or a topic in the Explore bar. It also shows the Daily and Real time search trends.What sites are like True People Search? ›
truepeoplesearch.com's top 5 competitors in December 2022 are: fastpeoplesearch.com, whitepages.com, searchpeoplefree.com, beenverified.com, and more.Are online background checks accurate? ›
With free online background checks, there is no focus on accuracy. Most of them return results with a disclaimer about their accuracy. The disclaimer typically waives the website from liability if the information returned is inaccurate. This doesn't mean that all information returned will be inaccurate.Is TruthFinder background check accurate? ›
Yes. In addition to multiple online reviews, we can confirm that TruthFinder is a legit background check service. The results are accurate and up-to-date. Additionally, TruthFinder is transparent about how you can use the information it provides.How accurate is TruthFinder? ›
While research shows that Truthfinder is accurate, it's important to remember that the reports are only as good as the information available in public records. So, if there is no criminal history on record, for example, then Truthfinder won't be able to generate a report with that information.
What background check do most employers use? ›
County criminal history searches are the most common form of criminal background check. These searches allow employers to pull reports from court records of specific counties.How do I know if a background check is legit? ›
What Should You Look for in a Reliable Background Check Company? Legal Compliance: One way to determine if a company is reliable is checking if they follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines and are a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.What shows up on a background check? ›
Criminal background checks will reveal felony and misdemeanor criminal convictions, any pending criminal cases, and any history of incarceration as an adult. Arrests pending prosecution may also be reported, and in some cases, arrests that did not lead to a criminal conviction may also appear.What shows up on accurate background check? ›
AccurateAxis searches more than 2,500 federal, state and local courthouses to reveal any felony and misdemeanor cases linked to an applicant. This powerful tool accelerates the criminal background check process by automatically completing 86% of results found electronically.