Is There a Totally Free Background Check? Here's the Truth

Reading time icon 5 min. read

Readers help support MSPoweruser. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Tooltip Icon

Read the affiliate disclosure page to find out how can you help MSPoweruser effortlessly and without spending any money. Read more

is there a totally free background check

Is there a totally free background check? Many services that claim to be free still require payment before accessing any comprehensive report.

These limited reports aren’t useful at all if you’re digging for specific information. So, keep reading as I help you discover the best services with good free plans.

Is There a Totally Free Background Check?

No, there’s no totally free background check. I know this because I spent months reviewing 25+ platforms, and all required a small payment for a limited-time trial before I could get any meaningful information about my search queries.

In clear terms, you can get started with a background check process for free without creating an account. Some platforms will even show you limited information, such as the names relevant to your search query.

But in the end, these websites will require you to pay before you can get the information you want.

US Search, BeenVerified, TruthFinder, Intelius, and PeopleFinder offer such limited free background checks.

How To Find Public Records Without Paying?

You can find public records without paying by manually checking through data from educational institutions, census bureaus, government websites, local courthouses, etc.

Public records are an essential part of every background check. They provide birth certificates, marriage and divorce records, business licensing, property ownership records, criminal records, court cases, etc.

Here’s where you can access public records for free:

1. National Archives

National Archives

The National Archive contains public records such as veteran service, congressional records, military personnel records, pensions, and other vital government records.

2. Educational institutions

Some educational institutions maintain freely available data related to admissions, student demographics and statistics, financial aid, and more.

However, you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to search through these databases.

3. Census Bureau

The Census Bureau has tons of records available to the public. The website allows you to search by county, state, town, city, or Zip code. With this, you can get demographics, population, income, economic activities, and more data.

However, it’s important to note that these records are confidential for 72 years, after which they’ll be available to the public.

4. Local Courthouse Databases

If you want to access information on public records, check with your local courthouse. This is because they house a lot of court proceedings, including marriage licenses, criminal cases, property ownership, and much more.

Recently, courthouses have an online database where you can search a case number or keywords. Alternatively, you can use the defendant’s or appellant’s names.

5. Government Websites

Some government agencies grant individual access to selected public records through their websites. You can search the state or local government websites and scroll to their information or records section.

6. Vital Records Offices

The Vital Records office provides birth and death certificates, usually available through the state or county offices.

It’s best to note that information like this is sensitive, and certain jurisdictions limit access to it. However, you can visit them physically and look through their records.

How Much Does a Background Check Cost?

Background checks differ in pricing based on the source or application you’re using.

An employer conducting a background check will opt for a more detailed and in-depth search, which isn’t cheap. You can’t compare this with an individual trying to gather easily available information about his target.

Therefore, conducting background checks for employment purposes costs between $30 to $100 per employee.

Individuals looking to find a long-lost relative or old friend will pay less — between $5 and $50, depending on the website.

Background checks usually include the following data:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Date of Birth
  • Criminal Records
  • Traffic records
  • Sex Offender Records
  • Credit history
  • Education or employment history
  • Court records and
  • Social security number.

However, many online background check websites have been outed to provide inaccurate or outdated information. So, whatever the report says, shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Wrap Up

Although some background check services claim to be free, you’ll still have to pay before accessing a more comprehensive report.

So, is there a free background check? Unfortunately, no, not really.


Where can I see criminal records for free?

You can see criminal records for free at your local Courthouse. They have records detailing crime history, court proceedings, and punishments.

You can also easily access these criminal records via the online courthouse database by searching the defendant’s name or the case number.

Are there any free public record sites?

There are free public records sites such as court websites, government websites, public libraries, and social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and X.

Other sources like background check services aren’t entirely free as they require you to pay before you can access any report.

In no particular order, BeenVerified, Spokeo, PeopleFinder, Intelius, TruthFinder, and CheckPeople are a few of the best free public record searches. If you’re wondering is there a totally free background check, read the rest of this article.

More about the topics: people search sites