Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Table of Contents:

I. Membership

II. Criminal Records

III. Bankruptcies, Judgments & Tax Liens

I. Membership

What's here?
We've worked since 1996 to provide a useful directory of links to now over 48,000 hard-to-find public record databases around the world to help you locate businesses, people, and the information you need to make important decisions. We were the first to provide this type of service on the Internet and we work continually to add new sites and keep the links current.

Is this free?
YES. The Search Systems public records directory is now free.  Anyone can use our directory, even if they are not logged in or registered with us.  Our Premium searches are not free, however.  Those are pay-per-search databases, such as our Criminal Records database and our Bankruptcy, Judgment & Tax Lien database.  If you purchase one of those searches, you can register free with SearchSystems.net for faster processing.

What do I get with my SearchSystems.net Account?
You can use our public record directory and you can pay for Premium searches whether you have an account or not.  If you purchase a Premium search and set up a free account, your credit card data will be stored in our system for faster Premium search purchases in the future.  If you are a business and plan to run many Premium searches each month for criminal records and/or bankruptcies, judgments & tax liens, contact our office if you would like to be invoiced monthly instead of paying by credit card.

Will the username and password that I got by paying a "detective," "investigator," or "court record" site work here?
No other web site or service is authorized to sell access to our services. If someone else tried to sell you access to our site or led you to believe that a subscription with them would give you access to Search Systems, please notify us.

What if I have a membership and the database doesn't appear when I click the link?
Check your browser settings, as Cookies and JavaScript need to be enabled in your browser in order to use this site. If the link simply fails to appear it may be because the link has moved or been discontinued. Please click on "Report Broken Link" at the top of the page, or notify us and provide us with the exact name of the link and its location on our web site. Click here to contact us.

How can I cancel my Account?
You can close your account at any time by going here: http://premium.searchsystems.net/contact.php, and sending us an email, or by calling SearchSystems.net at 800-350-2232 (U.S.) or +1-805-375-4041 (International) during regular business hours (Pacific Standard Time) and provide us with the name, username, and email address used for the account.

What if I already purchased a SearchSystems.net account?
If you previously registered for a recurring monthly or annual membership, we will no longer charge your card for account renewals.  As we have changed our system to allow free registration to new customers, your account is now free from here forward.

What about the links that say "pay?"
There are some links to databases where the provider charges a fee. Each link that requires a fee to search the database is identified as a "Pay Site" so you'll know up front to expect to pay that company or public agency for that service. SearchSystems.net membership is not required to access databases marked as “pay" -- you can click right through to those links without logging into our site.

What about the sites that ask for their own passwords, will a SearchSystems.net username and password get me in?
No. We don't own, manage, or control the companies or public agencies that provide the information. Some sites do require that you sign up with them and require that you use their username and password. A Search Systems username and password will not work on those web sites.

What sort of information will I find at the State/Province level in the United States and Canada?
It's really quite a mix. At the State level we've concentrated on locating databases that provide business information (corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, assumed business names), licensing (dentists, physicians, real estate, therapists, etc.), criminal records, sex offenders, inmates/offenders, missing children, unclaimed property, trade names/trademarks, state employee/department lookups, uniform commercial code filings, and state codes. At the City and County levels we've concentrated on locating links to: local civil, criminal, probate, family, and traffic court records; birth, death, and marriage records; assumed/fictitious business name filings; recorded documents; county/city inmates; and tax information.

How do I find the database I need?
Try our new link search methods using the blue box in the middle of the page. There is a handy drop-down menu for "Type of Record" and one for "State" to reach the state directory pages.

You can also find public record databases by inputting a zip code, city & state, or county & state. Those searches will bring up a page of matching cities and corresponding counties. Click on any of those to get to a page with links only pertaining to those geographical areas.

If you are more comfortable using the directory in the traditional method, scroll down to the lower portion of the page, where you will see the directory laid out as before (but compressed). Click on the headings for an expanded page and the layout will become easier to use.

For example, click on "Free Public Records by Type of Record" to reach a page with all the categories listed.

Why can't I find my city or county?
When we started this service there were only a few dozen public record databases available for free on the Internet. Since then there has been an explosion of new useful sites and services, but not every county or city provides a database online. If you know of a public record database and we've missed it, please help by letting us know. Submit a Link. Your contribution will be greatly appreciated by Search Systems and your fellow visitors.

Don't you have a disclaimer?
Yes! The presence of a link on SearchSystems.net should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation of any service or site. Pacific Information Resources, Inc. dba Search Systems does not guarantee that the information found through these links is accurate or even reliable. Please see our Terms of Service for a complete description of the terms for use of this site.

Can I submit my e-mail address to this site without worrying about it?
Have no fear - if you should wish to submit your e-mail address, Search Systems will use it to contact you only about site-related issues. Nobody else will be provided with your information-- Period. For further details about this and related issues, please see our Privacy Policy.

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II. Criminal Records

What's here?
Search Systems offers INSTANT access to hundreds of millions of criminal records and sex offender records through our Premium database searches.

How much are the searches?
Nationwide criminal records are $14.95 per search.  Statewide criminal records are $6.95 per search.

Can I still use my "Premium" member username and password?
Yes, your Premium username/password will allow you streamlined checkout for Premium searches.  To use our public records directory, you do not need to log into the website.

What if I don't know the subject's Date of Birth?

You may run searches by partial name and year of birth (plus or minus 3 years). This allows more flexibility if you don't know the exact DOB. You may also elect to receive records that show no date of birth at all. These features are important, as some jurisdictions provide only partial birth dates or don’t provide a birth date at all. If you run a search with a full date of birth, those records will not appear in your results. For best results, check our data sources before running a search to see which jurisdictions limit their use of birth dates.

What should I consider if I search a common name?

In order to keep queries from overwhelming our system, we limit results to the first 500 records.  This isn’t normally an issue if you search by name and birth date.  But if you search a common name (e.g. John Smith) by age or age range, and ask for all records that don’t include a birth date, then you may get too many results.  If you do get too many results, try limiting your next search to a single state, and/or search by a single year of birth (rather than an age range), or try the search again using the middle initial.  The best way to limit results on a common name is to search by exact name and full birth date.

Do you have any other tips for me?
Yes! Don't enter a middle initial, middle name, or designation such as Jr. or Sr. You'll get better results that way.

See also our Best Results Guide for maximizing your search queries, and our Free Criminal Records Search Guide for researching records on the Internet using both of our services.

What if I can't find criminal records for my state or county?
There is no all-inclusive criminal record database available to the public. We provide access to the largest single database of criminal records on the Internet, but there are many public agencies that insist on being the only ones to provide that information to the public. We've searched for those databases over the last ten years and provide direct access them on our main web site. Go here to see what's available in your state or county.

May I search for criminal records by using partial names?
Yes. The search options allow you to search by exact name or partial name. If you de-select the exact name checkbox, a wild card is automatically placed at the end, so that all you need to enter is at least two characters of the first and last name. Be careful though, because a truncated name may give you too many results.

How do I print or save results?
Just check the boxes of the records you want to print and then click on the button that says "Print Checked Details." For all results, click on Print All Details. Either one will give your results in ASCII text format. If you want to save the results, click on "File" on your browser menu, go down to "Save Page As" or "Save As" (depending on your browser), and then select the directory in which you wish to save the file.

What information will I find in the Search Systems Criminal Record database?
Each jurisdiction provides a different amount of information and utilizes different sources. At a minimum each record will provide a name and date of birth. Results may include charges, case information, gender, race, and address. Court Records may include case information, charges, and/or case records.

Does the Search Systems Criminal Record database contain ALL state and nationwide criminal records?
No. Some states and counties limit or prohibit dissemination of criminal records by private companies. Go here for a list of all of our criminal record data sources. Can't find your state or county, try our Directory, where we provide over 2100 additional criminal record, court, arrest, booking, and sex offender records.

Does the Search Systems Criminal Record database contain arrests or wants and warrants?
No. Most jurisdictions will only report their disposed cases, therefore we only provide access to convictions on our service. There are over 2100 links to inmate, court, arrest, wants, and warrant databases on our directory.

Are misdemeanors and felonies both reported?
No. Most corrections departments report felony information only, specifically those crimes punishable by at least 12 months of prison time or probation.

Does Search Systems access records from credit reporting agencies?
No. We do not acquire records from Equifax, Trans Union, Experian, LLC, or any other credit bureau.

What information is needed to perform a criminal record or sex offender search?
Our searches match the first and last name and date of birth.  You may also search by partial name and year of birth.

Why should I verify the spelling of a name?
It is important to make sure that you enter the person's name correctly as a misspelling can result in either no records or the wrong records being returned in your search results.  This is one reason that we offer partial name searches.  By de-selecting the “exact name” check-box, you can enter the first part of a name (e.g. STE to catch records for STEVEN and STEPHEN).

What if the search result comes back "No Results Found?"
There might not be a record or the record may not be part of the data sources we have available. The charge is for the right to search, not for the retrieved results, so you will be charged even if no results are found. If the record should have appeared in our records but didn't, use our contact form and provide whatever details you have about the filing so we can research the problem and resolve it.

If I submit incorrect information or misspell the name, will I be charged for the search?
Yes. If you misspell or submit any of the incorrectly, you will still be charged for the search.

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III. Bankruptcies, Judgments and Tax Liens

What's here?
Search Systems offers INSTANT access to 100 million bankruptcy, judgment, and tax lien records through our Premium Bankruptcy, Judgment & Tax Lien database.

How much are the searches?
Nationwide or statewide bankruptcy, judgment and tax lien searches are $5.00.

Can I still use my "Premium" member username and password?
Yes, your Premium username/password will allow you streamlined checkout for Premium searches.  To use our public records directory, you do not need to log into the website.

Do you have any tips for me?
Yes! Don't enter a middle initial, middle name, or designation such as Jr. or Sr. You'll get better results that way.

May I search for bankruptcies, judgments, and tax liens by using partial names?
No. The system doesn't accept partial names. Keep in mind you'll get your best results if you search by first and last name and leave out the middle name or middle initial.

How do I print or save results?
Just check the boxes of the records you want to print and then click on the button that says "Print Checked Details." For all results, click on Print All Details. Either one will give your results in ASCII text format. If you want to save the results, click on "File" on your browser menu, go down to "Save Page As" or "Save As" (depending on your browser), and then select the directory in which you wish to save the file.

What information will I find in the Search Systems Bankruptcy, Judgment, and Tax Lien records?
Again, each jurisdiction provides a different amount of information and utilizes different sources. At a minimum each record will provide a defendant and plaintiff name, filing date, and the filing location. Results may also include the release date, defendant address, social security number or Tax ID, and/or book & page numbers of the filings.

Is there a limit to how many bankruptcy/judgment/tax lien records I'll receive?
Yes. You're limited to a maximum of 500 results and we're not able to give you any results past the first 500. If the records you want didn't appear in the first 500, we suggest that you use the name and city or zip code search to narrow your results.

Why can't I search for judgments by social security number or Tax ID?
You can only find a record if that piece of information is included in the file. Bankruptcies and tax liens normally have a social security number or Tax ID listed as part of the record, but judgments normally don't.

Does the Search Systems Bankruptcy/Judgment/Tax Lien service contain all state and nationwide records?
Yes, our database includes bankruptcy, judgment, and tax lien filings in all counties within in all U.S. States.Most jurisdictions submit updates to our database every two weeks.

Does Search Systems access records from credit reporting agencies?
No. We do not acquire records from Equifax, Trans Union, Experian, LLC, or any other credit bureau.

What information is needed to perform a bankruptcy/judgment/tax lien search?
You can search by name only, by name and address, or by Social Security number or Tax ID (bankruptcies and tax liens only).

Why should I verify the spelling of a name?
It is important to make sure that you enter the person's name correctly as a misspelling can result in either no records or the wrong records being returned in your search results.

What if the search result comes back "No Results Found?"
There might not be a record or the record may not be part of the data sources we have available. The charge is for the right to search, not for the retrieved results, so you will be charged even if no results are found. If the record should have appeared in our records but didn't, use our contact form and provide whatever details you have about the filing so we can research the problem and resolve it.

If I submit incorrect information or misspell the name, will I be charged for the search?
Yes. If you misspell or submit any of the incorrectly, you will still be charged for the search.