At one time or another in your life, you will need to access public records. For instance, you might need to get your birth certificate or a friend might need to do a background check. There are many methods that allow you to access these records online or in person for free. But don't expect to be given the information you want that easily, sometimes, a little strategy is needed.
1. Know the kind of information you need, as there are many different types that are available to you for free.
2. Learn the different sources, as one of these could be your shortcut in getting your information.
- Google - Why not try to use the Internet? Google is a great place to start a search. You can search easier and faster if you use the right keyword, instead of general words. Using double quotation marks and other symbols can be helpful in trimming down your Google search.
- Other online sources - Some of these sites even compile specific information about people's professions, connections, hobbies, and updates. You may also find online sources of death records, grave information, phone numbers, and a lot more. With a little patience, you can certainly get the information you need.
- Local information agency - Visit the nearest agency in your area and see if you can find the information you want from there. But since this method requires interacting with people, expect some hard-selling before you will be allowed access.
- Government agencies - If you need information about the status of tourism, call the tourism agency.
- Church - Baptismal, marriage, and death records can also be accessed from churches.
3. Some offices may reasonably charge you for sending a fax, mail, or email. But they can never charge anything if you only want to view the records.
4. Bring ID. Press people can get easy access, but if you're not a media personality, bring any ID.
5. Avoid dealing with difficult people. These people will just ruin your day and waste your time, so go directly to their boss, instead. This way, that difficult clerical worker can't do anything but give you access.
6. Send a formal letter requesting access. Make sure to create the right letter or else they will have the chance to deny your right-to-know letter.
You'll avoid wasting time and effort if you focus first on the type of information you want to access, everything will follow after that.