Civil Records

Public governmental records that refer to any of a person’s non-criminal records are called civil records. Civil records comprise a significant portion of most people’s publicly available information and can provide substantial meaningful information about a person. These records include birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorces, property records like deeds and mortgages, tax liens, bankruptcies, lawsuits, government suits, and connections to any financial entities. These records are compiled at state, local, and federal levels. The most basic type of civil record for most people in the United States is the birth certificate. A birth certificate documents date of birth, parents, and county of birth. In most jurisdictions, birth certificates are filed by county and are discoverable through searching the county clerk’s records. The county clerk is also usually the repository for other important civil records including death certificates, marriages, and divorces.

While not all people are property owners, those who do own real property (a house, acreage, or other type of real estate) and some types of personal property will be documented as property owners. Usually this documentation occurs through tax offices; a person who owns real property will be liable for real property taxes, and a person who significant expensive personal property items such as cars, motorcycles, and boats, will also need to pay vehicle registration fees, which are a form of taxation.

Other civil records reflect whether a person has been involved in disputes. A lawsuit search can reveal whether the person has been involved in a legal dispute and whether they were a plaintiff of defendant in any of those suits. In addition, searching through a state’s business records can reveal whether the person has ever done business as a business entity like a partnership or corporation, which can help uncover information that might be hidden in a generic personal background check.

Civil records as well as criminal records, may be found in BeenVerified background reports.

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