Finding someone’s criminal record isn’t as hard as you may think. Thanks to the internet, you can learn a lot about someone without ever leaving your office chair.
If you want to know more about the process of finding someone’s criminal record information, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our ultimate guide to finding anyone’s criminal record.
The National Driver Register (NDR) And The DMV
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps a record of every driver in the United States. It’s called the National Driver Register (NDR).
Anyone – yes, even you – can browse through those records to find someone with a registered driver’s license in the country.
The NDR is part of the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. You can look through the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) to find information about individuals whose drivers’ licenses have been revoked, suspended, canceled, or denied. Anyone who has been convicted of a serious traffic offense will also show up.
Whether your target has a compromised driving record or not, the NDR provides valuable information about someone. You can search through the NDR to find all of the following information about someone:
-Date of birth
-Driver’s license number
Basically, you get all of the same information you would see if you took a picture of someone’s driver’s license (aside from their physical characteristics).
Meanwhile, the DMV knows more about you than virtually any of the other government agencies. They keep track of a lot of personal information: from your criminal records to your marriage and divorce certificates.
The only thing that doesn’t pop up when you search for someone through the DMV is their “confidential information”, which includes home address, home telephone number, physical/mental information, social security number, and photograph. Aside from this, a surprising amount of personal information is readily accessible by anyone.
To get in touch with the DMV in your state and request someone’s record, visit this link: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Data/National+Driver+Register+(NDR)
That takes you to the NDR homepage. Just click on the “Contact information for State Departments of Motor Vehicles” link on the right-hand side of the page. You’ll automatically start to download a PDF document with your state’s DMV contact information.
From there, contact your state’s DMV (or the DMV in your target’s state) and request the record of anyone you want to learn more about.
Your Local Town Hall, City Hall, Or County Courthouse.
Criminal record check processes vary widely across the United States.
But one thing is common: you can always find information at your local town hall, city hall, or courthouse. These administrative organizations keep criminal records for all cases that have occurred within their administrative area. They’re trusted with keeping public records. Part of that responsibility is providing public records to the, well, public.
Using this method, you’re able to access anybody’s public record.
That doesn’t mean checking someone’s criminal record is easy with this method. You’ll often run into roadblocks. In North Carolina, you may encounter the Public Records Law, for example. in Maryland, they have the Public Information Act.
Certain states also make this process notoriously difficult. Florida, for example, may force you to deal with three different government laws, including the Statutory Public Records, Statutory Public Meetings, and Judicial Access Decisional Law.
Ultimately, your local town hall or county courthouse handles criminal record checks all the time. If you contact that organization, they’ll be able to tell you what you need to do, who you need to call, and how you need to proceed with your criminal record check.
Submitting A Request Through The FBI
The FBI provides criminal record checks – although they’re only available if you’re checking your own criminal record.
The FBI calls this your “Identity History Summary”, although it’s better known as your criminal record. It’s specifically defined as “a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions kept by the FBI and related to arrests.”
You can submit a criminal record check request here through the FBI.
Using The Freedom of Information Act To Learn More About Someone
The last and best way to check someone’s criminal record is to submit a request to the US government citing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
There’s a reason this act exists: it’s to promote transparency in the government. Agencies are hesitant to deny a FOIA request (unless you’ve stumbled upon something really secretive). Even if information may not appear to be accessible to the general public, you can often get past this barrier with a FOIA request.
Keep in mind that the FOIA also allows agencies to block a certain request. One of the most-likely reasons your request would be denied is if it’s an “unreasonable invasion of privacy”. In other cases, you’ll only receive a partial answer to your request.
Checking Someone’s Record May Not Be As Hard As You Think
Remember: criminal records are public records. You’re a member of the public. In most cases, the only thing preventing you from learning more about someone’s criminal record is a little hard work and a bit of time.