There was once a time when someone could remain anonymous throughout their entire lives, but those days are long gone. Just about everybody is part of the public eye with advances in technology, which means there’s a lot of information available. Anyone that’s willing to can access a lot of your public information for no charge, too. Wonder what pieces of information about you are floating around for anyone to see? Here are the most common pieces that pop up in public records when you’re being searched.
5. Date of Birth
There are a lot of people that say you should never share your date of birth online. It’s why so many people don’t even update their social media to include their birthdays and get the parade of well-wishing posts that come with it each year. However, you’re really not hiding much by keeping your birthday a secret since it’s public information.
As soon as you’re born and the ink on your birth certificate dries, it becomes part of the public record. This is why in most cases you’ll see the birth of a child announced in a town’s newspaper. While it might not show up on a Google search for some people, the date of birth is easily obtainable through public documents.
When you get married in the United States, you have to file for a marriage license, which becomes a public record. Not only will people be able to see the fact that you’re married, but they’ll also be able to see the date you got married and the person you married. Many of these marriage records date back to the mid-19th century, too.
Does the same apply for divorces, though? While marriage licenses are always going to be public records, there are certain cases in which a divorce certificate can be sealed. This won’t apply to everyone, but it doesn’t hurt to request this if you don’t want your divorce to be made public.
3. Property Information
For those that don’t want their address to be part of public information, there’s some bad news. A simple search can likely reveal your residence, especially if you own property. The ownership of land, including deeds and mortgages, is all part of the public record. You may think that you can dodge this by renting a property instead, but that’s not always the case.
Your mailing address can be accessed through public information requests, which is why you tend to get junk mail specifically addressed to you. While it’s lacking privacy, property information is vital for public records due to taxes.
2. Bankruptcy/Tax Liens
Speaking of taxes, a notice of a tax lien filed by the IRS or state government also becomes a public record. This is when the government secures the interest in your property in an effort to collect a tax debt. The lien is a public alert to creditors and can garner attention from anyone who performs a search on you.
In the same vein, bankruptcies that are filed with the court are also part of public records. Again, these are alerts to creditors first and foremost. However, unlike marriage certificates or birth, these won’t be printed in the local newspaper.
1. Criminal Records
Depending on where you live, people may have access to your full criminal record if you have one. In most cases, criminal records will only pop up in a public search for someone that has been sentenced to incarceration or at the very least been booked into jail. Once convicted, of a crime, your public record is updated to reflect this.
For smaller offenses or dropped charges, though, the public record won’t be updated. So if you received a ticket for rolling through a stop sign or going 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, don’t expect that to be held against you when applying for a job.