When searching for information, some organisations will require you to pay a fee. Thankfully there are hundreds of free public records searches. This amounts to billions of records available at no cost to you online.
Free searches are provided online for both public and private records collections. Australia-wide, local and state governments, and private organisations to name a few all provide research tools. Some will allow a free search, however they may charge a fee beyond that. For example, if you wish to obtain a printed copy of an original document, you may have to pay. Likewise if you would like a record posted to your address.
Some sites may require you to register up front as a free member for access. This will provide you with usage of a variety of searches.
A common misconception is that paid data has more value than that which is freely available. This is simply not the case for everyone. Each record set has a value to the people that wish to use it. Some of the free public records provide a huge amount of detail and a comprehensive number of options to users.
Example Use Case
It’s nearly ANZAC day, and you’re wondering did any of your Great Grandparents serve. Where did they serve? What rank were they? Were they at Gallipoli? A quick switch to the Military Records section, choose an option, and search. Before you know it, you’re sharing your findings with family and friends. All done for free and the comfort of your own home.
There are many options available online without paying a cent.
These current day records are essential in background checks for business. They are also handy when hiring tradespeople and other service providers for major projects. 99% of occupational licence registers provide free records access, however a premium option may be available if you are looking for a certified document outlining the results.
State and National Archives hold huge numbers of record collections useful in tracing your family history. Libraries are another common source of free genealogy records. The vast majority of these collections can be accessed free of charge and without registration.
There are volumes upon volumes of case files from court hearings in Australia available online. Many of which can be access through court websites and Austlii free of charge. To start your search for free court records, visit the relevant section.
This is included for one reason only. There was time when businesses were promoting a service to locate your unclaimed money. They would charge you a hefty fee to give you answers and the hope of finding a few dollars. Many, if not all, unclaimed money registers in Australia are free to access and use.
These are just a small sampling of the option available to you online.
There are a few means of finding available options at Public Records. One is to browse to the free public records section. This contains all collections and databases found here that provide access and searches without any fee involved. The index is vast in nature with many options so browsing can be slow.
An alternative means is to browse to the type of records you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a person’s criminal history, visit the criminal records section. Once you are within the topic, further options become available. These include free and premium public records. Select the checkbox for “Free Public Records” and it will display only Free Criminal Records searches. The same applies for all topics and categories of collections found here.