Use this button to switch between dark and light mode.

Product Spotlight: LexisNexis® Public Records

April 04, 2023 (5 min read)

This post was originally published in November 2019 and was updated on April 4, 2023. 

Whether you’re beginning a background investigation on a particular person or doing your due diligence for a potential business acquisition, every investigation relies on access to the right information.

LexisNexis® plugs you into a massive library of billions of public records, from thousands of sources. All told it’s over six petabytes of data. To put that in perspective, six petabytes roughly amounts to 120 million filing cabinets worth of data!

Backed by this mammoth database, the LexisNexis public records resource can help you connect the dots and find what you’re looking for.

What Are Public Records?

Simply put, a public record is a record, like a property deed, court case, or automotive title, that is kept with or filed by a government agency.

But don’t let the name “public” fool you—while some public records can be accessed by anyone who follows the proper request protocols, access to many public records is blocked due to privacy or confidentiality laws within the state or federal government.

Researching public records is a common tactic a lawyer will use during a case, as it can provide critical background information and key evidence. This information often forms the cornerstone of an attorney’s legal strategy.

Among other things, LexisNexis public records content includes the following:

• Personal property data
• Business contact records
• Consumer name and address combinations
• Foreclosure records
• Vehicle title records
• Phone numbers
• Criminal records
• Driver’s licenses
• Vehicle registrations

How to Access Public Records

As previously stated, confidentiality and privacy laws often prohibit public access to a significant portion of public records. 

Simply typing someone’s name into an internet search engine won’t provide you with much useable information—and more importantly, that tactic provides little reassurance to the content’s accuracy.

To conduct a thorough investigation, an attorney often relies on a legal research tool to help. That’s precisely what LexisNexis provides with its extensive online public records search capabilities.

LexisNexis uses leading-edge search technologies to help you comb through the billions of records in its database.

Can You Trust Public Records Information?

Any experienced investigator will likely tell you that public records data is often plagued with errors. From simple typos and misspellings to purposely misrepresented information, this “dirty” data can potentially unravel your case and stop an investigation in its tracks.

LexisNexis developed a sophisticated system with advanced connecting, analysis, and reporting capabilities. This technology can account for typographic errors and apply flags that warn of suspicious behavior, irregularities, and “most likely” contact information. It can even seamlessly search for aliases.

Millions of records are reviewed every year and augmented with standardized postal addresses, name verification/ correction, and additional data quality enhancements. While it’s impossible to guarantee the complete accuracy of billions of public records data points available via LexisNexis, you should get some much-needed peace of mind as a result of these data-cleaning efforts.

Public Records and Social Media

Now more than ever, individuals are putting their identities online. While this can be a fun way to stay connected with friends, it also provides valuable information to an investigator. That’s why LexisNexis public records searches include websites, social media accounts, and even the deep web to uncover information on individuals, and the businesses and organizations they associate with.

LexID® Advanced Linking

Access to a massive trove of public records data is only one of the benefits you get with a LexisNexis public records search. For starters, you can leverage the innovative LexID tool to help connect the data within your searches. It uses unique algorithms to find links and patterns that aren’t necessarily obvious in disparate data.

Here’s how it works: When LexisNexis gets a new record, it receives a unique identifier, its LexID. Then, other records with intersecting data points are linked together and given the same LexID, allowing it to be easily connected with still other records associated with that LexID.

That capability is extremely helpful in conducting a thorough investigation because it can reveal relationships between people, businesses, and locations even when they don’t appear together in a public records document.

In other words, it helps you identify connections that you may not have found using traditional search methods.

LexisNexis SmartLinx® Reports

While more data is most certainly a good thing in this sense, it does mean that your search results can be very extensive too. To help interpret what you find, you’re able to use handy SmartLinx comprehensive reports. This feature aggregates your findings into one easy-to-read document.

SmartLinx reports come in three flavors: the Comprehensive Person Report, the Comprehensive Business Report and the Comprehensive Location Report. Each one can be very helpful in finding key associations like relatives and business associates—even when they don’t appear together on the same underlying document(s).

Using Public Records in Your Legal Research

All these capabilities and resources don’t mean much without a user-friendly design, and perhaps that’s where LexisNexis resources can be the most beneficial. you can search for an individual or business by name, address, and more so you're sure to find who or what you're looking for. You can also dictate the scope of your public records research, starting with jurisdiction and, if desired, widening to the entire nation.

Think your legal practice can benefit from extensive public records search capabilities?

Take a Tour of Public Records Learn More



Due to the nature and origin of public record information, the public records and commercially available data sources used in reports may contain errors.

The LexisNexis public records services are not provided by “consumer reporting agencies,” as that term is defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. §, et seq.) (“FCRA”) and do not constitute “consumer reports,” as that term is defined in the FCRA. Accordingly, these LexisNexis services may not be used in whole or in part as a factor in determining eligibility for credit, insurance, employment or another eligibility purpose in connection with which a consumer report may be used under the FCRA.