Teaching Legal Professionals How To Do Research
Teaching Legal Professionals How To Do Research

Home > Internet Research Articles > How To Find Someone's Date of Birth

How To Find Someone's Date of Birth


Genie Tyburski, Web Manager, The Virtual Chase


del.icio.us [Slashdot] [Google]    

29 April 2008. Suppose you want to run a criminal check on a person whose full name and year of birth you have. You may even have the month and year of birth. But the jurisdiction - Pennsylvania, for instance - requires an exact date of birth. How might you find it?

While a number of ways exist for finding a date of birth, success typically depends on one or more of the following:

  • Age of the individual. Generally, the older the person, the more likely it is that their date of birth is publicly available.

  • Occupation. It's easier to find dates of birth for those in licensed occupations.

  • Credit activity. The more often a person borrows money, the easier it is to find a date of birth.

  • Sensitivity to privacy. Some people volunteer information about themselves.

Commercial personal information aggregators, such as Accurint, Merlin and AutoTrackXP, provide the most efficient way of obtaining a date of birth. But you must have a legal reason - called a "permissible use" - for conducting the research. Moreover, even if you have a legal reason, some of the vendors no longer provide full dates of birth except to certain groups (licensed private investigators).

Checking the free BirthDatabase.com is quick and easy. But don't expect to find the information. The database appears to be very small. Moreover, you must enter the person's name exactly as it appears in the database. (J Smith will not find Joe Smith.)

With the explosion of social networking, and the freedom with which many people reveal personal information, it's worth checking MySpace, Facebook and other social networks for a profile on the research subject. Be sure to verify the information you find, especially if you plan to use it to make an important decision. A recent PEW Internet survey shows that 46 percent of teens provide at least some false information in order to protect their privacy.

If you don't mind spending some time conducting research, select public records serve as an excellent source of birth date information. Check the public availability of the government records listed below in the relevant state. Often, the Web site of the appropriate state agency will reveal whether or not the records are public. The Public Record Research System (PRRS) is an alternate fee-based source, which provides information about the public status of state government records.

Government Records Likely to List Dates of Birth

  • Voter registration records

  • Vital records (birth, marriage)

  • Divorce records

  • Motor vehicle accident reports

  • Sex offender registries

  • Methamphetamine registries

  • Correction records

  • Criminal court records

  • Professional license records

You should understand that the online record - assuming one exists - may or may not contain a date of birth. Typically, online records describe, rather than duplicate, the content in the on-site record. Therefore, if the online record does not contain a date of birth, you should pay a visit to the respective agency and examine the official record.

Click the icon to the left to listen to this article.



5-star rating in The Best (and Worst) Legal Sites on the Web

Copyright: 1996 - 2008 Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP all rights reserved. Select graphics copyrighted by Jupiterimages Corporation.

Disclaimer: The materials in The Virtual Chase® are informational and provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.


Created: 29 April 2008
Revised: 9 May 2008 (no text revisions)
URL: https://www.virtualchase.com/articles/finding_date_of_birth.html

Suggestions: Genie Tyburski, tvceditor [at] virtualchase [dot] com