Q: I want to do a background search on someone, and I’m hoping to look back 40 years. Is that possible? How far do background checks usually go?

A: Great questions! Unfortunately, when you use a people search service you won’t be able to get every piece of information from 40 years or more.  This is because some of the information on background checks is collected from public records, which each state produces at different rates.

On average, address information can go back up to 40 years or more, while criminal records are around seven years. That time may also vary depending on the state. After the allotted time has passed, the criminal records are usually archived by whichever state the crime was committed.

Information stays on background reports until the information is updated on the public records themselves. People search services update their information often; however, sometimes public record sources take some time to update the original records, which delays the updates for people search services.

Check out our people search compare page to learn more about what each service can specifically search for, and visit our FAQs to learn more about background checks.