The Texas Department of Public Safety maintains a vast collection of public records, ranging from birth and death certificates to marriage and divorce records, and various other data files. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there were reports that unrelated birth records had been found during an audit of the Department of Public Safety. It was later reported that these unredacted records had in fact been in storage since the start of the Gulf War. There were no consequences because the public was not protected. The state is required by law to keep these records confidential. What does this mean for you and me?
Public records are free for the public to view. This means anyone can access them whether they have legal rights or not. This is why access to free public records has become the number one tool for staid and conservative think tanks to dig up dirt on opponents. Corporate attorneys defend their client’s right to secrecy by saying, “look, these are public records” and thus, any discovery of dirty laundry will ultimately be self-incriminating.
However, many states are taking the opposite position. At first glance, Texas public records do not look very revealing in comparison with those of the United States. But wait a minute. How do we know that birth certificate from Texas are free and clear? Because the state legislature made it that way!
All the legislature wants to do is make sure the public has access to accurate and up-to-date information. So, they pass bills. The Governor then signs those bills into law. Pretty sneaky aren’t they?
Yes, you may say to yourself. The public records have to be free, right? Well, no, they are not. You see, you can only access free public records if you have the time, the energy and the motivation to expend that energy in looking for them. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time.
If you are a business or even a simple individual seeking some Texas public records, you need to think a little differently. Now, you can use the Internet. Yes, you can get free Texas public records using the Internet. But you do have to be resourceful, and you also have to know which websites offer the best and most up-to-date information.
Free Texas public records can be found using the Internet, but you must take certain precautions. First of all, do not just any website offer free information resources. Most of the websites offering free information resources will require that you do give them your contact information. Why would they do that?
Because your contact information is needed to guide you in getting in touch with the Texas State Licensing Board and its division for the licensing and regulation of real estate brokers in Texas. That is why they ask for it! After all, they too need your help and expertise as they are in the business of providing information, and their job requires them to get in touch with you to ensure that you are well informed on real estate matters in Texas. Please note that if you do give out your information, you may be required to give out a limited period of notice before your information is released to media or other unauthorized parties.