How to Find Someone’s Middle Name: Lookup Trick Finds Full Name Fast

A portrait of Background Check Records founder, Jayson Baxter.Written by Jayson Baxter

Public Records | August 8, 2022

Man on the right wearing a yellow shirt and blue jeans reads notes on a brown clipboard to learn how to find someone's middle name, while a man on the left in a blue shirt and yellow tie uses a magnifying glass to follow his instructions and views a computer screen in the middle showing a full name lookup results page for people with the first name of James and last names starting with S.

Individuals may want to know how to find someone’s middle name out of curiosity, to track down a long-lost relative, to find a friend, or perhaps to look up their genealogy.

However, the truth is it’s not easy to find someone’s name, but with the correct information, one can use the lookup trick of using government databases to find a full name fast.

Look Up Tricks to Find Someone’s Middle Name + How to Find Someone’s Full Name

The look-up trick to finding someone’s middle name is getting people’s information through the states’ public records since the Freedom of Information Act and associated “lemon laws” within each state allow citizens to access any records deemed public by state laws or federal regulations.

Individuals may check the state’s legislation to see which documents are public, especially if you’re looking for any person’s middle name from previous generations.

Navigating public records in any state is not a walk in the park. However, they contain quite an array of information that may help individuals to learn how to figure out someone’s middle name.  certain public record may lack the much-needed information but another may provide helpful data.

Individuals may also use the local clerk of courts or perform a background check through police departments, state departments of corrections and public safety, or sheriff departments of their state if one knows where the subject lives or was born at.1

Use Court Records as a Middle Name Lookup Tool

All citizens in the United States of America are allowed by the Freedom of Information Act to access court records in their respective states (since 1967), but some documents, like juvenile records or court-sealed records, are not accessible by the general public.

Individuals may start with the local Clerk of Court and look up the public records to see if there is somebody with the name they provided in the records system.

For example, Maryland courts have an online portal that helps searchers use partial names and characters to look up court records. This can help individuals to learn how to find people’s middle names, as the records will have the full names of the person in question.2

In many states, judicial branches have online or in-person resources that help citizens find their court records.

The common methods used to get their records from courts within the states are by contacting the clerks of courts, online portals, mail, or in person.

Individuals may use PACER or Archives to find court records with their subjects’ middle names at the federal level.

The PACER or Public Access to Court Electronic Records where federal court records and peoples names can be found.

Alternatively, if a searcher wants to know how to find someone’s middle name of their subject through court records, they can find a full list of state courts.

No matter the state, parties may locate state and local courts, addresses, and more information by a quick Google search such as, “[County/State Name] + Court Record Search” and selecting the nearest courts or .gov site.

How to Find Name Change Records

Name change requests and records are open to the public in many states, but individuals concerned about their safety can request a court of law to seal the files.

Having said that, if the name records are not sealed, anyone can request to see name change records unless state-specific laws say otherwise. The records may include the original name, the date of the change, the location of the court, and the new name.

Some states allow name change record searches conducted by county-level courts of law. For example, in New York, individuals over 21 may request a county-level court for a name change. Hence, the records may be obtained from the court clerk.3

In Kings County, New York, individuals may request court records (including name change records) online through the KC script portal, in person at any of the three locations, or through the mail by filling in the request form and making a payment of $10 through checks from Washington State Bank (address and payor’s name imprinted). The requesters should then send the package to the addresses found on the form.

Check Vital Records Such as Marriage Certificates & Birth Certificates

Vital records are not public records in every state, but in some, they are. For example, in many states, birth records are made public after 75–100 years, and death records are made public after 25 years.

Birth & death certificates usually require documentation showing the requester is somehow related to the subject. Yet, some states allow the public to view non-certified copies.

Divorce certificates are issued as a result of court proceedings, and since court records are public documents, anyone may request access to them.

However, marriage certificates aren’t always available to the public, but it’s still worthwhile to check with the vital records office or court where the couple tied the knot. Some states, like Illinois, allow certified copies of marriage certificates to be obtained, after a marriage background check has been conducted, at the county clerk’s offices where the event occurred with a simple request form.4

Divorce certificates can be obtained from the courts that issued the decree. However, some vital state records may issue a certificate of record. For example, in Indiana, individuals may request divorce records through the clerks’ offices or use the My Case search portal to get the case records. To get certified copies, one must contact the clerk’s office.

To find the local clerk’s office, individuals may type “[City Name] + Clerk’s office” on a search engine. They should select the most relevant results for their search.

The vital records display information like names (including the middle name), event locations, agencies that handled the event, and other necessary details.

Find Someone’s Full Name With Criminal Records & Public Offender Registries

Criminal and offender registries may provide vital information about an individual. They may give searchers the subject’s full name and other important details like addresses, offenses, aliases, etc.

Both criminal record databases and public offender registries allow citizens of any state to search for a criminal’s full name. There are various platforms, agencies, departments, and tools that are at a searcher’s disposal.

For example, one may need to look up criminal records from the departments of public safety, police departments, sheriffs’ offices, prisons and jails, and courts of law. The records obtained are department-specific and are applied and responded to independently.

However, many states have criminal search tools that can allow the general public to access criminal records that come with official names, including the middle name.

Using Criminal Records to Find Someone’s Name

As mentioned, there are many ways to find someone’s entire name through criminal records, and many states have a state-wide database.

For example, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations has an online criminal history check portal that allows the public to look up criminal records of their subjects in the state even though arrests that do not have fingerprints are not included in the database..5

Minnesota also has an online public criminal history tool where searchers can use last name, first name, and date of birth to search for the subject’s criminal records.

Minnesota's public criminal history repository where someone can be looked up by first or last name so residents can obtain someone's full name.

To find the state criminal history departments, one can type “[State Name] + Criminal History Check” on a search engine and select their nearest addresses.

If a state or jurisdiction does not have a search tool, there are countless other ways to obtain someone’s middle name.

Using Public Offender Registries to Figure Out a Person’s Name

The national sex offender registry provides an online search tool that provides details such as names, locations, sex, etc., for sex offenders. The records may be used to find the middle name or the full name of the person in question if they are in the registry.

The registry is a US government property that provides sex offender details across all states in the US. However, the certified records can only be issued by the respective jurisdiction.

On the same note, individual states have sex offender registries where searchers can check if the subject is an offender.

For example, in Delaware, the State Police Department has a SOR search tool that issues details of sex offenders in the state. Many other states have the tools and means to look up sex offenders.

Minnesota also has a methamphetamine offender registry search tool that includes felony conviction statistics for methamphetamine manufacturers or those with intent to produce. Individuals may look for methamphetamine offenders by first name, county, or last name.

Minnesota's Methamphetamines' registry which can be used to find someone's name if they have ever distributed or manufactured meth.

Parties may type “[State Name] + Sex Offender Registry” to locate the sex offenders in their state or who are near their localities.

Obtain Traffic Citations & Motor Vehicle Records to Find a Person’s Name

Motor vehicle records and traffic citations are an extension of court records but oftentimes have their own search tools. Individuals may look up driving records through government repositories and, unlike some of the other methods, many people have a minor driving infraction on their record, so finding someone’s middle name this way is more likely.

For example, individuals may search for these infraction records in Dallas, Texas, through a court portal using first and last names.

As another example in Clark County, Nevada, searchers can use the defendant’s first and last names, citation numbers, case numbers, cross reference numbers, or an attorney’s name or bar number to look up traffic citation records on the Las Vegas township justice court records online inquiry portal.

Lastly, Maryland also has an online court tool that allows individuals to look up traffic citation records using names or company names, choose between trial or appellate courts, select party type and case type, and fill in other details.6

Motor vehicle records entail details like names, driver’s license numbers, dates of birth, traffic citations, accident reports, etc.

To find traffic citations and other vehicle records near you, simply type in “[City Name] + Motor Vehicle Report” into a search engine and the city name can be substituted for the nearest county.

How to Find Someone’s Middle Name: Contact County Clerks’ Offices & View Real Property Records

To view real property records, searchers may contact the county clerk’s office. The methods vary from one county to another. In some counties, such documents are held by recorders’ offices.

To locate the clerks’ or recorders’ office addresses or more information, parties may do a quick Google search “[County Name] + Property Record Search”. They will get information on how to view real property records and know how to find out someone’s middle name.

For example, the county of Dallas has an official records search tool to look up real property records. The tool has both quick and advanced search options. The tool can be used to search property records, marriage records, assumed names and marks, and brands. These records will show information, including the full names of the parties involved.

In Clark County, individuals may search real property records using the following parameters:

  • Parcel Number
  • Parcel page and Type or Book
  • Parcel Map Inquiry
  • Owner Name
  • Parcel Number Tree
  • Address
  • Subdivision Owners
  • Subdivision Name7

Clark County's Assessor web page where real property and names can be obtained by using someone's first and/or last name.

The country clerks and recorders may handle records like property records, marriage certificates (which contain middle names), probate records, assumed names records, and real property records, among others. This, however, varies from one county to another.

Find Someone’s Full Name Through Professional & Occupational License Databases

Finding individuals using occupational and professional databases provides details including official names, location, or facilities they are situated at, ranks, etc. Some of the occupations and professions have national and state databases, so it’s important to find the right one.

For example, practicing medicine in the U.S. requires a license and is governed by various states. Among others, the licensing of physicians is one of the essential tasks of the nation’s state medical boards.

State medical boards use licensure to verify that all practicing professionals have had proper training and that physicians adhere to established professional standards while treating their patients.

Some common medical licenses include:

  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Genetic counseling
  • Podiatric Medicine & Surgery
  • Massage therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Medicine
  • Physical Therapy
  • Midwifery
  • Pharmacy
  • Nursing
  • Osteopathic Medicine & Surgery (OMS)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • The nursing home administrator
  • Optometry

At the state level, individuals may look up medical professional names using state medical boards. For example, in California, searchers may use an online search portal to locate medical professionals and their details.

However, there are nationwide medical directories that individuals can use to look up medical practitioners. The records will give the full names of the subjects and any other important information.

Using Occupational License Searches to Find Someone’s Full Name

Mississippi and Alaska both have online tools that can be used to search for professional licenses such as dieticians, tattoo artists, athletic trainers, and more. However, individuals of any state can find the above-mentioned professions and more in their respective state and federal associations directory.

Some other common non-medical licensed professions include:

  • Law
  • Accounting (CPA)
  • Architecture
  • Aviation Occupations, Pilots Included
  • Barbering and Cosmetology
  • Engineering
  • Funeral services
  • Teaching (Secondary and Elementary Level)
  • Counseling
  • Massage Therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Physical Therapy
  • Real Estate
  • Veterinary

Note, that most of the licenses above are governed by one of the 50 states, and citizens have the right to check if an individual’s license is valid. To find a database for any of the licenses above, simply use a search engine and type “[License Name] Check + [State]”.

Review Historical Prison Records for First, Last & Middle Names

A quick check using the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) search tool shows if the subject has ever been in federal prison (state prisons do not have historical data publicly available). The prison records will reveal the full name, including the middle name.

Other details will be the person’s age, location, offenses committed, mugshots, and aliases.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons website that can be searched by first, last, or middle name in order to find someone's full name if they were a federal prisoner.

Search Business Records Through the Secretary of State

The business entities division of the secretary’s office keeps records, processes filings, and informs the public about business entities, so if someone owns or is a partner in a business, the secretary of state can shed light on their full name as long as you know some information about them or the business.

To conduct a business search, individuals need to have the entity’s name for a basic search. In contrast, an advanced search searcher may be required to have a name reservation number, charter number, officer’s number, agent number, or trade registration number.

The search will reveal the entity’s owner, location, and other public details. Individuals may use this to get the middle name of the subject’s full name.

For example, in Louisiana, searchers can use an online portal to search for business records in the state through the department of the Louisiana secretary of state. Parties may also check the National Association of Secretaries of States directory to locate the official website of each state’s secretary of state.8

Other Ways to Find Someone’s Full Name

If searchers fail to get their subject’s middle name through public records, which is rare, they may use other online resources as a last resort.

Searching Online: Various search engines like Google or Bing are available to help extend the search and search operators like “exact match” or “site: can help narrow down the results more than typing in [First Name + Last Name]. For example, to search for John Doe on Linkedin, a searcher could type in “John Doe”.

Scouring Social Media: Social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc., can show the states the subjects live in, used to live in, nicknames, friends of friends, etc. They may even guess someone’s middle name and see if the full name corresponds with the other subjects’ details.

Third-Party Search Services: Many “people finder” sites online offer personal background checks and reveal info like a middle name. These sites may charge a fee, but they are worth trying.

Genealogy Records: If the person is deceased, this is a great place to look. They often have baptismal records, church records, and more.

Knowing how to sort through public records is a skill and with the right information, anyone can find personal information on another person, even things like figuring out who lives in a neighborhood when asking “Who lives here?” With this information and tricks at their fingertips, searchers can learn how to find someone’s middle name and full name, both online and offline.


The Freedom of Information Act. (n.d.). State Department FOIA. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <>

Court Records. (n.d.). Maryland Courts. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <>

Privacy and Name Change | NY CourtHelp. (2021, December 22). Unified Court System. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <>

Marriage Records. (n.d.). IDPH. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <>

(n.d.). State of Colorado Criminal History Check. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <>

Traffic Citation Information. (n.d.). Maryland Courts. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <>

NV. (n.d.). Clark County, NV. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <>

(n.d.). NASS Members. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <>

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