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

Jayson Baxter
August 5, 2022
On the right, a man in a yellow shirt and blue jeans reads notes on a brown clipboard to uncover someone's middle name, while on the left, a man in a blue shirt and yellow tie examines a computer screen displaying search results for individuals named James Smith with different middle names.

Knowing how to locate someone’s middle name online can prove useful for reconnecting with a friend, tracing the genealogy of a family member, or simply satisfying one’s curiosity.

With so many people in the world, determining someone’s complete name can prove difficult; luckily there’s a trick to search government databases which allows you to sort through names in any given state, county, or jurisdiction.

With the internet at your fingertips and the correct know-how, it’s entirely possible–and even easy–to find another person’s middle or full name fast.

Effective Methods for Discovering Someone’s Middle Name (Full Name Included)

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 can check the applicable state’s legislation to see which documents are public, especially if looking for a 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 what someone’s middle name is. Certain public records 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.1

Use Court Records as a Middle Name Lookup Tool

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

Individuals may start their search 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 which can is beneficial for individuals looking 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 and can help find out middle name of someone.

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, for those seeking to uncover someone’s middle name through court records, they can start by examining this extensive list of state courts to identify the most relevant location.

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 to track down a subject’s entire name.

How to Find Name Change Records

Official public name change records are open to the public in many states.

As long as the name records have not been legally sealed per request from the individual, 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 name change through a county-level court. Hence, these insightful records may be obtained from the court clerk in these cases.3

For example, Kings County, New York residents 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 out the request form. A payment of $10 by money order, cashier’s check, or a check from Washington State Bank (address and payor’s name imprinted) will be required as well. The requesters should then send the request and fee to the most relevant address found on the form.

Upon retrieval of the records, the full name of the subject will be disclosed on the document; that way, interested parties aren’t left trying to guess someone’s middle name.

Check Vital Records Such as Marriage Certificates & Birth Certificates

Vital records are not public records in every state, but in many they are. For example, most states make birth records public after 75–100 years and death records are made public after 25 years. These certificates and documents can simplify the process of discovering someone’s middle name.

Birth and death certificates usually require documentation showing the requester is somehow related to the subject or is the subject’s legal representative. Yet, some states allow the public to view non-certified copies that will list an individual’s full legal name for anyone to see.

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 because some states–like Illinois–allow certified copies of marriage certificates to be obtained.

Nonetheless, these documents can solely be retrieved following a marriage background check carried out at the county clerk’s offices where the event transpired, through the submission of a request form.4 

These official certificates of marriage list the parties’ full legal names and, if accessible, can provide insight into not only the marriage itself but the complete names of those married as well.

Divorce certificates are issued as a result of court proceedings; since court records are public documents, anyone may request to view or obtain them from the court that issued the decree. However, some vital state records may issue a certificate of record, which simply confirms that the dissolution of marriage occurred.

As an example, individuals in Indiana may request divorce records through the local county clerks’ offices or use the My Case search portal to get the case records.

Certified copies are only available from the clerk’s office.

To find the local clerk’s office in other counties and states, individuals may type “[County Name] + Clerk’s office” on a search engine. They should select the most relevant results for their search. State and county vital records offices are reliable custodians of these certificates as well, though fees vary between locations and custodians.

All of these vital records display information like names (including the middle name), event locations, agencies that were involved, 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, and more.

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 at a searcher’s disposal.

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

Many states have criminal search tools that allow the general public to access criminal records that show official names, including the offender’s middle name.

Review Criminal Records Through State Resources to Find Someone’s Middle Name

Criminal records are available at the state level, through official state departments of corrections.

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, although 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 any known name (first, middle, or last) and date of birth to search for the subject’s criminal records and comprehensive information.

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 the relevant result.

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

Browse Public Sex Offender Registries to Figure Out a Person’s Complete Name

The national sex offender registry provides an online search tool that provides details such as names and locations of sex offenders. These records can aid searchers in determining how to uncover someone’s middle name—or their full name—as long as the subject is listed in the registry.

The registry is a US government property that provides sex offender details across all states in the US. However, 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 in Dallas, Texas can search for these infraction records through a court portal using first and last names.

As another example, 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 driver’s license numbers, dates of birth, traffic citations, accident reports, and full names. These can be an affordable and accessible tool for finding out someone’s middle name.

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

Contact County Clerks Offices & View Real Property Records

To find someone’s entire name, individuals can view real property records for this helpful information. Searchers may contact the county clerk, recorder, or appraiser’s office; the particular custodians vary between counties and states but can be found easily.

To locate the proper office, address, or other useful information, parties can do a quick Google search by typing “[County Name] + Property Record Search”. Information on how to view real property records will be displayed and these search tools can assist with figuring 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 and can be used to search property records, marriage records, and more public information that will display the full names of the parties involved.

In Clark County, Nevada, 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.

County clerks, recorders, and appraisers often handle property, marital, probate, assumed name, real property, and more records–all of which can reveal someone’s first, middle, and last names.

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

Finding individuals using occupational and professional databases provides details including official names, locations, or facilities they are employed or associated with. Some of the occupations and professions have national and state databases, so it’s important to find the right one.

Some common medical professions that often list employees, doctors, or others online 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.

Mississippi and Alaska also 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.

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

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

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 out a person’s middle name by searching a database of any of the licenses above, simply use a search engine and type “[License Name] Check + [State]” to view the appropriate licenses and full names.

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 previously been in federal prison (state prisons do not have historical data publicly available). These historical prison records will reveal the full name–including the middle name–of each subject.

Other details disclosed via the BOP search results include the person’s age, location, offenses committed, mugshots, and aliases. Searches can be conducted by entering the formerly or currently incarcerated individual’s BOP register number or name, if known.

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 via the Secretary of State

The business entities division of the secretary of state’s office keeps records, processes filings, and informs the public about business entities. Therefore, 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 their business.

To conduct a business search, individuals need to have the entity’s name for a basic search. In contrast, someone requesting an advanced search 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 name, location, and other public details. Individuals may use this to get the middle name or 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. Check out the following options for tracking down anyone’s middle or complete name.

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 currently and previously, nicknames, friends of friends, and more details that can aid in a personal investigation.

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 and can drastically expedite the search as they are equipped to search through many custodians simultaneously.

Genealogy Records: If the person is deceased, ancestry or genealogy records can be a great place to look. Offices that host this information often have baptismal records, church records, and more.

Word of Mouth: Interested parties can ask around and try to uncover information from neighbors, coworkers, friends, or even family members of the subject to gain insight on the individual’s middle name. Asking someone familiar with the person directly may yield the desired information in no time.

Lookup of Common Names: Names that have a high rate of usage can be a great starting point for a search, even if these help with simply narrowing down the first or last name initially. Try common first and last names to begin, or if these names are known, ponder frequently used middle names and see if any searches bring up information on the subject in question.

An infographic of the most common names in the U.S. are distinguished by a circle with varying shades of blue for males and varying shades of pink for girls; the circles are surrounded by common first names for each gender, along with the 5 most common last names in the U.S. displayed at the bottom of the image

Having the ability to navigate public records is a valuable skill, and armed with the correct information, individuals can uncover personal details about others—potentially assisting in identifying who resides where or who a neighbor is. Armed with these new insights and techniques, individuals can swiftly and effortlessly discover both someone’s middle name and full name.


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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