Government Officers and Other People           




    There is a proverb: "Give someone a fish and you've fed him once. Teach him how to fish and you'll never see him again on weekends." Something like that. Often it is easy to find out where government officers live. Some tips follow.

    This page mentions many, varied sources of information. The most useful Web sites mentioned on this page are those which provide:

    1. addresses and unlisted phone numbers
    2. birth records (discussed in our vital statistics section below)
    3. real estate assessors' descriptions of real estate (many of which are linked to from the University of Virginia's Portico site)
    4. information about political contributors (for example,
    5. salary lists (lists of every officer in a government agency, often with other information such as each officer's job title, hire date, work site, and pay)
  2. TIPS

    1. Mailing Lists

      It is usually easy to get lists of home addresses and telephone numbers of people in almost any occupation or profession. Just contact a mailing list company and then ask its salesperson. You can find mailing list companies by using a metasearch engine. Mailing lists often have old information.

    2. FOIA and little FOIA

      If you want to know the name of everyone who works for a specific government agency, consider sending the agency a demand based on FOIA or on the state law or local law equivalent of FOIA, which is sometimes called little FOIA. As far as we know: if a government agency receives a FOIA demand and knows that the demander would be etitled to the information if demanded under a different law, the agency must supply the information in response to the FOIA demand. There are Web sites about FOIA.

    3. Voluntary Groups: ethnic, athletic, musical, labor, and credit union


      Government officers sometimes join organizations for government officers of a specific ethnic group. The most common example may be Emerald Societies for American government officers who are Irish.

      Government officers sometimes form athletic teams; for example, there might be a baseball team of government officers who work for the same government agency. There's at least one league of such teams. Many members of such teams are crimefighters or firefighters.

      Some government officers form musical bands, some with bagpipes.

      Some government officers form labor unions. Some unions or locals are organized by employer: everyone who works for a specified agency or kind of agency may join. Some unions or locals are organized by occupation: everyone in a certain occupation may join.

      There are FCUs (Federal credit unions) for government officers. We have a page with the name and address of every federally insured credit union in America. Every federal credit union is federally insured, as far as we know. Some non-federal credit unions are federally insured.

      Some Web sites of these groups display some members' names and photographs.

    4. Stack of Coins

      Photograph by alegri
      A cracker often prevents or stops the photo above from appearing.

      Political Contributions
      1. Introduction with State and Local Examples


        If you know the name of a person's employer and can recognize the person's name if you see it, try searching by the employer's name at web sites which give information about employers of contributors to political campaigns<; for example, the California Secretary of State's sometimes slow, Cal-Access, advanced search. How early in your inquiry (into where a government officer lives) should you examine political contribution records? There is no general answer. In some occupations and places, a much higher percentage of government officers contributes (for example, city government officers in Chicago and correctional officers in California tend to have high rates of political contribution). For them, looking at political contribution records may be one of the first things you should do (maybe even before you look in telephone directories).

        Political contribution Web sites tend to specialize by jurisdiction. Some Web sites provide information about contributors to federal campaigns (for example, presidential and U.S. senatorial campaigns) but not state or local campaigns. Some Web sites provide information about contributors to state campaigns in one state only (for example, campaigns for governor or state legislator in California). New York City's CFB (Campaign Finance Board) Web site provides information about contributors to local campaigns (for example, campaigns for mayor and city council-member). EC (L.A. City Ethics Commission) provides information about campaign finance including details of political contributions to local election campaigns. There is, as far as we know, no Web site which supplies information about all contributors to state campaigns in two states (for example, one Web site which identifies each contributor to Florida campaigns and also each contributor to New York State campaigns), or about all contributors to federal and non-federal campaigns in even one non-federal jurisdiction (for example, one Web site which identifies all contributors to federal campaigns and also all contributors to Michigan campaigns).

        By the way, studying various occupations' and places' contribution patterns is interesting if you are curious about politics (for example, legislation or corruption), not just if you are trying to find a government officer's home address.

        Political contributions Web sites are different from voter registration Web sites, which are mentioned elsewhere on this page.

      2. Federal, Political Contributions

        1. Fundrace

          Huffington Post's Fundrace

        2. OpenSecrets

          One must search one election year at a time. To simultaneously search many presidential campaigns, try To simultaneously search many federal (not just presidential) campaigns, try

        3. FEC

          The Federal Election Commission (for example, its Advanced Transaction Query By Individual Contributor page, provides much information on its Web pages and by download.

          Some contribution information is electronically filed with the FEC. You may see that information on the Web or download it by going t to the FEC Electronic Filing Report Retrieval page. You may download many electronically filed reports two ways: CSV (Comma delimited, as previously available) or as filed (ASCII 28 delimited). The electronically filed information, both on the Web and downloaded, includes full name reported to the FEC (including middle name), full address (including the first line of the adress; for example, "1234 Liberty Street"), and intermediary (bundler) information for a variety of federal elections, not just presidential elections.

          There is a page which describes FEC files available for download.

          On 28 December 2009, FEC instructions for entering a contributor's name include a comma. For example, you should enter "Smith, John" (without the quotation marks. Enter "Smith John" (without quotation marks or comma).

          On many FEC Web pages, contribution information often does not include the first line of the contributor's address (for example, "1234 Liberty Street"). To find that line on a Web page of the FEC site, look at the electronically filed report (if any) which discloses, to the FEC, that contribution. Incidentally, one often can get the first line even more quickly by looking at one of the non-FEC sources which we describe on this research page. What if you want to get that linbe from the FEC Web site but the contribution is not described in an electronically filed report? We guess you'll find it by downloading an FEC file other than an electronically filed report.

          Fundrace and OpenSecrets seem to get their info from the FEC.

      3. State Contributions Databases

        CFIC has a clickable map showing states. By clicking on a state in the map, one gets a CFIC page for that state, which page has information and sometimes a link. The link is to a contribution database for that state's politics.

    5. USPS: U.S. Postal Service
      1. The USPS zip code lookup page will tell you all zip codes in a city or county.
      2. If you use that page to look up the zip code for a street address, the Web site will then show, under the complete address (including the zip code you requested), a "Mailing Industry Information" link. If you click that link, a popup window will tell you the county that the address is in. Incidentally, the Mailing Industry Information window has other information; for example, a route code. The route code is a letter followed by three digits; for example, R001. If two street addresses have the same five-digit zip code and the same route code, the same person (mailman, letter carrier, postie) delivers their mail. For hypothetical example, if two street addresses both have five-digit zip code 12345 and route code C012, they have the same mailman. Route codes starting with C are in a city. Route codes starting with R are rural.
      3. By the way, the USPS had a page that used to tell you the street address of a postal building that contains a specified post office box. In other words, if you specified a post office box, the USPS Web site would have told you the street address of the postal building that that box is in. We miss that Web service because most people get a box near where they live or work.
    6. Face

      If you have seen someone's face and want to find his photograph, there is a tiny chance an image search engine may help. Dogpile, Alltheweb, and some other Web sites have an image-search engine which uses search words you enter (for example, words that specify an occupation or employer) to find photographs and other images. Picasa Web site supposedly has face-recognition software permitting a surfer to search for facial photographs with tags such as "John Smith" or "immigration".

      If there is a specific person whose name you know and face you want to learn, try:

      1. Facebook or other social network sites
      2. buying a DMV driver license record of that person.

    7. Specific Person's address

      If there is a specific person whose address you want, maybe you should consider a:

      1. 2008may12
      2. DMV

        1. Introduction

          It often helps to use a DMV (Ddepartment of Motor Vehicles) to buy vehicle registration and driver license information such as a driver's address or a vehicle owner's address; for example, the California Department of Motor Vehicles. DMVs have much information about vehicles and drivers. For example, a driver record may include information about tickets he got. That may tell you the county in which the traffic court was. If you go to the court, you may be able to read, on the ticket, exactly where and when he got the ticket. Driver record may also include date of birth and physical description of the driver, a copy of the driver's signature and fingerprints, a photo of the driver (we don't know if the photo is available to the public), and which DMV branch he took his driving test in. DMV information about the vehicle may have its complete history: which dealer first bought it and when, every owner (at least in that state) of the vehicle, whether the current owner fully owns it (in other words, whether the car is fully paid for). You may want to find out about all vehicles a driver has. Incidentally, we knew someone who bought several junky, worthless, previously expensive, prestige-brand cars. Some DMV-using financial investigators were impressed by how many late-model, luxury cars he owned. The investigators saw DMV records, not the jalopies. The DMV record does not tell you the car's condition.

        2. Getting DMV information

          If you mail a DMV information-request form to a DMV office, you may have to wait a long time for an answer, perhaps weeks or even months. You may be able to save time by going to a DMV office in person. If you often buy DMV information, consider getting an account with a state's DMV. The account may enable you to buy info by computer (your computer connecting to a DMV computer to download info) or voice phone (you obtaining info over the phone during a voice phone call you make to a DMV office). You may be allowed to search by license plate. If you know a license plate, you may be able to find name and address of the owner of the vehicle with that plate. There are businesses which sell that information for the entire country. An American DMV sells information for its own jurisdiction, not the entire country. You may prefer those businesses to the government.

        3. Special plates

          Some states issue special plates to elected government officers, judges, medical examiners, veterans, volunteer firefighters, members of the press, doctors, nurses, EMTs, ham radio operators, and paramedics. Thus, license plate information can provide information about government officers and other people.

        4. Vehicle information

          Vehicle information can lead to information about people and businesses closely related to the subject. For example, you inquire about vehicles owned by John Smith on Liberty Street. You find that he co-owns a vehicle with Jane Jones who is at the same address. Learning about Jane may help you find John. Some DMVs may tell you about all vehicles the subject ever owned (a vehicle history), not just those he now owns. Then, you can investigate every vehicle's history. John Smith used to own a vehicle. He transferred it to Smith Enterprises, which he owns. Maybe you can find him at Smith Enterprises. When a person borrows money to buy a car, the creditor may be listed in DMV records for the car. Some borrowers borrow from their bank or credit union. Thus, by examining DMV vehicle records, you may find the debtor's bank or credit union. Many people choose a bank near where they live or work. When people borrow from a credit union to buy a car, the credit union may be related to their employer.

          Some states' vehicle license plates may show that the driver was DUI (driving under the influence). Do not confuse DUI information in a driver license record (available from a DMV) with DUI information on a vehicle's license plate (visible to anyone who sees the plate).

        5. VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

          Cars' VINs can be used to find their owners. The VIN contains 17 numbers and letters that provide much information about the vehicle. The VIN is on a VIN plate. Each car has more than one VIN plate. Some Web sites tell common places that vehicle manufacturers put the plates. A VIN plate often is on the lower windshield fence near the left A-pillar. The VIN may also be on the driver's door or post. There are Web sites (for example, which, if told a VIN, will tell you ownership information including the current owner's name and address.

        6. diplomatic license plates issued in America

          Foreign diplomats in America can get diplomatic plates through the U.S,. federal, state department. We don't know which government agency provides information about vehicles with those plates. To get those plates, the diplomat must prove that he has auto insurance, we think. We don't know if the public can buy diplomatic vehicle information which includes automobile insurance information. The Web site, Cloth Monkey (the name of which we guess may allude to Harry Harlow's study of rhesus monkeys with terrycloth substitutes for a mother), has information about diplomatic license plates (issued by the State Department to non-U.S. diplomats, other staff, and their family members, as far as we know) and U.S. federal government license plates (issued by GSA to U.S. government agencies such as the Treasury and Army). By the way, the plate number has encoded information. For example, FC (because it means "Fuck Communism") was on plates issued to diplomats of the Soviet Union. It's good to know that the animosity was ideological rather than personal.

          A U.S.-issued, diplomatic license plate comes in two patterns, general and New York. The general pattern is: status (D for diplomat, S for other staff), a country (or international organization, such as the U.N. or O.A.S.) code (for example, LW for Germany), and a three-digit number (for example, 001). For example, we guess that there's a German diplomat's license plate "D LW 001" and a staff member's plate "S LW 001". The New York pattern, which is for vehicles owned by diplomats who work in New York, is the reverse sequence of the general pattern. For example, a New York plate might be "111gs/001 LW D". We guess that it is unlikely that there is a country (or international organization) whose diplomats have been simultaneously issued over 4000 diplomatic license plates by the U.S. government.

          New York State and the District of Columbia used to issue license plates to diplomats. Maybe those two jurisdictions' old DMV records would help in finding some diplomats and their staffs even now.

          In America, some states issue HC (honorary consul) license plates. An HC, as far as we know, is a real consul (a kind of diplomat) who, because he does not work full time, does not get money for his work. His compensation is in fringe benefits such as an HC license plate and a diplomatic passport.

        7. License plates issued outside America

          For information about and illustrations of non-US plates, see:

          1. Code list for Norwegian license plates
          2. Code list for Norwegian Diplomatic License Plates
          3. Francoplaque License Plate Collectors site.

          If you're looking for someone you saw in Norway on a tractor with a diplomatic license plate, he may work for the American embassy. Maybe the embassy has a big garden.

      3. Board of elections

        Use a city or county board of elections, sometimes called a registrar of voters. These government agencies, many of which have Web sites listed by metasearch engines, are an outstanding source of information because most government officers are registered to vote, often in the same county in which they work. For example, most California correctional officers, and almost all California legislators and judges, are registered to vote. Legislators are supposed to live in the district they represent, and they almost always (but not always) do.

        By the way, there is at least one business which has systematically bought copies of many signatures from voter registrars, DMVs, and other sources; however, that's a different subject.

        There are a few ways to get voter registration information:

        1. Go in person to a local registrar of voters, then ask an employee there for help. A local registrar may provide you information about one voter, or may sell you a CD (or other computer memory medium) with information about every voter in the county.
        2. Call a registrar of voters by phone (you may get the information you want over the phone).
        3. Go to a privately owned Web site which sells information about specific, registered voters. Many businesses sell voter registration information. It's a big business. The Aristotle International voter registration information Web site may possibly sell what you want.
        4. Go to a Web page which confirms or denies that a specific person is registered to vote. San Mateo County of California has had such a Web page. To find a Web page like that, try entering "am i registered to vote" in a metasearch engine. New York State's Board of Elections provides information about voters (for example, full address) if you have much information (for example: date of birth, zip code, and county).
        5. provides the address of the voting place of Michigan voters. The voting place should be close to their home.

        Some people have been registered to vote in two places. For example, some people were simultaneously registered to vote in Florida and in New York.

        Inquire if the subject was ever registered to vote, not just if he is now registered. His registration may have lapsed but he may still live at the address at which he was registered.

        Voter registration records are not political campaign contribution records, which are discussed elsewhere on this page. Voters do not necessarily contribute. Contributors do not necessarily vote. One government agency may keep voter records but a different agency may keep contribution records.

      4. Real estate records, especially assessor records

        1. Introduction

          Below we mention records of real estate assessors, real estate tax collectors, registrars of deeds, and county clerks. City and counies typically have a real estate tax assessor (a local agency which appraises the value of real estate so that it can be properly taxed). Many assessors are in Portico's excellent list of assessor Web sites, which is hosted by the University of Virginia. Assessor records (but not necessarily assessor Web sites) show much information; for example, for any parcel: the address of the parcel, the owners' names (for example, John Smith and Mary Smith), and the correspondence address for tax bills (the name and address to which real estate tax bills should be mailed).

          Assessor records often show sales history of the property. The record may tell you who sold the parcel to the current owner and when, and when that seller bought the parcel and from whom. Sales records may help you. The property once may have been openly owned by the subject, John Smith, then sold to Smith Foundation, Smith Corporation, Smith Trust, or Jane Smith.

          Check if the subject ever had real estate. The real estate may no longer be in his name but he may still live there. If he ever had real estate, his name might be a grantee in a real estate grantor-grantee index maintained by a registrar of deeds or by a county clerk.

          Assessor records are produced by local governments: cities and counties. Many Web sites are operated by the same governments which produce the records. Also, there are statewide and national Web sites providing the assessor records produced by local governments. As far as we know, there is no free Web site with national coverage.

        2. Examples

          A few assessor and similar Web sites are:

          1. County:

            Los Angeles county's PAIS, which shows much information (but not the owners' names and correspondence addresses).

            Fairfax County of Virginia

            We guess that most assessor Web sites are operated by county governments.

          2. City

            New York City Office of the City Register's acris. This provides facts from deeds and similar documents. From those facts, one often can infer ownership. Often the owner's address is provided.

   tells the owner and assessed value of property in New York City. It's easy to use. Find a borough, then a street, then a building number on that street, then read the owner's name and the value. We don't know if that Web site has pages like that for other cities.

            There are Web sites of assessors of cities elsewhere; for example, in Virginia and Massachusetts.

          3. State:

            1. Maryland state government's Department of Assessments and Taxation's Web site, which provides assessment information for the entire state. Some federal officers live in Maryland, which borders the District of Columbia.
            2. Asbury Park Press's "New Jersey Property Owners, Assessments and Taxes" Web site.
            3. There's a privately owned Web site which has assessment records for Tennessee. Some information at that Web site is free.
            4. Accuriz covers Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Address information at that Web site is free. A little information is available without registering.
          4. Country

            There is no free Web site showing, for an entire country, who owns real estate. There are paid Web sites for America and other countries. Elsewhere on this page, we discuss Web sites which provide information about foreign countries. It's common for governments to have records of real estate (ownership and sales price, for example). It's common for businesses to buy copies, then sell info through Web sites.

        3. Discussion

          Some privately owned Web sites show much of the information provided for free by government assessors' Web sites (or even more information than is provided by government assessors' Web sites). For example, government assessor Web sites in California do not show both a parcel's street address and the owner's name but privately owned Web sites do.

          Privately owned Web sites may be more convenient for you than going in person to an assessor's office or calling it by phone. Visually handicapped people sometimes find it easier to read information on the Web (which allows the handicapped person to adjust fonts, font sizes, and colors to improve legibility) than to read assessor records in person at an assessor's office. Mobility-handicapped people sometimes find it easier to read information on a computer's video monitor (in the handicapped person's home or workplace) than to go in person to an assessor's office. Many employees are unable to get away from work to go to an assessor's office when that office is open (about eight to five on business days, for most assessor offices). Those employees may prefer to see the assessor information on the Web.

          Most government officers who work in the District of Columbia live in the District, Maryland's Montgomery county, and Virginia's Fairfax and Arlington counties.

          Many assessors provide information which may help you recognize the property if you decide to go there. Some assessors provide color photographs of the front of the property (in other words, what the property looks like when viewed from the street); for example, Brookline (Massachusetts) and Chicago (Illinois). Some assessors provide overhead, color photographs. There's at least one Florida county's Web site providing excellent color photographs clearly showing each parcel from above. Some assessors provide maps showing exactly where the parcel is; for hypothetical example: on the north side of Liberty Street, one parcel west of Elm Street, with so little street footage that it's easy to accidentally pass. The Los Angeles County and Maryland State sites, for example, provide maps. Many assessors (for example, Maryland State and Virginia's Fairfax County) have detailed, verbal descriptions which may help you recognize the property; for hypothetical example: brick exterior, one-family house, two stories, on sloping land, built in 2005, excellent construction quality, shingle roof, carport, no garage, porch in front, on an acre of land.

          Many assessor and similar Web sites provide a few, important facts from deeds and similar documents. Some Web sites (for example, New York City's acris Web site) provide many facts. Some assessors provide copies of the entire documents (for example, we vaguely guess-remember North Carolina's Johnston County and an Arizona county). To read a copy of a document which is not available at the county Web site, you may need to: either go in person to a county recorder's office, or buy a copy from a Web site which sells copies. For most counties in America, the Web does not provide free copies of deeds and similar documents.

          The top, left corner of the first page of a deed often has the name and address to which the deed should be mailed after the government records the deed. That might be the home address of the government officer you are investigating. This is one of the reasons why it is often useful to see the entire document.

          Some assessor and other real estate Web sites refer only to documents which are highly relevant to the narrow issue of who owns the parcel (for example, the deed by which the current owner became the owner). Other Web sites refer to a broad range of documents; for example, New York City's acris Web site (which seems to be an online index of the city registry of deeds).

          The definition of "homestead" varies from place to place. Usually, more or less, it is a person's main, permanent home. Assessor records often show whether the owner claims that the parcel is his homestead.

          Assessor records often show whether the owner is entitled to various tax benefits because, for example, he's at least 60 or a veteran. This can be useful if you're looking for someone with a common name. For example, if you're looking for John J. Smith who's 40 and not a veteran, it may be useful to see what tax benefits the owner is getting.

          Assessor records often show who lent money with the real estate as collateral. For example, John Smith borrowed from Xyz Bank with his condo as collateral. People often borrow from a bank at which they previously banked. People often bank at a bank near their home or job. Thus, Smith may previously have lived or worked near an Xyz Bank branch although not necessarily the Xyz branch which lent him the money. Information about the lender may tell you if the owner is the person you're interested in. You want to find the home address of John Smith who is a teacher. The condo you're reading about is owned by a John Smith and is collateral for a loan made by a teachers' FCU (federal credit union). Maybe this is the John Smith you want.

          By the way, assessor records have much other information which may be useful to investigators even if not for finding a government officer's home address.

        4. Real estate TC (tax collector)

          The tax collector works with assessors. The tax collector mails real estate tax bills to owners of real estate. TC records include the correspondence address for each owner of real estate. The correspondence address may include the subject's name. John Smith lives in a house nominally owned by Example Trust. However, real estate tax bills for that house are mailed to "John Smith, Trustee" at 1234 Liberty Street. Look for the subject's name as an owner and as a recipient of tax bills.

      5. Telephone directories and telephone prefix locator

        Remember to look for unlisted telephone numbers, which you may be able to find at Web sites listed in a metasearch engine in response to your request for "unlisted numbers telephone". Try different telephone directories to find the ones that work best for the people you usually are interested in. If you investigate over the Web, telephone directories are one of the first resources you should use, especially directories which include unlisted numbers.

        A telephone prefix is the first three digits of a seven-digit telephone number. In (123) 456-7890, 123 is the area code, 456-7890 id the seven-digit telephone number, and 456 is the seven-digit number's prefix. There are Web sites which tell where a telephone prefix is; for example,'s Telephone Prefix Locator.

        Reverse telephone directories; for example: All Area Codes

      6. New York State Pistol Permittees 2010

        22 June 2010

        An unexpurgated file with names of permittes and, for many of them, home addresses. The permits were issued in New York State. Almost all of the permittees live there or once lived there.

      7. Household and Relatives
        1. often tells the name of one or two people in the subject's household (often a spouse), and the subject's employer's name.

          Employer's name could be a valuable clue.

          White has American and Canadian addresses. Sometimes, there is no zip code. Sometimes, there is a nine-digit zip code.

        2. Intel' often tells names of relatives, and previous cities of residence.
      8. NNDB

        NNDB gives date of birth, name of spouse, and much other, useful information (except home address) for finding where famous people live. This Web site's information once helped us much to find a reporter's home address.

      9. Tracking

        The Tracking site seems to chiefly provide home addresses of police officers in the District of Columbia region plus other information including photographs. Many subjects seem to be executives of the local DC police, or various kinds of federal police officer.

        29 December 2010

      10. Salaries

        1. Introduction

          There are Web pages which supply salary lists of government officers, often including the name, job title, and workplace.

        2. WikiFOIA State Salary Data many links to government salary pages
        3. Internet Archive has salary lists.

        4. Our links

          1. Asbury Park Press's information about New Jersey's local and state government officers and U.S. Federal government officers.
          2. California: Los Angeles City in L.A. Daily News Salaries Database at
          3. Georgia auditor's Web site for state
          4. Indiana state at
          5. Iowa legislature Web site of state
          6. Kentucky local and state at Courier-Journal's
          7. State of Michigan at
          8. Missouri state at
          9. Asbury Park Press's New Jersey teachers and other educators at
          10. New York: Yonkers City
          11. Oklahoma information at Tulsa World Web site
          12. South Carolina's The State Web site
          13. South Dakota's with city and state information
          14. Utah's Web site
          15. Washington State at
          16. West Virginia's state and local information at the Herald-Dispatch Web site.
      11. 2008may6 is a specialized search engine which works a few ways; for example, you may provide a name and a locality, or a category (for example, "govt officers") and a locality.

      12. Spock 2008may6

        This search engine provides info about people.

      13. Prisoner Web sites

        Many jail and prison systems give information about where their prisoners live. For example, the federal Bureau of Prisons and California DCRprovide information about which prison a prisoner is in).

      14. A Web site which has links to many, public record databases on the Web. For example:

        1. Search, which links to a huge number of informative Web sites, links to, among other things, birth records of Santa Clara County of California. SearchSystems charges a fee. This Web site links to many Web sites with information about non-USA places; for example, Britain.
        2. portico. That Web site includes a page, mentioned elsewhere on this research Web page, which has links to many real estate assessors' Web sites in the USA and elsewhere; for example, Britain.

          Speaking of Britain, the Web site sells much information from U.K. government records about electoral rolls (people registered to vote), births, and marriages. The Companies House Web site, which is owned by Britain's national government, sells information about British corporations. The information includes names of, and other information about, corporate officers. If you find this Web site difficult to deal with (for example, on 4 January 2008, it's closed on Sundays), other Web sites sell the information for more than does this site. There is a link at the site which we guess allows people to get documents filed by corporations with other European countries' governments.

      15. A government agency which provides information about occupations, businesses, litigants, and professions; for example:
        1. State government agencies

          1. California: member records provided by the Web site of the State Bar of California (often a good source of information about California attorneys, legislators, and prosecutors)
          2. New York State

            1. Index of Licensees and Registrants (of the NYS Department of State) has nonprofessional licensees; for example, businesses which destroy documents for other businesses. We were unable to reach this Web site on 23 May 2011. Our browser repeatedly reported that the search timed out.
            2. Online Verification Searches (of the NYS Office of Professions' official database) allows searching by licensee name (for example, Smith) and professional license type (for example, accountant). This page provides useful information but not home addresses.
        2. Court dockets, schedules, and filings 2009feb20

          Court papers sometimes explicitly provide a home address. Those papers often have great clues.

          Dockets, schedules, and filings are available for many courts and other government agencies, sometimes over the Web. For example,'s Web site allows you to search dockets in many federal courts. Justia provides a little information and is free. Justia will not tell you a home address. Justia connects to Pacer, which provides much information which may help you find an address. Most people are never litigants in federal court. Often, the address of a lawyer that a person uses, or the court that he's in, is a clue about where he lives. Pacer has a Web site which sells information for several cents a page. Pacer has trial court and appellate court cases of the federal system.

          AltLaw has documents from court cases.

 has copies of many federal court case documents. As far as we know, has copies of all documents in fifty years of federal appellate cases (fifty years ending in 2008, we think), and also bulk copies of almost twenty million pages of lower federal court decisions (about twenty percent of everything in Pacer as of about September 2008). It may be difficult to find one's way through the bulk cases. Maybe can help you find the case you want, then can give you copies of documents in it.

          A federal Proof of Service may have someone's home or work address.

        3. diplomats

          Some diplomats represent their countries to the government of the USA. Many of those diplomats are listed on Web pages that are linked to from a page of the Office of the Chief of Protocol of the U.S. State Department. Diplomats in embassies are on the diplomatic list. Diplomats in consulates are on the State Department's foreign consular officers list. We briefly discuss diplomatic license plates (license plates issued by the U.S. government to foreign diplomats in the U.S.) in the DMV section of our research page(s).

          Diplomatic icense plates are discuseed elsewhere on this page.

          Legally finding the names of CIA officers who work outside America can be difficult, we guess. We speak here of legally doing original research to find the names, not copying a list from or some other source. Someone who did that original research wrote directions which appear in a cryptome Web page, "Where Myths Lead To Murder", by Philip Agee (from: Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe, by Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, 1978, pages 17-28). The directions, which are on the bottom half of the Web page, begin with a sentence which includes, "... obtain a list of all the Americans working in the official U.S. Mission ...". Also read "How to Spot a Spook", by John Marks, same book, pages 29-39. Marks uses specific examples to teach. The directions of Agee and Marks are decades old now (June 2010) and conceivably may no longer work although perhaps the underying principles still work. We have not tried following Agee's and Marks's directions.

          The first step is to get a list of State Department diplomats in a country other than America. We are not aware of any such list available to the public although such lists don't seem to be very secret. If we lawfully had such a list, we might try to find out whether any of the seeming diplomts lived in Virginia, near the places at which new CIA officers are trained. We guess that such places include Camp Peary, which is in York County; and Richmond. We don't know if they get enough training in Fairfaax County to live there. We would try to see if they lived there for about the time that a new CIA officer is trained. We think that the total training of a new CIA officer si about two years but it's not all in Virginia. For example, some training is in North Carolina. We guess that CIA officers (pretending to be State Department diplomats) have lived in Virginia longer than real State Department diplomats. We guess that State Department diplomats get much of their training in or near Alexandria.

          Few people would buy a house in Virginia merely because they are going to be trained mostly there for about two years. Evidence that they lived there might include utility, subscription, credit card, bank, voter, driver license, and vehiicle registration records. These records are easy to get although some are not legally available to the public.

          The State Department has lists on the Web of foreign diplomats in America. We are unable to guess which really are spies. America is not the only country some of the spies of which pretend to be diplomats.

          We discuss intelligence officers with diplomats because many of the ofrmer pretend to be the latter.

          By the way, to find home addresses of government officers who live outside America, see the discussion, elsewhere on this page, of Web sites which have links to many, public record databases on the Web. Examples of those Web sites are:

          1. Search
          2. portico
          4. Companies House Web site)

      16. vital statistics

        1. Introduction

          Vital statistics such as birth, death, and marriage records have information that occasionally help to find a person's home address.

        2. USA

 seems to provides date of birth and place of residence for residents of America. The inquirer must provide the current name, not the birth name, and may also provide place (for example, state) of residence. We found birth records using this site.

        3. California

          California Births, 1905-1995 is a good source of California birth information about births in California. The information provided is last name (last name at time of birth), first name, middle initial, date of birth, sex, and county of birth.

      17. Private investigator (many of whom are listed by metasearch engines in response to a request for "private investigator"), especially if he is one of the many who charge low fees.
      18. 2008may13

        Zoominfo provided someone's home address at least once: Manda Zand Ervin's.

      19. DNA

        A man anonymously donated sperm, causing a British son. That son used his DNA and some information his mother had told him about his father to find that father's name and address, according to "Anonymous sperm donor traced on internet", 3 November 2005, news service, by Alison Motluk. The son bought genetic analysis from and bought names and addresses from If you want to try this approach, you should know about the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (in Salt Lake City) and We guess that today (11 May 2008), this approach (an ordinary consumer using a child's DNA and a few clues to try to find a parent's name and address) is expensive, slow, and likely to fail.

        DNA is one of the few, investigative techniques on this page which we have not used.

      20. Celebrity Address Aerial

        Celebrity Address Aerial provides home addresses and other information about celebrities. The other information sometimes includes an overhead photograph, year and price of last sale, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and square footage. For at least one address, the overhead photograph was at Web site. Some of the celebrities hold high government office, contribute much money to politicians and political groups, or did so in the past. Most of the information is sold but a little is free as part of a free tour of the site.

      21. This web site: the one you're looking at right now


        We sometimes link to useful web sites at the beginning of our web site's sections; for example, at the beginning of our section about the state of Washington.

    8. Sex and nationality

      It often helps to know the sex of the person whose home address one tries to discover. Some Web sites tell the sex and language of names; for example, that a name is an Arabic, boys' name. For example, you can check the links supplied by a metasearch engine in response to a request for "baby name laith".

    9. FAA 2009mar25
      1. FAA TFRs
        The Federal Aviation Administration issues TFRs (Temporary Flight Restrictions). These are orders to keep out of specified airspace. Below is an example of how we used a TFR to find a government officer's home address.

        On about 23 November 2005, the FAA issued a TFR telling pilots not to fly within a mile of "384547N/0761418W". We treated this as latitude 38 degrees, 45 minutes, 47 seconds north; longitude -76 degrees, 14 minutes, 18 seconds east. Longitude tells how far east. Negative longitude tells how far west. The TFR type is VIP (very important person), and the TFR description includes "ST. MICHAELS, MARYLAND". Vice-President Richard Bruce Cheney had moved to St. Michaels a little before that TFR was issued, according to a Web page once at We used Mapquest to plot latitude and longitude onto a street map after having converted west longitude into negative east longitude. After zooming in on the street map provided by Mapquest, we saw that the closest street was Fuller Road. St. Michaels is in Maryland's Talbot County. At the Maryland state government's Department of Assessments and Taxation Web site, we indicated that we wanted to search for real estate in Talbot county by street address. Then we entered the street name ("Fuller") but no street number. The resulting Web page listed all street numbers on Talbot county's Fuller Road. There were only several. We decided to investigate each of them. The first we investigated was right. That's how we found vice president Richard Cheney's Maryland home address.

        TFRs are also issued for other kinds of site (not just VIP); for example, security, hazards, and special. If you are looking for someone who lives near a TFR site, maybe the TFR's latitude and longitude can help you find him. By the way, you can also use TFR-supplied latitude and longitude to get satellite and aerial photographs from USGS and other Web sites, we think.

      2. FAA aircraft and airmen

        The FAA Web site provides information, including name and address, about owners of aircraft. We found this information easy to get.

        Information about pilots is in airmen certificates. Certificate information, including name and address, is provided by the Web site two ways: online and offline. The online way is to provide information about yourself to the FAA, then get the information you want. The offline way is to download a big, ZIP file which later expands to become a directory including a PDF help file, a small index file, and a pair of huge files containing the entire, FAA, airmen database. Use a word processing program to search the pair of huge files for pilot names, street names, or anything else you you are interested in. The database seems to list all airmen, even those who are not in America. We once found a government officer's home address using this database. Other times, we found interesting information.

        We think that a CIA pilot supposedly involved in extraordinary rendition flights was found using the airmen certificate database. We vaguely remember reading something like this:

        1. The investigator guessed the residence place (a North Carolina place which a CIA airline operates in) and the pilot's first name (many CIA people use their real, first name as the first name of their cover name, and the investigator knew the cover name)
        2. The FAA airmen database had only one pilot with that first name in that place.

      This site has useful information about addresses.

    11. Which address?

      Sometimes, you may have more than one address for a person but not know which address is the right one.

      1. Nearness to Work
        People often live near were they work. Try to find the five-digit zip code, and the telephone area code of their work place.

        Zip Codes
        In each American state, five-digit zip codes usually get more specific (in other words, describe a smaller area) as one moves to the right in the number. The first digit (the left-most digit) describes a region of the country. For example, if the first digit is 9, the address probably is near the Pacific Ocean (for example, in California or Guam). If the zip code's first three digits are 900, the address is in or near Los Angeles City. If someone works in zip code 90028 (Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles City), he probably doesn't live in a zip code that starts with 920 (San Diego City, which is far from Los Angeles City) or 942 (Sacramento City, which is even farther) but he might live in a zip code that starts with 902 (Inglewood, Beverly Hills, and other places not far from Los Angeles City). A nine-digit zip code (for example, 12345-6789) is for a street address (for example, 975 Liberty Street) or for part of a street address (for example, one floor of 975 Liberty Street). If you have a nine-digit zip code, we guess that you can find its street address on the Web (maybe at Mapquest or one of the other map Web sites). Just enter the nine-digit zip code in the Web site's address form, then ask to see the address on a map.

        This numerical system (namely, that, within a state, five-digit zip codes that are numerically close to each other tend to be geographically close to each other) does not work for telephone area codes in America; for example, American telephone area codes 212 and 213 are not near each other. Most American, telephone area codes are entirely in one state.

      2. Households and Relatives 2008sep15

        Adults often live with other people who show up in public records. For hypothetical example: if there are ten addresses for John Smith (whom you want), and you know that Jane Smith lives in the same household, maybe there's only one address in the area that has both John Smith and Jane Smith.

        By the way, you may sometimes wonder if two government officers are related to each other. For hypothetical example, you know that Daniel Dawes and Bridget Dawes work in Liberty City as officers of the same government agency. You're curious if they are related to each other. Many obituaries have comprehensive lists of relatives of the decedent. Paul is survived by his brother Daniel Dawes of Liberty City, his daughter Bridget Dawes of Liberty City, and so forth. In the example we're using, Daniel may be the paternal uncle of Bridget. Articles about weddings usually list some relatives, especially parents of the newlyweds, but usually are not as thorough as obituaries. Death notices are paid advertisements. Death notices sometimes list colleagues of the decedent.

      3. Census Bureau

        Household Preface
        Much Census Bureau information is for households. As a preface, we'll explain "household" with a few examples. Two families could share an apartment. They would be one household. A pair of unrelated people might share what was built as a one-family house. They would be one household. A husband and wife might live apart, each living alone. They would be two households.

        The Census Bureau provides much demographic and economic information about the tract (micro-neighborhood) that an address is in. That information may enable you to exclude some addresses. For example, you may know that the person you're curious about lives in a high-income tract. To get demographic and other information (for example, median income) about an address's tract:

        1. Enter the address near the bottom of this Census Bureau American Factfinder page. Enter street address, city, state, and zip code.
        2. Lower on that Factfinder page, there is a pull-down menu with the menu's first choice visible. Choose the Census Tract item, which is about the fifth item from the top of the menu. Then click the "Go" button.
        3. On the next Web page, below the links to maps, find "Quick Tables and Demographic Profiles". In that section of the page, there are links to many tables which will help you decide if the government officer lives in that tract (micro-neighborhood). For example, we suggest that you find:
          1. "Census 2000 Summary File 4 (SF 4) - Sample Data" and, in that section, click "DP-3. Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2000".
          2. "Census 2000 Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File" and, in that section, click "QT-PL. Race, Hispanic or Latino, and Age: 2000".

        Those tables will help you decide if the address (the tract of which you are learning about) seems to be the home of the government officer.

    12. Whois Information


      This has helped us several times chiefly because it includes addresses and telephone numbers which frequently are for a registratn's or contact's home. Whois information also shows connections between people; for example, one person may be a registrant and a different person may be his administrative contact.

      By the way, we wish there were a cheap whowas service. A whowas service provides present and past whois information for every domain which ever existed (not just current whois information for domains which currently exist); for example, every past owner and contact for a domain. The older the Internet gets, the more valuable whowas becomes.

    13. Residence Requirements

      Some government agencies require their officers to live in a certain place. For example, NYPD (New York City police department) officers must, as far as we know, live in Mew York City or the New York State counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, or Rockland.

    14. Non-governmental Web sites

      There are non-governmental Web sites which provide plenty of useful information about many, government officers. Excellent examples:

      1. Project Vote Smart tells, for many elected officers in America's federal and state governments: date and place of birth, names of kin who live with the officer, and city the officer lives in.
      2. TPG (The Political Graveyard) Web site, which has place of birth, date of birth, and government jobs held for many government officers. Despite TPG's "Graveyard" name, many people listed in it are alive.
      3. Wikipedia

        20 June 2011

        Sometimes, we want to find the county a subject lives in. For example, if we want to know the county for Huntington, New York State, , we search in a metasearch engine for:
        Huntington NY county Wikipedia

        The metasearch engine will display a page with short paragraphs each of which contains one link. On that page, the county's name Suffolk will apear in the text with the Wikipedia link. There is no need to go to the Wikipedia article to learn the county's name.

        We also use Wikipedia another way. When we try to find where a famous person lives, Wikipedia artiles sometimes help by giving clues. For example, they give the person's full name and date of birth, usually at the beginning of the article; and sometimes his approximate residence (for example, city or neighborhood) and names of next of kin (usually spouse and children), often at the end of the article.

      4. Spoke 2009jul1

        This Web site has information about specific government officers. One can browse by officer or by government agency. Information seems to be supplied by the officers and often includes name, office held, career and education summary, and current employer. Home address is not included but often there are clues.

        Some people list themselves when they are about to retire or are looking for work elsewhere. and are different.

      5. Help from others

        1. Web forums and Usenet newsgroups

          There is a huge variety of Web discussion forums and Usenet newsgroups. Some may be able to help you with scholarly research, government, politics, missing persons, investigation, and finding relatives and friends. If there's a specific research technique you're having trouble with (for example, using California political contribution records or San Francisco county real estate assessor records), consider asking for help in a Web discussion forum or Usenet newsgroup (for example, one concerned with campaign contributions or real estate).

        2. If you are having trouble using a government agency's Web site, consider sending an email message or making a telephone call to that agency to ask for help.
        3. Use metasearch engines or search engines.

          1. General

            There are sometimes articles on the Web (for example, newspaper articles) with information you want. Many people tell reporters personal information, and reporters put that information into articles which later get on the Web. That information can help you find the officer's home address. Some people, especially powerful addresses officers such as members of a state legislature, have Web pages which tell where they live (city, county, neighborhood, or nearby landmark), whom they live with (at least names of spouse and children), and where and when they were born. Even if a government officer's Web page doesn't say when he was born, there may be clues such as the year he got a bachelor's degree (which often is about about age 22 if he wasn't in the military between high school and getting the degree). Many government agencies' Web sites have pages which describe their high-ranking executives.

          2. Addresses

            Use metasearch engines to investigate possible addresses. Type an address you're curious about, or at least part of that address. For hypothetical example, type:
            "1234 Liberty St" Angeles
            into the search field. This sometimes works well, producing photographs and much information.

            Using search engines to search for pages with specified addresses, we found out where government officers lived when:

            1. An officer lived in a building with a restaurant, the restaurant was listed on a Web page, and the Web page's description of the building (that the restaurant was in) jibed with information we had about the officer.
            2. An officer lived in a condo building, there was a Web page listing and describing some condos for sale in that building, and the descriptions jibed with information we had about that officer
            3. A one-family house was sold to a government officer, and the sale (including the address and buyer's family name) was reported in a Web site.
        4. Ask us.

          Maybe we can help with a specific problem. Regardless of whether we can, we would enjoy teaching you how to legally find home addresses and much other information. If you can't get the information we provide in this Web site, we can teach you. If you request, we will keep confidential your questions, comments, and other communications to us.

      6. Don't give up on the Web.

        If at first you don't succeed in searching on the Web, try again several months later. Huge amounts of information are being added to the Web. Many Web sites are occasionally redesigned to make it easier for surfers to find information. You may improve a little in your ability to search the Web. Many times we failed when searching on the Web, then succeeded when we re-tried several months later.

      7. Is he dead?
          Social Security Death Index (SSDI) provides name, social security number, dates of birth and death, and place issued for a dead person. Place issued is the state where the social security account was issued to the decedent.

          The SSA sells to third parties a copy of a dead person's application for a social security account.

        1. Social Security Death Master File, free

          Sorted by birth date and by number

          This site, which is based on SSA information, may be easier to use than the SSA's site.

      8. Problems Getting Government Records

        It can be difficult to get government records to which one has a right. A few anecdotes follow about small problems in getting records. In those anecdotes, we do not always include our entire response or the ultimate outcome. In all of the incidents below in which a court's deputy clerk illegally asked an illegal question, our response was (except where we state otherwise below) to return on a different day. Whenever we returned to get a court file we had previously been illegally questioned about, we were treated legally (not subjected to illegal questioning). None of the court files involved were sealed. We were not a party to the case in any of the court file problems below.

        A government agency once politely, warmly promised us certain records in response to our request, then inexplicably refused to supply them. The agency seems to have changed its mind. We futilely filed a FOIA request for the reasons or the promised records. The agency's motive for refusal seems to have been knowingly illegal. About a year or two later, in a case unrelated to us, a court ordered the agency to supply the records to anyone who wanted them.

        Government records are often kept in a folder, a piece of folded cardboard. Sometimes, interesting notes and facts are jotted on the folder. We have frequently requested a copy of the entire folder itself, not merely what is in the folder or attached to it. Government employees have never copied the folder for us. There are two ways to get a copy of the folder.

        1. Go to the agency yourself and copy the folder yourself.
        2. Some agencies allow copy businesses to copy government files. Use one of those businesses and ask the business to copy the entire folder itself, not just what's in the folder.

        Once, we bought a copy of a voter registration form. Someone had filled out a form to become a registered voter. We bought a copy. The election board's employee illegally, intentionally obliterated the applicant's signature on the copy before handing us the copy.

        We once bought a copy of everything in a court's file of a criminal case. One of the crucial documents was either the defendant's arrest warrant or a copy of the warrant, we don't remember which. The court's employee, a deputy clerk, illegally, intentionally obliterated almost all of the copy of the warrant.

        Once, we requested to see a court's file of a criminal case. The case was long over and the appeal period had long passed without appeal. Assuming that the law were obeyed, the entire world had access to the file of that case. It was a cold case. The deputy clerk illegally asked us our connection to that case. In that court, that question was illegal.

        Once, we requested to see a court's file of a criminal case. The deputy clerk asked us why we wanted to see the case. In that court, that question was illegal. The entire world had the right to see that file. Motive was irrelevant. Nevertheless we answered. Our motive was legal but the deputy clerk was so shocked that she lied that she could not find the file.

        Once, we requested to see a court's file of a criminal case. The deputy clerk told us, truthfully we guess, that the file was in the basement, ready to be sent to an archive building far away in a different state. It would be a big nuisance for him to go to the basement to get the file. He wanted us to wait a few weeks, then go the archive building.

        Once, we requested to see a government agency's file. The government agency told us, falsely we think, that it could not find the file. We called occasionally. Many months passed. Finally, we asked the staff of a legislator to help find the file. We emphasized that the sole assistance we wanted was to find the file. The staff called us back a few hours later with a detailed description of the file's location. We promptly called the agency to tell it where its file was. In that telephone conversation, the agency told us that it had decided to do what we wanted (thus eliminating our need to see the file). The agency said that it regretted the way it had treated us. We withdrew our request to see the file.

        Once, we requested to see a federal court's file of a criminal case. A deputy clerk said that a judge had the file. We feared that months might pass before we could see the file. Maybe the judge would keep the file until the trial ended. The trial had not even begun. We went to the judge's office. We spoke to the judge's clerk, who told us that she would pass our statement on to the judge. We returned to the courthouse area where case files are read and there we read a different case's file. After about ninety minutes, the deputy clerk gave us the file, much impressed that we had gotten it.


      Below is a list of some URLs (outside this web site) that we use.

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