If you live in Montgomery County, Ohio, inevitably you may need to access free public records. If you are just beginning your search and do not know where to begin when conducting a background check, this guide can help you. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by public records in Montgomery County at first, but once you know how public records work and how they can work in your favor, you will find it easy to locate the document or item you need.

Public records are also your right. As an American, you have a right to access government files and documents because of the principles of a free and open government created by and for the people. Although you sometimes have to pay a service fee for printing official copies of public record in Montgomery County, generally the process and service is free given you follow the advice given in this guide.

You could also opt to pay a third party company for doing a background check on employees or accessing free public records in Montgomery County for you, but why pay for something that is already yours? As a citizen of the state of Ohio or as a resident of the United States, you can access the free public records and gain access to a wealth of information.

The information that is kept secret and protected will not be released to anyone without the proper authorization. That means that you would need to give express written consent to a prospective employer or a landlord in order for them to access your drivers record in Montgomery County or the property records that pertain to your family house.

Read on, and learn more about free public records in Montgomery County.

Public Records in Montgomery County

Montgomery County, Ohio is an official administrative district. Officials serving in public office are at the behest of taxpayers. Taxpayers in Montgomery County and elsewhere pay for essential services, one of which is the maintenance of public records that keep track of official proceedings. Examples include legislative proceedings, court records, and personal records like your birth certificates. The government keeps records of matters that pertain to public health and safety.

In Montgomery County, as elsewhere in the United States, any document or multimedia file that pertains to government needs will be considered a public record. Many public records are available to anyone and everyone who requests the information. However, some public records are only available to select persons: namely those individuals whose name is on the record. In other words, birth certificates, driving records, and credit history records are not necessarily documents that are open to the general public even though these are technically considered free “public records” in Montgomery County.

What this means is that anyone has the right to request access to public records, but not everyone will find what they are looking for without getting the written consent of the person. If you are an employer or a landlord interested in running a background check, or if you are hiring a nanny and want to screen the applicants for a criminal record, then simply ask that person for the right to access their public records. Their consent should be sufficient for you to locate the free public records in Montgomery County that will help you make the right decisions related to your safety and security.

Other situations that may demand access to public records include times when you are applying for professional accreditation, admission into a professional league or organization, or residency in another country. When you want to change your legal name, you also need to access public records like your birth certificate or marriage certificate in Montgomery County.

Types of Public Records

When you search for public records in Montgomery County, obviously you have decided already to narrow your search to the records that are stored by county government agencies. Many free public records are in fact stored at the county level: the most notable being property records. With few exceptions, property records like the results of assessments and the data related to liens, titles, and deeds, are not stored by state government bodies. Very few free public records will be stored by the federal government of the United States.

Therefore, it is a good idea to start your search for free public records in Montgomery County. Whatever you do not find immediately you can locate through subsequent searches in the state of Ohio. Rarely you will need to access federal government agency free public records, but when it comes to things like missing persons or sex offenders, federal records may help you locate information that pertains to individuals who may have crossed state and county borders.

Arrest and criminal records, court records, driving records, and vital records related to people who lived or who once lived in Montgomery County, Ohio are all easier to find than you might have thought. You do not need to know everything about the various structures and divisions of government to access the free public records in Montgomery County, Ohio, or elsewhere in the United States. However, this guide will explain which public records you can best find through the Montgomery County government agencies, which are available through the State of Ohio government agencies, and which you may be better off searching for in national databases. Now let’s take a look at what you might be able to find when you begin your search of free public records in Montgomery County.

Free Public Records in Montgomery County

You can find pretty much anything you need in a free public records search, related to criminal history or background checks. If you are using this guide specifically because you want to run a background check or search the criminal records for someone who you might hire for a job or accept as a tenant in your property, you have come to the right place. You can also use this guide to find public records related to your own personal history such as your birth certificate, if you were born in Montgomery County, or the death certificates for your relatives.

Driving records and vital records like birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates could be more easily accessed through Ohio state agencies, and this guide will point you in the right direction whenever that does occur. However, county records are often easily accessed online, as are state records. All it takes is a little time and patience and you can save yourself a lot of grief and money by doing the work yourself.

What is a Background Check?

Chances are you are using this guide because you are interested in running a background check on someone or on a company. Situations you may consider running a background check in Montgomery County include the following:

  • Hiring a contractor or subcontractor
  • Hiring a nanny or tutor for your child
  • Sending your child to a daycare center, day camp, or a community club
  • Hiring a home health aide
  • Sending your elderly relatives to a senior care or memory care facility
  • Hiring any employee
  • Selecting a tenant to reside in your rental property

These are only some of the many situations that require the use of a free background check in Montgomery County, Ohio. A background check serves several functions, the most obvious and important of which is protecting you, your business, and your personal property. A background check allows you access to information that the applicant might have left out on their application. Similarly, a background check verifies that the individual is not a convicted felon and has a clean driving record.

In some situations a background check may be necessary and required by law. This is true for childcare and eldercare, or any situation in which the government of Ohio deems it necessary to do your due diligence by accessing free public records before you hire someone in a sensitive role.

When You Need a Free Background Check in Montgomery County, Ohio

Curiosity is reason enough, but when you take the time to access free public records in Montgomery County, it is highly likely you are searching for something in particular. Consider the following examples:

  • You are new to town and searching for a good place to live. The public records in Montgomery County, Ohio include things like property records, lien information, and anything pertaining to properties that you are interested in purchasing. If you are moving to Montgomery County, check the free public records first before you agree to purchase any real estate.
  • You are renting in Montgomery County. Renting a home or apartment is a good way to get a feel for the place and decide if Montgomery County is right for you and your family. If you are in this situation, or if someone you know is looking for a place to rent, consider using public records to check up on the landlord. Accessing free public records in Montgomery County allows you to do things like find out if the property owner or landlord has ever been fined or put in jail for a tort violation or breach of contract. Why take chances with your hard-earned money when all you need to do is run a simple background check for peace of mind and common sense?
  • You are renting out your own property. Property owners in Montgomery County, Ohio are lucky enough to have at their disposal a reliable source of passive income. Renting out a home or apartment, or a commercial real estate space, is a great way to supplement your income. Yet if you rent to the wrong people or the wrong company, you only have yourself to blame unless you run a free background check before you sign the lease.
  • Online dating. Many people who just moved to Montgomery County use online dating apps and websites to meet people. Meeting people online makes your life easier and opens up your social life. However, there are a lot of creeps out there. You can protect yourself by using free online resources including the public records of Montgomery County to make sure the person you are meeting at the bar, restaurant, or coffee shop has no criminal record.
  • Home Renovations. Whenever you hire contractors to renovate your home or office, you are putting your trust in them. You have faith that their quotes are accurate and that they will not do any additional damage to your property. The only way to really be sure that the contractor is legitimate is to do a free background check by accessing the free public records of Montgomery County. You can find out things like whether the person is actually licensed and bonded by Montgomery County or the State of Ohio, or whether or not the contractor or the company has been fined or cited for breach of contract.
  • Hiring Childcare Workers. The law sometimes demands that professional organizations like daycare centers and schools run background checks on all employees in order to protect the society’s most vulnerable population: children. However, you as a parent also need to take responsibility for running background checks on prospective babysitters, nannies, tutors, and other persons who offer their services to you and your children. When you place your children in someone else’s hands, it is entirely up to you whether to run a background check that includes criminal history, driving record, and the verification of their identity.
  • Genealogy. Genealogy is more popular now than ever before thanks to online websites that allow you to do DNA testing to find long lost relatives. You can use public records in Montgomery County to supplement your genealogy research. Similarly, you can use public records in Montgomery County to find long lost loved ones, including those who have been reported missing to the local police or persons who were adopted.
  • Applications for professional organizations or immigration services. Your vital records and criminal history records from Montgomery County or the State of Ohio may be necessary when you apply for membership in professional organizations to receive a license or certification. Likewise, when you apply for citizenship in another country you may be required to allow access to your vital and criminal records.
  • What’s on YOUR permanent record? Another reason why you might want to access free public records in Montgomery County is simple curiosity, to find out what information employers can learn about you. Learning what is on your permanent record empowers you and prepares you for tough interview questions.

Can Employers Find Out Everything About Me?

As important as it is for the government to protect your right to access free public records, your privacy matters too. The government of the United States, of Ohio, and of Montgomery County work hard to maintain a judicious balance between freedom of information and protecting the privacy of individuals. One of the ways a balance between privacy and freedom of information can be maintained is through laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The FCRA guarantees that employers or landlords cannot use your credit history against you. Discrimination is often a subtle and subconscious process. An employer could see that you were once in debt and therefore deem you unattractive, and the same can occur when you are looking for housing options in Montgomery County, Thanks to the FCRA, employers and landlords cannot legally use your credit history to make such decisions.

One of the most important reasons for using this guide as opposed to paying a third party service for free background checks is that you can avoid potential conflict with the law. Using this guide, you do your own FCRA-compliant background check and reduce the risk of a lawsuit.

How Can I Find….

Finding specific information for a background check or any other public record such as property records or vital records is easy when you follow this guide.

Background Checks in Montgomery County

There are several ways you can go about obtaining a free background check on an employee. One of the best methods is through the Ohio Attorney General’s office Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

However, you will need the person’s fingerprints to go through the BCI for your background check.

Another way you can conduct a free background check is by going directly through the Montgomery County Sheriff. As with the BCI, the background check through the Sheriff’s office in Montgomery County is fingerprint-based.

If you do NOT have access to the person’s fingerprints, your best bet for running a free background check in Montgomery County is by searching the court records for the person’s criminal history, as follows.

Court and Criminal Records

Court records automatically become public records in Montgomery County, Some records—like juvenile records—may be sealed. However, most civil and criminal case records will be duly recorded and filed according to the jurisdiction in which the case was heard.

Go to the Montgomery County of Clerks public records search website to look up a person and find out if they have been convicted of a crime or were in court in a civil case.

The Dayton Municipal Court system also has a website you can use to search for free public records including traffic violations, civil cases, and criminal cases that took place in that jurisdiction.

Driving Records

Sometimes you need to search for a person’s driving records in Montgomery County, such as when you are hiring a personal assistant or childcare worker who is expected to drive as part of their job.

Another reason you may need to search public records for driving history is when you are concerned about your own record.

In this case, search the Dayton County Municipal Court for parking violations and traffic related incidents.

Missing Persons Records

The government keeps public records on all missing persons including adults and children. The most efficient way of searching the free public records for missing persons in Montgomery County is to start with the Ohio Attorney General website. You can search by the person’s name.

Jail, Prison, and Inmate Records

Montgomery County, Ohio makes it relatively easy to search the free public records to look for individuals who are currently serving time in a county jail. Victims often want to know how much time is left on the perpetrator’s sentence. Family members and friends sometimes want to visit their loved ones or send money: common reasons for accessing the free public records.

Your best bet for finding an inmate—search the Montgomery County Sheriff department website using the inmate’s name.

Sex Offender Records

Searching public records for the location or identity of convicted sex offenders is your right. Play it safe by running a free public records search using the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office tool for identifying any convicted sex offender that may be lurking near you or your children.

Property Records

If you are seeking information about a specific property in Montgomery County, Ohio, you should first check the county Auditor’s Office for further information.

However, if you are seeking access to a list of foreclosures in Montgomery County and similar properties for sale that may have pre-existing liens on them, you may be better off using the Montgomery County Sheriff’s department website. The Montgomery County Sheriff lists “Sheriff Sales,” or Mortgage Foreclosures, on their website.

Unclaimed Property Records

Unclaimed property is not a term referring to real estate but to funds that lie dormant in bank accounts or items left in a safety deposit box at a bank. Similarly, deposits you might have left for utilities companies and insurance money might have been unclaimed if you were disorganized or forgot about it. Often, people die before their financial affairs are totally in order and have unclaimed property as a result. Their primary beneficiaries can recover that unclaimed money simply by accessing the free public records in Montgomery County.

To claim unclaimed property, have ready your government-issued identification.

Then visit the Office of the Ohio Treasurer, which is in charge of all unclaimed property within the state.

For unclaimed funds specifically linked to property taxes in Montgomery County, Ohio, you can also go to the Montgomery County Treasurer’s Office.

Vital Records

One of the most common types of free public records searches will be for your vital records.

Vital records include the following:

  • Birth Certificates/Birth Records
  • Death Certificates/Death Records
  • Marriage Certificates/Marriage Licenses
  • Divorce Certificates/Divorce Decrees

There are a few ways you can go about locating the vital records you need.

If you only need a birth and/or death record, and have the proper identification, you can perform your search through the Dayton & Montgomery County’s Department of Vital Statistics.

However, if you also need records pertaining to marriages and divorces that took place in Montgomery County or elsewhere, it is better to use the VitalChek Website.

Use the VitalChek website to easily locate Montgomery County vital records.

You will need proper identification to receive certified copies of vital records.


There you have it: an easy way to access free public records in Montgomery County, Ohio. With just a little time and patience you can find whatever you are looking for: whether you need public records to apply for a job or a citizenship application or whether you need the records to run a background check on a prospective tenant or employee.

Even if you are running a background check on someone who lived outside of Montgomery County, you can use the same information included in this article to aid in your search.

Public records are free for you to access because the government protects your right to freedom of information and open government. You therefore have the right to search for any public record in Montgomery County, and hopefully this guide made your search a whole lot easier.