How To Find Someone’s Middle Name: Search Their Full Name in Seconds

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | May 13, 2024

Man in a yellow shirt on the right holding up a magnifying glass to learn how to find someone’s middle name on the background check of John Q. Smith.

Have you ever been curious about how to find someone’s middle name? Middle names are important in many situations, especially when you need to find specific information about a person.

With a few simple steps to guide you and Internet access, you can search for someone’s full name in seconds. Start with the simple search below.

Middle Name Search
Enter anyone's first name, last name, state, and city to find their middle name.

Find the Middle Name of Someone Fast (Manual People Search Options)

Finding a person’s middle name fast is important when you need accurate information about them. And fortunately, public and vital records are available, if you know where and how to look.

The following steps can be used together or alone when you want to know how to find someone’s middle name.

Step 1. Gather the Information You Do Have.

The first thing to do is get together the information you do have about the person. For example, their first name, (or even better, first and last name), their possible address (knowing the state and town where they live will really help), their phone number, or any other information you may have about the individual.

If you know the state where they were born, that will help search vital records, as well as their mother and/or father’s name, the year they were born, or additional personal information. But keep in mind, because privacy laws vary from state to state, searching vital record information may be different in each place.

Step 2. Go Online to the State Comptroller’s Office

The state comptroller’s office allows public records searches for deeds, and the best part is that you don’t need to have complete information to perform most searches.

The comptroller’s office in each state is like the treasury department. It holds and controls the money collected by taxes and other methods, and is responsible for paying bills, payrolls for public employees, contracted work and employing other funds that are used to operate the state. As such, it also keeps detailed ‘bookkeeping’ records, which include land purchases (because of the taxes paid on sales). These records are public and are a great place to start when you need to find out how to find someone’s middle name.

The following list contains links to each state’s comptroller’s office. While some states have instant search databases that can be used by the public, others require written requests.

U.S. StateComptroller Search Tool
AlabamaOnline Forms
AlaskaTreasury Department
ArizonaGeneral Accounting Office
ArkansasDepartment of Finance
CaliforniaCalifornia State Controller
ColoradoOffice of the State Controller
ConnecticutOffice of the state Comptroller
DelawareOffice of the Controller General
FloridaFlorida Court Clerks and Comptrollers
GeorgiaOffice of the State Treasurer
HawaiiOffice of the Comptroller
IdahoController’s Office
IllinoisRequest for Records
IndianaOffice of the Treasurer
IowaState Comptroller’s Office
KansasState Treasurer
KentuckyOffice of the Controller
LouisianaDepartment of Revenue
MaineOffice of the State Controller
MarylandComptroller of Maryland
MassachusettsComptroller of the Commonwealth
MichiganDepartment of Treasury
MinnesotaDepartment of Revenue
MississippiDepartment of Treasury
MissouriComptroller’s Office
MontanaDepartment of Revenue
NebraskaCorporate and Business Division
NevadaState Controller’s Office
New HampshireState Treasury
New JerseyOffice of State Comptroller
New MexicoTaxation and Revenue
New YorkState Comptroller
North CarolinaController, Office of the State
North DakotaTax Commissioner
OhioAuditor of State
OklahomaComptroller Division
OregonState Controller’s Division
PennsylvaniaOffice of Comptroller Operations
Rhode IslandDepartment of Accounts and Control
South CarolinaComptroller General
South DakotaDepartment of Revenue
TennesseeReal Estate Assessment Data
TexasComptroller’s Office
UtahComptroller’s Office
VermontOffice of State Treasurer
VirginiaDepartment of Accounts
WashingtonDepartment of Revenue
West VirginiaState Treasurer
WisconsinState Controller’s Office
WyomingUnclaimed Property


Many of the links above will also require that you navigate to a contact or “requests” page. Once there, you can search for:

  • Deeds
  • Land Titles
  • Business Licensing
  • Unclaimed Property
  • Other

The key is to have the information you do know on hand so that you can make your middle name request quickly.

Step 3. Search State Clerk Records, Archives, and Libraries

In addition to marriage licenses, business licenses, address updates, and motor vehicle tag renewals that are housed in County clerk’s and comptroller’s offices, the state archives and health departments in most states house public records on almost everyone, and many provide online services.

Image of a man searching online to find information on the internet.

While this isn’t typically the fastest solution, it can yield the results you seek.

The key is to first uncover where your state keeps “vital records.” Vital records are those that include birth, death, marriage, business, ownership (property tax) and other information about a person.

To carry out this search:

  • Type “Vital Records [Your State]” in your computer’s browser.
  • Shuffle through the results and choose the official state site (you can usually pick this out quickly by looking for a .gov address).
  • Open the site and explore.

If a “records request” isn’t clearly listed on the state website, type that phrase in the search tool, if there is one. You may be directed to a PDF file that outlines the process for making a public records request, or “vital records request,” from the health department.

Typically, if the person you are searching for is under the age of 40, vital record documentation will be recorded at the Department of Health.

However, in Tennessee, if you’re searching for someone born before 1971, you’ll need to access the state’s Archives and Libraries. That’s where historical information is contained, and you can make requests for public information using the various forms that are listed.1

These generally take a few days to process and are usually free, unless the number of pages returned exceeds a certain amount (usually 5 pages are free, any more than that cost less than $20 to process).

Public records are often considered the most accurate way of finding someone’s middle name, which is why this method should also be used when other methods are not proving successful.

The drawback for vital records is that many are not public, depending on state law. Remember that you will need to know at least one of the following items in order for this search to be both legal and effective: full name, date of birth, last known address, or social security number.

Some states also provide public records online, without requiring forms. These are generally housed at the county clerk’s office, including:

  • County voter records
  • Property and address records
  • Utility services

If you know where the person lives, navigate to that area’s county clerk and perform a records search or request. Unfortunately, some jurisdictions, though they may contain all of the necessary information, do not allow outside parties to access their data due to privacy concerns.

Step 4. Search the Internet

The internet is a vast resource, and although generalized searches will likely result in a page that is chock full of advertisements, there are some ways to use the internet when learning how to find someone’s middle name.

Image of a woman filling out an online personal information form on a computer, with post-it notes and office supplies on a wooden desk.

Type in the information you have in a search bar (name, city, phone number). The first results will usually be public websites, but if you keep scrolling, personal social media pages (if the person has them) will typically appear, and one of them may have the middle name you need.

A word of caution using this method, matching middle names is not unheard of, so you’ll want to explore the pages you find to make sure it’s the person you’re actually seeking.

Tips for using the Internet:

  • Use quotation marks around the information: “John Smith 555-555-5555, Pennsylvania”
  • Use full state names, don’t abbreviate
  • Add zip codes, if you have it
  • If you know the city, quickly search the county name where it’s located: Brooklyn is in King’s County

Step 5. Use an Online Database (Reverse Phone Number Lookup)

Another fast way to learn a person’s middle name is to use an online search tool, like a reverse phone book or similar ‘finder.’ Many of these sites glean public information from a host of databases and will include all sorts of info on someone.

It is important to note, however, that not all information on the internet is reliable. Many free websites that claim to offer accurate information aren’t trustworthy, so always verify by searching the site name plus the word “scam.”

A free people search like Whitepages can be used to find basic information about people quickly and easily. Whitepages People Search compiles public information into one database, which can be searched, but you’ll still need to glean as much information as possible in order to be successful.2

Step 6. Use Law Enforcement and Court Clerk Search Tools

Many other details about the individual may exist, if they have been involved with the judicial system, either through an arrest, charge, or conviction. These arrest and conviction records are public information and you can find out if someone is in custody, or how to find out whether a criminal record exists for someone using law enforcement online tools.

And, you can find out everything from criminal history to court records.

Step 7. Use a Professional Background Check Service

Utilizing multiple methods to conduct your people search will yield the most reliable information, but it can sometimes take more time and effort than using just one trustworthy source. Using a reputable background check company is the easiest way to find verified information about someone quickly, as these providers have access to the latest (and often the most accurate) public records and will provide the data you are seeking in a clear and concise report.

When using a paid background check service, simply enter the person’s name and pay a fee and you can find their basic contact information including:

  • Cell phone numbers
  • Current and previous addresses in all states (Reverse address lookup)
  • Email information
  • Social media profiles (when available)
  • Web aliases

Many people perform name-based background checks for safety, such as searching the history of your daughter’s new boyfriend, or your son’s new coach. Knowing how to find someone’s middle name can improve the accuracy and the potential success of your hunt.

To make sure you conduct your search in a safe and legal manner, it’s a good idea to double-check state and federal laws about privacy. In general, performing public searches like this for personal reasons don’t require consent, but if the search is being used or any professional capacity, the person you are searching must authorize it.

Ultimately, knowing how to find someone’s middle name can be a beneficial skill to have; you never know when you might need it.


1Morton, Sunny. 26 July 2019. How to Find Your Relative on the Shared FamilySearch Family Tree.  Family Search. 11 November 2021. Web. <>

2WhitePages. 10 October 2018. Where Does Whitepages Get Information About A Background. Whitepages. 11 November 2021. Web. <>

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