In this day and age, it seems that you should just be able to enter someone's full name into a public search engine, and a minute later, get a current address. But we aren't quite there yet. On the other hand, a good chance exists that you can find an individual's present address if you have a little information about them.
Get Your Facts Together
Looking for common names such as John Smith or Juan Garcia in the United States will be difficult. Searching for 72-year-old John Linkletter Smith in Indiana or a Dr. Juan Guerro-Garcia in Southern California is doable. Gather together all the information you have on the person you are looking for, including age, prior addresses, education, profession, spouse's name, number and age of children, hobbies, passions, and any other details that might help you.
It's also helpful to chat with mutual friends up-front. This can narrow down your search geographically as well as get new facts to add to your collection.
Search Online: Facebook, Google and LinkedIn
This is a digital age, so you are probably already Googling for directions or checking Facebook to see what a friend posted. Now's the time to put your experience to work by using the Google and Facebook search engines to track down the person you are looking for.
When you google the name, do yourself a favor by adding in additional information. Don't type in "address John Smith," but "address John Linkletter Smith, age 72, Indiana." The more you can help Google by giving it details to filter results, the more likely you are to find what you need. Next, try a search of Facebook's billions of subscribers. LinkedIn also might be a good place to search for a current address.
Run a Public Records Search
The next step to locate an address of an individual is to run a public records search. If you already know where the person lives, you can try searching free public records in the area that is likely to lead to the person's address, such as property ownership records in Texas, or, if the person is an attorney in San Francisco, the California Bar Association, which gives you an attorney's name, education and address.
Fee-based public records searches are available that are specific to each state. Some of these are quite professional, while others may give you little for your money. Ask friends for their recommended search providers. The ones with the best reputations today may not be on the top-10 list next year, so you'll need to ask what to search. Whitepages may provide address information if you just put in the name and state. Other good options include Pipl and ZabaSearch, and most of their records are free.