Instant Checkmate Review

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Updated · Jan 03, 2024

Joined April 2023

With more than five years of experience in the background check industry, Ritesh Kumar founded Looku... | See full bio

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More and more people are relying on people search engines. If you’re one of them, you’ve surely read a few Instant Checkmate reviews. We did and that prompted us to test the service and write an Instant Checkmate review of our own. Here’s what we think:

People search


Reverse phone lookup


Public record report


Criminal record


Reverse address lookup


Background check


Traffic offenses


Education history



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Instant Checkmate Review


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Best for: Fast criminal background check

Strengths Easy & extensive background check
Strengths Map locations with dates
Strengths Sex offenders in your area
Weaknesses Slow report generation
Weaknesses Expensive monthly pricing model
Weaknesses Unclear billing practices

Since its launch in 2010, Instant Checkmate has helped more than 1.4 million Americans. As one of the best national criminal background check websites, this tool has broad access to public records of anyone in the US.

We wrote a detailed Instant Checkmate review below to answer all your questions about the service.

Legal Disclaimer – Instant Checkmate isn’t a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The site can’t be used for employment, credit, tenant screening, or related purposes.


Here’s what impressed us in Instant Checkmate:

With a full-scale Instant Checkmate background check, finding your associates, reuniting with friends, and learning more about your next date can now be done in just a few clicks

This tool lets you know about a person’s background information and arrest records by simply entering their name and general location. As we tested it for our review of Instant Checkmate, we found out that entering only the first or last name won’t work. You can leave the location empty, but the name must be complete for the search to start

You can also search for yourself and see all the information available about you. If you wish, you can choose to have all your data removed from Instant Checkmate. Note it only removes it from the website, not all records.

Your search is anonymous so you don’t need to worry. The person you’re researching is not notified at all. Because of its broad functions, Instant Checkmate has received an A+ rating from San Diego’s Better Business Bureau.

The search may take a few minutes, given your result is being refined by pop-questions like gender, age, relatives, and such. When it’s done, it will show you verified matched names and related individuals

Find the person that matches best and click ‘Open Report’ to continue your online background check

Detailed Background Check

According to all Instant Checkmate reviews, the slow loading of reports is a drawback. Yet, as we’ve tried it ourselves, we believe a little waiting time is necessary considering how much useful background information it gathers

In one simple search, you can find a person’s location, phone numbers email addresses, and discover all their social network profiles. Personal background information such as arrest records and traffic offenses are also available.

Instant Checkmate also provides:

  • Photos, aliases, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, height & weight, relatives
  • Assets, Weapons permits, Professional licenses
  • Hidden social media accounts and dating profiles

However, Instant Checkmate first shows you a glimpse of all the data it has before it informs you of the cost. Most consumer reviews of Instant Checkmate show users don’t like the lack of a cost breakdown page. 

Social Media Profiles

Instant Checkmate gives you varied background information as both young people and adults now have several social media profiles for different purposes. 

Additionally, gaining a person’s social media photos and activities offer you broader options in verifying someone. This section also contains a person’s forgotten social media accounts, browsing history, videos, dating profiles, and additional contact information

The website generates information on possible relatives and related persons. Through this feature, Instant Checkmate can easily help you find family members. Moreover, this additional background check is already included in your subscription package.

The background report will show possible spouses, parents, siblings, grandparents, and extended family members. It reveals ex-spouses, co-workers, and online relationships, too. 

Criminal Record Database

Existing Instant Checkmate reviews mostly mention its criminal records search in brief, but we believe this is the best feature of Instant Checkmate. It is important to know if the people you let in your life have a history of violence or criminal offenses

What does a criminal background check show? Basically everything important - warrants, felonies, misdemeanors, lawsuits, DUI arrests, and even traffic tickets

If the person has a criminal record, the report may also show where the offense had occurred and more details about the crime

Sex Offender Database

Most Instant Checkmate reviews never discussed its sex offender database thoroughly. Yet, as we researched for this Instant Checkmate review, we found out that there is more to it than a simple search.

This feature is perfect if you or someone you know recently moved to a new place. Simply enter the name and location you wanted to check, and the result will give you a complete list of registered sex offenders living near the area

The report includes names, map locations, and if available, even images of these sex offenders

This is another way to optimize Instant Checkmate

If you’re trying to locate an inmate or thinking someone you know is in jail, Instant Checkmate is your best bet. It provides a basic inmate search without the need for Inmate Identification Numbers. Just enter their name and last known location and the site will provide their updated location and release date.

If you need more background information about them, click “Open Report” to run a full background check.

Instant Checkmate Mobile App

The mobile app is perfect for when you’re outside and want to verify someone you just met.

All the features available on the website are also available on the app, offering you convenience wherever you are. It has received thousands of five-star ratings from Instant Checkmate customer reviews in Google Play, ensuring its reliability and performance. 

Reverse Phone Lookup

Receiving calls from an unknown number? You can uncover who’s calling you using the reverse phone lookup service by Instant Checkmate. Through this tool, Instant Checkmate automatically searches countless databases to give you a full report on every information available about the mystery caller. The data may include the caller’s full name, the phone carrier name, their address, and demographic data

However, this is not featured on the main page. Don’t get confused and simply scroll down on the website until you reach the ‘Quick Links’, then click ‘Reverse Phone Lookup’ and you will be brought to the right page. 

Reliable & Useful Information

Given its access to countless public information and various databases at hand, most reviews of Instant Checkmate have deemed it a reliable tool. It offers an easy browsing experience by separating all gathered information into different sections

Although, like other personal background check companies, a few redundant and outdated data is expected due to millions of interconnected records collected from different US states. 

Ease of Use

Effortless to use is the overall rating of Instant Checkmate reviews - and we totally agree. It only needs a name and location for each query, making both the website and app user-friendly. The tool has a simple design, too. It takes minutes to show results

It also needs your full attention while the report is loading because it asks pop-up questions to narrow down your search


Instant Checkmate’s price is higher yet cost-efficient in the long run as it provides unlimited background check reports for the price of one. 

Unlike other background check companies, Instant Checkmate only offers two package deals to cover a person, their relatives, and other acquaintances' background check instead of separating each background search into different billings. If you have to search for more than one person, Instant Checkmate is your go-to search engine.

The separate reverse phone lookup deal is also smart, making it affordable for you if you only need this feature. It is also easier to combine with your subscription package if available.

Instant Checkmate Price:

  • Recommended - $35.12/month - 1 Month Unlimited Reports
  • Power User - $28.09/month - 3 Months Unlimited Reports

Take note that there is no free trial. Instead, it offers exclusive deals like their 5-day trial for $1 promo. You can try it now and get your $1 back if you cancel your subscription before it ends. 

Instant Checkmate Review  - Verdict 

Excluding the reverse address lookup function, Instant Checkmate has all the features you need for a people search engine. Moreso, its extensive public arrest records and sexual offender registration lists make it the best tool to check if someone is a danger to you. 

However, its pricing model is higher than other background check companies out there. Additionally, there are a few Instant Checkmate reviews from customers complaining about its lack of transparency in membership renewals and charges. Just be mindful of your subscription and immediately contact customer service for any unclear billings.


Is Instant Checkmate legitimate?

Yes. Instant Checkmate is safe and legal to use. Yet, take note that online background check services like Instant Checkmate are not accredited by the Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). The background information it gathers, despite how useful, cannot be used for things like hiring employees, screening tenants, insurance, and consumer credit services.

Is there an Instant Checkmate free trial?

No. Instant Checkmate does not offer free trials. Watch out for any advertisements saying so, thinking it is the free trial that most Instant Checkmate reviews have referred to. Instead, it occasionally offers exclusive deals for you to try before buying a monthly subscription.

Currently, it has a 5-day trial for a $1 deal. If you cancel your subscription within five days, your $1 will be refunded to your Paypal account.

How do I remove myself from Instant Checkmate?

Opting out of Instant Checkmate is easy. 

  • Enter your name and location
  • Search for your report
  • Select ‘Remove this record’ 
  • Wait for an email confirmation to verify your decision

Take note that you must submit different requests with separate email addresses for each name you wanted to remove. 

If you choose to opt-out, you must understand that your data will still exist in public records and can be acquired using other personal background check companies. Additionally, due to the huge volumes of public records and discrepancies in data, these circumstances make it difficult to remove everything associated with you. Your data may still appear as a possible relative or associate in another person’s report.

What does Instant Checkmate tell you?

Finding lost friends and reuniting with relatives is now made easier with Instant Checkmate. A simple search will provide you detailed reports about anyone in the US, including their demographic data, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, public arrest records, and other useful information to verify and contact them. For more detailed information, check our Instant Checkmate review above.

Does Instant Checkmate notify the person?

No. Instant Checkmate is aware of how these searches can be sensitive and, to an extent, dangerous for you if the other party is notified that you’re searching for their records. You can also archive your chosen reports to prevent it from showing on your dashboard.

Where does Instant Checkmate get its information?

Instant Checkmate compiles public records from all over the US to build a comprehensive background database on anybody around the states. The data is filed by government officials, including census data, criminal records, residential addresses, sex offender registration files, and more.

Access to these records is made possible by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), allowing the public to request access to data from various federal agencies. Although these public records are accessible, Instant Checkmate made collecting and compiling simple through a user-friendly people search engine. 

How much does Instant Checkmate cost?

Instant Checkmate has three subscription plans in place. The monthly and quarterly subscription offers unlimited background checks for different periods while the phone lookup membership delivers unlimited reverse phone number lookup. 

  • 1 Month Unlimited Reports - $35.13
  • 3 Months Unlimited Reports - $28.09/month

Just keep in mind that most users mention a lack of transparency in the renewals and charges in their Instant Checkmate reviews.


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With more than five years of experience in the background check industry, Ritesh Kumar founded - a free tool to report bad drivers and look up license plates. Besides that, he has been in the SEO game for the last decade. So talk to him about Google algorithmic updates, and he can continue until the sheep come home. Here at, he contributes mostly to the category - Background checks.

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1 comment
Dotty DeArment
1 year ago
Yeah my name and my boyfriends name were searched on your site by my ex-husband. This is completely wrong for people to be able to search names like this. I could understand if you were just starting to date someone. But when you have someone like him stalking us there's a problem. What about the safety of people like us? We are not okay with this. If something happens are you going to be liable, no. Releasing our address and any other records that you release, could endanger us. It's not only us but there are other people like us that could be in the same situation.