Your Complete Guide To Skip Tracing In California

Your Complete Guide To Skip Tracing In California

The United States assigns individual states a lot of legal ground to cover, reserving federal regulations for situations that mediate the needs of several or even all the states at once. As a result, private investigators, real estate sales professionals, and even hairdressers’ professional requirements can vary a lot from one location to the next. If you are looking to skip trace in California, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. Luckily, there are only a few guidelines, because California’s laws around this topic are pretty typical.

Accessing skip tracing data and acting on it is legal in California, but conducting a skip tracing operation is another matter. If you rely on a fully licensed service for business in the state, you should not run into any trouble using the information. If your business will involve performing traces for people or otherwise providing investigative services, that’s when you need to know the laws in the state.

California Skip Tracing Laws

California requires all those performing skip tracing to be licensed private investigators. Offering tracing services or conducting manual tracing operations falls under the state’s investigators’ licensure and associated professional requirements. That includes education, experience, testing, and everything else you might expect. However, California does not put any restrictions on the use of skip tracing as a client.

If you are subscribed to a service that provides results and charges you for the service, you are operating as a client, not a professional conducting a trace. Some tools offer you the ability to do the tracing yourself with automated tools; however, rather than pulling results from a service that automates its database for you. Those tools may require you to be a licensed investigator to legally use them because they are not doing the trace for you.

Pros and Cons of Skip Tracing

The upsides to skip tracing are pretty clear when you have the data to pull accurate contact information.

  • Fast contact information from all available public records, digital records included
  • Properties with liens against them, criminal and civil proceedings, and more
  • Locate email and phone information for everything from debt collection to real estate wholesaling


While this access to information is excellent, there are a few drawbacks and obstacles to consider. Not all of these are points against skip tracing generally, but they can get in the way if your information is outdated or incomplete.

  • You have to check out the legality of your methods in every state you operate in
  • Outdated information could provide dead leads, wasting the cost of the trace
  • Too much data can be as daunting as not enough, so unorganized but complete results could present a learning curve


So, is skip tracing the right resource for your business? If you’re still unsure, take some time to inventory the tasks; it would be simpler if you used a service like BatchSkipTracing that provides you results at a flat fee and top-tier information.

Key Takeaways

Here are the significant points to consider if you are still unsure after inventorying your business needs:

  • As a client buying tracing results, you can benefit from all this information without doing the work yourself
  • Today’s software uses the most accurate and timely records it can find
  • Costs for online services tend to be a lot lower than keeping a private investigator on retainer
  • You need a license to do the actual trace for yourself using manual tools if you are in California


This should make it easier to make up your mind. Then all you need to do is pick a skip tracing provider in California like BatchSkipTracing. 

Written by BatchService 

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