Instant Checkmate Review

An affordable background checker that offers an unlimited search plan

Updated: March 25,2022

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Instant Checkmate was founded in 2010, and ever since, it’s been among the best background check service providers you can find online. It enables you to get instant information about a person you are interested in, such as their age, address, possible police records, related court documents, and much more.

If you are interested in reconnecting with your best childhood friend or you want to make sure your blind date doesn’t have a criminal record, check out our Instant Checkmate Review to find out what kind of information on people it offers, what its limitations are, and how much the service will cost you.

Instant Checkmate
Instant Checkmate
Price range:
$1.00 - $83.47/month
  • Name search
  • Address search
  • Phone search
  • Criminal records
  • Reverse address search
  • Reverse phone search
  • Social network search
  • Commercial business records
  • Financial and court records
  • Lawsuits and real estate records
pros thumb up Pros
  • User-friendly website
  • Vast database of public information
  • Multiple search method options
  • Mobile app
pros thumb down Cons
  • Subscriptions renew automatically
  • Refund policy includes only one year of accidental charges

User Interface

The first thing you’ll notice once you visit Instant Checkmate’s website is its polished design. You can search for people by simply typing in their first and last names. Once you do that, you’ll be offered some additional filters to help the software narrow the results. Email address and phone number searches are also enabled, which is especially useful for people who use dating apps or some classified websites.

Make a note that Instant Checkmate and other similar public record search websites are not to be used for hiring employees, screening tenants, assessing professional services, or making decisions about credit or insurance eligibility. Instant Checkmate is pretty transparent and clear about these restrictions. If you perform a search, you will be asked to check a box that you agree not to use any collected information for any of these purposes.

instant checkmate review people search

Platform Compatibility

As mentioned, the website’s interface is user-friendly and very modern-looking, but in case you don’t have the time to sit down at your desktop computer, you’ll be glad to hear that you can also download the app and check it on the go. At the moment of writing this review, the Instant Checkmate App was available only for Android users, so that is something to work on if the company wishes to attract new customers.

That said, the app has a solid score of 4.4 out of 5, and the majority of customers are satisfied with it, saying that the app is expertly designed and easy to navigate. You can download it for free, and it has some basic reports that also come at no cost.

Speaking of which, you are probably interested to know if Instant Checkmate is free, so we’ll address that question in the next section.

Instant Checkmate Pricing

Once you become a member, you may get some additional bonus reports as part of the deal, but the service itself is not free. Instant Checkmate provides basic background checks and premium checks.

Basic background checks include:

  • First and last name
  • Birthday and age
  • Possible relatives
  • Contact information
  • Education information

A premium background check gives you access to all that information plus:

  • Criminal records
  • Arrest records
  • Weapon permits
  • Professional licenses
  • Traffic records

If you just want to perform one online background check or a couple of them, Instant Checkmate offers a five-day trial that will only set you back $1. If you are interested in regularly using the service, here is a summary of all the available options and their prices:

# Plan Cost
1 Five-day trial $1.00 for five days
2 One-month membership $34.78, rebilling monthly
3 Three-month membership $83.47, rebilling every three months
4 Five-day trial $4.99 per month
5 PDF Fee (one time) $1.99 per PDF

The registration process is a matter of minutes: Just go to and perform the initial search. You will be asked to provide some additional information so that the system can narrow the search results. Once you do that, Instant Checkmate will put together your first report, and your account will be created. Right after that, you’ll be offered to create your username and password, and your adventure can officially begin.

We would also advise you to be careful and cancel any account you open on time; otherwise, you’ll be charged again when your initial subscription expires. Here we have to agree with other Instant Checkmate reviews on the net that finding out you have been charged repeatedly without your consent or knowledge can be very unsettling.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, there is still a way to get your money back since Instant Checkmate operates a refund policy and will reverse 12months worth of accidental charges on request, but no more.

Altogether, it looks like this platform could be a bit more transparent about the fees it charges, but you can still avoid unpleasant surprises if you check your statements regularly.

Perks of Being a Member

By becoming an Instant Checkmate member, you’ll gain access to unlimited background reports, and you’ll be able to look up practically anyone you wish by typing in the person’s first and last name, their age or their last known location. In case you do not have all of this information, use what you do know and that will help you narrow the selection.

Another great feature available to members is the phone number search they can use to track down a number they don’t recognize. Our Instant Checkmate reverse phone lookup review has shown this can help you find the owner of about any phone number in the US. A notable exception to this is people who have explicitly asked for their information to be removed from InstantCheckmate’s database.

Location search is another attractive search option not frequently offered by people search sites. With it, you can enter a specific address and the system will collect data about possible residents, FBI crime statistics, and even census results: Get to know your new neighbors even before you meet them!

instant checkmate review criminal records

Instant Checkmate on the Better Business Bureau Website

The Instant Checkmate review by the BBB gives this company an A+ rating. The rating is based on the company’s complaint history with the BBB, transparency of its business practices, length of time the company has been operating, and so forth.

As for customers’ reviews on the BBB website, Instant Checkmate has 2.32 points out of 5, based on 96 reviews. Some customers were disappointed that Instant Checkmate doesn’t provide information on marital status, and some were unable to locate the person they were looking for. But the majority of users are satisfied with the service, saying that the website’s database is genuinely useful, the customer support friendly and competent, and the cancellation process simple.

Room for Improvement

Even though Instant Checkmate Inc. has a good overall score on BBB, there are some rough edges. As previously mentioned, a bit more clarity when it comes to informing consumers that their accounts will be automatically renewed would be welcome. We have also noticed that report loading can get very slow, which can be cumbersome. Other than these minor problems, the platform doesn’t have any bigger issues to resolve, and it has left quite a favorable impression on us.

Instant Checkmate Account Cancellation

As we have already mentioned in this review of Instant Checkmate, your subscription is automatically renewed at the end of the subscription period, so, if you no longer need it, make sure to cancel your Instant Checkmate account so you don’t end up paying for a service you don’t use anymore. There are two ways to do this.

Online Cancellation

To cancel your account manually, go to the Instant Checkmate Cancel page, and fill out and submit the cancellation form you find there. Note that your account won’t be canceled immediately but within 24 to 48 hours. Once you submit the cancellation request, it’ll be sent to customer support, where a representative of Instant Checkmate will review it and send you a confirmation email once it’s done.

Cancel by Phone or Email

If you prefer to have someone’s assistance in your cancellation process, you can reach Instant Checkmate’s support via phone or email. The email option will also require a little bit of patience as it takes 24 to 48 hours for the cancellation to be processed and for you to receive the confirmation, so we recommend you go with the phone option if you want to speed the process up.

Customer Support

The company’s team of member care representatives is dedicated to helping you resolve any issues you might come across while using Instant Checkmate. Contact them by dialing 800-222-8985 Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST or by sending them an email to [email protected] We can confirm from our own experience that the customer care representatives are very helpful and friendly.

How Does Instant Checkmate Compare to Similar Services?
Instant Checkmate Review Logo
Instant Checkmate
$1.00 - $83.47/month
Criminal Records:
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$0.95 - $42.25/search
Criminal Records:
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Spokeo Review Logo
$35.95 - $119.95/month
Criminal Records:
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Instant Checkmate is a great option if you want to check your date or find someone from your past. The website’s reviews online are generally positive, but if you need additional confirmation regarding this company, you should read them carefully (after going through our review first, of course).

Instant Checkmate is not the only provider that offers people search and background services, though. There are dozens of other companies also focused on helping users find accurate and fast information on their targets’ past. We checked Instant Checkmate’s main counterparts – BeenVerified and TruthFinder- and compared them to our candidate. Here’s what we think:

Instant Checkmate vs BeenVerified

Both providers are well-known for providing people search and background check services alike, but they are different when it comes to speed of service, pricing, and customer reviews.

BeenVerified is praised for its fast people search. We confirmed the general opinion about this company during our tests. While Instant Checkmate needs at least 10 minutes to check the base, BeenVerified is much faster, showing results within five minutes. However, there are downsides when it comes to Beenverfired’s services. First off, the company doesn’t have a one-time service like Instant Checkmat. Secondly, there are lots of complaints about BeenVerified services on Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company currently has a B score on BBB, while Instant Checkmate has a glowing A+ rating.

TruthFinder vs Instant Checkmate

Both providers can help you find everything you need to know about your target. They have large databases with available criminal records, so you can complete a comprehensive background search and get accurate information about someone’s criminal background. However, TruthFinder provides some additional services that are not offered by Instant Checkmate. For example, the provider has a dark web monitoring tool. It helps you check if your personal information shows on suspicious sites and helps you prevent identity theft problems.

The negative side of using Truthfinder’s service is that you can’t cancel your membership easily. Instant Checkmate is more flexible when it comes to membership cancellation.

What’s New at Instant CheckMate?

The latest reviews of Instant Checkmate’s website show the company’s continuous work on upgrading its services. In the past, the company used to have a confusing pricing list, which is why there were several negative reviews on BBB. Thankfully, it has since made some improvements regarding the pricing list and the refund policy.

Bottom Line

Instant Checkmate is a great tool for running instant searches and checking some basic information about the people you are interested in. Its user-friendly interface will make the search process completely effortless. If you wish to reconnect with old friends or relatives, the Instant Checkmate search tool will help you do that by pulling out their mailing and email addresses, phone numbers, and any publicly available information.

With a five-day trial of just $1, you can check out all of its features and decide if it is worth subscribing to. All in all, after reviewing it, we think that it’s a reliable and affordable service.

Is Instant Checkmate a legitimate site?

Yes, Instant Checkmate is perfectly legitimate. The business was accredited by the Better Business Bureau in 2014 and awarded an A+ rating. Even though there are limitations when it comes to the purposes you can use this site for, our rigorous review of Instant Checkmate has shown that this website is legit and upfront about its services and that it takes special care to protect your information.

Does Instant Checkmate notify the person?

No. You can relax while going through your search results as Instant Checkmate will not notify any of the subjects of your reports about what you are doing.

Is Instant Checkmate easy to cancel?

Opting out of your membership will not be a complicated task, even if you don’t consider yourself particularly tech-savvy since Instant Checkmate’s dashboard is extremely easy to use. And if you don’t want to bother with canceling your account manually on the website, get help from their customer support representatives by calling them or writing them an email. If you submit your request via email, be advised that your account will be cancelled no sooner than 24 to 48 hours.

How does Instant Checkmate get your information?

Just like other similar people search sites, this website collects data from various commercial and government sources and compiles it in one report for your convenience. The thorough Instant Checkmate review we have conducted shows that this platform has a vast database of useful information gathered from various sources, such as social media profiles, FBI data, federal, state, and local public record archives, and sex offender registries.