Located apart from the continental United States and northwest of Canada, Alaska is the largest and most sparsely populated U.S. state. Known for its diverse terrain, mountains and forests, Alaska is also known as a more conservative state when it comes to the release of public records.
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Alaska Public Records Laws
Many public records in the state of Alaska are available to the public, with some exceptions. The Alaska government has included clauses in their statutes that allow them to hold back notes from confidential meetings and status reports on certain aspects of running the government. Also, meeting notes from the state Ethics Committee are confidential until a ruling is in place.
Aside from those exceptions, Alaska law says that the public records of all public agencies are open to inspection during regular business hours. Agencies that are subject to the law include: departments, offices, agencies, state boards, commissions, public corporations, or other organizational units created under the executive branch. Those who are exempt include The University of Alaska and the legislature of the state.
Alaska Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks
Background checks in the state of Alaska are administered by the Alaska Department of Public Safety. These records are available to employers and licensing agencies for screening and are open to anyone in the public if they have a signed authorization form. A report can be obtained by submitting fingerprints or by doing a name-based search. There are instructions and request forms for either available here and you may also walk-in with a request.
An Alaska background check many include such information as: Social Security number confirmation, home address, and criminal history going back seven years. However, if you are hired to work with children or seniors, there are provisions for additional disclosures. Also, if your background check is related to a position in the healthcare field, volunteer or paid, it will go through the state Division of Healthcare Services.
Alaska Jail and Inmate Records
You can obtain information on current inmates by contacting the Alaska Department of Corrections. There are numbers and services for victims assistance as well as information for the various facilities in the state that house inmates. You may also search online through vinelink.com. In order to do a search, you will need either the Offender ID or the Offender’s first and last name.
Alaska Court Records
Records produced in Alaska court cases are considered to be public record unless they are otherwise sealed by the court. To get copies of Alaska court records, you will need to either visit the appropriate court office, call the intake desk, or make your request via mail (only the Anchorage court accepts requests by email). You should know which court the case was filed in, the case number, and the filing date.
Alaska Vital Records
Alaska vital records for such things as birth, death, marriage and divorce are kept by the Alaska State Bureau of Vital Statistics. What you can request and how far back records go depends upon the type of record.
Birth Records: Prior to 1913, birth records were not recorded by government agencies in Alaska. Although required as early as 1913, there wasn’t full compliance in the state until about 1945. According to state law, only individuals listed on the birth record may obtain copies. The only exception is for a legal guardian.
Death Records: Similar to birth records, there are no records before 1913 and no complete compliance with the law until 1945. Access to death records is limited to family members and legal representatives for 50 years after the date of death.
Marriage Records: While territorial registration of marriage in Alaska began in 1913, there are few records prior to 1930. Only those named on a marriage certificate, or a legal representative, may request copies, and there is a time limit of 50 years after the date of marriage.
Divorce Records: Divorce records after 1950 may be obtained only by individuals named on the record or their legal representations. There is also a 50 year privacy period after the event that limits the request of these records.