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Guam Public Records

An unincorporated, organized territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean, Guam is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government.  The largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands, and the largest island in Micronesia, Guam has a long history of colonization and the Guam Organic Act of 1950 established the island as an unincorporated organized territory of the U.S..   While its 161,000 residents are entitled to U.S. citizenship, Guam is not a U.S. state so citizens residing on Guam cannot vote in presidential elections and their congressional representatives are non-voting members of Congress.   Guam does make provisions for the sharing of its records with the public.

Guam  Public Records Laws

The Sunshine Law of 1987 was the original public records law in Guam and was revised in the Sunshine Reform Act of 1999, which can be found in Chapter 10, Article 1-3 of the Statutes.  The Law states that “every person” has the right to inspect and take copies of public documents in Guam.  The reason for the request does not need to be stated, and records may be used for any purpose once obtained.

Records that are covered under the law include any records from a public agency, including the executive, legislative and judicial branches.   Records that are not included, or are exempt, include:

  • Personnel records
  • Tax returns
  • Police blotters
  • Pending litigation records
  • Security-related records
  • Medical records
  • Library records
  • Test questions
  • University of Guam Financial Aid records
  • Investigatory records


Guam  Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

Background checks in Guam are administered by the Guam Police Department.  They have no forms or instructions available on their website but do refer to these as a Police Clearance.  These record checks for the Territory of Guam only and are used for such things as pre-employment, adoption, licensing, and criminal justice cases.  Records returned are usually for convictions within the last 11 years, except for DWI, which doesn’t expire.   Fingerprinting may be required to run these reports.


Guam  Jail and Inmate Records

To learn about the corrections program on Guam, find services for victims, or to locate an inmate, you can visit the Guam Department of Corrections website.  Guam has only one correctional facility called Hagatna Adult Correctional Facility in Mangilao County (#3 Mashburn Lane, Mangiloa, GU 96913).  There is no online search function to locate inmates, but you can call the DOC at (671) 734-4566 with questions about location and visitation.

Guam Court Records

Information on any of the courts in Guam can be found on its administrator of the courts website.  The only online searches that can be done are of the court calendars for the Supreme Court and the Superior Court and the Guam Law Library, which is limited.  You can obtain copies of court documents by making a public records request with the clerk of the court in the courthouse where the case was heard.

Guam  Vital Records

Vital records in Guam, such as birth, death, and marriage certificates are administered by the Department of Health & Social Services, Office of Vital Statistics.  The office has birth and death records from October 26, 1901 to present.    There is no date available for marriage certificates. 

To obtain a birth, death, or marriage certificate, you must either be the person listed on the certificate or prove that you are a spouse, parent, child, or legal representative.  Send a completed application with proper documentation and payment to:  Office of Vital Statistics, 123 Chalan Kreta, Mangilao, Guam 96913.

Copies of divorce certificates must be requested directly from the court, and the cost of copying will vary.  Your request should go to:  Clerk, Superior Court of Guam, Guam Judicial Center, 120 West O’Brien Drive, Hagatna, Guam  96910.

Montana Public Records

Located in the Western United States, Montana is the 4th largest of the U.S. states yet only the 44th most populous, with just over 1 million residents.  Bordered on the north by Canada and on the South by Colorado, Montana contains many mountain ranges that are a part of the Rocky Mountains.  Also, unofficially known as “Big Sky Country,” Montana is famous for its Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park.  The state government of Montana has long had provisions for the sharing of public records.

Montana Public Records Laws

 

Montana passed its first public records law in 1895, just six years after attaining statehood.  The law gave access to public records by statute but was broadened in 1972 when the state legislature re-wrote the Montana state constitution.  This right is now written into the state constitution under Article II, Sections 8 and 9.

The Constitution provides that “any person”, regardless of citizenship, may have access to public records in Montana.  The purpose of the request only matters in cases of potential invasion of privacy, and there is no restriction on the use of information once obtained.

The Act includes public records of the state government and its entities, including the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.  There are exemptions, or things that you will not be able to obtain, and these include:

  • Trade secrets
  • Adoption records
  • Safety and security-related records
  • Criminal justice information
  • Insurance company auditing reports
  • Personal medical records
  • Records made private by statute


Montana Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

 

Background checks in Montana are the responsibility of the Montana Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation.  There are two types of criminal records reports in Montana. Law enforcement organizations can request a complete background check that includes warrants and criminal history in other states.  The general public can request a background check on anyone through the state’s online web page that will return Montana convictions for felonies and misdemeanors.

It is also possible to get either a name-based criminal records check or a fingerprint-based criminal records check.  The name-based check requires only a name, date of birth, and social security number of the person being checked.  These can be requested online, in person, or by mail.  The fingerprint-based check can only be requested via mail or in person.


Montana Jail and Inmate Records

The Montana Department of Corrections website has information for anyone looking to locate an inmate, find Victim Programs, or find other information on the correctional facilities in the state.  Should you wish to locate an offender in the Montana system, the site has its own search page where you will be prompted to enter either a Department of Corrections ID Number or a First and Last Name.  You’ll be given an image of the offender, if available, a list of their convictions, their current location, and their earliest release date.


Montana Court Records

Any information on courts and court cases in the state of Montana can be found on its administrator of the courts website.  The only cases that can be searched online are the Montana Supreme Court cases.  Other court case records will need to be requested at the appropriate courthouse.


Montana Vital Records

If you need a copy of a birth certificate or death certificate, you can obtain this through the Office of Vital Statistics, Montana Department of Health and Human Services.  Birth and death records are available from 1907 to present.  To order either one of these, you will need to prove relationship to the parties on the certificate.  There are two ways to order these:

  • Mail:  Fill out the proper request form with the appropriate documentation and mail your request to:  Office of Vital Records, Department of Public Health and Human Services, PO BOX 4210, Helena MT 59604
  • Online:  Order through the state’s partnership with VitalCheck.com.

Montana marriage and divorce certificates can only be obtained through the District Court Clerk in the county where the event occurred.  Depending on the particular county, you may be able to request these by mail or in person.

Kentucky Public Records

Officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the state of Kentucky is located in the east south-central region of the United States and was originally a part of Virginia.  Known as the “Bluegrass State,” Kentucky is famous for its fertile soil and for being home to the world’s longest cave system in Mammoth Cave National Park.  Ranked as the 26th most populous state, Kentucky has 4.4 million residents and does make provisions for sharing its public records.

Kentucky Public Records Laws

 

The Kentucky Open Records Act was passed in 1976 and is covered under state statute Chapter 61 KRS 61.870 – 61.884.  Under the law, “any person” may inspect public records and a person includes corporations, societies, and communities.   People requesting records may be asked to state their reason and intended use for the records.  Commercial use of records isn’t forbidden in most cases but does need to be disclosed.

Public entities that must produce records include any public agency, including all state and local government offices.  This includes the executive and legislative branches, and any body that obtains at least 25 percent of its funds from the state.  The judicial branch is not subject to the law per case law via the state Supreme Court.  Records that are not covered, or are exempt, include:

  • Personal information
  • Trade secrets
  • Medical files
  • Examination data
  • Law enforcement records
  • Records made exempt by statute


Kentucky Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

 

Background checks in Kentucky are handled by two different agencies.  You can request a Criminal Records Report through the Kentucky Court of Justice using their online system.  This is for a public records report, and it is also a name-based report.   The Kentucky State Police also administer background checks for licensing, criminal justice and employment purposes.  These are also name-based reports but require the signed consent of the person being reported on.


Kentucky Jail and Inmate Records

 

If you are looking for information on offenders in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, need help with Victim Services, or want to learn more about the correctional facilities in the state, you can go to the state Department of Corrections website.  To search for a particular offender, the state has its own search page called Kentucky Online Offender Lookup (KOOL).  You will be prompted to enter Last, First, and Middle Name of the offender.  The system will provide you with the offender’s location, a list of offenses, and earliest release date.

Kentucky Court Records

Any information on the court system in Kentucky can be obtained from the administrator of the courts website.  Court records can be searched through the state’s online CourtNet website.  This will provide records on criminal and civil cases although paper copies will still need to be requested through the appropriate courthouse.

Kentucky Vital Records

Vital records in the Commonwealth of Kentucky are maintained by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Vital Statistic Office.  If you need a birth death, marriage or divorce certificate, there are three ways to request these:

  • Online:  There is one website that allows for online ordering of these records.  You can order directly through VitalCheck.com.
  • Mail: Download the proper request form for the certificate that you need and submit it with the required documentation to:  Office of Vital Statistics, 275 E. Main St., 1E-A, Frankfort, KY 40621.
  • In Person: You may visit the Office of Vital Statistics at: 275 E. Main St., 1E-A, Frankfort, KY 40621 and make a request for the records.

How far back records are available, and relationship requirements depend on the type of record being requested.

  • Birth Certificates:  Birth Certificates are available statewide from 1911 to present.  Only the subject, parent, or legal guardian may request a birth certificate.
  • Death Certificates:  Death Certificates are available for deaths from 1911 to present.  Death certificates are available to relatives or legal representatives of the deceased.
  • Marriage Certificates:  Marriage certificates are available from June 1958 to present.  These can be ordered by anyone.
  • Divorce Certificates:  Divorce certificates are available from June 1958 to present.  These can be ordered by anyone.

Indiana Public Records

A Midwestern and Great Lakes region state, Indiana is nicknamed “The Hoosier State”, which refers to its country roots.   Indiana is the 16th most populous state in the nation, with over 6.5 million residents.  A large part of the state’s economy comes from manufacturing and much still from farming; the state does have provisions in its statutes for public access to government records.

Indiana Public Records Laws

Indiana was an early adopter of public records law, with its Hughes Anti-Secrecy Act being passed in 1953.  It was found to be too narrow of a statute and was replaced in 1983 by the Public Records Act, which is covered in Chapter 3 of Article 14 of Title 5 in the Indiana Code. The Act states that “any person” can access public records in Indiana.  The person requesting records does not have to state the reason for the request, but there are a few restrictions on the use of the information.  For example, lists of names, addresses, and email addresses cannot be disclosed for commercial or political purposes.

The records covered under the Act include records from all public entities, including the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, subject to various exemptions.  The records that are exempt include:

  • Any records exempt by statute
  • Trade secrets
  • License examinations
  • Medical records
  • Social security numbers
  • Personnel files
  • Security-related records


Indiana Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

 

Background checks in the state of Indiana are performed through the Indiana State Police.  A Limited Criminal History report can be requested on anyone by anyone through the online system for a fee.  This will produce a report that will return a list of convictions over a year old and arrests less than a year old.  If the request is for licensing or a government position, the background check will be handled through that agency and will be more thorough fingerprint-based check.  Employers wishing to request a criminal background check must get a signed authorization form from the applicant before obtaining one of these reports.


Indiana Jail and Inmate Records

To obtain information on offenders in the state of Indiana, learn about services for victims, or get other help with state correctional programs, you’ll want to visit the Indiana Department of Corrections website.  To locate an offender, you can search on their website with either an Offender Number or just a First and Last Name.   You will receive information on the offender’s conviction, their current location, and earliest possible release date.



Indiana Court Records

Information on courts in Indiana can be obtained through the administrator of the courts website.   There are two sites to search court records, one for trial courts and another for appeals courts.  If you would like to obtain paper copies of court files, you will need to request them from the appropriate courthouse.


Indiana Vital Records

Vital records in the state of Indiana are maintained by the state Department of Health.  If you need a birth or a death certificate, there are three ways to request these:

  • Online:  There are two websites that allow for online ordering of these records.  You can order directly through the Indiana.gov online website or VitalCheck.com.
  • Mail: Download the proper request form for the certificate that you need and submit it with the required documentation to:  Vital Records, Indiana State Department of Health, PO Box 7125, Indianapolis, IN 46206-7125.
  • In Person: You may visit the local health department where the event occurred and make a request for the records.

If you need a marriage or divorce certificate, you can only obtain these from the county in which the marriage or divorce occurred.  How far back records are available, and relationship requirements depend on the type of record being requested.

  • Birth Certificates:  Birth Certificates are available statewide from October 1907 to present.  Birth records are available to persons who are related to the registrant or who are deemed to have a “direct” personal financial or legal interest in the record.
  • Death Certificates:  Death Certificates are available for deaths from 1900 to present.  Death certificates are available to relatives or those who are deemed to have a “direct” personal financial or legal interest in the record.
  • Marriage Certificates:  Marriage certificates must be obtained from the county where the marriage took place.  The dates that records go back to will depend upon the county.
  • Divorce Certificates:  Divorce certificates must be obtained from the county where the divorce took place.  The dates that records go back to will depend upon the county.

West Virginia Public Records

Located in the Appalachian region of the United States, West Virginia was one of only two states to form during the American Civil War.   While classified as part of the South, it borders Ohio and Pennsylvania to the north, with its capital and largest city being Charleston.  The state is known for its mountains and coal mining industry and, with just 1.8 million residents, is the 38th most populous in the U.S.  West Virginia does make it possible for the public to obtain government records in the state.

West Virginia Public Records Laws

The West Virginia Freedom of Information Act was passed in 1977 and can be found in Chapter 29B of the West Virginia Code.  There have been several amendments over the past several decades, with some significant language changes in 1992 for the inclusion of electronic records and again in 2002 to exempt more security-related data in response to the events of 9/11. 

Under the law, “every person” may have access to public records in West Virginia and this includes individuals, corporations, and associations.  The purpose for the request of the records generally doesn’t matter except when it comes to requests from inmates.  There are no restrictions on the use of records once obtained although courts may limit the use of personal information.

Records that are covered under the law include all records from every “public body” in the state, including the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.  Records that are not subject to the law, or that are exempt, include:

  • Trade secrets
  • Personal information
  • Test questions
  • National security records
  • Internal memoranda or letters
  • Other records exempt by statute


West Virginia Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

Background checks in the State of West Virginia are the responsibility of the West Virginia State Police but have been contracted out to an online third party: IdentiGo.com.  This company handles all fingerprint services and background checks on behalf of the state, and these are used for such things as licensing, pre-employment, and housing matters.  As these are fingerprint-based checks, consent is required to request a criminal record.


West Virginia Jail and Inmate Records

To find out information about the correctional facilities in West Virginia, search for an inmate, or learn about victim services, you can visit the state Department of Corrections website.  If you wish to locate an offender in the West Virginia system, you can search on the DOC Offender Search page with either a DOC Number or a name.  Results will return the inmates location, list of offenses, and projected release date.  If your search does not return results, you may also wish to search on the West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority site, as it brings up results for regional jails as opposed to the state prison system.


West Virginia Court Records

Any information on courts in the state of West Virginia can be found on its administrator of the courts website.  The only online search available is through its WV State Law Library, which is limited.  Access to specific court records will need to go through the clerk of the court at the courthouse where the case was heard.

West Virginia Vital Records

If you need a copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate in West Virginia, you can request these from the Vital Registration Office of West Virginia’s Health Statistics Center.  There are three ways to request these documents:

  • In Person:  You can receive same-day walk in service at the central office located at 350 Capitol Street in downtown Charleston.
  • By Mail:  Simply download and complete the proper form and return it with copies of required documentation to:  Vital Registration, Room 165, 350 Capitol Street, Charleston, WV 25301-3701
  • Online:  Please your order and payment through VitalCheck.com.

The records that you are able to obtain via these methods and the required documentation will depend on the type of certificate that you are requesting.

  • Birth Certificates – Birth certificates are available from 1917 to present, and you must either be a person of record on the document, a member of the immediate family, a legal guardian, or an authorized representative to make a request.
  • Death Certificates – Death certificates are available from 1917 to present.  After 50 years, the certificate is public record.  If it has been less than 50 years, these are only available to a surviving relative who has a direct or tangible interest in the record, or their legal representative.
  • Marriage Certificates – Marriage certificates are available from 1964 to present.  If 50 years have passed, these are public record.  If it has been less than 50 years, these are available only to the parties named, their adult children, grandchildren, or legal representatives.

After 1851, divorce proceedings in West Virginia were recorded by the clerk of the circuit court in the county where the divorce occurred.  This is where you will need to request a copy of your divorce certificate.  Divorces are not public record until 50 years after the divorce was granted.

South Carolina Public Records

South Carolina Public Records Laws

The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act makes public all records and meeting notes of public bodies in the state. All citizens and members of the press are allowed to access these records and request copies. “Public bodies” are defined as any agency that is supported by public funds to any degree or that expends public funds in any amount. “Public records” are any form of media retained by a public body, including electronic media such as emails.

Government agencies can only withhold a record if they can cite a specific legal exemption. Valid exemptions include Social Security numbers, trade secrets, tax standards used by the Department of Revenue, information that would violate attorney-client privilege, police records that could damage an active investigation, incomplete contracts and industrial development offers that have not yet been accepted. The law has language that requires exemptions to be interpreted “narrowly”, meaning that only clearly exempt information can be withheld. A partial record can be released with exempt information removed from it.

Agencies are allowed to charge for providing copies of records, but these charges are limited to the actual cost of gathering and copying the records. For paper records, agencies generally ask 10 to 25 cents per page. A written explanation of charges can be requested for amounts that seem excessive, and the cost can also formally be challenged in writing with the head of the agency that is providing the records.

The law specifies that agencies must provide a “timely response” to requests, but does not set an exact time limit for them to reply. Requests are usually filled within 15 business days.

South Carolina Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

State background checks are handled by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Searching for criminal records requires either a set of fingerprints, or the subject’s last name, first initial and exact date of birth. A Social Security number can also be used to help ensure there are no false positives but is not required. There is a fee of $25 for each record request with an added $1 convenience fee for those who are requesting the records online. The state’s Sex Offender Registry can be searched online for free.

The general public is only allowed to access conviction information and arrest information related to a conviction. Complete criminal records are only available to the subject of the record and law enforcement agencies who need them for an investigation.

South Carolina Jail and Inmate Records

The South Carolina Department of Corrections provides an online “Inmate Search” tool for people currently incarcerated in a state prison. The inmate must presently be in a state facility; fugitives are not included in the search. This search provides only the full name, age, sex, race, height, weight and SCDC ID of the inmate. Any member of the general public can access this information.

County jail information must be obtained from the County Detention Center or Sheriff’s Office of each individual county. A number of counties either provide their own online search tool, or a daily list of bookings and releases. These searches provide the same information offered at the state level along with a booking mugshot, the nature of the charges, bail amount, arresting agency and the projected release date where applicable.

South Carolina Court Records

Case records for all counties in the state can be searched for online at the South Carolina Judicial Department website. Searches can only be conducted in one individual county at a time, however.

South Carolina Vital Records

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is responsible for issuing birth certificates, death certificates, divorce reports, marraige certificates and information about adoptions. It is possible to request all of these records in person at the DHEC State Vital Records Office in Columbia, by mail, by phone, or online through the VitalChek service.

Divorce records are only available from July 1962 to December 2012. The original county of issue should be contacted for records that fall outside of these dates.

Arkansas Public Records

Located in the Southern region of the United States, Arkansas has a diverse geography that is made up of the Ozark Mountains and the Arkansas Delta.  Known as “The Natural State,” Arkansas is the 29th largest and offers residents and tourists much in the way of outdoor recreation.  The 32nd most populous state in the U.S., Arkansas has just under 3 million residents and its government does make provisions for the sharing of public records.

Arkansas Public Records Laws

The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act was first passed in 1967 and is covered under state statute Ark. Code Ann. §§ 25-19-101 – 25-19-109.  The law has been amended 16 times since to clarify its intent.  The Act states that “all citizens of Arkansas” may request public records.  “Citizens” has been expanded to include corporations and businesses in the state, but convicted felons are prohibited from obtaining certain records.   The purpose of the request is only taken into account when it comes to personnel records, and it doesn’t matter how any records are used once obtained.

The Act covers public access to records maintained in public offices and includes the executive branch, state university system, legislative bodies, and non-government agencies that receive public funding.  Among the exemptions, or things that you won’t be able to get, are:

  • Records made confidential by statute
  • State income tax records
  • Medical records
  • Adoption records
  • Education records
  • Archeological files
  • Grand jury minutes
  • Law enforcement records
  • Trade secrets
  • Licensing examinations
  • Oil and gas records


Arkansas Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

 

Background checks in the state of Arkansas are administered by the Arkansas State Police.  Background checks can only be pulled by certain entities, such as licensing bureaus, child welfare agencies, school districts, facilities that care for the elderly, and certain employers.  Others, such as standard pre-employment checks, must have a signed consent.  These background checks are done through an online system and can be a name-based or fingerprint-based report.


Arkansas Jail and Inmate Records

Information on inmates in the state of Arkansas system, help with victims rights, or other inmate-related assistance can be found on the state’s Department of Corrections website.  To learn information about an inmate, the state has its own inmate population search page, where you can enter the offenders ADC Number, if known, their Name, age range, and other pertinent information to conduct a search.    You will receive information on where the offender is being housed, a list of their charges or convictions, and an anticipated release date.  If you don’t have enough information for a search, you can simply download their entire database and browse through it.

Arkansas Court Records

Any information needed about Arkansas courts can be found on its administrator of the courts website.  Some public records can be obtained through its online CourtConnect, which allows the public to locate information on cases through most of the district and circuit courts, as well as the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.  Paper copies of records will need to be requested from the appropriate courthouse.


Arkansas Vital Records

Vital records in Arkansas, such as birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates, are maintained by the Arkansas Department of Health Vital Records Office.  Vital records can be obtained in one of three ways:

  • In Person:  You can go to the Office of Vital Records from M-F, 8:00am-4:30pm and make a request.  The address is: 4815 W. Markham St., Slot 44,  Little Rock, AR, 72205
  • By Mail:  A completed form, obtained from the link above, can be mailed to the Office of Vital Records with your request.
  • Online:  The state of Arkansas accepts online requests through VitalCheck.com.

How far back records are available, and relationship requirements depend on the type of record being requested.

  • Birth Certificates:  Birth Certificates are available statewide from 1920 to present.  There are a limited number of birth records from Little Rock and Ft. Smith dating as early as 1881.   Birth records are available to persons who are related to the registrant, certain academic groups, and others who demonstrate a right to the record.  After 100 years, these become public record.
  • Death Certificates:  Death Certificates are available for deaths from 1920 to present.  Death certificates are available to relatives, designated representatives, and some academic research groups.  After 50 years, these become public record.
  • Marriage Certificates:  Marriage certificates are available for marriages taking place from 1950 to present.  Marriage certificates can be released to the persons named on the certificate, their relatives, representatives, and certain academic research groups.
  • Divorce Certificates:  Divorce certificates are available for divorces taking place from 1950 to present.   Divorce certificates can be released to the persons named on the certificate, their relatives, representatives, and certain academic research groups.

Washington Public Records

Located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, Washington state is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and Canada to the north.  Washington state is a leading lumber producer and is also known for its commercial fishing, high-tech industry, and unique music scene.  With a population of just over 7 million, it is the second most populous state on the country’s west coast and does make provisions for the sharing of public records.

Washington Public Records Laws

 

Washington’s public records law was passed in 1972 and is called the Public Disclosure Act, covered in RCW 42.56.  The original intent of the law was to reform lobbying and campaign finance, but it was expanded in 2006 to broaden access to additional public records.  The law says that “any person” can request public records in Washington yet there are some restrictions when individuals request records for a commercial purpose.

Records that are covered under the law are those for all state agencies and departments, including the executive branch and the legislature.  The judicial branch is not included under this Act, nor are any private entities that are supported by state funds.  Other records that are not included, or are exempt, under the Act, are:

  • Health care records
  • Library records
  • Proprietary information
  • Security-related records
  • Coroner records
  • Juvenile records


Washington Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

 

Background checks in the state of Washington are administered by the Washington State Patrol, Criminal History Section.  There are two kinds of reports that can be issued.  An unrestricted criminal history record is limited to certified criminal justice agencies and includes all arrests regardless of the disposition.  The public may request a criminal records report on anyone through the online Washington Access to Criminal History (WATCH) website and the results are instant.  This will provide a report on all incidents that have led to a conviction and any arrests that are less than one-year-old without a disposition.

If applying for a job in the state of Washington, private employers may ask about convictions, but are not permitted to ask about convictions that are unrelated to the job or are more than ten years old.  Also, juvenile convictions are returned on Washington background checks so are considered public record.

Washington Jail and Inmate Records

The Washington state Department of Corrections is the place to get information on inmate records, services for victims, and information on correctional facilities in the state.  If you want to locate an inmate, they have their own Offender Info page where you can enter a DOC Number or Last Name to get information that is available to the general public.  In the alternative, you can search through Vinelink.com.  Either of these sites will provide you with the offender’s current location and estimated release date.


Washington Court Records

Information about any of the courts in the state of Washington can be found on its administrator of the courts website.  The website also links to a search engine called eService Center for Washington Courts, where you can do public records searches for all district, municipal, superior, and appellate court cases.  You can learn calendar dates, parties involved, attorneys of record, and case numbers.  You may need to contact the particular court for the complete case file.


Washington Vital Records

Vital records in the state of Washington, such as birth, death, marriage and divorce records are kept by the Washington State Department of Health.   How to request each of these depends on the type of certificate and the date.

Birth Certificates:  The state Department of Health has birth certificates from July 1, 1907 to present.  Anyone can order a birth certificate, but they must have all of the pertinent information to do this.    If the birth took place before July 1, 1907, you would need to contact the county where the event occurred.

Death Certificates: The state Department of Health issues death certificates from July 1, 1907 to present.  Anyone can order a death certificate if they have all of the pertinent information to fill out the request.  If the death took place before July 1, 1907, the specific county of record is the place to contact for the information.

Marriage Certificates: The state Department of Health keeps Washington marriage certificates for marriages taking place from January 1, 1968 to present.  If the marriage took place before this date, you can request the information from the county auditor’s office where the marriage took place.

Divorce Certificates: The state Department of Health keeps Washington divorce certificates from January 1, 1968 to present.  For divorces that took place before this date, the information can be requested from the county auditor’s office where the final decree was made.

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