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Louisiana Public Records

Located in the southern region of the United Stated and bordered on the south by Mexico, Louisiana is also known as the “Bayou State”.   Made up of vast deltas and marshland as a result of sediment washed down from the Mississippi River, the state is rich in wildlife and provides many opportunities for recreation.  Louisiana is the only U.S. state to name its political subdivisions parishes instead of counties, and the state has long made provisions for the sharing of government records with the public.

Louisiana Public Records Laws

 

The first Public Records Act in Louisiana was passed in 1940, and it was later revised in the state constitution in 1974 and again in 1978.  The law is covered under Title 44 of the Louisiana state statute.  The law states that “any person of the age of majority” may have access to public records in the state of Louisiana.  The reason for the request and the intended use of the records is immaterial except with regards to convicted felons.  Convicted felons may be able to access records but must disclose the reason for their request.

Records that are subject to the law include any record from a “public body” of the state, including executive offices, legislative bodies, and some parts of the judicial system.  Records that are exempt under the law include:

  • Records related to law enforcement operations
  • Records related to bar exams
  • Medical records
  • Proprietary and financial data of individuals and businesses
  • Security records
  • Trade secrets
  • Employee information


Louisiana Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

 

Background checks in Louisiana are administered by the Louisiana State Police, Bureau of Identification and Information.  Most background checks in the state require a signed authorization from the person being checked, and you cannot run a check on someone else as a private citizen.  Employers, school districts, and licensing agencies have several options for requesting a background check.  They can submit a form, with a signed authorization, and fingerprint card to the Bureau of Identification and Information.  Or, if they qualify, there is an online background check portal that returns name-based background reports only.  Either of these reports will return arrest and conviction information for the state of Louisiana only.


Louisiana Jail and Inmate Records

If you are looking for information on offenders in the Louisiana system, for victim services, or to learn more about the correctional facilities in the state, you can visit the Louisiana Department of Corrections website.  There are two ways to located an offender in Louisiana.  There is an automated number (225-383-4580) that will allow you to enter the offender’s DOC Number and get their current status.  In the alternative, you can go to Vinelink.com and do an online search where you will be given the offenders present location, a list of convictions, and their earliest possible release date.

Louisiana Court Records

Information on any court in the state of Louisiana can be found on its administrator of the courts website.  Some court cases can be located through an online search of the Law Library of Louisiana, but most court records will need to be requested from the appropriate courthouse where the case was heard.

Louisiana Vital Records

Birth and death certificates in the state of Louisiana are administered by the State Registrar & Vital Records, a division of the Department of Health & Hospitals.  Birth certificates are available for the last 100 years and death certificates for the last 50 years.  For either of these requests, you must prove that you have a right to the certificate, such as being a relative or a legal representative.  There are several ways to apply for a birth or death certificate in Lousiana:

  • In Person:  There are multiple ways to request these in person.  You can go to the Vital Records Central Office, to one of the Vital Records Kiosks, or to the appropriate Clerk of the Court to make your request.
  • By Mail:  You can download the proper form and mail it with a copy of your photo ID and payment to: Vital Records Registry, PO Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160
  • Online:  You can make your request through their partnership with VitalCheck.com.

All marriage and divorce certificates must come from the clerk of the court office in the parish where the event took place.

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