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New Hampshire Public Records

Getting public information in the State of New Hampshire can be as confusing as it is cumbersome. This state has a Right to Know Law, but it is largely left up to interpretation, and how your particular official or agency interprets it can affect the success you have in obtaining records.

It has a citizenship restriction, but that is unclear and the state’s attorney general’s role in helping requesters isn’t defined so there isn’t a true appeals process. The law is broad in relating to documents but has broad exemptions as well.

We have compiled information regarding state-by-state laws to help those seeking public information. Specific policies and procedures for New Hampshire is listed below to get those needing information started. 

What does the New Hampshire public records law say?

The Right to Know Law in New Hampshire has two clear points. First, it does specify a time frame for government agencies to respond to requests and that is five days. 

That makes it one of the fastest turnaround times in the country. There is also a restriction that forbids charging processing fees so obtaining public information in New Hampshire can be cheaper than in other parts of the country.

The law applies to documents as “any information created, accepted, or obtained by, or on behalf of, any public body.” 

The state doesn’t have a formal appeals process so requesters are forced to file court action if the agency doesn’t reply within the five-day window or provide proper paperwork that is requested.

It is unclear whether you must be a resident to request information. The law states “citizens” can request but there is confusion whether that means a New Hampshire citizen or an American citizen.

How can a person access public records in New Hampshire?

To access public records, you can find some online while others require a request form. If a request form or a release form is necessary, it can be sent via mail, email, or by phone to the record-holding department. 

Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you’re accessing records from multiple places. This can be done by email, mail, or by phone depending on the department where the request is submitted. Each department may interpret the citizenship clause differently and exemptions to the public records law differently.

In general, a public records request should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to COVID-19, some public offices may have limited hours of operation. As a result, online requests are best, but if you want to go in person you should call ahead.

New Hampshire criminal records

There are many reasons to seek out criminal records. Typically, the most common is for employment but there could be other reasons. More charities, churches, and other volunteer agencies are requiring background screenings before approving applications for volunteering too. 

Those seeking to adopt or foster children will also be likely to undergo a background check. In some cases, those seeking a business partnership will also require mutual background checks.

What’s on a criminal record?

A criminal background check provides a list of all interactions a person has with a law enforcement agency. These details are pulled from many sources such as local police departments, courts, and the state prison system. They can include things like arrests, charges, court sentencing, and incarceration information.

Regardless of the state, there are typically five things listed on all criminal records. 

A New Hampshire background check usually contains basic personal information like their name, birthday and nationality, a mugshot, fingerprints, distinguishing features like tattoos and a list of all misdemeanor and felony convictions with details of the offense.

Where can a person find New Hampshire criminal records?

Those seeking information about a person’s criminal history can get them from the New Hampshire Department of Safety within the criminal records unit. Walk-in requesters are accepted at 33 Hazen Drive, Concord, Room 106A or you can mail in an application or agree to release it to a third party. Notarization is not required for either of these options. 

Requesters can also request their own criminal history records. To do this, a notary or Justice of the Peace signature with a date and seal are requesting. Requesters in this instance will need valid photo identification when requesting at the public counter.

The state charges a $25 fee payable to the State of New Hampshire. The fee can be paid in the form of cash, check, money order, or major debt or credit card. However, payments must be exactly $25 as change is not given. Volunteers for a public or private not-for-profit entity have a reduced fee.

If you decide to obtain a criminal record from another company, the state of New Hampshire adopted the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that provides an accuracy of public records that stem from a consumer reporting agency. 

New Hampshire inmate records

Research shows that New Hampshire has an estimated 2,701 inmates being held within its jails and prisons. There are reasons to request inmate records including an employment screening or to clear up past legal irregularities after being cleared of a crime. Crime victims also find them helpful to know the status of an offender and to pursue possible civil court action where needed.

What’s on an inmate record?

New Hampshire, like many states, contains basic information on inmate records. Record checks can provide the following information:

  • The inmates name, birthdate and gender
  • A mugshot
  • An inmate location
  • An inmate registration number
  • Custody status

Where can a person find New Hampshire inmate records?

Those seeking inmate record information can locate inmates on the New Hampshire Department of Corrections website. Information is pulled from the DOC Offender Records Office in Concord, New Hampshire. It has active sentencing information under the law in which the conviction occurred. It also displays the minimum and maximum release dates, pending consecutive sentences, tech parole violations and  New Hampshire incarcerated inmates housed in state facilities. To conduct an inmate search, those requesting information will need all or part of the inmate’s last name and all or part of their first name.

There is no fee for this online service.

New Hampshire court records

Court records can provide a lot of information for those looking at a specific case. The files are typically quite large as they contain copies of all legal action, plus depositions and other testimony. There could be several reasons for wanting a copy of court records but the most common reason is to tie it to ongoing litigation in another case.

What’s on a court record?

Court records have an enormous amount of information. They typically pull together information from several courts into the one case file that includes all the action on the case. Information can include dockets, court minutes, case testimony, depositions, court orders, sentencing, jury records and witness documentation.

Where can a person find New Hampshire court records?

There is no online service for getting court records in the State of New Hampshire, so requesters will need to obtain court records from local Superior and Circuit courts located. There are COVID-19 rules to gain in-person access including face covering requirements. Those wanting to know more about obtaining court records in Superior or Circuit Court cases can call 1-855-212-1234. Those requesting records from a New Hampshire Supreme Court case should call the clerk at 603-271-2646.

New Hampshire vital records

Vital records contain some of the most important information for a person. These are the government records of life’s moments such as birth, death, marriage and divorce. Vital records are used to claim identity and citizenship so they are incredibly important. They are used to start school, go to college, get a driver’s license, change a name, get a passport, adopt and for employment. They are also used to settle estates.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

There is some basic information required of everyone requesting vital records. This includes:

  • The approximate date and location of the event
  • The full name of the person, including maiden names
  • A case file number for divorce records and a license number for marriage records
  • The date of birth for birth records

Where can a person find New Hampshire vital records?

The New Hampshire Department of State as a Division of Vital Records Administration with information on how to obtain vital records. The new website has statistical information only. Individual vita records can’t be obtained online.  There are several places to get vital records depending on exactly what you are searching for.

Birth records of more than a century old, and marriage divorce, death records of more than 50 years old are in the research room of the New Hampshire Archives and Vital Records, 9 Ratification Way in Concord, New Hampshire. 

Copies of vital records can be found in the local city clerk’s offices where they occurred. This includes births, deaths, marriage, divorces. Pre-adoption (non-certified) records must be obtained from the New Hampshire Division of Vital Records Information.

Copies of vital records are sent to the Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics in Concord, New Hampshire.

Frequently asked questions about New Hampshire records

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

New Hampshire law states you must be a citizen, but it is unclear whether that means a citizen of New Hampshire or of the United States. Public officials in different agencies have different interpretations. In other words, it may make a difference if you live in Manchester as opposed to Miami when it comes to requesting records. 

Is there a records custodian in New Hampshire?

No, there is no records custodian in New Hampshire.

What exemptions exist?

There are several exemptions including grand jury and petit jury records, personal information, school records, preliminary drafts, and other documents deemed to be an invasion of privacy as loosely defined.

How long does that state have to respond?

Government entities have five days to respond.

Is there an appeals process in place?

No, there is no appeals process in place.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

There are different fees for different types of records. For instance, death certificates are $15 for the first copy and $10 per copy after that. New Hampshire also charges a non-refundable search fee but there is a restriction against charging processing fees.

Arizona Public Records

Arizona is a mix of signals when it comes to Freedom of Information Act laws and that could make it challenging to obtain the public information or records that requesters seek. The law includes all three government branches of executive, judicial and legislative with the definition of “public body” meaning any state, county, city, own, school district, political subdivision or tax-support district in the state along with any branch, department, board, bureau, commission, council or committee. It also includes any public organization or agency that is supported in whole or in part by state money, which includes charter schools. 

Even though there are no exemptions, there are other elements such as a lack of time period that make obtaining information difficult. Requests for public documents can be maide in-person or orally, but those rejected will need to be resubmitted in writing. Requests can also be made by email or mail.

The different things listed in Arizona’s statutes can make getting public records confusing as well as challenging. We have put together a state-by-state guide to help those wanting public information to be able to weave around through the different laws to get the information they are seeking.

What does the Arizona public records law say?

Arizona’s law provides that anyone either within or outside the state can request public information. However, there isn’t a specific time frame that agencies must respond to a request.  Even so, the courts are defining the word “promptly” listed in the law to mean the request would be addressed as quickly as possible. Failure to respond promptly is considered a denial.

Also, the state of Arizona doesn’t require an appointment of a records custodian for the state or for each agency. However, the law says that a government agency will maintain proper records and will assist with requests for records.

There are no appeals options in place should a request be denied but requesters can take the agency issuing a denial to court. Agencies can charge fees for all records and there aren’t any fee waivers. However, those seeking records on behalf of a government, a government division. insurance or other types of benefits are exempted from fees.

To learn more about public access to records, visit Arizona.gov. The Arizona State Library via the secretary of state website is also a good resource, which provides some public records and retention schedules. 

How can a person access public records in Arizona?

Some records are available online while others require a formal request. If a request is necessary, it can be delivered by mail, email, or by phone to the record-holding department. 

Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you’re accessing records from multiple places. This can be done by email, mail or by phone depending on the department where the request is submitted. In general, a public records request should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to COVID, some public offices may have limited hours of operation. As a result, online requests are best, but if you want to go in person you should call ahead.

Arizona criminal records

Criminal records have the basics of all a person’s interactions with police and the courts. This can include arrests, charges and court action. It typically doesn’t include traffic offenses and sometimes won’t include misdemeanors, depending on the state.

There are a lot of reasons why someone may want to look at criminal records. The most common reason is employment as many employers will require a background check before starting a job. It can also be required for some home services such as jobs like caretaker, house cleaning and maid services, and babysitting services.

Criminal background checks could also be used in certain business dealings if there is to be a merger or partnership. In some cases, families may want to search a background before approving a marriage or investigate a relationship.

What’s on a criminal record?

Criminal records contain information regarding a person’s history with law enforcement and the courts. These include arrests, charges or court appearances. Details are pulled from local police departments, the courts and the state prison system. While every state can have different things on a criminal record, there are typically five things on a person’s criminal record:

  • Name, birthday and nationality
  • Mugshot
  • Fingerprints
  • Distinguishing features such as tattoos
  • A list of all offenses, both misdemeanors and felonies, with details of crimes.

Where can a person find Arizona criminal records?

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is where those seeking criminal records and background checks go. The Criminal History Records Section is the Central State Repository for Arizona’s criminal records. All law enforcement agencies in Arizona are mandated by law to report arrest and disposition information into the repository. 

However, copies of criminal records are restricted to only authorized people and agencies.

Employee background checks can be done for authorized agencies and that includes agencies submitting fingerprints with proof of authorized entity requiring it. However, it does not allow release of criminal history to private companies for employment. It does release them to non-profit organizations listed within the law.

Arizona also doesn’t provide a clearance letter to immigrate, get a visa or for foreign adoption.

Arizona inmate records

There are more than 4,500 hundred inmates housed in the Arizona State Prison. Inmate records can be important to several types of people from potential employers once the inmate is released to crime victims who may want to oppose release.

Inmate records shed some additional light on why a person was incarcerated and their behavior while serving time. This can be helpful to some agencies trying to assist felons in housing, jobs and other areas of life.

What’s on an inmate record?

Arizona is similar to other states in what it has on an inmate record. Once a requester gets an inmate record, they will have the information such as basic personal information like the name, a birthdate and the gender, a mug shot and inmate location, an inmate registration number and jail transfer information, along with custody status

Where can a person find Arizona inmate records?

Those seeking inmate information can look online at the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry website. You will need the offender’s last name and their first initial, as well as their gender and whether they are active in incarceration, inactive, on supervised parole or an absconder.

There is one exemption to the inmate search in Arizona. Inmates can’t use the system to look at their information or that of any other inmate. Inmates get an automatic status update on their information once a year.

Arizona court records

Court records can be vitally important in certain cases. There are times when people want to know more about a case. Some of those instances include through vetting for a public or private position, to use the information in another legal case, to clear up issues in adoption or custody cases or to gain a government clearance.

Some people may want court information for a creative enterprise such as a movie or television show or they may seek information as part of a genealogy project.

What’s on a court record?

Court records within the judicial branch include all aspects of a specific court case beginning with the initial arrest or civil court filing. They can also include things like 

  • Court transcripts
  • Depositions
  • Dockets
  • Case files
  • Court minutes
  • Court orders
  • Jury records
  • Sentencing
  • Judgement information
  • Witness documentation. 

These are huge files and can be costly to have printouts made.

Where can a person find Arizona court records?

In Arizona, most court cases can be found at the Clerk of Superior Court in Maricopa County through an ECR online system. Those who are party to a case can access the case as a registered user. Those who are not a party in the case can view summaries in some case types, but those are more limited.

Those who have cases on the file can look at those in:

  • Family Court
  • Probate
  • Civil
  • Criminal
  • Tax Court

Those who are not a party to a case can only look at civil cases, some limited criminal cases and tax court cases. Those not a party to case can view case documents from Family Court and Probate Court in-person at the proper facility.

For Arizona Supreme Court information, there is an online database that you can reference provided by the judicial branch.

Arizona vital records

Vital records are important for a number of reasons. Since they include birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses and divorce decrees, they can be used to prove identification. That means they are often required to attend school, apply for college, play sports, get a job, apply for Social Security, get married, adopt and obtain passports. These are the most commonly requested public documents.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

States have established new protocols for obtaining vital records to address privacy concerns. Anyone requesting a vital record in Arizona must submit:

  • The approximate date and place of the event, 
  • The full name of the person, including maiden names and 
  • A case file number for divorce record or a license number for marriage records.

Where can a person find Arizona vital records?

Vital records can be obtained through the Arizona Department of Health Services. However, the office is currently closed to walk-in requests because of COVID-19. Those requesting vital records may do so online or by mail. Birth and death records can be ordered online through the ADHA Bureau of Vital Records

Arizona implemented a new system October 2 called the D.A.V.E system for hospitals, funeral home staff and doctors to process death records. However, the public does not have access to the system. The system was meant to provide for quicker response times regarding death certificates.

Online services accept major credit and debit cars. There is a state fee schedule but some counties may have their own fees. The state fee schedule states that birth and death certificates are $20 each. There are also $12.95 processing fees in many cases.

Marriage and divorce decrees must be obtained from the courts where the event happened. They are maintained by the Clerk of Superior Court in the local counties. Each county may set its own fee to send a certified copy.

Frequently asked questions about Arizona records

To provide additional information, here’s a look at commonly asked questions about public records in Arizona: 

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

Yes. Whether you live in Phoenix or San Diego, any United States citizen can request public documents.

Is there a records custodian in Arizona?

There is no formal custodian of public records. Agencies are to maintain their own records and handle requests.

What exemptions exist?

There are no exemptions.

How long does that state have to respond?

There isn’t a time designated within the law to respond, although courts determine the word “promptly” sets the time as quickly as possible.

Is there an appeals process in place?

There is no administrative appeals process. In many states, requesters can file a complaint with the attorney general, but that’s not so in Arizona. Instead, a request can take court action if a state agency denies a request or is unresponsive.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

Agencies set their own fees to different types of requests for public information and documents.

  • Updated December 18, 2020
  • States

Ohio Public Records

Ohio started keeping records back in 1789. Some of the first records were property records and vital records like those that track births and deaths. Back then, records were kept on paper. Today, like most states, Ohio has embraced digital records. Back in the  1980s, the state started keeping electronic records and even started transferring old records to electronic ones.

Today, citizens of the United States can request Ohio records. You don’t need to live in Cleveland, Columbus, or any Ohio city to make a request.

To help people navigate the world of public records, which can be a little confusing, this guide can provide direction to criminal, inmate, court, and inmate records. 

What does the Ohio public records law say?

Ohio has a special history compared to other states in that its access to public records predates its actual statehood. A 1901 court decision stated explicitly that the public records are the people’s records, and unless there is a statute in place, the rights of the people to examine their records must remain in practice. 

It must be noted however, that in Ohio, there are quite a few statutes that can hamper a public records search. 

The public records act doesn’t provide a specific response time to a records request, it just says that request should be handled within a reasonable period of time.   

If a request for records is denied, there isn’t an administrative appeal process in the state, but requesters can pay $25 and file a complaint to the Ohio Court of Claims, which has seven days to respond, and 45 days to issue a decision that is legally binding. 

To learn more, visit Ohio.gov.

How can a person access public records in Ohio?

Some public records can be found online while others require a more formal request.

If a formal request is necessary, it can take place by mail, email, or by phone and should be directed to the record-holding department. 

Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you’re accessing records from multiple places. 

In general, a public records request should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to COVID, some public offices may have limited hours of operation. As a result, online requests are best, but if you want to go in person you should call ahead. 

Ohio criminal records

In Ohio, The Identification Division of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation provides the latest records to employers who want to run background checks on potential employees. The division acts as the central repository for all felony records within the state, maintaining fingerprints, photographs, and other information related to criminal records in Ohio.

What’s on a criminal record?

A criminal record provides a detailed report of a person’s interactions with law enforcement. These records are compiled from various sources and include arrest records, convictions, and incarcerations within the state’s nine prisons.

More specifically, a criminal record or a background check will provide the following information: 

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birth date, nationality, etc.
  • A mugshot and full set of fingerprints
  • A list of distinguishing features (tattoos, birthmarks, and other physical attributes)
  • The type of offense (misdemeanor or felony) and description of the crime

Where can a person find Ohio criminal records?

The Bureau of Crime Identification & Investigation (BCI&I), which is a subsidiary of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, offers WebCheck for civilian background checks. These checks are fairly quick, taking only a few hours to conduct, with the results available through the U.S. Postal Service. More information is available on Ohio’s WebCheck system

For requests for a complete set of fingerprints for criminal records, a business check, money order, or e-payment made out to the Treasurer of the State of Ohio for $22 will begin the process. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, records can also be requested through the Sheriff’s Office in the county where the person lives. The fees associated with a request are minimal and some offices have no fees for background checks. 

Ohio inmate records

As the 6th largest prison system in America, Ohio operates 30 state prisons and possesses inmate records which comprise personal and official data of those that have been incarcerated by the state and held in Ohio’s jails, prisons, or penal institutions. The records of each inmate are typically held at the site of where the inmate resides and includes the following information:

  • Full name of detainee (plus any aliases)
  • Full physical descriptions (birthmarks, scars)
  • Mugshots
  • Details of arrest and booking
  • Primary and secondary charges
  • bail/bond conditions and relevant court and/or information on release

What’s on an inmate record?

The information listed on inmate records vary a bit from state to state; in Ohio the records usually contain a combination of personal information and specific details about a person’s incarceration situation. Public access to inmate records can provide the following information when accessed: 

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birthdate, and gender
  • A mug shot
  • Inmate location
  • Inmate registration number
  • Jail transfer information
  • Custody status

Where can a person find Ohio inmate records?

Inmate records in the state of Ohio can be searched through the Offender Search Tool that is available on the DRC website. To search for an inmate, input the inmate’s name and unique DOC number. The website is regularly updated. You can expect to find the location of a person, the jail’s contact information, inmate status, and any information regarding a release or pardon. 

Ohio court records

The Ohio Open Records Law passed in 1954 and guarantees that court records are available to any member of the public, thereby making it a fundamental right to all residents of Ohio. The records open to the general public include, sworn affidavits, documentation on allegations, and all proceedings taken under oath. 

In a small percentage of cases, court records may be sealed or may have redaction for certain circumstances.  

What’s on a court record?

In most cases, court records are quite large and come with several varying documents. Most people find these documents the most helpful: 

  • Court minutes
  • Case files
  • Dockets
  • Orders of the court
  • Judgement documentation
  • Jury records and files
  • Witness documentation

Where can a person find Ohio court records?

  • Resource: Visit county-specific websites

Finding court records in the state of Ohio is fairly complicated. While other states have created an online portal to house and search court records, Ohio has not. 

The best way to access court records is to search for the county court or municipal court where the case was heard. Some countries do have records available online. Franklin County, for example, has an online database of cases.  

If a county doesn’t have an online database, you need to speak with the county clerk or the clerk of courts and put in a records request.

The Ohio Supreme Court also provides an extensive number of court files online. To begin a search, visit the state’s supreme court website.

Ohio vital records

Ohio, as with most states, has an office in charge of maintaining birth records, marriage records, and death records. The Ohio Department of Health through The Bureau of Vital Statistics operates a statewide system for the registration of births, deaths, and other vital events within the state.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

A request for information can be done via the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics site, where interested parties can provide relevant information about a specific record. This information may include:

  • The location of the event
  • The approximate date of the event
  • The full name of the person, including maiden names 
  • A case file number for divorce records
  • The license number for a marriage record

Where can a person find Ohio vital records?

Birth records from 1908 and death records from 1964 to present day are maintained at the Bureau of Vital Statistics, which also manages fetal death, heirloom birth, and stillbirth certificates as well. You can order certified copies of records online. You’ll make the request, pay a fee, and receive the copy in the mail. 

Notably, marriage and divorce records are not maintained at the Bureau of Vital Statistics. For certified copies of marriage licenses and divorce certificates, obtain them from the county where the event was recorded. Visit this listing of county clerks to determine where to request files. 

Frequently asked questions about Ohio records

To further understand the public records policy in Ohio, here’s a list of commonly asked questions: 

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

Yes, even non-residents are able to submit a request for records. 

Is there a records custodian in Ohio?

No.

What exemptions exist?

All of the public offices within the state of Ohio fall under public records law. 

How long does that state have to respond?

In Ohio, there is no set deadline for a response, but agencies typically respond very promptly.

Is there an appeals process in place?

There is no administrative appeal for the state of Ohio, but requesters do have the option of filing an appeal in the Ohio Courts of Claim for $25. Generally, fees associated with the actual costs materials, aside from labor, may be charged. 

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

The state of Ohio can charge for the cost of materials, but don’t charge for labor. 

  • Updated October 26, 2020
  • States

US Virgin Islands (USVI) Public Records

Officially the Virgin Islands of the United States, the USVI are a group of islands in the Caribbean that are classified as an organized, unincorporated U.S. territory.  The islands are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles of the Virgin Islands archipelago, and the USVI consists of the main islands of Saint Thomas, Saint Croix, and Saint John.  Tourism and rum manufacturing are the primary economic activities here, and the territory has a population of approximately 106,00 residents.  While U.S. citizens, those who reside here cannot vote in U.S. elections as the USVI is not a state.  The USVI does make provisions for the sharing of its records with the public.

US Virgin Islands (USVI)  Public Records Laws

Laws covering the sharing of public records in the U.S. Virgin Islands are covered under Title 3 of the Virgin Island Code (V.I.C.)  § 881.  The law states that “every citizen of the territory” has a right to examine and copy all public records.  The purpose of the request does not need to be disclosed, and there are no limitations placed on the use of the records once obtained.

Public records covered under the Code include those of all public agencies in the territory, including the executive and legislative branches.  The courts are not covered by this Code.  Records that are not included, or are exempt, are:

  • Records made confidential by courts or statute
  • Student records
  • Medical records
  • Trade secrets
  • Attorney work product
  • Investigatory reports
  • Property appraisals
  • Elderly and disabled adult abuse records
  • Security-related records


US Virgin Islands (USVI)  Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

Background checks are administered by the USVI Police Department Records Bureau.  A police record check can be requested by filling out the proper form.  This is a name-based search and does not require the signed consent of the person being searched.


US Virgin Islands (USVI)  Jail and Inmate Records

The USVI Police Department runs corrections in the territory, and there are two Detention Facilities – one St. Thomas that is classified as medium security and one on St. Croix.  There is not a way to do an online search for offenders in the system, but you can call (340) 778-2211 for information.


US Virgin Islands (USVI) Court Records

There are two separate court websites in the USVI, one for the District Court and another for the Superior Court.  Most individuals will be interested in superior court cases as these are the civil, criminal, family, probate, small claims, and traffic cases.  There are not really any online court records searches available, but you can turn in a Request for Records Search with the Acting Clerk of the Court for any desired court records.


US Virgin Islands (USVI)  Vital Records

Obtaining vital records in the U.S. Virgin Islands is going to depend on the type of record that you need and the particular island where the event took place.  In all instances, you must prove eligibility to obtain the record, such as being a party listed on the certificate, a parent or legal guardian, or other legal representative.

St. Thomas and St. John

  • Birth Certificates – Birth certificates are available from July 1906 to present.  You can send your completed application and payment to: Department of Health, Vital Statistics, Knud Hansen Complex, St. Thomas, VI  00802.
  • Death Certificates – Death certificates are available from January 1906 to present.  You can send your completed application and payment to: Department of Health, Vital Statistics in St. Thomas.
  • Marriage Certificates – Marriage certificates are available for a $2 fee (money order) from the courts.  There is no available form for this.  You can send your request to:  Clerk of the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands, Family Division, P.O. Box 70, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, VI 00801.
  • Divorce Certificates – Divorce records are available for a $5 fee (money order) from the courts.  There is no available form for this.  You can send your request to:  Clerk of the Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands.

St. Croix

  • Birth Certificates – Birth certificates are available from 1840 to present.  You can send your completed application and payment to: Department of Health, Vital Statistics, Charles Harwood Memorial Hospital, St. Croix, VI 00820.
  • Death Certificates – Death certificates are available from 1840 to present.  You can send your completed application and payment to: Department of Health, Vital Statistics in St. Croix.
  • Marriage Certificates – Marriage certificates are available for a $2 fee (money order) from the courts.  There is no available form for this.  You can send your request to:  Chief Deputy Clerk, Family Division, Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands, P.O. Box 929, Christiansted, St. Croix, VI  00820.
  • Divorce Certificates – Divorce records are available for a $5 fee (money order) from the courts.  There is no available form for this.  You can send your request to:  Chief Deputy Clerk, Family Division, Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands in St. Croix.
  • Updated April 20, 2017
  • States

Puerto Rico Public Records

Located in the northeastern Caribbean, Puerto Rico is a United States territory that consists of the main island and several smaller islands.  Officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, this tropical locale is populated by 3.6 million people and is a popular tourist destination.  First claimed by Christopher Columbus and the Spanish in 1493, the island was ceded to the United States in 1898 following the Spanish-American War.  Puerto Rico is classified as an unincorporated U.S. territory under the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act of 1950.  The territory has a local constitution and its residents are U.S. citizens, but cannot vote in major U.S. elections.  Puerto Rico does make provisions for sharing its records with the public.

Puerto Rico Public Records Laws

 

The main public records act in Puerto Rico is called the Public Documents Administration Act, first passed in 1955 and amended in 2000, which is covered in Laws of Puerto Rico Annotated Title 3 Chapter 41 § 1001.   There are other provisions under Title 3 that also deal with the preservation and supply of public records.  There is also a short statement in Title 32 of the code that states that “every citizen” has a right to take a copy of public records.

Records subject to the Act are any public documents produced in the Commonwealth, and this applies to the executive, legislative and judicial branches.  There is no information on exemptions or exclusions with regards to public documents in this territory.

Puerto Rico Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks

 

Background checks in Puerto Rico are administered by the Puerto Rico Police Department.  The criminal records checks are name-based checks, and Puerto Rico is now doing these online.   You do need to have an ID issued by the territory, such as a driver’s license, in order to use the system.  In the alternative, you can order a background check in person at the Puerto Rico Police Department, Ave F.D. Roosevelt 601, Cuartel General, San Juan, PR 00936-8166.

Puerto Rico Jail and Inmate Records

 

To learn about the correctional facilities in Puerto Rico, find information about inmates in the system, or get services for victims, visit the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections website.  There is no online search page to locate a specific offender in the system.  For assistance, you can call the Office of Control and Management of the correctional population at (787) 273-6464.

Puerto Rico Court Records

 

Any information on courts in the territory of Puerto Rico can be found on its administrator of the courts website.  The only online search that can be done is to the court calendar.   Specific case files and records requests will need to be made with the clerk of the court in the courthouse where the case was heard.

Puerto Rico Vital Records

Vital records, such as birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates, in Puerto Rico are administered by the Department of Health, Demographic Registry.  Birth, death, and marriage certificates are available from June 22, 1931 to present.  Divorce certificates are available from 1941 to present.  You must submit a complete application and show that you are an “interested party” in order to receive a certificate.  This means that you are either listed on the certificate or are an immediate family member, legal guardian, or legal representative.  There are several ways to obtain these documents:

  • In Person:  You can order in person at the Department of Health, Demographic Registry, 141 Barbosa Avenue, Lincoln Building, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00925.
  • By Mail:  Simply download and complete the proper form and return it with copies of required documentation to:  Department of Health, Demographic Registry, P.O. Box 11854, Fernandez Juncos Station, San Juan, PR 00910.
  • Online:  Place your order and payment through VitalCheck.com.

You may also be able to get some divorce records in Puerto Rico from the local courthouse where the original divorce was granted.

Pennsylvania Public Records

Since it began recording public records in 1775, the state of Pennsylvania has an astounding 100 million public records that the general public has access to. Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law gives all citizens access to public records, but tracking them down can be tough. As in most states, public records are scattered across multiple state agencies and departments.

To make the process easier, we have compiled a state-specific guide to assist you in understanding the laws and provide instructions on how to access criminal, inmate, court, and vital records across the 67 counties in Pennsylvania. 

What does the Pennsylvania public records law say?

According to the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act, anyone is able to access the public records in the state, and this act covers all three branches of government with only certain court records exempted. Additional exemptions are listed for personal records, records that could compromise public safety, and documents that contain trade secrets. 

As far as response times from agencies are concerned, the state government must respond within five business days. 

If a request is denied, there is an appeals process. A requester can contact the state’s Office of Open Records, which can issue opinions to other agencies. In order to force records into disclosure, the requester must file a suit in court. 

In Pennsylvania, the fees associated with records requests are limited, with agencies only being able to charge for the actual costs of duplicating a record. This is more conservative than some states, which charge for staff time and resources. 

How can a person access public records in Pennsylvania?

Public records are available online or through a formal records request. If a request is required, it can be delivered by mail, email, or by phone to the record-holding department. 

Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you’re accessing records from multiple places. 

In general, a public records request should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to COVID-19, some public offices may have limited hours of operation. As a result, online requests are best, but if you want to go in person you should call ahead. 

Pennsylvania criminal records

In the state of Pennsylvania, criminal records are most commonly accessed by employers who are looking to execute a background check on potential employees. To assist employees in finding a person’s criminal records, we’ve provided some information and resources below.

What’s on a criminal record?

A criminal record provides a detailed record of a person’s interactions with law enforcement. These records are pulled from various sources and include arrest records, convictions, and incarcerations within the state’s four prisons. 

More specifically, a criminal record or a background check will provide the following information: 

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birthday, nationality, etc.
  • A mugshot and full set of fingerprints
  • A list of distinguishing features like tattoos and other physical attributes
  • The type of offense (misdemeanor or felony) and description of the crime

Where can a person find Pennsylvania criminal records?

Criminal records in Pennsylvania are official documents that contain the details of the criminal activity of a single person and are kept at every level of every jurisdiction – from municipal, county, and state levels. They are gathered from all types of criminal courts from across the county and state.

The Pennsylvania State Police maintain the records and provide an online database to conduct a search. Through the Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH), requesters can apply for criminal background checks on an individual. 

It is also possible to access dispositions on criminal cases by reviewing court docket sheets that are located at the Pennsylvania Judiciary web portal

Pennsylvania inmate records

Inmate records in Pennsylvania consist of offenders that are held across the prisons, correctional inmate facilities, parish jails, and other penal institutions throughout the state. They may also include information on sentencing, the class of the offense, the parish where a case was tried, and the facility location of the inmate. 

What’s on an inmate record?

The information listed on an inmate record varies, but in Pennsylvania the records usually contain a combination of personal information and specific details about a person’s incarceration situation. Public access to inmate records can provide the following information when accessed: 

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birthdate, and gender
  • A mug shot
  • Inmate location
  • Inmate registration number
  • Jail transfer information
  • Custody status

Where can a person find Pennsylvania inmate records?

Pennsylvania criminal records are organized through online record depositories which can be accessed through the courts, law enforcement agency buildings, or government databases. 

The Inmate/Parolee Locator serves as the database which contains information on every inmate and parolee within the state that is currently under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections (DOC). The site is updated on a daily basis to ensure accuracy. 

Pennsylvania court records

Court records in Pennsylvania include a multitude of information produced through court proceedings. For people that are searching for certain court records, there are resources listed below. It’s important to note that court records can be some of the most difficult records to procure since they are usually held across several courts in the state of Pennsylvania. 

What’s on a court record?

In the majority of cases, court records are quite large and come with several varying documents. Most people find these documents the most helpful: 

  • Court minutes
  • Case files
  • Dockets
  • Orders of the court
  • Judgement documentation
  • Jury records and files
  • Witness documentation

Where can a person find Pennsylvania court records?

Requesting court records is usually the most difficult request. It’s not uncommon for a state to require requesters to visit a specific courthouse, like a county court, to request records in person. However, Pennsylvania has many of its records online.

A public records search for court documents in this state can return information on civil cases, traffic cases, criminal cases, landlord-tenant cases, and non-traffic cases. You can search and view individual court case information free of charge by visiting the portal, where you will be able to find the following records:

  • Appellate court case information (supreme court, superior court and commonwealth court);
  • Criminal courts of common pleas 
  • Magisterial district court case information including:
    • civil cases
    • criminal cases
    • traffic cases
    • non-traffic cases
    • landlord/tenant cases

Requesters that wish to order paper case records that are maintained by a magisterial district court office need to speak with someone at the courthouse. For complex requests, the magisterial district court may ask you to fill out a request form.

Pennsylvania vital records

Similarly to most states, Pennsylvania has an office that keeps track of its vital records. The vital records include birth records, marriage records, and death records. 

What information is needed to request a vital record?

A request for information can be done via Pennsylvania’s State Registrar & Vital Records site, where interested parties can provide relevant information about a specific record. This information may include:

  • The location of the event
  • The approximate date of the event
  • The full name of the person, including maiden names 
  • A case file number for divorce records
  • The license number for a marriage record

Where can a person find Pennsylvania vital records?

As the official custodian of vital records for the state of Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries, which is overseen by the department of health, has been in charge of files since 1906. Through their online portal, it is possible to obtain birth certificates, death certificates, certified copies of marriage licenses, and fetal death certificates. 

Marriage and divorce certificates for the state are available from any county courthouse in the state where the document was issued. 

Frequently asked questions about Pennsylvania records

To further assist citizens in their search for public records within the state of Pennsylvania, here’s a list of commonly asked questions: 

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

Yes. The freedom of information act gives every citizen the right to access records.

Is there a records custodian in Pennsylvania?

No, there is no designated records custodian for the state. 

What exemptions exist?

Currently, there are 30 exemptions in Pennsylvania, with 39 statutory exclusions, making it one of the more specific than most states in regards to public records laws. Some of the exempted files include donor information, private information of employees, trade secrets, work files of public servants, records that would potentially compromise computer network security, and more. 

How long does that state have to respond?

The state of Pennsylvania has five days to respond to any requests for documents. 

Is there an appeals process in place?

Yes, but only after you have gotten an opinion from the Office of Open Records.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

The fees for requesting public records in Pennsylvania are somewhat limited, with agencies only charging for the price of duplicating records. There may be no charges for the reviewal of documents or searching for them. Extensive searches may incur more costs if outside professionals are involved. As for appeals, they are possible, but only after you receive an opinion from the Office of Open Records. 

  • Updated November 16, 2020
  • States
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Michigan Public Records

To access public records in Michigan, you’ll need some direction. Michigan complies with the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was enacted in 1977. Under this statute, the state allows for the general public to access more than 89 million public records. 

In order to better understand how to request files, read along to understand the public records which comprise all of the criminal records, inmate records, and vital records.

What does the Michigan public records law say?

The state of Michigan has a broad approach when it comes to the application of their records, with many offices in the legislature covered, while some individual members are exempt. 

Aside from state-funded universities, any private entity operating with public funding is subject to the law. What qualifies as a “record” in Michigan is also slightly broader than other states, but in general, this includes just about anything written as well as recordings, computer programs are also included.

You don’t have to be a citizen of Michigan to access public records, but currently incarcerated individuals do not have access, no matter which state they are incarcerated in.

The Michigan law does not expressly say how long a public agency has to respond to a records request other than to say the agency should respond “promptly” and should be within a week. 

There are no administrative appeals allowed whatsoever, which means if a request is denied you’ll have to take your fight to court.  

To learn more about Michigan’s rules and how to access records, visit Michigan.gov.

How can a person access public records in Michigan?

Some public records can be found through online services while others must be requested from a specific agency using a formal request. If a request is required, it can be sent via email, mail, or by phone to the record-holding department. 

Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you’re accessing records from multiple places. 

In general, a public records request should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

Due to the Coronavirus, some public offices may have limited hours of operation. As a result, online requests are the suggested route to go, but if you want to go in person it is advised that you call ahead.

Michigan criminal records

Criminal records in Michigan are very easy to access due to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). All criminal activities committed by individuals within the state are electronically kept and also printed and filed.

What’s on a criminal record?

A criminal record provides a detailed record of a person’s interactions with law enforcement. These records are pulled from various sources and include arrest records, convictions, and incarcerations within the state’s four prisons. 

More specifically, a criminal record or a background check will provide the following information: 

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birthday, nationality, etc.
  • A mug shot and full set of fingerprints
  • A list of distinguishing features like tattoos and other physical attributes
  • The type of offense (misdemeanor or felony) and description of the crime

Where can a person find Michigan criminal records?

Criminal records are maintained by the Michigan State police and can be found by searching through the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) by either names or fingerprints. 

There are other avenues that can be used to retrieve Michigan criminal records, too. They include the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), private companies and the local police departments and courts.

Most criminal records can be requested online via mail or email. In addition to accessing criminal records online, Michigan law also allows the general public to inspect and copy case records.

Michigan inmate records

All misdemeanor and felonies that have occurred within all 83 Michigan counties are reported by either the law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, or the courts and are held in correctional facilities across the state. 

What’s on an inmate record?

The information listed on an inmate record varies, but in Michigan the records usually contain a combination of personal information and specific details about a person’s incarceration situation. Inmate information also includes records of their offenses, incarceration, and release dates. Some of these records are publicly available and accessible online while others are restricted and released only to authorized parties.

Public access to inmate records can provide the following information when accessed: 

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birthdate, and gender
  • A mug shot
  • Inmate location
  • Inmate registration number
  • Jail transfer information
  • Custody status

Where can a person find Michigan inmate records?

The Michigan Department of Corrections is in charge of all operations within state prisons in Michigan. To access records, you can search for the inmate’s name and city through the Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS) by the Michigan Department of Corrections. 

By law, the MDOC is required to keep inmate records on OTIS for up to three years after release. Searches can be done on the OTIS database by offender name, MDOC number, sex, age, race, and status. However, not all records are public. Some are only available to authorized parties.

Michigan court records

Court records can provide a wealth of information from court proceedings. For those looking to access court records, there are resources listed below. It’s important to remember that court records can be some of the most difficult records to access since they’re often held in different courts. 

What’s on a court record?

In most cases, court records are quite large and come with many different documents. Most people find the following documents the most helpful: 

  • Court minutes
  • Case files
  • Dockets
  • Orders of the court
  • Judgment documentation
  • Jury records and files
  • Witness documentation

Where can a person find Michigan court records?

Fortunately, Michigan has an online database where the public can conduct a case search and see all records associated with it. The search tool allows you to search using a docket number and selecting whether the case was heard by the supreme court or a court of appeals. You can also search by the party name or the attorney’s name.

If you need to access court cases that are held within district court or circuit court, you need to reach out to the county clerk and request the records. 

It is important to note that not all cases are open and may not be available.

Michigan vital records

The state of Michigan Vital Records Office keeps birth records, marriage records, divorce records, and death records since as early as 1867.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

To obtain a vital record in Michigan, a person must provide certain information to aid in the search. The information needed includes: 

  • The location of the event
  • The approximate date of the event
  • The full name of the person, including maiden names 
  • A case file number for divorce records
  • The license number for a marriage record

Where can a person find Michigan vital records?

In order to get access to vital records, you can either order online using a debit card or credit card or print an application to order via mail.

Due to COVID-19, restrictions are in place and some offices are closed to the general public. Currently, everything is done online. A request for a record is usually handled within 1-3 business days.There are certain fees (known as record fees and processing fees) that you will have to pay as well.

Frequently asked questions about Michigan records

Accessing public records can be a real challenge, so to further assist a requesters need for information this list of FAQs should help: 

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

Yes, you can request for records if you are a non-resident. Whether you live in Detroit or Denver, you can access public documents. There are only a handful of states that require requesters to live in the state to access public records. 

Is there a records custodian in Michigan?

No, there is no records custodian in Michigan.

What exemptions exist?

Yes. The law does have exemptions, which include the governor’s office and records pertaining to individual members of the legislature. 

How long does that state have to respond?

There are no deadlines for how long one has to respond however, agencies are urged to respond as soon as possible. Most agencies respond to a request within a week. 

Is there an appeals process in place?

There is no administrative appeals process. In some states, if a request is denied a requester can file a complaint with the attorney general, but that’s not possible in Michigan. If you’re denied access to public records, your only recourse is to fight it in court.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

For requests made by the media or in interest of the public, there are no fees charged. The public may be charged a small fee to copy records or case information.

  • Updated December 8, 2020
  • States

Florida Public Records

Just about every country and culture has a method of record-keeping. For various reasons, like collecting taxes or tracking crime rates, records have proven a valuable resource for federal, state, and local governments to keep. 

As citizens, you can access many of these records. The Freedom of Information Act, which passed back in the 60s has made it easier for people to access records, although it’s still a bit of a challenge. Records are kept by different departments, some are online and some are still in hard copy, and some public officials aren’t quick to deliver public files.

In Florida, as with other states, different records are held by many different departments. Accessing public records in the state of Florida will depend on the kind of information you’re looking for. 

To help, here’s some direction on locating and reviewing official records in The Sunshine State.

What does the Florida public records law say?

The Florida Constitution contains open government laws, which include the Public Records Law. This law states that any records made or received by any public agency in the course of its official business are available for inspection unless specifically exempted by the Florida Legislature. 

The law, called the Sunshine Law, can be found in Chapter 286 of the Florida statutes. 

This law includes access to traditional written documents such as papers, maps, books, tapes, photographs, film, sound recordings, and records stored in computers, according to Florida law. 

The attorney general prints a manual that explains the state’s open government laws and includes any updates made. 

How can a person access public records in Florida?

For public records access in Florida, a person must submit a public records request. The request is sent via mail, email, mail, or by phone to the Public Records Coordinator, which in this case is in Tallahassee. In some states, this person is called a Custodian of Public Records, but the title varies by state. 

The request should include: 

  • Your name and contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address
  • The name of the document you want access to with as much detail as possible
  • A specific time period that you’d like to receive the materials by
  • How to deliver the documents, whether by email or mail

In some cases, it’s best to make requests by email, especially since offices may have different hours to due COVID-19. 

There is a copy fee of $0.20 per double-sided copy, but fees are waived if the cost is under $7

Florida criminal records

Florida criminal records provide a list of criminal activity for a specific person. The records contain any misdemeanor and felony offenses and include arrest data, indictment history, and conviction information.  

What’s on a criminal record?

Criminal records contain pertinent information about a person’s criminal history. The following information can be found on Florida criminal records: 

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birthday, nationality, etc.
  • A mugshot and a full set of fingerprints
  • A list of distinguishing features like tattoos and other physical attributes
  • The type of offense (misdemeanor or felony) and description of the crime

Where can a person find Florida criminal records?

To look at criminal records, visit the Florida Criminal History Record Check website, which is maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Public access to this information costs $25 per record check. The most helpful tool is the Instant Search, where files are retrieved after entering a person’s name.  

Florida inmate records

Inmate records provide a look at a person’s criminal history and incarceration information. These records do provide some of the same information as a criminal record, but also provide specifics about incarceration time. 

Some records are public and some must be requested by a person or a court. 

What’s on an inmate record?

The information listed on an inmate record varies, but in Florida the records usually contain: 

  • Personal information like a person’s name, birth date, and gender
  • A mug shot
  • Inmate location
  • Inmate registration number
  • Jail transfer information
  • Custody status

Where can a person find Florida inmate records?

The Florida Department of State keeps all criminal justice records, which includes inmate records and arrest records. The state has put together a list of jails and gives you the ability to search inmate records, and in some counties, arrest records can be searched for and viewed too.  

Florida court records

Florida court records give people a chance to review court documents and proceedings. They’re created for both criminal and civil trials in local, county, state, and federal courts.

While court records are available to the public through the Sunshine Act, the records can be sealed or expunged, which means you wouldn’t be able to access the record. Usually, this happens if the information puts someone at risk, like victims of a crime or juveniles. 

These records aren’t all kept by one particular court or in one repository. Instead, people can gain access to records by checking in with the county, circuit, Court of Appeals, or Supreme Court, depending on where the case was argued. 

What’s on a court record?

The information on a court record can vary, but in Florida the most useful documents found inside a public court record include: 

  • Court minutes
  • Case files
  • Dockets
  • Orders of the court
  • Judgment documentation
  • Jury records and files
  • Witness documentation

Where to find Florida court records

For people interested in inspecting court records in Florida, the state suggests visiting the courthouse where the case is taking place and requesting the documents in person from the clerk of court, county clerk, or the clerk’s office.

Some county records can be found online. In some cases, counties maintain an online records portal. Miami-Dade County, for example, has its own site with the ability to search government records using names and keywords. It’s a good idea to search for a similar site in the county you’re looking for. 

Florida vital records

Vital records government issued records that document life events like birth, marriage, or divorce. Not all vital records are public. Usually, records are only released to people listed on the record, a family member of those listed on the document, or a government official. 

What information is needed to request a vital record?

To obtain a Florida vital record, a person must provide certain information to aid in the search. The information needed includes: 

  • The location of the event
  • The approximate date of the event
  • The full name of the person, including maiden names 
  • A case file number for divorce records
  • The license number for a marriage record

Where can a person find Florida vital records?

To access records that record life events like birth, marriage, and death, you need to review vital records. In Florida, the State Department of Health maintains these records. This department can provide access to the following information: 

  • Birth certificates
  • Death certificates and death records
  • Marriage certificates and marriage records
  • Divorce records

The state uses a system known as VitalChek to provide this information. Requests can be made right on the website. There is a fee for each request. Fees vary by the record. 

Where to find additional public records for Florida

Florida state has indexed dozens of pieces of public information on its Florida Information Locator. People can access everything from lists of abandoned properties to zip code directories. 

Frequently asked questions about Florida records

To make sure you’re able to access the records you want, here are answers to frequently asked questions:

Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?

Yes. Both residents and non-residents can request public documents in the state of Florida. 

Is there a records custodian in Florida?

In Florida, any person who has custody of a public record must share it. The title, records custodian, isn’t used, but access should still be granted. 

What exemptions exist?

The Florida Constitution doesn’t list any exemptions and assumes that all records are public. 

How long does that state have to respond?

Some states spell out a window of time that the state must respond to a request for information. However, Florida is not one of those states. The state constitution says all requests must be handled “promptly” and every effort should be made to see if a record exists and if so, it should be delivered to the person requesting it in a timely manner. 

What kind of enforcement is in place?

Florida doesn’t have much of any enforcement in place when it comes to appeals or denials for information. 

If, for example, you’re denied access to public records, there is no appeal process. Several states spell out an appeal process, but Florida doesn’t. 

The state offers a mediation program through the attorney general’s office to resolve potential disputes.

What fees are associated with requesting Florida public records?

In Florida, the cost to duplicate documents is $0.15 per one-sided page and $0.20 for double-sided pages, and $1 per certified copy. Florida law also provides clearance for additional fees if a request comes in that ties up extensive resources.

  • Updated September 15, 2020
  • States
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