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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 online website or
  • 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.

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