Maine Public Records
To request public records in Maine, you need to know how the process works. Every state differs in handling its public records requests, but Maine is pretty straightforward.
Most states typically have a list of private documents. For instance, government employee salaries and juvenile records are not public record.
Those needing to access records have a right to submit a request through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Every state has different processes, so it’s essential to know the state’s law before requesting any documents.
Table of Contents
- 1 What does the Maine public records law say?
- 2 How can I access public records in Maine?
- 3 Maine Criminal Records
- 4 Maine Inmate Records
- 5 Maine Court Records
- 6 Maine Vital Records
- 6.1 What information do I need to request a Maine birth certificate?
- 6.2 Where can I find a Maine birth certificate?
- 6.3 What information do I need for a death certificate in Maine?
- 6.4 Where can I find a Maine death record?
- 6.5 What information do I need to request a marriage certificate in Maine?
- 6.6 Where can I find an existing Maine marriage record?
- 6.7 What information do I need to request a divorce certificate in Maine?
- 6.8 Where can I find a Maine divorce record?
- 7 Maine Property Records
- 8 FAQs
- 8.1 Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?
- 8.2 Is there a records custodian in Maine?
- 8.3 What exemptions exist for public records requests in Maine?
- 8.4 How long does that state have to respond to a public records request in Maine?
- 8.5 Is there an appeals process in place for public records requests in Maine?
- 8.6 Can anyone access, review, and challenge their public records request in Maine?
- 8.7 What fees are associated with requesting public records in Maine?
What does the Maine public records law say?
Maine agencies are generally described as helpful and responsive for public records searches.
Anyone can request public records in the state of Maine. While some states only allow state residents to request records, Maine does not.
Under the Maine Freedom of Access Act, government agencies have five days to respond to requests.
If the request is denied or rejected, a notice must be sent within five business days from the date of submission.
If a request is denied, the public records act does not provide an administrative way to appeal the decision.
Instead, appeals must be made within 30 days of the Superior Court‘s denial.
There are some exemptions to records within Maine; they are specific and mandatory exemptions that have been outlined in the law or mentioned in statutes.
If any record is redacted or withheld, the state agency must provide a reason for it.
The most significant exemption in the Public Records Act is the judicial branch of government.
Maine.gov has more information on the public records act.
How can I access public records in Maine?
Some records are readily available online, but other state records require an official records request. The request can be sent by mail, email, or phone to the corresponding department.
Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you access records from multiple places.
In general, a public records request should include:
- Your name
- Parties name
- Contact information
- The name of the document
- Details about the document
- A time frame that you would like to receive the materials by
- Document delivery method, mail or email
Maine Criminal Records
An individual’s criminal history record is available to the community and general public 24 hours a day/7 days a week, with some restrictions on how information can be released.
Individuals can request public criminal history records maintained by the Maine State Police.
What’s on a Maine criminal record?
A criminal record provides a detailed record of a person’s history with law enforcement. It may not include traffic violations and misdemeanors.
These records are pulled from various sources and include arrest records, convictions, and incarcerations within the state’s prisons.
More specifically, a criminal record or a background check will provide the following information:
- Date of birth
- Current and past addresses
- Former arrest records
- Current and past warrants
- Arrest report
Where can I find Maine criminal records?
Maine’s criminal background checks are executed by the Maine State Police, Maine State Bureau of Identification.
You will search the InforME criminal record database. It produces criminal records reports exclusively for the state of Maine.
A name-based or a fingerprint-based check can be ordered, with a name-based report possible by request for anyone, with or without consent.
The Maine Criminal History Record and Juvenile Crime Information Request Service is an online service that provides electronic access to criminal history records and juvenile crime information maintained by the Maine State Police and the State Bureau of Identification.
Through these records, you have 24-hour access to all the conviction and adjudication information for adult and juvenile crimes committed within the State of Maine that is currently on record, including pending issues that are less than one year old.
Criminal history requests are only accessible for up to 30 days. After 30 days, the records are no longer considered valid, and a new request is necessary.
For general public or non-governmental entities, there is a fee of $31 ($21 for inforME subscribers within the state of Maine) to process requests for criminal history records or juvenile crime information records.
This fee is required for any records searches and does not depend on the search results in question. The fee remains the same for a name-based check or fingerprint-based check.
Maine Inmate Records
The state of Maine has about 5,000 inmates within its corrections system.
Inmate records can provide information on current inmates housed within any correctional facility within the state.
Inmate records are maintained by the State of Maine Department of Corrections.
What’s on a Maine inmate record?
The information on inmate records varies from state to state; in Maine, the records usually contain personal information and specific details about a person’s incarceration situation. Public access to inmate records can provide the following information when accessed:
- Name and aliases
- Date of Birth
- Social security number
- Height and weight
- DOC ID
- Booking photo
- Assigned location
- Sentence summary
Where can I find Maine inmate records?
Information on inmates can be accessed via the Maine Department of Corrections, which has its page to search for inmate records. Using the portal, you can find an inmate’s address, case number, and expected release date.
The Maine Adult Prisoner/Probationer Search Service is free for everyone.
It is the most convenient way to search for inmate records in the Maine Department of Corrections system. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is updated every day.
Note that minors are not included in this search service.
Those making requests should also know that the information provided from this service is not a complete criminal history, which must be obtained through the online Public Criminal History Request service.
Maine Court Records
All court records in Maine are maintained by either state or local governments and can be accessed and disseminated to the public, providing complete documentation of allegations, affidavits, and proceedings taken in a court of law.
The judicial branch in Maine maintains public court records.
What’s on a Maine court record?
In most cases, court records are quite extensive and come with varying documents.
Most people find the following documents the most helpful:
- Court minutes
- Case files
- Orders of the court
- Judgment documentation
- Jury records and files
- Witness documentation
Where can I find Maine court records?
The State of Maine Judicial Branch has a new system for criminal and civil search requests. A case number must be presented to obtain documents on a person.
- All record search requests are submitted using the Request for Records Search form.
- Requests via mail are sent to the Judicial Branch Service Center.
- Any individual that requests a record search on him/herself may query the court to learn where their record is held. Individuals requesting their records are exempt from a research fee.
Maine Vital Records
The Maine CDC Vital Records Office maintains public vital records in the state.
Maine public vital records include:
- Birth Certificates
- Death Certificates
- Marriage Licenses
- Divorce Decrees
Public record requests for vital records will be different depending on the document you are ordering.
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
11 State House Station
220 Capitol Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
What information do I need to request a Maine birth certificate?
The birth certificate request form will require specific details.
- Full name on the birth record
- Date of birth
- The city or town the birth took place
- Full name of both parents before marriage
Where can I find a Maine birth certificate?
You can order a Maine birth certificate online by using VitalCheck.
Or, you can request a certified copy of a Maine birth record by completing the appropriate form and submitting it by mail or in person.
The cost of a certified birth certificate in Maine is $15.
You can order a non-certified birth record for $10.
What information do I need for a death certificate in Maine?
The death record request form will ask for specific information.
- Full name of the deceased
- The date of death
- The city or town where the death occurred
Where can I find a Maine death record?
You can order a Maine death certificate online using VitalCheck.
Or, you can obtain a Maine death record by completing the appropriate request form and submitting it in person or by mail.
The cost of a certified death certificate in Maine is $15. You can order a non-certified death record for $10.
What information do I need to request a marriage certificate in Maine?
The marriage certificate request form will ask for specific information.
- The full name of both spouses
- The date of the marriage
- The city or town the marriage occurred
Where can I find an existing Maine marriage record?
You can order a Maine marriage certificate online using VitalCheck.
Or, you can obtain a Maine marriage record by completing the appropriate request form and submitting it in person or by mail.
The cost of a certified marriage license in Maine is $15.
What information do I need to request a divorce certificate in Maine?
The divorce record request form will ask for specific information.
- The full name of both spouses
- The date the divorce was granted
- The city or town the divorce was granted
Where can I find a Maine divorce record?
You can order a Maine divorce certificate online using VitalCheck.
Or, you can obtain a Maine divorce record by completing the appropriate request form and submitting it in person or by mail.
The cost of a certified divorce decree in Maine is $15.
Maine Property Records
The Registrar of Deeds maintains public property records in Maine.
The property records you can access include:
- Land records
- Property deeds
- Property tax assessment records
- Zoning information
- Real estate records
What information do I need to request property records in Maine?
Public property record requests are different depending on the information you are requesting.
Where can I find a Maine property record?
You will need to contact the Registrar of Deeds in the jurisdiction of the record to inquire about the appropriate forms, fees, and office hours.
Example – Kennebec County Registrar of Deeds
Kennebec County Registry of Deeds
77 Winthrop Street
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone number: (207) 622-0431
Can a request be submitted by non-residents of the state?
In Maine, there is no law dictating a residency requirement.
Is there a records custodian in Maine?
In Maine, there is no single custodian of records.
What exemptions exist for public records requests in Maine?
There are more than 300 statutory exemptions to the Freedom of Access Act’s definition of what constitutes a public record. Many of these exceptions focus on personal information, medical information, and public safety information.
How long does that state have to respond to a public records request in Maine?
It takes Maine up to five days to answer a public records request.
If it takes longer to access government records, you report it to the Maine Secretary of State.
Is there an appeals process in place for public records requests in Maine?
The appeals process can be made to the Superior Court in the county where you live.
Can anyone access, review, and challenge their public records request in Maine?
Per Maine laws, each person has the right to review and challenge their criminal history record information.
Suppose someone disagrees with any information contained on a record. In that case, it is possible to contact the State Bureau of Identification by person or mail to request an amendment or correction of the criminal history record.
The request should indicate the record in question, the nature of the correction sought, and the justification for the amendment.
What fees are associated with requesting public records in Maine?
Fees cover copies and no search exceeds $15 a copy regardless of the state government agency.