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Nevada Public Records

Whether you’re working on a school project to trace your family tree, need proof of divorce, or are doing background checks on applicants for your company, Nevada public records can help you get the information you need.

Nevada updated its Public Records Act in 2000 and it applies to government agencies, as well as any subdivision of the state, including schools, university foundations and other entities that serve a role in the government.

Although there are some exceptions to the Nevada Public Records Act, they’re pretty standard limitations that you’ll find in other states under the Freedom of Information Act.

Ready to get started? Use this guide to help you find public records in the Battle Born State.

What does the Nevada public records law say?

The Nevada Public Records Act provides a way for residents and nonresidents to access public records of any governmental entity, including books and records. In most cases, there is no need to explain why you want the records and Nevada even provides a template to help requestors obtain information on the Freedom of Information Act.

Members of the public can learn more about the public records act by visiting Nevada.gov. 

How can a person access public records in Nevada?

There are several ways to request a public record, including email, fax, phone or via postal mail. Although it’s also possible to request Nevada public records in person, it’s recommended that you call first due to some limitations being created due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a general rule, any written (mailed, faxed or emailed) request for Nevada public records should contain the following information:

  • Your name, mailing address, phone number and email
  • A description of the requested records 
  • A written acknowledgment to pay any fees for searching and copying the records (with a request to be informed if costs will exceed the amount of your choosing)
  • A request to be notified if the request for public records will take longer than 5 days
  • A plea for the agency to cite specific exemptions if the request for public records is denied
  • A request to be notified if a different entity holds the public records

Nevada Criminal Records

The Nevada Department of Public Safety Records, Communications and Compliance Division maintains all Nevada criminal records. The information is collected from agencies of criminal justice and includes arrests, detention and indictments, as well as the status of an offender on parole or probation, among other things. In essence, a criminal record is a “rap sheet” that contains criminal activity within Nevada’s jurisdiction. Information concerning juveniles is not available. The detailed information is available to the person of record or through criminal background checks.

What’s on a criminal record?

The Nevada Criminal History Repository provides personal criminal history records for the state, but not for other states or the Federal Bureau of Investigations. To get your own record (in which you are the subject of the record) or to get a letter indicating that no State of Nevada Record was found, take the following steps:

Employers seeking to do a criminal background check can download forms and directions on the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation website.

So, what’s on a criminal record? The document provides a detailed summary of that person’s criminal activity within the state jurisdiction. This information covers arrests, criminal offenses, indictments, convictions and, in some cases, incarceration details. Depending on the scope, a background check may reveal any/all of the following:

  • Sex offender status
  • Felony and misdemeanor convictions that haven’t been sealed
  • Pending arrests
  • Whether the person is currently on parole or probation
  • Credit, employment and education history
  • Driving records
  • Credit history

Where can a person find Nevada criminal records?

Nevada uses the VINE online portal to provide those in search of public records with access to criminal records. A simple search by name (or ID number) will provide you with basic information on an offender or defendant. Although you don’t need to register to search, registering on the site will display the full date of birth and ID number of an offender. While the site was designed to empower victims of crimes with information, it’s available for anyone to use. Results show offenders who are currently in custody or who may have been recently released. It does not include federal inmates or those in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.

The results of a VINE search will provide the following results:

  • Supervision type and status
  • Supervision status date
  • Supervision start and end date
  • Supervision event reason and date
  • Supervising officer and his/her phone number
  • Reporting agency

You can also sign up for notifications to be alerted when something changes with the offender’s status.

Nevada inmate records

The State of Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) maintains three types of facilities that include 11 conservation camps, nine correctional facilities and two transitional housing centers. Although searches for inmate records can be done through the NDOC inmate search portal, copies of public records can be requested. There are some nominal fees associated with requesting a copy of the public book or record, but the requestor will be notified in advance prior to the request being honored.

What’s on an inmate record?

Public records are available on most Nevada inmates who are currently incarcerated or have been released. Search results of inmate records will provide the following information:

  • Name and aliases
  • Offender ID
  • Gender, ethnicity, age, height, weight and build
  • Hair color, eye color and complexion
  • Institution
  • Offense
  • Sentence status
  • Sentence minimum and maximum
  • Sentencing county
  • Sentencing type and start date
  • Parole hearing date and location (if relevant)

Where can a person find Nevada inmate records?

In Nevada, you can search for inmates through the Department of Corrections. As a general rule, only offenders who have received a sentence of incarceration in a Nevada state prison will be in the database. Although information on parolees is available, it may not be current. Those serving probation or who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or sentencing may not be included. To find information on someone who has been arrested by not sentenced, contact the city or county where they were arrested. To search the inmate database, use the offender’s first and/or last name or the person’s Offender ID number.

Nevada court records

With some relatively standard exceptions, the majority of court records in Nevada are available to the public through a simple online search. In Nevada, there are three trial courts: municipal, justice and district. Municipal courts tend to handle the small stuff, such as ordinance violations, misdemeanors and traffic violations. Justice courts deal with small claims, landlord/tenant disputes and misdemeanors in their jurisdictions, as well as some other civil, criminal and domestic relations cases. But district courts usually preside over criminal cases that include felonies, gross misdemeanors and other cases that fall outside specific jurisdiction courts.

What’s on a court record?

Court records show the following information:

  • Case number
  • Party name and type
  • Charge
  • Filing date
  • Hearing date, time, type and judge
  • Docket information
  • Agency (e.g., Nevada Highway Patrol)

Where can a person find Nevada court records?

To conduct a records search for court records, you’ll need to go through the court where the case was heard. Although there is a Nevada Supreme Court, as well as appellate courts, you’ll most likely be searching individual district courts to find court records.

Some courts do provide searchable online databases, but others will require you to submit a request in writing or in person. If you must request a record in person, speak with the county clerk and be prepared to provide case information along with your contact information so records can be delivered to you.  

Always call your district court first to ensure they’re open as many have closed to walk-ins due to the pandemic.

Nevada vital records

There are a number of ways to obtain vital records—including marriage and divorce records and birth and death certificates—in Nevada, but your search will depend on the several factors, including the event date, whether you can access records in person due to COVID-related closures, and your relationship with person whose record you’re seeking.

Like most state agencies, Nevada has requirements for proof of identity in some cases, which helps protect the identity of the person of record and others, prevent fraud and preserve the record’s integrity.

What information is needed to request a vital record?

In some cases, you’ll need to provide proof of your relationship to the person of record in order to obtain vital records. If you order vital records online through a site like VitalChek, you may not need to provide much as the system uses an identity verification document.

Where can a person find Nevada vital records?

The Nevada Office of Vital Statistics is managed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public and Behavioral Health. State records of marriage and divorce after September 2005 are handled at the county level. You can search for the various counties’ records offices here. For records of marriage and divorce events occurring after 1968 but before September 2005, fill out this form and send it to the address for the Office of Vital Records and Statistics at the top.

For birth and death certificates, the state uses Vitalchek. (You can also get some marriage and divorce certificates on this site.)

Frequently asked questions about Nevada records

Nevada isn’t necessarily one of the best states in terms of ease of access to all public records, but a little guidance can help you narrow down your search. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about public records in the state:

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

Yes. Nevada law does not require residency to submit public records requests.

Is there a records custodian in Nevada?

Although the law requires the appointment of an employee at each agency to serve as the records official for the entity, they don’t need to formally designate a records custodian.

What exemptions exist?

Yes, there is a list of exemptions.

How long does that state have to respond?

Although agencies have five business days to respond, they can also provide the requester with written notification of why the record is not yet available by the deadline and when it will be.

Is there an appeals process?

Although there is no administrative appeal option, you can take court action at the county district level where the request was made.

What fees are associated with requesting public records?

Nevada law allows agencies to charge fees, but they can’t exceed the actual costs to provide the record and fees top out at $.50 per page.

  • Updated November 16, 2020
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