Nevada Public Records
Table of Contents
Nevada Public Records Laws
Nevada law states that all public books and records of any government entity must be made available to the public, unless they have been specifically and legally declared as confidential. Public records are available to anyone who asks for them, and they do not need to present identification or state their purpose for using the record for the most part. However, there are some limitations on access to certain records that require the individual requesting them to provide proof they are a journalist or that they are carrying out a court order, such as requests for identifying information regarding someone who is using a recreational facility.
The law specifies that records must be available during office hours, and that they may be copied. A fee equal to the actual cost of copying the record may be charged. Government agencies have five business days to respond to a public records request. If they deny the request, they must inform the requester as to the legal basis for refusing the request. The burden of proof of confidentiality is on the government.
Nevada Criminal Records, Arrest Records and Background Checks
The General Services Division of the Nevada Department of Public Safety handles official state background checks. Fingerprints are stored at the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History.
Only conviction records are available to the general public without any sort of credentials or waiver. Complete criminal records can only be released to the subject of the record. The only third parties that may request criminal records are law enforcement agencies, authorized state agencies and approved employers who have a signed waiver from the subject.
Nevada Jail and Inmate Records
Information on current inmates that is available to the general public is limited to the inmate’s name, gender, ethnicity, age, birth date, known aliases, height, weight, skin color, hair color, eye color, current place of incarceration, and whether they have previously been convicted of any felonies.
Conviction and sentencing information is restricted to the inmate and certain approved third parties. Information that may be released to family members varies by facility. The family member must contact the facility where the inmate is incarcerated to determine what information can be released to them. The best points of contact to start out with at most facilities are the Caseworker III or the Associate Warden.
In all cases, parties can look up information they are authorized to receive through the Inmate Search at the Nevada Department of Corrections website. The name or identification number of the inmate is needed to run a search. Information is only available for those currently serving a sentence in a facility overseen by NDOC.
Nevada Court Records
The individual counties of Nevada maintain the records for courts within their jurisdiction.
The Clark County (Las Vegas) Clerk of the Court maintains records from the Eight Judicial District Court from 1909 to the present. Records prior to 1909 are obtained from the administrator of the courts of Lincoln County. Most records from 1990 onward can be searched for and viewed online. Requests for records prior to 1990 must be submitted in person or by mail at the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas.
The Washoe County (Reno and Carson City) Second Judicial District Court maintains a searchable online database of case files. Users can search by case number, case description and case type.
Records for the Fourth Judicial Court can be obtained in person at the Elko County Clerk’s Office in Elko. Records for the Sixth Judicial Court can be obtained at the Humboldt County Clerk’s Office in Winnemucca.
Nevada Vital Records
The Office of Vital Records of the Nevada State Health Division in Carson City handles requests for birth certificates and death certificates issued after July 1911. Marriage licenses, divorce records and any records issued before July 1911 must be obtained from the county where they were originally issued.