United States White House.

Public Records in the United States

For the purpose of the law, “public records” is defined as all documents, letters, papers, tapes, books, maps, photographs, recordings and other materials regardless of physical form, that are used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relate to public business.  Federal records have been made accessible to the public by the Federal "Freedom Of Information Act" or FOIA for short.

FOIA Records:

What types of public records are available?

  • Police/ Sheriffs [except ongoing investigations and sealed records]
  • Tax Collection/Services
  • Contact Info and Addresses
  • Court Records:
  • Divorce records
  • Docket calendars
  • Estate records
  • Legal Documents
  • Property records
  • Wills, Deeds, and more.

Records that impact our environment:

  • Regulations
  • Public Notices
  • Records of mining and drilling.

Genealogy and family history information

  • Genealogical Societies
  • Historical Societies
  • History Museums
  • Records Archives
  • Biographies
  • Cemetery Records
  • Census Records
  • Court Records
  • Military Records
  • Newspaper Articles
  • Obituaries
  • Vital Records

Government Documents open to the public:

  • Constitution
  • Laws and Codes
  • Unclaimed Property

Jail & Prison Records:

  • Fugitive / escapee information
  • Incident / offense reports
  • Inmate locators
  • Jail logs

Sex Offenders:

  • Current addresses
  • Data sheets and Photos

Vital Records:

  • Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce records.

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