Alabama Public Records

Section 36-12-40[1991] of the Code of Alabama states that "every citizen has a right to inspect and take a copy of any public writing of this state, except as otherwise expressly provided by statute."

While there are some Alabama public records online, not all are updated as needed. The best way to get an Alabama public record is to go to the source and ask for it. However, be aware that even though bound to provide records to the public upon request, not all of the custodians are living up to this law. Some of Alabama's officials are apparently indifferent to the needs of the public and will not provide requested records unless forced by a judge. A survey was done in all 67 counties and 192 cities which found that only 45% of sheriffs offices supplied Incident / Offense reports, 61% of police departments supplied Incident / Offense reports, and only 63% supplied jail logs.(1)

Furthermore, not all Alabama records are public records. Any document containing sensitive information, such as ongoing criminal investigations, are not available to the public. A reasonable fee to cover costs incurred for making copies, searching for records, etc., may be charged for providing public documents.
“Public Writing” has been broadly defined by the Supreme Court to mean “such a record as is reasonably necessary to record the business and activities required to be done or carried on by a public officer so that the status and condition of such business and activities can be known by our citizens.”(2)

Alabama State-Wide Public Records

Alabama State Archives:

Local Government Records Microfilm Database

Newspapers (check both databases):

Alabama Secretary of State:

Code of Alabama

Acts of Alabama Search Options:

Civil Law Notaries Search Options:

Corporations Search:

Elections Search:

Contributions & Disbursements

Notaries Public Search:

UCC Search Options:

Alabama State Environmental Agencies:

Department of Environmental Management:

Alabama Engineers and Land Surveyors

Alabama Surface Mining Licenses

Forestry Commission Home Page
Burn permits, publications, updates, and services.

Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA)- founded in 1848 to explore and evaluates Alabama's natural resources. 
State Oil and Gas Board (OGB) - regulatory agency in charge of promoting conservation of petroleum resources and protection of both the environment and owners rights.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources:

Press Releases

Alabama Dept. of Agriculture & Industries

State Directories and More Information

For More Contact Information:

Directory Preface

Listing of Additional Associations, Boards and Commissions

1. Special Report

2. Alabama Attorney General

A Brief History of Alabama

Alabama is the 22nd state and was first admitted into the union in 1819. It is located in the American south on the Gulf of Mexico, bordered by Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi. Alabama is unofficially nicknamed the “Yellowhammer State,” as well as the "Heart of Dixie". It was also once considered the capital of the confederacy [Montgomery] and seceded from the US in 1861; it was readmitted in 1868 after the war.

Originally colonized by the French in 1702, Alabama exchanged hands a few times moving from Spanish control to British and finally becoming a completely US territory around 1814. At the time its rich soil made Alabama an attractive location for agricultural settlers who arrived in droves during the 1820’s and 30’s. The main crop was cotton and the vast majority of labor was supplied by slaves brought by the land owners or imported from neighboring slave states. Alabama history is emblazoned by battles over racial equality and has been a hot bed of controversy since before the American Civil War, culminating in both massive civil unrest and major victories for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s from lynching and rioting to desegregation and a repeal of the Jim Crow Laws.

Today the main industries of Alabama include Agriculture, Technology, Aerospace, Automobile Manufacture, Plastics and Apparel.

Fast Facts:

  • Capital City: Montgomery
  • Biggest City: Birmingham
  • Population: 4.7 Mil. (2006)
  • State Bird: Yellow Hammer
  • State Flower: Camellia
  • State Tree: Long Leaf Pine
  • Nickname: Sunshine State