Which Public Records Are Free?

There are many public records which can be accessed for free including birth and death certificates, marriage licences and divorce decrees, property records, and criminal records. Professional and business licenses are also available to view for free by the public, according to the DMV.

Public property records include documents such as deeds and mortgages. Criminal records, such as warrants, driving records pertaining to tickets and motor vehicle offenses, and sex offender records can be viewed freely by the public. Legal documents including court records, as well as missing persons lists and information, are also available for public scrutiny. Electoral records available for the public include voter registration records and electoral results for political races from the city and county levels all the way up to national election results.

Vital records such as birth certificates include legal names, date, place and time of birth, as well as names of known parents. Driver records include details ranging from minor parking tickets to vehicular homicides and DWIs. Information is obtained by making requests to a particular body, such as a state, county or national authority. Requests can also be made in person at city halls, or they can be requested online or in writing. Online resources for accessing information include websites for state and federal agencies, as well as businesses that charge a small fee to access their vast database of records.