Arizona Public Records
The Arizona Public Records Law defines public records as documentary materials like, but are not limited to, papers, books, maps, and photographs. As the law mandates, public records in Arizona must be “open to inspection by any person at all times during office hours.”
How to Find Arizona Public Records
The best way to find Arizona public records is to issue a request to the government agency that maintains and handles the needed documents. On the other hand, the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) has an online facility that you can use to request public records. However, private sources can also provide access when the records are available.
For denied requests, you may contact the Arizona Ombudsman - Citizens’ Aide to file a complaint. If that doesn’t work, you may appeal through the Superior Court through special action.
Are Arizona Public Records Available Online?
Arizona public records are easily accessible and available online. The best way to access public records in Arizona is to contact the agency handling and maintaining the records. Note that some public records are under restricted access and can only be issued upon personal request. For more details on how to get Arizona public records online, you may visit the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records.
What Records are Available in Arizona?
All state government records are available for public inspection in Arizona under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Public records in Arizona are classified into three types:
- Personal records
- Court records
- Business records
Personal records include birth and death certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, probate records, and adoption records.
Court records older than 50 years are available through the State Archives and can be accessed online or through the county courts, with exceptions like juvenile and adoption records.
Business records are mostly business filings, including licenses for business, vehicles, property, etc.
What Records are Not Available in Arizona?
Some type of records are considered confidential and are not available for public inspection in Arizona including the following:
- Personal email
- Office email
- Medical records
- Law enforcement proceedings or information
- Informated related to government relations
- Business and employee information
Types of Public Records Available in Arizona
Public records available in Arizona include:
- Birth certificates
- Death certificates
- Probate records
- Court records
- Divorce decrees
- Marriage certificates
- Drivers licenses and vehicle registration
- Police records
- Sex offender records
Arizona Public Criminal Records
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) stores criminal record history in Arizona. However, criminal records are only available for public scrutiny and inspection to the subject named on the records, courts, and other law enforcement agencies.
Under the Arizona state law, private individuals or agencies cannot request public criminal records outside of the state for the following purposes:
- Foreign adoption
- Getting a visa
To view or review your own criminal records for the purpose of ensuring completeness or accuracy, you should complete the Record Review Packet.
Individuals who wish to review their criminal records must submit the following:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Physical description
- Fingerprint card
The fingerprint card must contain a full set of your fingerprints to ensure positive identification. A law enforcement agency official must take fingerprints with their official serial or badge number written on the block provided on the card. You should also write “record review” as the reason for being fingerprinted. After completing your contact information sheet, you can mail the copy to the Arizona DPS and wait for 14 days to get a response.
A legal representative can also get criminal records on your behalf, provided that they present a notarized letter of authorization.
Criminal record information will contain the following:
- Full name and known aliases
- Mugshots, if there are any
- Criminal charges
- Conviction records
- Arrest warrants
You can also search for criminal records in Arizona using third-party sites, but with little to limited information only.
Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Arizona :
Arrest Records and Warrants
The Arizona Judicial Branch allows a requester to look up cases online for free. Just type in the name, including the first and last name, together with the date of birth to pull up possible arrest or warrant records, if there are any. You can also do a more accurate search using the case number if it’s available.
You can also narrow down your search by going through the specific country court to search for arrest and warrant records. If there’s no available information in the county court, you may contact local law enforcement agencies or get in touch with the state’s Department of Public Safety.
Inmate and Jail Records
The Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) Rehabilitation & Reentry provides public inmate and jail records online for the sole purpose of viewing an inmate’s automated file.
You can search for inmate and jail records using their first and last name, gender, and current jail status. You can also search using the ADC number.
You may track and monitor your public record requests by signing up.
Take note as well of the following reproduction costs per page:
- Document records - $0.50
- Digital downloads - $0.10
- Paper records - $0.25
The ADC may also charge requesters a fee of $25.00 for an hour of processing time. Upon completing your inmate records request, the ADOC will send you an invoice which you have to pay in full to have record access.
Take note that sending information to an inmate from the ADC’s website, even if it is their record, is considered a Class 5 felony and is punishable by law.
Jails and Prisons in Arizona :
Arizona Background Checks
The Arizona DPS is the central repository of the state’s criminal records for its residents. As stated in Arizona law, criminal records are not available to private agencies or individuals except if they are non-profits.
You may still get background checks for possible applicants by searching for their social media accounts online, by using third-party sites like InfoTracer or doing it the traditional way by calling former employers for work information and other cited references.
You may also coztact local law enforcement agencies to conduct a background check.
How to find Sex Offenders in Arizona
Arizona has an online sex offender registry that you cna use to view all published offenders around your area of interest like your home, business or school. Aside from the state, registered sex offenders in Arizona will also appear on the list of the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW).
Arizona Public Vital Records
Vital records like birth, death, and marriage records are available to the public through the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Bureau of Vital Records.
Below is some important information to help you get the public vital records you need in Arizona.
Birth records from 1800 to 1947 are available for genealogy search in Arizona.
The following birth records are also only available by appointment since they are considered specialty records:
- Delayed birth registrations
- Putative father searches and registration
- Amended birth records
- Foreign-born registration
Death records are available to the public 50 years after its occurrence in Arizona. Currently, the genealogy search for death records is available from 1800 to 1972.
Birth and death records are available online at the ADHS genealogy search. Just put in the following information to get the specific public records you need:
- Name - first, last, and mother’s maiden name
- Date of birth (for birth records)
- Date of death (for death records)
- Record type (birth or death)
Records of marriage and divorce decrees are available at the Clerk of the Superior Court, where you can send your request to get plain or certified copies.
For marriage records, the following information must be provided:
- Marriage license number
- Full legal names of both applicants before the marriage
- Year the marriage took place
- Money order for $30.50 for certified paper copies with a raised seal with a self-address business-size envelope with a stamp
- Money order for $37.50 inclusive of the postage and handling
Money orders must include the requester’s primary contact information like name, address, and phone number.
For divorce decrees, you need to indicate if you also need the custody agreement or the property settlement. The following fees also apply for requesting public divorce records in Arizona
- $0.50 copy fees per page
- $30.00 for certification
- $7.00 for postage and handling
- Other fees like research fees may apply
Note that records requests from the Clerk of the Superior Court take 7 to 10 business days, with final delivery time depending on the postal service.
Arizona Court Records
The Judicial Brand of Arizona provides public access and minute entries to criminal, civil, family, and probate court cases.
You can find court records by searching the case number, first and last name, or using someone’s initials and date of birth.
You may also use the web-based portal eAccess for easy and convenient access to public court records in Arizona. However, you need to register to have an account, and subscriptions can be pay as you go that costs $10 per document request or as high as $10,000, which gives you access to 5000 documents in a month.
Approved government agencies can get Arizona’s public court records for free unless the said agencies are out of state.
However, some information like a criminal record history, medical reports, probate information, personal financial information, and other records considered confidential by court can only be obtained through in-person requests.
State Court System in Arizona
The Arizona court system consists of three levels:
Limited Jurisdiction – this includes the justice and municipal courts, also known as city courts. This type of court issues search warrants and hears civil traffic cases, violations of codes and city ordinances, and some instances like petty offenses and misdemeanors, harassment cases, domestic violence, and small claims amounting to $10,00 or less.
General Jurisdiction – this includes the Superior Court, which acts as the appellate court for the justice and municipal courts. The Superior Court manages equity causes, felonies, misdemeanors, renter evictions, probate matters involving wills and estate, and other special cases provided by the law. The Super Court also supervises probation for both juveniles and adults.
Appellate Jurisdiction – this includes the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals has statewide responsibility and is the first level of appeal court from the Superior Court. The Supreme Court is the highest court in Arizona and provides all the rules and procedures for all other courts in the system.
Courts in Arizona :
Public driving records are available at the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), where you can get a copy and print motor vehicle records (MVR) online as a guest. You can get full access to Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Divison (MVD) services when you create and activate your account.
You may also request an MVR and pay $3.00 for a three-year uncertified driving record or get a five-year certified driving record for $5.00.
Driving records requests can be mailed to any available MVD offices or authorized third-party offices in Arizona.
Civil Driving Infractions
The following are considered civil driving infractions in Arizona:
- Running a red light
- Illegal turns or crossing
- Driving below or speeding above the minimum speed
- Driving with an expired license plate
- Driving without a seatbelt
- Not stopping at a stop sign
- Leaving a vehicle running unattended
- Parking illegally, like in the handicapped zone
On the other hand, the state considers the following criminal traffic offenses:
- Driving without a license
- Driving with a suspended license
- Careless and reckless driving
- Driving under influence
- Hit and run and criminal speeding
- Attempting to or evading law enforcement
- Vehicular manslaughter
Following state laws, criminal driving infractions are confidential, and only the subject on record, the courts, or other law enforcement agencies can request such documents.
Arizona License Plate Lookup
Currently, Arizona doesn’t have a database where you can search for license plates online. There are, however, third-party sites like InfoTracer that you can use to get minute information on license plates in Arizona.
For more detailed vehicle information, you may contact the ADOT.
Arizona Property and Asset Records Online
The Department of Revenue maintains and manages unclaimed properties and assets in Arizona. Property records are managed by registry of deed offices which are also organized on a county level.
Arizona Unclaimed Property and Assets
Unclaimed properties and assets in Arizona refer to unclaimed financial accounts like dormant bank accounts, tax refunds, unclaimed life insurance policies, and also the contents of unclaimed safety deposit boxes.
Authorized custodians or the owners can file a claim for unclaimed properties in Arizona as long as they can provide the necessary evidence to support the claim. Official identification include photos, driver’s license, state income tax returns, bank or utility statements, or credit reports to name a few.
Important Government Agencies in Arizona
The following agencies help you find public records in Arizona.
- Secretary of State
- Governor’s Office
- Legislative office
- Arizona Superior Court
- Clerk of the Superior Court
- Arizona Ombudsman - Citizens’ Aide
- Arizona Judicial Branch
- Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records
- Arizona Department of Public Safety
- Arizona Department of Corrections
- Arizona Department of Health Services
- Bureau of Vital Records
- Arizona Department of Transportation
- Arizona Department of Revenue
Counties in Arizona
List of Content
- How to Find Arizona Public Records
- What Records are Available in Arizona?
- What Records are Not Available in Arizona?
- Types of Public Records Available in Arizona
- Important Government Agencies in Arizona