Search County Public Records At Court Clerk and Recorder Offices
How To Start Your County Records Search
1. Contact County Clerk Offices
County offices store a wealth of records available for public access. The challenge is figuring out how to navigate hundreds of county offices within a given state to find the records you're looking for. A good place to start is the county clerk or county clerk of court. These offices usually offer detailed information on archived criminal and civil court records.
2. Contact County Recorder Offices
A second reliable source for county records is the county recorder's office. Recorders (or Register of Deeds in the East Coast) are traditionally responsible for keeping land records, deeds, surveys, mortgages, easements and liens. A variety of other records, such as vital, are sometimes kept at recorders' offices as well.
Records are kept in a few different formats including:
- paper files
3. Contact County Public Health Departments
A third source for county records are county Departments of Public Health. These offices are reliable sources for birth, death, marriage and sometimes divorce records. Normally county departments of public health take vital record requests by mail-in-application, phone call, fax or email and offer the option to certify record copies.
Although vital records are public information they may only be retrieved by the person whose name appears on the record or by next of kin due to the sensitivity of the information on the record.
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