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Alabama Public Records: How to Perform an Alabama Public Records Search

Alabama Public Records: How to Perform an Alabama Public Records Search
September 28, 2022

Alabama public records are available to the public through checks and personal requests at their primary custodians—government agencies and public institutions, as well as on third-party websites. 


These public records in  Alabama range from criminal and arrest records to court records and vital records—comprising birth, death, marriage, and divorce records. 


They account for the interaction of persons living in Alabama with the law, public institutions, and other civil establishments. 


This article discusses the channels you can explore in a bid to find certain public records in Alabama. 

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How To Find Court Records in Alabama:

To find court records pertaining to Alabama, you'll need to first make contact with the courthouse responsible for presiding over the case. 


Once you've located the court in question, reach out to the clerk of the court—who is most often the court's chief record custodian. 


With the clerk's help, you can search through the court's case record database, whether it's in print or electronic format.


If the latter is the case, you can find your case files by providing your name, birth date, and case docket number in case search portals incorporated on the courts' official website. 


You can do this at any time and from anywhere, although you may be charged a small fee for this service. 


The trial courts in Alabama also provide an online resource to this effect, available through the Alabama court Access Portal. 


There, you can find case records of proceedings heard at trial records.

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Alabama Public Records: Vital Records

Vital records are public records in Alabama that contain officially filed information relating to births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and other related record information. 


This definition is further corroborated as enshrined in the Code of Alabama 1975 § 22-9A-1.


In Alabama, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is responsible for the custody and management of vital records filed since 1908. 


They make these records available to the public through the mail, online, or in-person requests at their local county health department. Below is a brief description of vital records and a summary of how to find them.

Alabama Public Records: Birth/Death Records


The Center for Health Statistics, a unit of the ADPH, is the place to direct all your birth records-related inquiries. 


For a $15 charge, you can request to obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate or  Certificate for Failure to acknowledge for unavailability of the desired data. 


You'll also be charged an additional $6 to cover extra copies of the duplicate records as long as they are requested concurrently.


You can make the appropriate request by mail, through online means, or via a walk-in application at the office of the ADPH. 

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The latter can be effected by making a stop by any county health department closest to you where you'll be required to fill and submit the requisite application form, replete with the appropriate application fee and sufficient identification.


This process applies to requests for death records in the state. 


The applied fees, as well as the method of request, are similar. 


However, the death certificate that is usually produced from this type of request may only be accessible to authorized persons such as the family member of the affected persons or recognized legal personnel. 

Alabama Public Records: Criminal Records: What You Should Know

Criminal records are public records in Alabama that document the interaction of persons with the law after having been convicted of a violation of the law. 


They contain information related to the subject's arrest, prosecution, court hearings, sentencing, and other related information. 


In Alabama, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) along with the departments of criminal justice is charged with the custody and maintenance of criminal records in the state.


Interested persons can undertake a criminal history check at the latter's official website with just their name and any other personal, identifying information. 


You can expect to find arrest/booking information, personal information, warrants, sentencing information, and bail/bond-related data, among other things. 


Only criminal information about minors and others associated with juvenile cases is exempted from being accessible to the public. 

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Alabama Public Records: Marriage/Divorce Records


Marriage and divorce records are both classified under Vital records in the state of Alabama as with most other states in the US. 


Finding both of these records in Alabama will take you through similar routes, most of which are through the ADPH Center for Health Statistics. 


You'll be best served by visiting the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county where the divorce was settled.


There, you'll be required to present an identifying brief, usually your name, birth date, and/or the docket number under which the divorce was filed. 


What follows next is a search through the court's record database subsequent to the production of the requested record. 


This procedure is very closely related to marriage record requests. 

Alabama Free Public Records with Third-party Websites


Third-party websites provide what is, in most cases, the quickest and the easiest route to finding public records in Alabama, and anywhere else for that matter. 


They most often work by providing search fields where you can input a name and the location record in question. 


You can find vital records of all sorts and view the criminal history information of any person, as long as they are publicly available. 


This is one of the most popular ways to perform an Alabama free public records, with being one of the most popular websites in use.

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