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North Dakota Public Records: How to Perform a North Dakota Public Records Search

North Dakota Public Records: How to Perform a North Dakota Public Records Search
November 6, 2022

In North Dakota, public records from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the state's government are all available to the public, except for records that are exempted by law. 


The North Dakota Open Records Statute makes all records held by any government agency or any entity that receives public funding accessible to North Dakota citizens.


Not all parts of every record may be open to the public, however. Confidential aspects of North Dakota public records may be redacted. 


In case a North Dakota public records request is denied, the requester may file an appeal within 30 days or a lawsuit within 60 days. 

Public Records North Dakota: Vital Records 

The North Dakota Department of Health is the government agency responsible for the maintenance of vital records in the state of North Dakota. 


This agency is charged with the storage and dissemination of birth, death, marriage, and divorce records in the state.


Despite their categorization as public records, not all North Dakota vital records are accessible to the public. Only certain people, such as the subject of the record, their immediate family members, or their legal counsel may obtain certified copies of vital records that have restricted legal status. 


Others may need authorization from a family member of the record subject or other such legal authorizations to access the North Dakota public record.

hands typing on a laptop keyboard in front of a row of large folders


To access and obtain North Dakota vital records, interested persons may check the online portal maintained by the Department of Health or submit a record request in person or by mail to the record custodian. 


Requesters will typically be required to provide proof of eligibility for the obtaining of the record, as well as sufficient details to facilitate a search. There may also be service charges which will need to be paid.


Apart from the DoH, North Dakota marriage and divorce records may be obtained from the county where the event was licensed or finalized. 


Requesters seeking to obtain North Dakota birth or death records in person or by mail must complete the appropriate application form and enclose it, along with valid identification and a $15 check or money order, in a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Next, they must send the application to:


Department of Health,
Division of Vital Records,
600 East Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 301,
Bismarck, ND

Public Records North Dakota: Criminal Records

The state of North Dakota maintains a very detailed database of criminal records which are accessible to the public. 


North Dakota criminal records detail a list of an individual's run-ins with law enforcement. 


Apart from charges and convictions, North Dakota criminal records also include dismissed charges and charges without a disposition from a court.


Correctional facilities, courts, police departments, and a variety of other government agencies in the state often provide contributing information to North Dakota criminal records. 


Per state laws, these North Dakota public records are available to the public. 

fingerprints on a paper

How to Access North Dakota Criminal Records

People who want to obtain North Dakota criminal records must petition the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NDBCI). 


The NDBCI is the agency that maintains and disseminates criminal records in the state. 


Requesters must fill out a request for criminal history information application, then enclose it, along with a $15 payment fee, in an envelope addressed to:


Criminal Records Section,
North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation,
P.O. Box 1054,
Bismarck, ND 58502-1054,

Public Records North Dakota: Court Records

North Dakota court records contain detailed information about proceedings taken under oath in any of the state's courts. 


In them, you can find case files, dockets, witness documentation, court opinions, and other information relating to the charges and sentences of the defendant.


North Dakota court records are accessible to the public. 

How to Find North Dakota Court Records 

The easiest way to access court records in North Dakota is by performing an online search at the State of North Dakota Courts.


Any criminal, traffic, or civil case in North Dakota can be found using a district court case search, and the search results also include municipal court cases from certain localities. 


A detailed description of the data and the counties is provided because restricted case information is not included in search results.


Alternatively, requesters may file court records requests at the office of the court clerk of the court where the proceedings were held. 

handcuffs and a gavel on a book

Public Records North Dakota: Inmate Records

Inmate records in North Dakota contain information about offenders held in any of the correctional facilities maintained by the state, county, city, or other municipalities. 

How to Access North Dakota Inmate Records

Like most states in the US, the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation provides a Resident Lookup tool with which interested members of the public can find inmate records.


Alternatively, requesters may check the websites of their local law enforcement departments for inmate locator tools to access these North Dakota public records.

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