While some states have adopted public records laws that provide wide access to these documents to anyone, regardless of whether they live in the state or not, Arkansas has opted for more limited access to its public records. Under the original Freedom of Information Act, passed in 1968, only residents of the state could access records, as the state authorities aimed to curb the risks of people disseminating and abusing public record information outside the state. However, federal courts have ruled that such a limitation of access to information runs counter to federal law, so Arkansas, like other states with limited access legislation, have allowed for non-state residents to access their public records upon request. Below are some questions and answers covering the most commonly requested types of public records.
Are birth records public in Arkansas?
Arkansas birth records are not public and are only available to the owner of the record and people with a direct relationship or interest in the records, such as immediate family members, representing attorneys and government officials. Birth records and other Arkansas vital records that are more than 100 years old are public and are available to anyone.
How do you order a copy of a birth certificate in Arkansas?
You can order a copy of a birth certificate through the Arkansas Department of Health. Certificates can be ordered online, in person or by mailing the following address:
Arkansas Department of Health
Vital Records, Slot 44
4815 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
There is a fee and proof of your identification is required to obtain a copy of a birth certificate.
Are Arkansas death records public?
Death records are not public in Arkansas. Only parties with a direct relationship or interest to the deceased may gain copies of a person's death certificate. Death certificates that are more than 50 years old are public records and can be viewed by anyone.
How can you get a copy of a death certificate in Arkansas?
You can obtain a copy of a death certificate from the Arkansas Department of Health. They can be ordered online, in person or by mail.
Are Arkansas marriage records public?
Marriage records are considered private in Arkansas. Therefore, only certain parties may obtain copies of them. This may include the couple, their immediate family members, legal representatives, government officials and persons with a court order. Marriage certificates that are 100 years or older are public and can be viewed and requested by anyone.
How can you get a copy of a marriage certificate in Arkansas?
You can get a copy of a marriage certificate from the Arkansas Department of Health. Certified copies of certificates can be ordered in person, online or by mail.
Are divorce records public in Arkansas?
Arkansas divorce records are not public and are only available to certain parties, such as the people in the record, their spouses, parents, children, legal representatives, government officials and any person with a certified court order. Divorce records that are more than 100 years old are publicly available to anyone.
How do you get a copy of your Arkansas divorce decree?
You can get a copy of an Arkansas divorce certificate online, by mail or in person from the Arkansas Department of Health. You can also contact the office of the County Clerk or Circuit Clerk for the area in which the divorce took place.
Are Arkansas adoption records public?
Arkansas adoption records are not public. Only the child who was adopted can request their adoption file once he or she is 21 years of age. While birth parents can't get a copy of adoption records without the child's consent, they may complete forms to redact their name from an adoption file as well as update their family history information and contact preference. They can request to be contacted by the adopted child directly, through a third party or not at all, though there is no guarantee their requests will be honored by the child.
Are court records public in Arkansas?
Arkansas' court records are public, but they are only public to residents of the state. People who reside outside of Arkansas cannot access the state's court records. Many of the courts in state provide court case information online through the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts.
Are Arkansas criminal records public?
Criminal records are public in Arkansas, and they can be viewed and searched by anyone, regardless of whether they are an Arkansas resident. Among the types of information available in criminal records are convictions for felony and misdemeanor crimes and whether someone is a registered sex offender.
Where can you search for criminal records in Arkansas?
The Arkansas State Police maintains a database of criminal records that can be searched online. They offer two type of searches. One is a criminal background check that is only available to certain authorized entities. The other is an open criminal history search that is available to the general public. There is a fee associated with either type of search.
Where can you find Arkansas property records?
Most property records or maintained and managed by the County Assessor's Department as well as the Treasurer's Office and County GIS Department.
How do you check your driving record in Arkansas?
You can check your Arkansas driving record online at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. You can also obtain it in person at any Arkansas Revenue Office, or you can get it by mail at:
Department of Finance and Administration
P.O. Box 1272 Room 1130
Little Rock, AR 72203-1272
Only the person who the driving record belongs to and certain interested parties like court officials can obtain a copy of a driving record in Arkansas.
The fee that you will have to pay to obtain your Arkansas driving record will depend on the type of record you're getting, whether it's a full history, insurance record, commercial record or drug and alcohol record.