Alabama Public Records

Alabama is a leader in open information for its citizens. Its first open records law was enacted in 1923, and the Alabama Public Records Law, Alabama Code §§ 36.12.40-41 and 41.12.44, continues to govern citizen’s access to public information. In addition, the Alabama Open Meetings Act, Alabama Code §§ 36.25A1-36.25A11, governs what type of government business must be done in a public setting. The law does not provide a single method for requesting information, nor does it require that the requestor state a purpose for the requested information. It does permit government agencies to charge a reasonable fee for the records. Alabama is one of the few states to make open information available on its website. While the Open Alabama website does not facilitate access to all public records covered by the state’s freedom of information act, it does provide easy links to a variety of different state open records, including most spending-related records.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Alabama

More About Alabama

Alabama, the country’s 30th largest state in terms of area, is the 24th-most populated state in the United States. It is considered part of the southeastern region of the United States, as well as part of the Gulf Coast Region. Alabama is bordered by Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico. The largest city in Alabama is Birmingham, which is also its most industrialized city. Alabama’s modern economy is based on management, automotive, finance, aerospace, manufacturing, healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing, and its traditional agriculture. Although Alabama does not see the same type of population changes as more fluid states, if you are conducting a background check on someone in Alabama, you may want to check other states, as well, especially if the background information you receive seems incomplete.

Public Records in AL

Alabama has an open records website, Open Alabama, which provides easy access to a variety of records covered under its open information act. However, this website does not provide access to property records or vital statistics, both of which are used to complete background check requests.

Property Records

Most states, including Alabama, classify their property records into three general groups: land records, property tax records, and deed records. While all three of these types of records have to do with descriptions of land and its ownership, they serve different functions. Land records generally refer to records of the original conveyance of land from a government body to the original private owner. Deed records generally refer to conveyances of private property from owner-to-owner or encumbrances on that property. Finally, property tax records generally refer to descriptions of property, tax assessments, and a record of whether or not taxes have been paid on that property.

Land Records

The Alabama Secretary of State’s Land Records Office maintains a Government Records Inquiry System, which facilitates access to land and property records in the state. You may search these records for current or historical information on parcels of land using owner names or property descriptors.

Property Tax Records

In Alabama, the county assessors are responsible for property tax records. They are responsible for determining value for residential and commercial real estate, maintaining tax records, and maintaining property records that detail boundaries of property, improvements, and ownership. To find this information, you need to go to the assessor’s office in the county in which the land is located.

Deed Records

In Alabama, local deeds are recorded and maintained by an official known as the County Recorder. To find deed information in Alabama, you can visit the Alabama Secretary of State’s Land Records Office and utilize its Government Records Inquiry System to see if it contains information about a parcel or contact the relevant county recorder’s office.

AL Vital Statistics

The Alabama Center for Health Statistics operates the state’s vital records system and files, stores, and issues certified copies of birth, death, marriage, and divorce statistics. The state has a vital records system, the Vital Statistics Image Oriented Network (ViSION), which allows access to all vital records issued through any of the various Alabama county health departments. You can walk in and request these records, and, as long as you meet the qualifications, have a record in approximately 30 minutes. You can also request records through the mail.

Birth Records

Birth records are available through the Alabama Center for Health Statistics or through local Alabama county health departments. To request a birth certificate, you must be the person named on the birth certificate or an immediate family member (parent, sibling, or child) of the person named in the birth certificate, legal guardian, or legal representative.

Death Records

The Alabama Center for Health Statistics makes death records available through their central location or through Alabama’s local county health departments. Legal representatives, legal guardians, or immediate family members may get certified copies of death certificates.

Marriage Records

You may get copies of marriage certificates from the Alabama Center for Health Statistics or from local county health departments. Access to marriage certificates is unrestricted; you do not need to be a person named in the certificate, a family member, or a legal representative to request marriage records.

Divorce Records

Like marriage certificates, divorce certificates in Alabama are an unrestricted type of public document; anyone can request a divorce record from the Alabama Center for Health Statistics or from a local county health department.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States

Learn about Alabama criminal records, AL Property Records, or read about public records in another state from the list below: