Arkansas Public Records

Arkansas has one of the country’s most robust sunshine laws. The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-101 et seq., provides broad access to public records and public meetings. Government entities have three business days to comply with a records request under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, and my only charge for the actual costs of reproducing any public records, plus mailing expenses, if applicable. Public records include writings, sound, and video of government meetings, though some meetings may be closed meetings and not subject to open records requests if they involve employment decisions for individuals. All records maintained by public employees in the course of their employment are presumed to be public records, although there are a number of exemptions. Some exemptions include: state tax records, medical records, education records, adoption records, archaeological and historical information, grand jury minutes, unpublished drafts of judicial opinions, some police investigations, undercover law enforcement identities, computer security information, home addresses of non-elected employees, license examinations, military discharge information, and information relevant to the security of the public infrastructure.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Arkansas

More about Arkansas

The 33rd most populous state, Arkansas, is the 29th largest state in terms of area. Arkansas is located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is in both the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, and is part of the U.S. Interior Highlands region. Like many southern states, Arkansas was once dependent upon agriculture for its economy. Following World War II, the state began to diversify its economy. Now, the service industry, aircraft, agriculture, steel, and tourism play a major role in the Arkansas economy. Arkansas is also the headquarters for one of the country’s most recognizable businesses, Walmart. While Arkansas may not be considered one of the country’s most popular destinations for people moving for work or other economic opportunities, its population is in enough flux to suggest that anyone seeking a comprehensive background check on someone located in Arkansas should be aware that they may need to search other states, as well.

Public Records in AR

While there are a number of places to find Arkansas state public records online, there is not a single place to find all of that information in a single place. To find Arkansas public records, you have to go to specific websites dedicated to that specific type of information. The three main type of public records you can find in Arkansas are: criminal records, property records, and vital statistics.

Property Records

Generally speaking, in the United States there are three types of property records. The first type of property record is the land record. Land records generally refer to the original conveyance of a parcel of land from a governmental entity, such as a country, state, or territory, to a landowner. The second type of property record is the deed record. Deed records usually refer to conveyances between private individuals and not only includes deeds, but also other encumbrances, such as liens. The final type of property record is the property tax record. These records usually contain all information related to the property tax related to a particular parcel of land, including ownership, a description of the property, what taxes are due on the property, and how the taxes are assessed.

Land Records

One of the best places to find information on land records in Arkansas is in the Arkansas State Archives. These archives contain a wide variety of information, and some of them are searchable online. At the Arkansas State Archives page, you can search for military records, maps, newspapers, church records, county records, manuscript materials on Microfilm, and land records. You may be able to locate photographs. You can conduct searches by title, name of the person, state or county, or by locations.

Property Tax Records

As in most states, real estate taxes in Arkansas are handled by the local county collector. You can locate your county collector by visiting the website and searching for county collector offices. From that website, you will be directed to county-level county collector websites, many of which give you the option to pay taxes and find out tax information online. The type of information available at these county level sites varies from site-to-site. While the county collector is responsible for collecting taxes, taxes are actually assessed by the county assessor, and the county assessor’s records may contain more in-depth property information.

Deed Records

In Arkansas, deed records are created and maintained by the Circuit Clerk. A specific official, known as the recorder, is responsible for recording all real property documents including deeds, warranty deeds, easements, and any other instruments impacting the ownership of property.

AR Vital Records

The Arkansas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics maintains vital statistics for the state of Arkansas. These vital statistics include birth records, death records, adoption records, divorce records, and even a putative father registry. Arkansas is implanting a program known as ERAVE, which is the electronic registration of Arkansas vital events. This program will make it easier for certain actors in the health system to complete their jobs electronically, making it easier to access these statistics. Eventually, the Arkansas Department of Health intends to offer vital record services at all local health units.

Birth Records

To order birth records, you can order them online, by mail, by phone, or by walking into the vital records office. You must fill out an application to get a birth certificate. You must either be eligible to get the vital record, or receive permission from a person entitled to get a vital record in order to access the record.

Death Records

You can order death certificates in the same way you can order birth certificates: online, in-person, by phone, or by mail. There is a search fee associated with death certificates, which is payable whether or not a death record is located. You must qualify to receive the death records or have permission from an eligible person to access the record.

Marriage Records

In Arkansas, marriage records are known as marriage coupons. These records start in 1917. They can be requested online, in-person, by phone, or by mail. To request a marriage coupon, you need the bride’s name, the groom’s name, the date of the marriage, and the county in which the marriage license was issued. If you do not have all of that information, you may not be able to locate the marriage coupon.

Divorce Records

In Arkansas, there are multiple types of divorce records. To get a copy of the divorce decree, you need to contact the county in which the divorce was granted. To get a copy of the divorce coupon, which is a record showing that a divorce occurred or that a divorce petition was dismissed, you can order it online, in-person, by phone, or by mail.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States

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