Arizona Public Records

The Arizona Public Records Law, A.R.S. §§ 39-121 through 39-161, is Arizona’s version of a state freedom of information act. Under Arizona Law, all officers and public bodies must maintain those records that are reasonably necessary to provide an accurate accounting of any government funded activities, including their official activities. Records are not limited to written records. Instead, the term includes all: books, papers, maps, photographs, or any other documentary materials, regardless of form or characteristics, which is made or received by a government agency in connection with its public business or in accordance to the law. These records must be preserved by the agency or its successors. Public records include, but are not limited to written reports, legal memoranda, data bases, tape recordings, written minutes of minutes, training materials, case files, and personnel records. All public records must be made available for inspection unless they fall into one of three categories of exemptions: (1) those records that are confidential by law; (2) those records where privacy interests outweigh the public’s right to know; or (3) those records where disclosure is not in the state’s best interests.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Arizona

More About Arizona

Arizona is a state located in the American Southwest. It is the sixth-largest state by area and the 14th-largest state by population. The capital of Arizona is Phoenix. Known for its natural landmarks, Arizona is famous for being the home of the Grand Canyon and the Sonora Desert. In addition to being one of the country’s four-corners states, Arizona shares a border with Mexico and has a number of Native American reservations. This makes for a somewhat transitory state population. Therefore, when running a background check of people located in Arizona, you may need to look at other locations.

Public Records in AZ

Accessing public records in Arizona depends on the type of record you want to access. In general, you make your public records request directly to the agency where the records are being held. Requests should be made during business hours. State public records include personal records, court records, and business records. Personal records, also known as vital statistics, are generally governed by statute and closed for some period of time. Court Records may be found in the court of jurisdiction or in the State Archives. They are generally open, though records involving adoptions or juveniles may be closed.

While not all of Arizona’s public records are available at a central repository, the website is a helpful first step. It can help people locate the agency that holds the type of records they want to request, and lets users send public-records requests directly to those agencies. Many people mistakenly believe that the Arizona Ombudsman’s Office is a central repository for public records. While it does help manage disputes if an agency fails to respond to a public records request, the Arizona Ombudsman’s Office does not maintain records, nor will it tell people where to find public records. The Arizona State Library’s website can provide people with information on how to find public records.

Property Records

There are three main types of property records that people might search for in Arizona: land records, property tax records, and deed records.

Land Records

In Arizona, the term “land records” does not refer to a specific type of record. While some states maintain specific land records, which document the original transfer of property from a government agency, such as the state, the U.S.A., or even a colonial precursor to the U.S., Arizona does not have a separate designation for these types of records.

Property Tax Records

In Arizona, property tax records are maintained by the county tax assessor in which the land is located. You can find a link to Arizona County Tax assessors at the Arizona Association of Counties.

Deed Records

In Arizona most county records kept by county-level recorders offices. These offices maintain recordings that stretch back to long before Arizona became a state and included deeds recorded in those counties. Deeds generally refer to any transfer of ownership of a parcel or piece of property.

AZ Vital Records

Vital statistics refer to public records that detail events in private lives. This specific type of public record includes things such as: birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, and divorce records.

Birth Records

In Arizona, the Arizona Department of Health Services maintains access to birth and death certificates. You may also get these certificates in the county where the event occurred.

Death Records

You may access death & birth certificates in the county where the event occurred. The Arizona Department of Health Services maintains access to birth and death certificates.

Marriage Records

In Arizona, marriage records are maintained by the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the event occurred, and cannot be obtained from the Arizona Department of Health Services or the Bureau of Vital Records.

Divorce Records

In Arizona, divorce records cannot be obtained from the Arizona Department of Health Services or the Bureau of Vital Records. Divorce records are maintained by the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the event occurred.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States

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