Colorado Public Records

Colorado’s freedom of information act is known as the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). It can found in Colorado Revised Statutes §§24-72-201 to 206. CORA provides that all public records, unless otherwise indicated by law, be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times. The definition of public records can be found in §§202(6), but essentially refers to those writings kept by a state agency as required by law or administrative rule. All requests under CORA are to be made in writing and must include the date, the requestor’s name, the requestor’s mailing address, a company name if the request is a commercial request, phone number, email if available, and a list or description of the information being requested.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Colorado

More About Colorado

Colorado is the 8th largest state by area, but the 21st most populated state. It is in the southern Rocky Mountains, and on the western edge of the Great Plains region of the United States. Nicknamed the Centennial State, Colorado became a state 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Colorado is a relatively-sparsely populated state and is bordered by other relatively sparsely populated states including Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. However, it is a huge tourist destination, attracting people from all around the country to its ski regions. Industry and business are thriving in and near Colorado’s largest city, Denver, and the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado has attracted not only a specific type of tourist, but also a new wave of cannabis entrepreneurs. This fluctuating population can make background checks difficult, as you may not know whether a person is a native to Colorado or has previously lived elsewhere. Therefore, you should always consider the possibility that you will need to check other areas when running a background check on someone who lives in Colorado.


Public Records in CO

Like most states, Colorado does not have a single public record repository. However, unlike many other states, Colorado does maintain a number of public records that it makes available in its state archives. The various types of public records that you may find at the public archives include: genealogy, family history records, history records, government records including an authenticated copy of the Colorado State Constitution, legal records, legislative records, military records, and water records. For modern public records, you may need to visit the office or branch of the state government responsible for creating and/or maintaining that type of record.

Property Records

Most states have three types of property records. Land records generally refer to records that reflect the original conveyance of a parcel of land from a government body to a private government. In Colorado, where land was owned by a variety of different government bodies, land may reflect transfers from the United States, Spain, Mexico, Texas, and the state of Colorado. Property tax records generally refer to current and historical records discussing the boundaries of land, tax assessments on that land, and any records of tax payment and/or non-payment. Finally, deed records refer to transfers of ownership between private owners, as well as any other type of encumbrance that might impact ownership, such as mortgages or mechanic’s liens.

Land Records

To find older land grants from Colorado to private landowners, you may need to search a variety of different types of archival resources. For modern land records, the Colorado State Land Board Geographic Information System (GIS) mains a catalogue of all surface and mineral ownership records, leases, and special management issues. This system can be viewed through an online map server or by download.

Property Tax Records

In Colorado, 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 Colorado, the Office of the Clerk and Recorder is responsible for maintaining deed records for their county. Depending on the county, you may be able to search for this information online.


CO Vital Records

Vital statistics refers to quantitative data that can help describe a population, but is commonly used to refer to the individual components of that data. For example, the number of deaths in an area in a year is a vital statistic, but we now consider the record of an individual death as a “vital statistic,” too. The types of information generally considered as part of vital statistics includes: births, deaths, marriages, and divorces.

Birth Records

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment maintains some vital statistics, including birth records, online. You can visit their website to order, correct, or change a birth certificate, including placing a second parent on the birth certificate or changing the second parent on a birth certificate.

Death Records

Colorado’s Department of Public Health & Environment maintains a central repository for modern death records. At their website, you can find information about how to order a death certificate or change a death certificate, including rules about who can request a death certificate in the State of Colorado.

Marriage Records

While copies of the original marriage license/certificate are only available through the county clerk and recorder that issued that document, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment does provide verifications of marriages from the years 1900 to 1939 and 1975 to the present, as long as those events were recorded with the Colorado Office of the State Registrar. You must complete and submit a form for a marriage verification.

Divorce Records

In Colorado, you can only get copies of an original divorce decree from the county district court that issued the document. However, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment can provide verifications of divorces as long as the divorce occurred between the years 1900 to 1939 or from 1975 to the present and was recorded with the Colorado Office of the State Registrar.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States


Learn about Colorado criminal records or read about public records in another state from the list below: