Connecticut Public Records

Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Laws are compiled together under the heading the Connecticut FOI Act. It can be found in Chapter 14 of the Connecticut General Statutes. The Connecticut Freedom of Information Act guarantees public access to public records. Public records are defined as records held by governmental bodies and include recorded data or information relating to the public’s business. The material does not have to be written data, but can also include videos, movies, photographs, and other forms of media. Anyone is permitted to request public records, and those requesting the information do not have to state a purpose. The state has four days to respond to an open records request. Furthermore, there is no restriction on the use of the requested data.

While most data is covered under the Connecticut FOI Act, there are certain exemptions under the law: preliminary drafts or notes; personnel or medical files; law enforcement agency records that could impact a law enforcement investigation, trial, or place people in danger; litigation strategies or negotiations; trade secrets; some types of financial information; licensing tests; collective bargaining records and reports; petitions; records of complaints; information that could compromise correctional facility information; and the home addresses of anyone that is in the Address Confidentiality Program.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Connecticut

More About Connecticut

Connecticut is a third-smallest state in terms of physical size in the United States, but the 29th most populous state. This makes it the fourth most densely populated state. It is the southernmost state in New England and is part of the northeastern United States. Connecticut is also a very affluent state. It is part of the New York tri-state area. There is a significant amount of travel between the states in the tri-state area and also the rest of New England. Therefore, no background check on a person in Connecticut should be considered complete without also looking for information on that person in nearby states. Because Connecticut is very small, in area, its political subdivisions function differently than some other states; towns handle many of the functions that counties would handle in a less densely-populated state.

Public Records in CT

Connecticut does not maintain a single repository of public information online. However, there are a variety of places where you can find Connecticut public records online. This information includes property records, vital statistics, court records, and some types of criminal records.

Property Records

Connecticut has several different types of property records. While all property records describe property and name property owners, there are actually different types of property records that serve different purposes. Some property records refer to the value of property, the taxes owed on it, its physical description, and who owns the property; these records are property tax records. Some property records describe the original conveyance of land to a private owner from a governmental entity; these records are land records. Some property records describe conveyances between private property owners and any encumbrances like mortgages or liens; these are deed records.

Land Records

While some states that became states later have well-established land grant records, Connecticut, as one of the states that was settled by European settlers earliest in U.S. history, actually had private land ownership before the state actually became a state, and while it was still under European control. There is not a central state registry that shows all of these land grants. Instead, you may need to look at local town registries to trace original ownership of land.

Property Tax Records

The state of Connecticut maintains a property tax database that gives information about property taxes throughout the state. However, while this database provides tax information for the state, it does not provide tax rolls, property descriptions, or ownership information for the property. You can go to city and county level tax assessor websites to find information about property taxes in the state.

Deed Records

Like other property records, deed records are maintained locally in Connecticut. They may be held in town or county level offices.

CT Vital Records

Connecticut maintains its vital records in the Connecticut State Department of Public Health State Vital Records Home Office. Vital statistics can refer to a wide variety of different types of information, but usually refer to population-impacting events like birth, death, adoption, marriage, and divorce. In addition to tracking the statistics behind that information, the Vital Records Home Office also keeps records of the events, themselves. You can obtain a certified copy of a Connecticut vital record from the town where the event occurred or from the state’s Vital Records Office. Each of the vital records registrars in each town is responsible for maintaining a registry of all births, marriages, civil unions, deaths, and fetal deaths that occur within the town. You can use the Connecticut Vital Records directory to locate the appropriate registrar for each town.

Birth Records

You can obtain birth records in several ways: by going to the vital records registrar in the town where the birth occurred, by ordering it online through VitalChek, or by getting it from a state Vital Records Office.

Death Records

Connecticut has death records dating back to 1897. They are available in the same places as birth records, and you can get them online, or in person at both state and town locations.

Marriage Records

With the help of town registrar offices, the state of Connecticut maintains marriage records for the entire state. You can request them from the town registrar or from the state Vital Records Office.

Divorce Records

Divorce records, which are not the same as copies of a divorce decree, are maintained by the state Vital Records Office and the town registrar in the state where the divorce occurred. If you need a copy of a divorce decree, you may need to request that from the court that granted the divorce.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States

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