Idaho Public Records

Idaho’s Freedom of Information Laws include the Idaho Open Meeting Law, Idaho Code § 74-201 et seq., and the Idaho Public Records Act, Idaho Code § 74-101 et seq.

The Idaho Open Meeting Law focuses on public access to public meetings. It legislates how public meetings can be conducted, defines what a meeting is, and dictates what type of access members of the public should have to those meetings. In addition, it specifies that fines for violations of the Idaho Open Meeting Law can be up to $500 and that a violation may also be able to void actions taken at the illegal meeting.

The Idaho Public Records Act describes public access to public documents in Idaho. In Idaho, there is a presumption that all records are open records. However, there are exceptions to his presumption, including, but not limited to: court records that would result in a breach of confidentiality; juvenile records; law enforcement investigations; the sexual offender classification board’s voting records; discrimination investigation records; workers compensation records; employee information; income tax information; prisoner records; voter registration cards; trade secrets; draft legislation records; archeological records; and judicial authorizations of abortions for minors.

In Idaho, all state and local agencies are covered, except for the state militia. Any person can request the information, not just residents of the state of Idaho. People do not have to provide a statement of purpose to get the information. However, there is a restriction on the release of public information; they cannot be released to create mailing or phone lists. The government agencies have three days to grant or deny public record requests.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Idaho

More About Idaho

Idaho is the country’s 14th largest state, with the 39th largest population. That makes it one of the least population-dense states in the county. It is located in the northwest part of the United States, although it is sometimes lumped together with part of the Midwest. It is known for its mountain regions and is popular with tourists who want to explore the wilderness. The capital of Idaho is Boise.

Idaho’s economy is relatively diverse, and is built on manufacturing, agriculture, mining, forestry, and tourism. It hosts many science and technology firms and is home to the country’s largest Department of Energy facility, the Idaho National Laboratory. Of course, Idaho’s economy is probably best known for its agricultural production; it produces about 1/3 of the nation’s potatoes.

Public Records in ID

Idaho maintains a number of different sites where you can find Idaho Public Records. However, there is no single site for Idaho Public Records. Instead, you need to go to a variety of sites to find links to Idaho court records, criminal records, property records, and vital statistics records.

Property Records

Idaho, like many states, has three basic types of property records: land records, property tax records, and deed records. These distinctions are important, because while all property records describe land and give some type of property information, different record types serve different purposes and contain different types of information.

Land Records

Land records are a type of property record that documents the conveyance of land from its original government ownership to the first private property owner. Idaho was one of the territories, and later states, which was under the control of the Bureau of Land Management. Early conveyances of property from the United States to settlers in Idaho can be found in the Bureau of Land Management Land Entry files in the National Archives. The case files held by the National Archives fall into three general categories; pre-1908 general land entry files, military bounty land warrants, and post 1908 land entry files.

Property Tax Records

The state of Idaho has an interesting two-part property tax system. Some property is centrally assessed, which means that it is appraised as a unit. Other property is assessed by consulting appraisers, which work to facilitate communication between county-level tax officials and the State Tax Commission. Tax payers can register to pay taxes and see their tax records at the Idaho State Tax Commission website.

Deed Records

In Idaho, deed records and all other documents related to property ownership within a county are maintained by the County Recorder’s Office. For deed record inquiries you should contact the County Recorder in the county in which the property is located.

ID Vital Records

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics maintains vital records information for the state of Idaho. The term vital statistics refers to different events that states determine are critical occurrences that provide important information about the state’s population. In Idaho, the state maintains records on birth, death, stillbirth/miscarriage, marriage, and divorce. You can find this information at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s website.

Birth Records

In Idaho, you can obtain some birth records for people from July 1911 to the present, but you may have to prove a relationship to the person named in the certificate, because birth certificates are considered confidential for 100 years after birth. If you are looking for an older birth certificate, you may contact the county where the person was born, because some counties maintain older birth records. You can order a birth certificate by mail by filling out the request form, providing photocopies of your acceptable identification, including a check or money order for the fees, and sending it to: Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0036. You can also place online orders for birth certificates through VitalChek.

Death Records

Idaho has death records from July 1911 through the present time. These records are confidential for up to 50 years, so you may need to provide proof of a relationship with the person for whom you are requesting the record. Some counties may have maintained death certificates for people prior to 1911; you can check with the county where the death occurred to see if they have that information. You can order a death certificate online or by mail. To order online, use the VitalChek service. To order by mail, fill out a request form, and send a check and copies of the requested identification to: Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0036. You can also place online orders for birth certificates through VitalChek.

Marriage Records

The state of Idaho has maintained marriage records since May of 1947. For marriage records prior to that time, you can contact the county where the marriage license was issued. Marriage records are confidential for 50 years, so you will have to provide proof that you are entitled to the record. You can order marriage records online or by mail. Online orders are processed using the VitalChek service. Mail orders require sending in a request form, photocopies of appropriate identification, and the fee to: Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0036.

Divorce Records

The state of Idaho has handled divorce records on a state level since May 1947. For divorces prior to that time, you may be able to find information in the county court records of the county where the divorce occurred. In addition, if you want to see the whole court record, not just proof of a divorce, you will need to look at the court records. You can order divorce records in two ways: online using the VitalChek service, or by mail using the same method as for marriage records.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States

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