Louisiana Public Records

Louisiana’s Public Records Law, contained in Louisiana Revised Statutes, § 44.1 et seq., provides for the maintenance and disclosure of certain public records. The goal of the law is to ensure that public documents are not only made available for inspection by members of the public, but also that these records are preserved in a manner that allows for them to be inspected. Under the law, public records include: books, records, writings, accounts, letters, maps, letter books, drawing, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings, memoranda, papers, and other documentary materials. However, to be public records, these records do not just have to be in the possession of the government, but prepared, possessed, used, or retained for use to conduct some type of government business. There are statutory exceptions to the Public Records Law, which exempt the release of certain type of information including information about insurance fraud, unfair trade practices, some law enforcement communications, governmental ethics issues, and some coroner’s records.

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Public & Vital Records for Parishes in Louisiana

More About Louisiana

Louisiana is the 25th most populous and 31st largest state in the country. Its capital is Baton Rouge, though its best known city is probably the coastal city of New Orleans. Louisiana’s political divisions differ from the other 49 states; rather than being divided into counties it is divided into parishes. Louisiana is in the southeastern or Deep South part of the United States. It is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas. Louisiana shares a relatively fluid border with nearby states, with people coming and going from the state for work, entertainment, personal, and educational opportunities. Therefore, if you are running a background check on someone located in Louisiana, you may need to check other states, especially nearby states, to get a full background on that individual.

Louisiana Vital Records

The Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of the State Registrar maintains some vital statistics for the state of Louisiana. These records include records related to: birth, death, marriage, fetal death, and other vital events. However, because Louisiana is a closed record state, these records are not considered open records. To obtain them, you may need to prove that you are the person named in the record or that you have a legitimate family or business interest in obtaining the record.

Birth Records

Louisiana birth records are available by internet, fax, phone, mail, or in-person. To obtain a birth record in Louisiana, you should be a person named in the document, a spouse, a biological or adoptive parent, parent, a sibling, an adult child, a grandparent, a grandchild, or a legal representative.

Death Records

To obtain death records in Louisiana, you have to show that you are entitled to those records. The same people who can get birth records can get death records, as can surviving spouses, life insurance beneficiaries, legal representatives, and legal heirs. You can obtain a death record in person by visiting Vital Records or the Clerk of Courts in the county of death, by mail, by fax, by internet, and by phone.

Marriage Records

The Louisiana State Registrar and Vital Records only maintains marriage records for marriages that have occurred in Orleans Parish. For marriages in other parishes, you must contact the Clerk of Court for that parish. For marriage records for Orleans Parish that are older than 50 years, you can find them in the Louisiana State Archives.

Divorce Records

The Louisiana Vital Records Registry does not issue divorce decrees or even verify divorces; to obtain a decree contact the Clerk of Court in the parish where the divorce was granted.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States

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