Mississippi Public Records

Mississippi’s freedom of information law is the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, Miss. Code Ann. § 25-61-1 et seq., which governs which public records are subject to disclosure and how to make an open records request in the state of Mississippi. In Mississippi, public records include all books, records, paper, or any other type of documentary material that has been used, prepared, possessed or retained for use in the conduct, transaction, or performance of any government business. For a record to be discoverable, it must be a non-exempt record, and it must be identifiable. Some types of records that are exempt are records that would impede criminal investigations, reveal the identity of informants or witnesses, put safety at risk for people identified in the records, or impact the right to a fair trial. While the government must make records available, they can charge a reasonable cost for them; only make them available for inspection or copying during regular business hours; and specify mode, time, manner, and place of access.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Mississippi

More About Mississippi

Mississippi is a rare state, in that its population and size are proportionate. It is the 32nd most-populous state and it has the 32nd largest population in the United States. It is in the American South, bordered by the Mississippi River on the west, Alabama on the east, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south. While it is not considered an economic leader among the states, it does play a critical role in American culture. It is considered the birthplace of blues music. Mississippi’s historic economy was built on agriculture and it is still a largely rural state that has a significantly agricultural economy. Generally ranked low in measures such as education, income, and health, Mississippi finds itself with a changing-population because many from Mississippi find themselves traveling out of the state to find economic opportunities. Therefore, if you are running a background check on someone in Mississippi, you may need to consider looking at other states, as well.


MS Vital Records

The Mississippi State Department of Health Vital Records Department is located at 222 Marketridge Drive, Ridgeland, Mississippi. This office maintains access to vital records for events that have occurred throughout the state. In Mississippi, vital events include births, deaths, and marriages. Divorces are not considered vital records in Mississippi.

Birth Records

You must fill out an application to order a birth certificate in Mississippi. Only certain people are entitled to order birth certificates, and photo i.d. will be required to prove that you fit into one of those categories. You can request a birth certificate via the mail, by ordering online or over the phone using a credit card, or by going to the Mississippi State Department of Health Vital Records Department during normal business hours.

Death Records

Death certificates are available through the Mississippi State Department of Health. You can order them by mail, in-person at the Vital Records Department, over the phone, or online. Only certain people are entitled to certified death certificates, and you must prove your identity to get the death records.

Marriage Records

There are two ways to get marriage records in Mississippi. Marriages in Mississippi that occurred from January 1, 1926 to June 30, 1938 and from January 1, 1942 to the present are maintained at the Mississippi State Department of Vital Statistics. They are also maintained at the local circuit clerk in the county where the marriage occurred. To order marriage records, you can go to the Vital Records Department in person, order online, order by phone, or order by mail.

Divorce Records

Although Mississippi does not maintain divorce records at its Vital Statistics Office, it does have divorce indexes that can be searched, covering the same time period as the marriage records. This search will help you locate the county where the divorce occurred, as well as the book and page number in the Chancery Clerk’s office where the divorce decree was recorded.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States


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