North Dakota Public Records

North Dakota has two laws regarding freedom of information: the North Dakota Open Meetings Law, North Dakota Century Code § 44-04-19 et seq., and the North Dakota Open Records Statutes, North Dakota Century Code § 44-04-18 et seq. Combined, these laws govern public access to public information.

The North Dakota Open Meetings Statute governs how public meetings are conducted. It defines what a public meeting is, when the public has access to the meetings, and the punishment when public meetings are not opened to the public. It also specifies that certain types of meetings should be closed, including: attorney consultations; hiring or firing of college or university personnel; and non-renewal hearings for teachers.

The North Dakota Open Records Statute discusses access to public information. It defines public records as any type of information, recorded in any form, which has been received or prepared for use in connection with public business. Under the law, anyone can request public records and they are not required to provide a statement or purpose. There are not any restrictions placed on public information. There are exemptions to the open records statute including: tax information; juvenile records; law enforcement investigation records; workers’ compensation records; most Department of Human Services records; unemployment records; and public employee medical and assistance records.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in North Dakota

More About North Dakota

North Dakota is the nineteenth largest state in terms of area, but the fourth smallest in terms of population. That makes it the fourth most sparsely populated state. It is located in the northern part of the Midwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by Canada, Minnesota, Montana, and South Dakota.

North Dakota’s economy is largely dependent on its natural resources, including oil extraction. Because North Dakota is on the Canadian border, you may need to look at other states if running a background check on someone in North Dakota.


Public Records in ND

North Dakota does not have a central location for public records. However, you can find a variety of different public records online in the state, including vital statistics, property records, and some criminal records.

Property Records

North Dakota has three different types of property records. Deed records show private conveyances of land between private owners, as well as mortgages, liens, and other encumbrances. Land records show conveyances from the government to a private property owner. Tax records show the tax rates charges for certain pieces of land, the amount of tax due on the property, whether taxes have been paid, and the owner of record.

Land Records

The State Historical Society of North Dakota maintains archives that include its land records. These records contain information on the progression of frontier settlements, land titles, family history, and biographies. You can access the information in the Reading Room of the State Archives, as well as accessing some information through interlibrary loan.

Property Tax Records

North Dakota maintains the North Dakota Property Tax Information Portal, where people can access county parcel tax information. You can also find property records for assessment officials at the official North Dakota website.

Deed Records

In North Dakota, deed records are located at the county recorders offices. You can find links to local recorders offices through the North Dakota Recorders Information Network.


North Dakota Vital Records

The North Dakota Department of Health Division of Vital Records maintains information on Vital Records in the state. Some of the things that are included under the vital records classification include: births, deaths, marriages, and divorces.

Birth Records

In North Dakota, only a few people are entitled to get a birth certificate. If the person listed on the birth certificate is over 16 years of age, then only the person names on the record or the mother or father listed on the record can get a copy. If you are not one of those individuals and need to request a birth certificate, you may need to get a court order, submit legal documentation or show that you are an authorized representative of one of those individuals. You can request birth records in person, online, by fax, or by mail.

Death Records

To get a certified death certificate in North Dakota, you need to be a relative, an authorized representative, the child fatality review board, or a funeral director. Death certificates can be ordered online, in person, by fax, or by mail.

Marriage Records

As of 2008, you must get marriage records through the county where the license was originally purchased or filed. You can find a list of contact information for those counties at the North Dakota Department of Health’s website.

Divorce Records

You can get certified copies of divorce records from the country clerk or the recorder in the county in which the divorce or annulment was decreed. You can find a list of contact information for those county clerks and recorders at the North Dakota Department of Health’s website.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States


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