Oregon Public Records

Oregon has a comprehensive freedom of information law that addresses public records and public meetings. Oregon Revised Statutes § 192.420 provides that every person has a right to inspect nonexempt public records. The definition of person is broad and includes natural persons, corporations, partnerships, firms, and associations, but not public bodies or public officials other than legislators. Members of public bodies and public officials in their private capacity can make a public records request. The person requesting the information does not need to provide a reason for the request, even if the motive to obtain the information is personal gain. However, both the identity and motive of the person seeking the information may be relevant if the type of information being requested could be covered under conditional exemptions. For example, Oregon Revised Statutes § 192.502 allows for a balancing of privacy rights with the right to public information, and identity and motive might be relevant under that exception.

Oregon’s Public Records Law is relatively broad. For example, it sometimes even covers information held by private agencies if there is no disconnect between private and public agencies. In addition, the type of records covered by the law are broad, as well; it covers all types of data, not just written records.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Oregon

More About Oregon

The state of Oregon is located in the Pacific Northwest area of the United States. It is the ninth largest state by area, but the 27th most populous state. Oregon has a number of areas that are extremely sparsely populated, which may have a relatively stable population. However, Oregon has also taken an important place in technology and other emerging industries. As a result, Oregon has a fluctuating population. If you are looking for background information on someone in Oregon, you may want to look in other locations, as well.

Public Records in OR

Oregon maintains some access to state public records online, though not all of the records are located in a central place. The Oregon Judicial Department has a website that provides free online access to case information from Oregon circuit courts and tax courts. The information is not official, but provided strictly for informational purposes. In addition, the full official register for non-confidential cases can be accessed at courthouse public terminals. You may find additional types of state public records, such as vital statistics or property information, by looking at the relevant sites online.

Property Records

When looking for property or land records, people might be looking for one of three distinct types of records: land records, deed records, or tax records. While all of these records discuss property ownership, they serve different purposes and can provide different types of information to the person seeking information.

Land Records

While the term land records might be used to describe any type of record discussing property ownership, it is also a term used to discuss land grants, which is the conveyance of land from a government to the original private owner. The Oregon Secretary of State maintains records of land grants made under 1850 legislation authorizing the federal government to give land to certain settlers in Oregon. These records include information beyond the land grant and may even include information about naturalization, birth information, and marriage information.

Property Tax Records

Property tax records are records held or maintained by the relevant property tax assessor. Tax records usually include an in-depth description of the property including its boundaries, improvements, and the valuation of the property. Tax records generally state whether or not the owner is current on taxes, current ownership, and can also provide a history of the property’s ownership. Oregon property tax records are handled on a county level and the Oregon Department of Revenue maintains links to county tax assessor websites where you can find local tax rolls.

Deed Records

Deed records are a specific type of property record that describes ownership of other interest in the land. Deeds refer to conveyances from one private owner to another private owner. Deed records also contain other encumbrances on property such as liens or mortgages. In Oregon, deed records are maintained at a county level. The County Recorder’s Office is responsible for recording documents affecting real property ownership and liens on real property.

OR Vital Records

The Oregon Health Authority’s Oregon Center for Health Statistics Vital Records and Certificates handles vital statistics for the state. Oregon state law requires that vital events be recorded. Oregon considers the following to be vital events: birth, marriage, divorce, registered domestic partnership, dissolution of registered domestic partnership, fetal death, and death. The Oregon Vital Records Office, which is also known as the Oregon Center for Health Certificates, can provide certified copies of Oregon vital statistics.

Birth Records

The Oregon Center for Health Certificates offers various ways to order birth records. These ways include the internet, phone, by mail, and in person. There are fees associated with ordering birth records.

Death Records

Oregon’s Health Authority maintains vital statistics, including death records. You can order death records in person, by mail, by phone, or online.

Marriage Records

Unlike some states, Oregon maintains records of marriages at a central location; the Oregon Vital Records Office/Oregon Center for Health Certificates. You can order then by mail, by phone, online, or in person.

Divorce Records

You can find records for divorces and dissolutions of domestic partnerships at the Oregon Vital Records Office. However, for full records of divorces, you will need to get the record of the divorce from the court that granted the divorce.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States

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