Tennessee Public Records

The Tennessee Public Records Act, Tennessee Code Ann. §§10-7-501 et al., is Tennessee’s version of the Freedom of Information Act. The law addresses what type of information is considered public information in Tennessee, who has the right to make a public records request, what agencies hold and store the information, and the time period for responses. The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Open Records Counsel is responsible for answering questions and providing information about the Public Records Act and the Open Meetings Act, as well as assisting citizens with disputes about ongoing public record requests.

In Tennessee, all governmental entities that are subject to the Public Records Act must have a public records policy stating the process for people to request records, the process for responding to those requests, and a fee statement. You request records directly from that agency. Tennessee citizens may access state, county, and municipal public records, which are defined as documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, films, sound recordings, or other materials made or received in connection with government business. Some materials are exempt from disclosure due to explicit law exempting them, practice, or court rules

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Tennessee

More About Tennessee

Tennessee is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is the 36th largest state by area, but the 16th largest by population. Tennessee’s major industries include agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism, though it once played a critical role in arms manufacturing, including serving as one of the sites for the Manhattan Project. Currently, Tennessee’s economy is relatively strong; it has a lower unemployment rate than the national average, which may suggest a population in transit, as people move to the area, especially from border states, to look for job opportunities. It also has a large number of tourists. As a result, if you are conducting a background check for a person located in Tennessee, you may need to include other states to get complete information.


Public Records in TN

In Tennessee, public records are not maintained in a central location, but are maintained by the counties that collect the records in the normal course of business. While the Open Records Counsel can help you with disputes involving open records, that office does not maintain public records, nor does it facilitate open records requests for other agencies.

Property Records

In Tennessee, there are three main types of property records: land records, property tax records, and deed records. While some of the information available in each of these types of records may overlap, they are three different types of records.

Land Records

The term “land records” has two uses. First, it refers to a very specific type of real property transaction that included the original transfer of land from the government to the original owners by the Tennessee Land Office. It also refers to the bound and loose property records of the Board of Commissioners of East and West Tennessee. You can find those land records at the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website.

Property Tax Records

In Tennessee, you can find property tax records by looking at the Comptroller of the Treasury’s Real Estate Assessment Data website. At this website, you can search for property by region or by county. You can run searches using owner name, property address, parcel i.d., subdivision name, classification, or sale date.

Deed Records

The Secretary of State maintains a record of deeds. They will search for a deed for you, but there is currently no way for an individual to perform an online deed search on his/her own. To search for a deed, you must provide the name of the individual to be searched, the county, and a five-year date span because deeds are not always recorded at the same time that they are transferred.


TN Vital Records

Tennessee maintains a centralized vital statistics office. This office is located at 1st Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower, 710 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville, TN 37243.

Birth Records

You can get birth certificates at the Tennessee Office of Vital Records. You can get them in person, by mail, or online. You may also be also to get birth records at the County Health Department in the county where the event occurred.

Death Records

In Tennessee, you can get death certificates at the Tennessee Office of Vital Records. You can get them in person, by mail, or by internet. You may also be also to get death records at the County Health Department in the county where the event occurred.

Marriage Records

You can get access to marriage certificates at the Tennessee Office of Vital Records. You may order them online, by mail or in person.

Divorce Records

In Tennessee, you can get divorce records at the Tennessee Office of Vital Records. You can get them in person, by mail, or by internet.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States


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