What Are Public Records?
Public records, kept by government agencies, are an invaluable source of information for the general public. These records encompass a wide range of data, from individual and business information to court cases and government contracts.
Public records include:
- Vital records, such as birth and death certificates, and marital status certificates like marriage and divorce records
- Criminal history
- Property documents, including deeds and mortgages
- Court files, including both civil and criminal proceedings
- Voter registration details
- Details of government contracts and grants
These records are utilized for a variety of purposes, including background checks, genealogy inquiries, and verifying the authenticity of information supplied by individuals or organizations. Access to public records is regulated by both federal and state laws, which can restrict the release of certain information and limit who is able to view it.