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Alaska Public Records

Article 40.25.110 of the Alaska Public Records Act defines public records as any written communication that embodies information regarding the performance of public duties, kept by the state or any local government body. The term “written communication” includes any documents comprising “letters, symbols, pictures, sounds, or their combinations.”

How to Request Alaska Public Records?

The most straightforward way to access a public record is to reach out to the state or municipal agency directly responsible. Access can also be gained through private sources if the records are open to the public.

Table of Contents

To request Alaska public records, follow the steps below:

Where to Find Public Records in Alaska

Depending on the type of record you are seeking, there are numerous options for where you can find public records in Alaska.

Vital Records (Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce):

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services website is the primary source for requesting vital records. These records can be requested online, by mail, or in person at the local Bureau of Vital Statistics office.

Property Records:

These are usually available at the District Recorder's Office in the district where the property is situated. Some districts offer online access to these records.

Business Records:

Visit the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development website for business records. They provide online business searches where you can look up entities registered in the state.

Court Records:

Court records can be found on the Alaska Court System website for the respective court district where the case was filed. Please be aware that each district may have different regulations and online systems. Visit Alaska Court System website.

Driving Records:

Driving records are maintained by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You can request them online, by mail, or in person. Website.

Professional Licenses

To verify a professional's license in Alaska, visit the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development website. Website.

Alaska State Archives:

For older, historical records, you can search the Alaska State Archives. Website.

Are Alaska Public Records Available Online?

Yes, public records in Alaska can be accessed online. Under the Alaska Public Records Act (APRA), you are entitled to access public information held by local and state government agencies.

Numerous government departments offer online portals or databases where a variety of public records can be searched and accessed. The availability of certain records online may vary depending on the agency and the type of information required.

State Public Records Law

The Alaska Public Records Act (APRA) oversees the public’s access to state public records in Alaska. Except for a few exceptions and limitations, the APRA aims to enhance transparency and hold government bodies accountable by granting individuals the right to access public records. Here are key elements of the Alaska Public Records Act:

Which records are public in Alaska?

Which records are not public in Alaska?

While many records in Alaska are accessible to the public, certain records are not available due to privacy concerns or legal restrictions. Here are some examples of records that are generally not considered public in Alaska:

Alaska Background Checks

In Alaska, background checks are conducted to collect details about an individual’s history, helping to assess their suitability for various purposes such as employment, tenancy, or partnerships. Background checks encompass a wide range of inquiries tailored to specific needs. Common types of background checks in Alaska include criminal background checks, employment history verification, educational and credential verification, credit checks, reference checks, and more. The scope and depth of the investigation depend on the nature of the inquiry.

Alaska has stringent laws and regulations governing background checks to safeguard individual privacy rights. These include the Alaska Personal Information Protection Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which outline guidelines on the collection, use, and dissemination of personal information during the background check process.

Conducting background checks in Alaska requires adherence to legal and ethical standards. It is essential to obtain proper consent from individuals being screened, ensure data security and confidentiality, and provide individuals with the opportunity to review and dispute any inaccurate information found in their background reports.

What Can Be Included In a Background Check Report?

Criminal Records

This section should consist of any infractions of the law including both state and federal level convictions, any jail time, sex offenses, traffic violations, and a mention if they are listed on the national watch list for possible terrorism.

Social Security/Citizenship Verification

You will want to verify a potential candidate's social security number, any aliases they might have, and ensure they are indeed a legal U.S. citizen.

Sex Offender Registry

Sex offenders are legally required to register in the area where they live.

Terrorism Watch List

Since 9/11, the government now keeps a list of people with known or suspected ties to terrorism. This information will also be on the report.

Driving Records

Depending on what your employee will be doing, sometimes it is essential to know that they have a clean driving record. If they will be driving as part of their job, it becomes critical to validate whether they have too many DUIs or reckless driving incidents.

Education Transcripts

Everyone embellishes on applications and resumes, so a simple verification of school transcripts provides the real story as to grade average and degrees earned.

Credit Report

A simple credit report to show how they handle their finances

Alaska Court Records

Overview of the Alaska Court System and Its Structure

The Alaska court system is a multifaceted structure with various levels and types of courts that handle different kinds of cases. Here is an overview of the Alaska court system:

  • Alaska Supreme Court: The Supreme Court of Alaska is the state’s highest court and it reviews appeals from lower courts. It has the authority to interpret state laws and the Alaska Constitution.
  • Alaska Court of Appeals: This court primarily hears appeals in criminal and quasi-criminal cases (like juvenile delinquency cases) from the Superior Court and the District Court.
  • Superior Courts: The Superior Courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in Alaska, and they hear both civil and criminal cases, including family law matters, probate, and juvenile cases.
    District Courts and
  • Magistrate Courts: These are the lowest level courts and have limited jurisdiction. They handle minor offenses, small claims, and certain civil cases.
  • Therapeutic Courts: Alaska also has therapeutic courts that focus on specific types of cases or populations. These include drug courts, mental health courts, veterans courts, and wellness courts.

Each court within the Alaska court system operates under its own set of rules and procedures while adhering to state laws and regulations. The primary goal of the Alaska court system is to provide fair and efficient resolution of legal disputes, ensure access to justice, and uphold the principles of due process and the rule of law.

Types of Alaska Court Records

Civil Court Records​

Criminal Court

Family Court Records​

Probate Court Records​

Traffic Court Records​

Therapeutic Court Records

Restrictions, Limitations, and Confidentiality

Alaska court records have specific restrictions and confidentiality measures in place to safeguard sensitive information and ensure privacy.

Sealed records, which contain confidential or sensitive details, are inaccessible to the public unless a compelling reason or court order is granted for their unsealing. Juvenile court records are treated as confidential to protect the privacy of minors involved, with limited access granted to authorized individuals and relevant government agencies. Mental health and probate records may also be subject to restrictions, ensuring privacy and requiring a court order for access.

Courts take steps to protect confidential information within records by redacting sensitive personal data. Certain records containing trade secrets, proprietary information, or sensitive data may be restricted from public access, with courts having the authority to limit or redact specific portions to prevent harm or misuse.

In Alaska, court records are managed by the Alaska Court System, operating within the framework of state laws and guidelines.

What do these records contain

Courts in Alaska

The court structure in Alaska is more streamlined than in some states. It does not have separate Probate, Family, or Juvenile courts; these cases are all handled by the Superior Courts.

The Alaska Court System consists of four levels of courts:

Alaska Public Vital Records

Marriage and Divorce Records: In Alaska, marriage and divorce records are managed by the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Marriage certificates are available from 1913 to the present, while divorce certificates are available from 1950 to the present.

Birth and Death Records:The Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics also manages the records of births and deaths occurring in the state.

Copies of public vital records in Alaska are either certified or non-certified. Certified copies are typically used for legal purposes, while non-certified copies are for informational purposes only.

Certified public vital records are issued to the person named on the document, immediate family members, or legal representatives. Non-certified public vital records are issued to anyone who does not meet the criteria for a certified record. These records bear the statement “Not to be used for legal purposes” across the face of the document.

You may request vital records in Alaska online. The following are the fees for each record request:

Birth certificates $30.00
Marriage certificates $25.00
Divorce certificates $30.00
Death certificates $30.00

Alaska Public Criminal Records

Definition and types of criminal records in Alaska

Criminal records in Alaska are official documents that contain details about a person’s interactions with the criminal justice system within the state. They comprise various types of records, such as arrest records, court case records, conviction records, and probation or parole details.

Information Contained in Criminal Records

Alaska criminal records typically contain the following details:

  • Personal Identification Details: This information includes details like the individual’s full name, aliases, date of birth, and sometimes their address.
  • Arrest Records and Charges: These provide details about the arrest, including the date, location, the law enforcement agency involved, and the specific charges brought against the individual.
  • Court Case Information and Outcomes: This section contains details about the court proceedings related to the case, including the name of the court, case number, case status, and important dates such as the date of arraignment, pretrial hearings, and the trial’s outcomes.
  • Convictions and Sentencing Details: If the individual was found guilty, the record will display the conviction(s) and the specific charges. It may also provide details about the sentencing, such as fines, probation, community service, or imprisonment.
  • Probation or Parole Status: If the individual is on probation or parole, the record might include details about the terms and conditions of their supervision.

Alaska Police Records and Reports

Access to police reports in Alaska is limited, but the Alaska Public Records Act does require certain information to be released upon request. This includes the name of the arrested person, the charges they face, and basic descriptions of the incident such as the nature of the crime, presence of weapons, injuries sustained, and property damage. To request police reports, reach out to the agency that made the arrest.

A list of Alaska law enforcement agencies is maintained by the Alaska Department of Public Safety. Some details, like information about victims and potential risks to public safety or ongoing investigations, may not be disclosed. A formal request under the Freedom of Information Act may be needed to access police records.

Booking Records and Reports

Booking records, also known as arrest records or jail logs, are created when an individual is taken into custody. These records include the arrested person's name, date and time of arrest, charges, and other pertinent details. In general, booking records are public and can be obtained through law enforcement agencies or online databases, depending on the jurisdiction.

DUI Records

Under federal law, certain driver's license information, including sensitive details such as home addresses, is restricted from public release. In Alaska, driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense. Arrest and conviction records for DUI are publicly accessible and easy to find.

To find information on individuals in jail, search the relevant county jail inmate population. County court records can provide details on DUI convictions in Alaska. If no charges or convictions are present, there will be no public record, though official background checks may include such information.

Felony and Misdemeanor Records

In Alaska, records of felony and misdemeanor convictions can typically be found without difficulty. The Superior Courts in each county keep records of court proceedings for felony convictions. To access these records, search the court files in the respective county. If the person is currently incarcerated, the Alaska Department of Corrections website allows for searches of arrest, booking, and charge information.

For misdemeanor records, search the court where the case was heard. If the individual is in jail, the Department of Corrections website can provide information on the charges. The availability of records can vary based on jurisdiction and specific case details.

Parole Records

To obtain parole records, contact the Superior Court in the county that handled the conviction. You can request the documents in person or by mail, providing the individual's name, date of birth, Alaska Department of Corrections number, and specific information sought. Case history searches at the Superior Court might yield some information, but a detailed criminal history may not be available.

Parole records document the supervision and conditions of individuals released on parole from prison. They include information about parole terms, interactions with parole officers, and progress reports. Access to parole records depends on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances of the case.

Probation Records

Probation records in Alaska can be requested from the Probation Division of the relevant Superior Court. Searching for probation records must be done in person, as they are not typically available online. Provide the full name, date of birth, Alaska Department of Corrections number, and specific details sought. Copying the records may involve a fee. Probation records pertain to individuals sentenced to probation rather than incarceration. They include information about probation conditions, reports from probation officers, and updates on compliance with the terms. The availability of probation records can vary based on jurisdiction and case details.

Warrant Search

Under Alaska state law, active warrants are not considered public information. The law limits the type of information that can be provided to the public, and it has been decided that warrants could infringe on an individual's right to privacy. However, executed warrants that lead to a booking or an arrest can be discovered through the Alaska Department of Corrections website or by contacting the local law enforcement agency or county jail.

Inmate And Jail Records

Inmate search in Alaska refers to the process of looking for and obtaining information about individuals who are currently incarcerated within the state's correctional facilities. The primary purpose of an inmate search is to make information about inmates, including their location, booking details, charges, sentence length, release dates, and parole eligibility status, accessible to the public.

What you can find

When searching for an inmate in Alaska, you can expect to find the following information:

  • Inmate Location and Facility Details: An inmate search provides information about the specific correctional facility where the inmate is currently housed. This includes the facility’s name, address, and contact information.
  • Booking Information and Charges: An inmate search allows you to access details about the inmate’s initial booking into the facility, including the date of booking, booking number, and the specific charges brought against them.
  • Sentence Length and Release Dates: An inmate search provides information about the length of the inmate’s sentence, including the start date and the anticipated release date. This helps in understanding the duration of their incarceration.
  • Parole Eligibility and Parole Board Decisions: An inmate search may indicate the inmate’s eligibility for parole and provide information on parole board decisions, such as the outcome of parole hearings and any conditions imposed.

How to do an Inmate Search in Alaska

There are several ways to search for inmates in Alaska:

  1. VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday): Alaska is a participant in the VINE program. It’s a service that allows crime victims to obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders.
    You can visit the VINE website or use the VINE mobile app to do a search.
  2. Call the Department of Corrections Chief Classification Officer: You can call the Department of Corrections Chief Classification Officer at 907-269-7426 for specific inmate classification or location information.
  3. Third-Party Inmate Locator Services: There are several third-party websites that compile information on inmates from various states. While these can be useful, always verify the information with official sources as these third-party sites might not have the most updated or accurate data.

Can I look up mugshots in Alaska?

In Alaska, the ability to access mugshots is highly restricted, governed by the Alaska Public Records Act (AS 40.25.100 – 40.25.295). Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Alaska Public Records Act & Mugshots: The Alaska Public Records Act determines that criminal records are public except for specific exclusions such as juvenile records, information related to mental or physical health conditions, law enforcement investigative records, victim/witness information, and notably, mugshots.
    Unlike some other states, Alaska does not freely distribute mugshots to the public. This distinction arises from the fact that these mugshots are based on driver’s license or official state identification photos which belong to the state, not the individual departments.
  2. Conditions for Release: Mugshots in Alaska are only released under two stringent conditions: Law enforcement believes that the alleged offender may have other victims who haven’t reported the crimes against them. Releasing the mugshot is intended to encourage these potential victims to come forward.
    Law enforcement is actively seeking a suspect and needs assistance from the public to locate the individual.
  3. Public Mugshot Database: There is no public mugshot database for the state of Alaska due to the restrictions placed by the Alaska Public Records Act and the specific use cases of mugshots derived from state identification assets.

Alaska Arrest Records

Alaska’s criminal and arrest records are largely public due to the Alaska Public Records Act, AS 40.25.100 – 40.25.295.

However, there are exceptions, including juvenile records, files related to medical or mental health, specific law enforcement records that may compromise an investigation or a defendant’s right to a fair trial, and investigative files.

Despite these limitations, the vast majority of adult arrest records in Alaska are accessible to the public. Notably, if one wishes to search these records for employment purposes, one must obtain written consent and reach out to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

An arrest record in Alaska details a person’s custody status, such as if they are held pre-trial or have been released on conditions.

Unique to Alaska and only five other states is its unified correctional system, meaning the same facilities house both pretrial detainees and convicted inmates.  

Alternatively, inquiries about recent arrests or specific charges can be made by calling the Department of Corrections at 907-269-7426 or the local police department.

Unlike most states, Alaska is not divided into counties and thus doesn’t operate sheriff’s offices. For regions beyond municipal jurisdictions, the Alaska State Troopers provide law enforcement services, and they can be reached at 907-269-5976 for information about recent arrests.

Alaska Property and Asset Records Online

Alaska Property Records are official documents detailing land and real estate holdings in the state. Governed by the Alaska Public Records Act 40.25.110, these records are publicly accessible and encompass information such as property type, owner details, parcel specifics, property use history, ownership rights, and various legal documents. To access these records, individuals can use the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Recorder’s Offices’ online databases or visit in person. These records play a pivotal role in real estate transactions, legal proceedings, tax assessments, and other investigative purposes.

Unclaimed Properties in Alaska

To search for unclaimed property in Alaska, visit the official website of the Alaska Department of Revenue – Treasury Division. There, you can enter your name or the name of an entity in the provided search function. If you find properties that match your details, follow the instructions to claim them, which typically involves verifying your identity and providing proof of ownership. After submitting your claim, the state will review and verify your documentation.

Driving Records

To obtain an Alaska driving record, individuals must visit the Alaska DMV website and create an account. After paying a $10 fee, users can click on the “Request Driving Record” button, input personal details, and choose the desired record type: basic, complete, or commercial driver’s license (CDL). The driving record will be sent via email in a PDF format, which can be printed.

For an official hard copy, which costs $20, a mailed request form is necessary, addressed to: Division of Motor Vehicles, Attn: Driving Records, 550 W 7th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501.

Additionally, one can request another person’s driving record with a $10 fee for an automated record. The request form for this service is available on the DMV website, and higher fees apply for photocopies of microfilm or hardcopy documents.

Civil Driving Infractions

Civil driving violations in Alaska are considered minor misdemeanors. Driving offenses can lead to a fine, plus community service. Some common examples of civil driving infractions in Alaska are:

  • Speeding
  • Running a red light
  • Tailgating
  • Unsafe lane changing
  • Not wearing a seatbelt

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is considered a serious offense. Violations like these can be punishable by time in jail and paying a substantial fine.

Alaska White Pages - Find People, Addresses, and Other Non-Official Information

Address Search ​

A Reverse Address Lookup in Alaska, also known as a Reverse Address Search, is a searchable database designed to help individuals gather information about property ownership within the state. This can be helpful for discovering details about a property’s owner or when trying to find someone’s address.

Public members can conduct an address lookup in Alaska, provided they either have permission from the individual concerned or have a legitimate reason for seeking the information. The Alaska Public Records Act classifies addresses as public information, thus accessible to anyone. However, certain limitations apply to the use and disclosure of this information.

People Search​

In Alaska, performing a people search can be a practical way to collect information about individuals. There are various online resources and databases to aid in such searches. One option is to use public records websites that give access to a broad spectrum of information, including basic details like full name, address, and phone number.

Can I Search By a Phone Number and Identify The Owner?

Yes, identifying who owns a specific phone number can be done using reverse phone lookup services. These services correlate and provide information linked to phone numbers, including names, addresses, contact details, and occasionally profile pictures, and social media profiles. There are multiple ways to conduct a reverse phone number lookup, such as searching by address, name, or other associated information.

License Plate Lookup in Alaska

Like most states, Alaska does not permit the public to request information about a driver based on a license plate number except under certain circumstances.

If you are a victim of a crime and only have the license plate number of the vehicle, local law enforcement can run a license plate lookup to identify the registered owner. This can aid police in apprehending the perpetrator of a crime, but the obtained information is not shared with the victim or the public.

You can utilize third-party software online to conduct a vehicle history report based on a license plate number. In the United States, all vehicles have a registered plate linked to a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Online lookups using the license plate number will offer specific information about the vehicle but will not include details about the registered owner. You can find information about safety recalls, significant repairs, dates of sale including price, and information about the locations where the vehicle was registered and sold.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who and why can request public records?

Public records in Alaska are widely accessible to every member of the public. This includes individuals, organizations, journalists, businesses, and researchers. The purpose of permitting requests for public records is to foster transparency and accountability in government operations. It allows Alaskan residents to understand the workings and decisions of governmental bodies.

Are there fees associated with requesting public records?

Yes, obtaining public records in Alaska may involve some charges. It’s standard for governmental entities to impose nominal fees to cover the costs incurred in copying, digitizing, and organizing the requested documents. The exact fees can vary based on the specific agency and the particulars of the request. In some instances, these fees may be waived or reduced for certain types of requesters, including media representatives or non-profit organizations.

Are public records Free to access?

In certain cases, some public records may be accessible for free. Various government agencies in Alaska proactively publish certain records online and make them accessible to the public without any charges. However, if you need specific records that are not readily available, you may need to submit a formal public records request, which could result in fees.

What is the response time for public records requests?

The duration needed to process a public records request can fluctuate based on the specific agency and the complexity of the request. Alaska statutes usually require government bodies to provide a response within a defined timeframe, which could range from a few days to several weeks. However, some requests may require a longer processing time, particularly if they involve a large volume of records or require modifications to safeguard confidential information.

Can my request be rejected?

Yes, a public records request in Alaska can be denied under certain conditions. Government agencies may reject a request if the records fall under certain exemptions or are legally shielded from disclosure. Typical reasons for rejection include the protection of personal privacy, ongoing investigations, concerns over state security, attorney-client privilege, and trade secrets.

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