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Arizona Public Records

Article 39 of the Arizona Public Records Law defines public records as any written, recorded, or electronic data that encapsulates information related to the execution of public duties, maintained by the state or any local government body. The term “written, recorded, or electronic data” encompasses any documents containing “alphabets, illustrations, sounds, signs, or their amalgamations.”

How to request Arizona Public Records?

The easiest way to access a public record is to contact the state or municipal agency in charge directly. Access can also be obtained through private sources if the records are available to the public.

Table of Contents

To request Arizona public records, follow the steps below:

Where to find Public Records in Arizona

Depending on the type of record you are looking for, there are several options for where you can find public records in Arizona. Here are a few examples:

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

The Arizona Department of Health Services website is the primary source for requesting vital records. You can request these records online, by mail, or in person at the local County Health Department's Office.

Property Records:

You can typically find these at the County Recorder's Office in the county where the property is located. Some counties provide online access to these records.

Business Records:

The Arizona Corporation Commission website is the place to go for this. They offer online business entity searches where you can look up entities registered in the state.

Court Records:

You can find court records on the Superior Court website for the respective county where the case was filed. Note that each county may have different regulations and online systems.

Driving Records:

Driving records are maintained by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). You can request them online, by mail, or in person.

Professional Licenses

You can verify the license of a professional in Arizona via the Arizona Department of Administration website.

Arizona State Archives:

For older, historical records, you can search the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records website.

Are Arizona Public Records Available Online?

Yes. Arizona public records can be accessed online. You have the right to access public information held by local and state government agencies under the Arizona Public Records Law.

Many government departments have online portals or databases where you can search and access several types of public records. Depending on the agency and the type of information sought, the availability of certain records online may vary.

State Public Records Law

The Arizona Public Records Law governs the public’s access to state public records in Arizona. With a few exceptions and limitations, this law attempts to promote openness and hold government bodies accountable by allowing individuals the right to access public records. Here are key aspects of the Arizona Public Records Law:

Which records are public in Arizona?

Which records are not public in Arizona

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

Arizona Background Checks

In Arizona, background checks are conducted to gather 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 Arizona include criminal background checks, employment history verification, educational and credential verification, credit checks, reference checks, and more. The scope and depth of the investigation vary depending on the nature of the inquiry.

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

Conducting background checks in Arizona 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 may include 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 be sure to verify a potential candidate’s social security number, any aliases they might have and that 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 past.

Education Transcripts

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

Credit Report

A simple credit report to show how they handle their finances.

Arizona Court Records

Overview of the Arizona court system and its Structure

The court system in Arizona is multifaceted, encompassing various levels and types of courts that oversee different kinds of cases. Here’s a summary of the Arizona court system:

  • The Supreme Court of Arizona serves as the highest court in the state, reviewing appeals from lower courts, and has the authority to interpret state laws and the Arizona Constitution.
  • Court of Appeals: Arizona has two appellate districts, each with its own Court of Appeals. These intermediate appellate courts hear appeals from the trial courts within their designated districts.
  • Superior Courts: The Superior Courts are Arizona’s general jurisdiction trial courts.
  • Specialty Courts: Arizona also hosts specialty courts that focus on specific types of cases or populations. These include family courts, probate courts, juvenile courts, drug courts, mental health courts, and veterans courts.
  • Limited Jurisdiction Courts: Limited jurisdiction courts deal with less complex cases with lower monetary limits or specific subject matter. These courts include justice courts (handling small claims and some criminal and civil cases), municipal courts (handling misdemeanors, traffic cases, and local ordinance violations), and various administrative tribunals.

Each court within the Arizona court system operates under its unique set of rules and procedures while adhering to state laws and regulations. The primary objective of the Arizona 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 Arizona Court Records

Civil Court Records​

Criminal Court

Family Court Records​

Probate Court Records​

Traffic Court Records​

Restrictions, Limitations, and Confidentiality

Arizona court records are subject to specific restrictions and confidentiality measures to protect sensitive information and maintain privacy.

Sealed records, encompassing confidential or sensitive information, are not accessible to the public unless there is a compelling reason or a court order that permits their unsealing. Juvenile court records are considered confidential to safeguard the privacy of minors involved, and access to these records is typically granted only to authorized individuals and relevant government agencies. Mental health and probate records may also be restricted, ensuring privacy and necessitating a court order for access. Courts enact measures to protect confidential information within records by redacting sensitive personal data.

Certain records containing trade secrets, proprietary information, or sensitive data might be exempted from public access, with courts having the authority to limit or redact specific sections to prevent harm or misuse. In Arizona, court records are managed at the county level by each of the county’s Superior Courts, operating within the boundaries of state laws and guidelines.

What do these records contain

Arizona Public Vital Records

Marriage and Divorce Records: In Arizona, marriage and divorce records are typically handled by the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the marriage license was issued or the divorce was granted.

Birth and Death Records:  The Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Vital Records is the main repository of all public vital records in the state, like birth and death records.

Copies of public vital records in Arizona can either be certified or non-certified.

Certified public vital records are those requested by the person named on the documents, next of kin, or any other legal representative like an attorney or a representative of another government agency requiring the vital records.

Non-certified public vital records are provided when you cannot obtain a certified vital record under Arizona law. If this happens, the Bureau of Vital Records can provide you with a copy of the vital record you need containing the same information, but with an annotation stating that it’s not a valid document but for informational purposes only.

You may request vital records in Arizona online or by mail.

Birth certificates$20.00
Marriage certificatesCertified Abstract Copy $30.00
Copy of the Marriage License $00.50
Divorce certificatesNot available.
Death certificates$20.00. 

Note: There is a processing charge that is $15.50 per order.

Arizona Public Criminal Records

Types of criminal records in Arizona

Criminal records in Arizona refer to official documents that record an individual’s interactions with the criminal justice system within the state. These comprehensive records capture various aspects of an individual’s criminal history. Arizona criminal records can comprise different types of records, including arrest records, court case records, conviction records, details about sentencing, and probation or parole information.

Information Included in Criminal Records

Arizona criminal records typically contain the following information:

  • Personal Identification Details: Criminal records will include personal details about the individual, such as their full name, any known aliases or nicknames, date of birth, and at times, their address.
  • Arrest Records and Charges: These records provide information on the arrest, detailing the date, location, the law enforcement agency that made the arrest, and the specific charges filed against the individual.
  • Court Case Information and Outcomes: This section of the record encapsulates information about the court proceedings pertaining to the case. It includes the name of the court, case number, case status, and significant dates such as arraignment, pretrial hearings, and the outcomes of the trial.
  • Convictions and Sentencing Details: If the individual has been convicted, the record will document the conviction(s) and the specific charges for which they were found guilty. It can also include details about the sentencing, such as fines imposed, probation terms, community service mandates, or imprisonment sentences.
  • Probation or Parole Status: If the individual is under probation or parole, the record may encompass details about the terms and conditions of their supervision.

Police Records and Reports

Public access to police reports in Arizona can be limited, but the Arizona Public Records Law mandates the release of certain information upon request. This includes the arrestee's name, charges filed against them, and objective descriptions of the incident, including the nature of the crime, presence of weapons, any injuries sustained, and property damage involved. To request police reports, get in touch with the arresting agency, as a comprehensive list of Arizona police agencies is maintained by the Arizona Law Enforcement Agencies. Some specifics, like victim information and any potential risks to the public or the agency, are not disclosed. Acquiring police records may necessitate a formal Public Records Request.

Booking Records and Reports

Booking records, also known as arrest records or booking logs, are created when an individual is taken into custody. These records contain the arrestee's name, the date and time of the arrest, charges levied, and other relevant information. Generally, booking records are public and can be accessed through law enforcement agencies or online portals, depending on the jurisdiction.

DUI Records

Sensitive details like home addresses are prohibited from public release under federal law. In Arizona, driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense. Arrest and conviction records for DUI are publicly available and can be accessed with relative ease. For information on incarcerated individuals, search the relevant county jail inmate population. County court records can provide details on DUI convictions in Arizona. Remember that if no charges or convictions took place, there won't be a public record, although official background checks might still include such information.

Felony and Misdemeanor Records

Finding felony and misdemeanor conviction records in Arizona is generally straightforward. County Superior Courts maintain records of court proceedings for felony convictions. To access these records, search the court files in the respective county. If the individual is currently incarcerated, the Arizona Department of Corrections website allows for searching arrest, booking, and charge details. For misdemeanor records, search the county court where the case was heard. If the individual is in jail, use the Department of Corrections website for information on the charges. The availability of records may vary based on the jurisdiction and the specifics of the case.

Parole Records

To access parole records, contact the County Superior Court that handled the conviction. Request the documents either in person or by mail, providing the person's name, date of birth, Department of Corrections number, and specific information sought. Case history searches at the County Superior Court might provide some information, but detailed criminal history might not be available. Parole records document the supervision and conditions of individuals released on parole from prison. They include details 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

Arizona probation records can be requested from the Probation Division of the relevant County Superior Court. Searching for probation records must be done in person as they are generally not available online. Provide the full name, date of birth, Department of Corrections number, and specific details required. There is usually a fee for copying records, which varies by county. Probation records pertain to individuals sentenced to probation instead of incarceration. They contain information about probation conditions, reports from probation officers, and updates on compliance with the terms. The availability of probation records depends on the jurisdiction and the nature of the case.

Warrant Search

In Arizona, active warrants are considered public record and can be searched through various county court or law enforcement agency databases. However, respect for individuals' privacy rights limits the nature of the information provided. Executed warrants will lead to a booking or arrest record that can be found through the Arizona Department of Corrections website website or by contacting the local arresting agency or county jail.

Inmate And Jail Records

The process of searching for and obtaining information about individuals currently incarcerated within Arizona's correctional facilities is referred to as an inmate search. The main aim of this search is to provide public access to information about inmates, including their location, booking details, charges, sentence length, release dates, and parole eligibility status.

What you can find

When conducting an inmate search in Arizona, you can expect to find the following information:

  • Inmate Location and Facility Details:The search provides data about the specific correctional facility where the inmate is currently held. This includes the facility’s name, address, and contact details.
  • Booking Information and Charges: An inmate search enables you to access details about the inmate’s initial booking into the facility, including the date of booking, booking number, and the specific charges leveled against them.
  • Sentence Length and Release Dates: The search provides information about the length of the inmate’s sentence, including the start date and the projected release date. This helps in understanding the duration of their incarceration.
  • Parole Eligibility and Parole Board Decisions:The 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 Arizona

You can use the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) Inmate Data Search to find information about inmates in Arizona. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Go to the ADC’s Inmate Data Search Website: You can visit the ADC’s inmate locator at this URL: https://corrections.az.gov/inmate-data-search
  • Enter the Inmate’s Information: The search engine requires either the inmate’s ADC number or the inmate’s last name and first initial. Enter the information you have.
  • Submit the Search:Once you’ve entered the necessary details, click on the “Search” button to submit your request.
  • Review the Information: If the inmate is in the system, you will see their ADC number, their age, their admission date, their current location, and their parole-eligible month and year.

Can I look up mugshots in Arizona?

Searching for mugshots in Arizona can be done through various online resources. Here are steps to guide you on how to search for mugshots in Arizona:

Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC) Inmate Search:

  • Visit the Arizona DOC website.
  • Look for the “Inmate Data Search” or “Inmate Locator” option.
  • Enter the required details, such as the inmate’s name or inmate number if known.
  • View the inmate’s information, including their mugshot if available.

County Sheriff’s Office Websites:

  • Different counties in Arizona may have their own websites with inmate search tools.
  • Identify the specific county where the arrest might have occurred.
  • Visit the county sheriff’s office website and look for an inmate search feature.
  • Enter the necessary information, such as the inmate’s name or booking number if known.
  • If available, you’ll be able to view the inmate’s booking details, including their mugshot.

Arizona Arrest Records

Arizona arrest records refer to official documents and records that document an individual’s arrest by law enforcement authorities within the state. These records provide information about the circumstances, charges, and outcomes of an arrest. The primary purpose of arrest records is to create a comprehensive record of an individual’s involvement with the criminal justice system and to ensure transparency and accountability in law enforcement activities.

What Do These Records Contain:

Arizona arrest records typically contain the following information:

  • Personal Identification Details: Arrest records include personal information about the individual, such as their full name, aliases or nicknames, date of birth, and sometimes their address.
  • Arrest Information: These records provide details of the arrest, including the date, time, and location of the arrest, the arresting agency or police department, the name of the arresting officer, and the charges brought against the individual.
  • Booking Information: Arrest records may include details about the booking process, such as fingerprints, photographs (mugshots), and personal identifying information collected during the booking procedure.
  • Charges and Criminal Offenses: Arrest records outline the specific charges or criminal offenses for which the individual was arrested. This includes the nature of the offense and any applicable criminal code sections or statutes.
  • Court Case Information: Depending on the stage of the criminal proceedings, arrest records may provide limited information about the subsequent court case, including the court’s name, case number, and other relevant case details.

Arizona Property and Asset Records Online

In Arizona, the Department of Revenue maintains information on property and assets available in the state. The organization provides a free internet search tool for finding and claiming properties. The Recorder’s Office, which is also structured on a county level, oversees property records.

Unclaimed Properties in Arizona

Searching for your unclaimed money in Arizona is quite straightforward. You’ll need to include information like name and address when searching.

This means that if you’ve done business in other states, you can search a single database to see if you have any unclaimed funds around the country.

Driving Records

In Arizona, driving records can be requested online through the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) website, by mail, or in person at any ADOT office.

To request online, you need to create an account and provide personal details like name, date of birth, and driver’s license number. A completed Motor Vehicle Record Request form is required for mail requests.

Fees are $3 for a three-year record and $5 for a five-year record, irrespective of the request method. Requests can be made by the driver, their parent or guardian, insurance companies, potential employers, or law enforcement agencies.

The records, kept for 7 years, include the driver’s name, birth date, license number, vehicle identification number (VIN), address, and driving history, including accidents, violations, and suspensions.

Civil Driving Infractions

In Arizona, traffic violations are divided into two categories: civil infractions and criminal infractions. Civil infractions are less serious offenses and do not carry the possibility of jail time. Criminal infractions, on the other hand, do carry the potential of jail time.

Some common examples of civil driving infractions in Arizona include:

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

DUI is considered a criminal infraction in Arizona. Offenses like this can be punishable by up to a year in jail and paying a fine.

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

Address Search ​

Public members are permitted to carry out an address lookup in Arizona, provided they have consent from the individual concerned or possess a valid reason for obtaining the information. The Arizona Public Records Law designates that addresses fall under public information, hence accessible to everyone. Nevertheless, there are specific restrictions on the use and disclosure of this data.

People Search​

Carrying out a people search in Arizona can be an effective way to gather information. There are many online resources and databases available to help with this task. Using public records websites is one such strategy, which can offer a wide array of information, including basic details like full names, addresses, and phone numbers.

The cost of a people search can vary depending on the website or database you use. Some public records websites offer their services for free, while others may require a fee, which could either be a flat rate or charged per record.

Arizona Phone Lookup

There are several free reverse phone lookup services available online. These services typically rely on publicly available records to provide information about the owner of a phone number, such as their name, address, and sometimes even their social media profiles. However, it’s important to note that the accuracy of the information provided by these free services may vary.

On the other hand, paid reverse phone lookup services usually have access to more comprehensive databases of phone records compared to their free counterparts. As a result, they are more likely to provide accurate and up-to-date information about the owner of a phone number. However, it’s essential to be aware that opting for paid services can come with a significant cost.

How to Do a License Plate Lookup in Arizona

Arizona, similar to most states, prohibits the public from requesting information about a driver based on a license plate number except in certain circumstances.

If you fall victim to a crime and only know the license plate number of the vehicle involved, local law enforcement can run a license plate lookup to identify the registered owner. This can assist the police in apprehending the perpetrator of the crime, but the gathered information is not disseminated to the victim or the public.

Third-party software online allows you to generate a vehicle history report using a license plate number. In the United States, all vehicles possess a registered plate linked to a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Online lookups deploying the license plate number will offer specific information about the vehicle but will exclude data about the registered owner. You’ll be able to extract information about safety recalls, significant repairs, sale dates with price, and the locations where the vehicle was registered and sold.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who and why can request public records?

Public records are extensively accessible to all members of society. This group comprises individuals, collectives, journalists, businesses, and researchers. The rationale behind allowing requests for public records is to foster transparency and accountability in governmental proceedings. It enables citizens to gain an understanding of the operations and decisions of governmental institutions.

Are there fees associated with requesting public records?

Yes, procuring public records may entail some charges. It’s usual for government bodies to impose reasonable fees to compensate for the costs incurred in copying, digitizing, and compiling the required documents. The actual costs can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the particulars of the request. In certain instances, these costs may be waived or reduced for specific categories of requesters, like media personnel or non-profit organizations.

Are public records Free to access?

In certain instances, some public records may be accessible for free. Several government agencies actively publish certain records online, making them available to the public at no cost. However, if you require specific records not readily accessible, you may need to file a formal public records request, which may involve fees.

What is the response time for public records requests?

The time taken to process a public records request can fluctuate based on the jurisdiction and the complexity of the request. Laws and regulations generally mandate government bodies to respond within a predetermined time frame, which could range from a few days to several weeks. However, some requests might require extended processing time, particularly if they involve a large volume of records or need modifications to safeguard confidential information.

Can my request be rejected?

Yes, a public records request can be denied under certain conditions. Government agencies may refuse a request if the records are covered by specific exemptions or are legally protected from disclosure. Common grounds for refusal include the protection of personal privacy, ongoing investigations, national security issues, attorney-client privilege, and trade secrets.

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