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Arkansas Public Records

The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) defines public records as any form of written communication that embodies information related to the execution of public functions, preserved by the state or any local government entity. The term “written communication” includes all documents bearing “letters, illustrations, sounds, symbols, or their combinations.”

How to request Arkansas Public Records?

The simplest way to access a public record is to directly connect with the state or municipal agency responsible for maintaining it. Access can also be procured through private sources if the records are publicly available.

Table of Contents

To request Arkansas public records, follow the steps below:

Where to Find Public Records in Arkansas

The location of public records in Arkansas varies depending on the type of record you are looking for. Here are some examples of where you can find different types of public records in Arkansas:

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

The Arkansas Department of Health is your primary resource for vital records. You can request these records online, by mail, or in person at your local County Health Unit.

Property Records:

These records are usually located at the County Recorder's Office in the county where the property is situated. Some counties may offer online access to these records.

Business Records:

For business records, you should visit the Arkansas Secretary of State website. They offer online business searches where you can look up entities registered in the state.

Court Records:

You can find court records on the website of the Circuit Court Clerk for the respective county where the case was filed. Remember, each county might have different regulations and online systems.

Driving Records:

Driving records are maintained by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. You can request them online, by mail, or in person.

Professional Licenses

To verify the license status of a professional in Arkansas, you should visit the Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing website.

Arkansas State Archives:

For older, historical records, you can check the Arkansas State Archives website.

Are Arkansas Public Records Available Online?

Yes. Public records in Arkansas can be accessed online. The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) grants you the right to access public information held by local and state government agencies.

Numerous government departments provide online portals or databases where you can search for and access various types of public records. However, the availability of certain records online may depend on the agency and the type of information sought.

State Public Records Law

The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) governs public access to state public records in Arkansas. With certain exceptions and limitations, the FOIA aims to foster transparency and hold government bodies accountable by granting individuals the right to access public records.

Here are key aspects of the Arkansas FOIA:

Which Records are Public in Arkansas

Which Records are Not Public in Arkansas

While numerous records in Arkansas are open to public access, certain records aren’t due to privacy considerations or legal constraints. Here are instances of records that are typically not public in Arkansas:

Arkansas Background Checks

In Arkansas, background checks are performed to gather information about a person’s history, assisting in determining their suitability for various purposes such as employment, tenancy, or partnerships. Background checks cover a broad range of inquiries tailored to specific needs. Common types of background checks in Arkansas 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 based on the nature of the inquiry.

Arkansas has strict laws and regulations governing background checks to protect individual privacy rights. These include the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which outlines guidelines on the collection, use, and dissemination of personal information during the background check process.

Conducting background checks in Arkansas requires adherence to legal and ethical standards. It is crucial 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 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 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

The government 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 a reckless driving past.

Education Transcripts

It's common for people to exaggerate on applications and resumes, so a simple verification of school transcripts provides the real story about grade averages and degrees earned.

Credit Report

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

Arkansas Court Records

Overview of the Arkansas court system and its Structure

The Arkansas court system is a multi-tiered judicial framework that consists of various types of courts handling different types of cases. The structure ensures that there are distinct forums for specific legal matters, promoting efficiency and specialization. Here’s a brief rundown of the Arkansas court system:

  • Supreme Court of Arkansas: The Supreme Court of Arkansas stands at the top of the state’s judicial hierarchy. It has the final word on interpretation of state laws and the Arkansas Constitution. The court also reviews appeals from lower courts and handles other special jurisdiction cases.
  • Court of Appeals: Arkansas has a single Court of Appeals that acts as the intermediate appellate court. The Court of Appeals hears cases assigned by the Supreme Court and its decisions are final unless reviewed by the Supreme Court. It does not conduct trials, and its role is to determine if the trial court correctly applied the law.
  • Circuit Courts: The Circuit Courts are the primary trial courts in Arkansas. These courts have general jurisdiction over civil, criminal, probate, domestic relations, and juvenile matters. Circuit Courts are organized into 28 judicial circuits.
  • District Courts: These are local courts with limited jurisdiction over certain types of cases. They handle misdemeanor criminal cases, civil cases involving less than $25,000, small claims, and traffic violations. There are 123 District Courts in Arkansas.
  • Specialty Court Programs: Arkansas has Problem-Solving Courts that focus on specific types of cases or populations. These include drug courts, mental health courts, and veterans treatment courts.

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

Civil Court Records​

Criminal Court

Family Court Records​

Probate Court Records​

Traffic Court Records​

Restrictions, Limitations, and Confidentiality

In Arkansas, court records are subject to specific limitations and confidentiality measures designed to protect sensitive information and individual privacy. Certain records, such as those that are sealed or contain sensitive or confidential information, are not accessible to the public. A court order or compelling reason is typically needed to unseal these records. Juvenile court records are also considered confidential to safeguard the privacy of minors involved, with access typically limited to authorized individuals and certain government agencies.

Records related to mental health and probate cases may also have restrictions to protect the privacy of involved parties. Access to such records usually requires a court order. Arkansas courts take measures to protect confidential information within records by redacting personal data that could compromise individual privacy.

Some records containing trade secrets, proprietary information, or sensitive data are exempt from public access. The court has the authority to limit or redact specific portions of these records to prevent potential misuse or harm.

In Arkansas, court records are managed primarily at the county level by the Circuit Courts of each of the 75 counties, operating within the state laws and guidelines.

Contents of Arkansas Court Records

Arkansas Public Vital Records

Marriage and divorce records: In Arkansas, marriage records are primarily maintained by the county clerk in the county where the marriage license was issued. Divorce records are generally kept by the circuit court in the county where the divorce was granted. These records can be obtained either in person or through mail requests to the respective county offices.

Birth and Death Records: The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) – Vital Records is the primary agency responsible for maintaining all public vital records in the state, including birth, death, and stillbirth records.

Public vital records in Arkansas are classified into certified or non-certified copies. Certified copies of vital records are those requested by the person named on the documents, immediate family members, or their authorized representatives. Certified copies can serve as legal documents for various purposes.

Non-certified copies, which are primarily for informational purposes, are available to individuals who do not meet the criteria to receive a certified copy. These copies contain the same information as certified copies but carry a notice indicating that they are not valid for legal purposes.

Requests for vital records in Arkansas can be made online, in person, by mail, or by phone.

Birth certificates$12.00 for the first copy and $10.00 for each additional copy
Marriage certificates$10.00 per copy
Divorce certificates$10.00 per copy
Death certificates$10.00 for the first copy and $8.00 for each additional copy

Important: When you order vital records online, you will be charged a $5 standard processing fee and a $1.85 non-refundable identity verification fee. You will also be charged for any expedited shipping options you select.

Arkansas Public Criminal Records

Definition and Types of Criminal Records in Arkansas

Criminal records in Arkansas are formal documents that contain information regarding an individual’s interactions with the criminal justice system within the state. They provide an extensive account of a person’s criminal history. Types of criminal records in Arkansas can include various records like arrest records, court records, conviction records, and information on sentencing, probation, or parole.

Information Contained in Criminal Records

Typically, Arkansas criminal records contain the following information:

  • Personal Identification Details: These records contain personal details about the individual, which can include their full name, any known aliases, date of birth, and occasionally, their address.
  • Arrest Records and Charges: Arrest records provide details about the arrest, including the date of the arrest, location, arresting agency, and the specific charges brought against the individual.
  • Court Case Information and Outcomes: The record includes details about the court proceedings associated with the case. This information may consist of the name of the court, case number, the status of the case, and key dates such as arraignments, pretrial hearings, and trial verdicts.
  • Convictions and Sentencing Details: If the person has been convicted, the record will specify the conviction(s) and the charges for which they were convicted. This section might also include information about the sentence imposed, such as fines, probation, community service, or incarceration.
  • Probation or Parole Status: If the individual is currently under probation or parole, the record may include information about the conditions of their supervision and their compliance with these terms.

Accessing criminal records in Arkansas can be done through the Arkansas State Police or other relevant local or state agencies. However, it’s essential to note that some information might be restricted based on privacy laws and regulations.

Arkansas Police Records and Reports

In Arkansas, the public can access specific information contained in police reports under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This information may include the arrestee's name, charges filed, and a factual narrative of the incident, including the type of crime, use of weapons, injuries, and property damage. To request police reports, you need to contact the arresting agency. Please note that certain details such as victim information or any information that may pose a risk to public safety or ongoing investigations are typically not disclosed. Accessing police records often requires a formal FOIA 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 include information such as the arrested individual's name, the date and time of the arrest, charges, and other relevant details. Generally, booking records are public in Arkansas and can be accessed through law enforcement agencies or online portals, depending on the specific jurisdiction.

DUI Records

While certain driver's license information is protected from public release under federal law, including sensitive details like home addresses, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a criminal offense in Arkansas. Arrest and conviction records for DUI are publicly accessible. For information on incarcerated individuals, you can search the relevant county jail inmate population or the Arkansas Department of Corrections website. County court records can also provide details on DUI convictions in Arkansas. However, if no charges or convictions occurred, there won't be a public record, though official background checks might include such information.

Felony and Misdemeanor Records

Finding felony and misdemeanor conviction records in Arkansas involves searching through the records of the court that heard the case. For felony convictions, county circuit courts maintain records of court proceedings. To access these records, you should search the court files in the corresponding county. If the person is currently incarcerated, the Arkansas Department of Corrections website allows for a search of arrest, booking, and charge details. For misdemeanor records, search the district court in the county where the case was heard. The availability of records can vary based on jurisdiction and specific details of the case.

Parole Records

In Arkansas, you can obtain parole records by contacting the Arkansas Department of Corrections and the Board of Parole. These records document the terms of parole, interactions with parole officers, and progress reports for individuals released on parole from prison. Access to parole records depends on jurisdiction and specific circumstances of the case.

Probation Records

Arkansas probation records can be requested from the relevant county circuit or district court. Searching for these records might need to be done in person or through a formal FOIA request as they are often not available online. Provide the full name, date of birth, and specific details sought when making your request. Probation records pertain to individuals sentenced to probation instead of incarceration. They contain information about the conditions of probation, reports from probation officers, and updates on compliance with the terms. The availability of probation records depends on the jurisdiction and the specifics of the case.

Warrant Search

Under Arkansas state law, active warrants are not readily available to the public as they may compromise an individual's right to privacy. However, executed warrants that have led to an arrest or booking can be tracked through county law enforcement agencies or via the Arkansas Department of Correction website.

Inmate And Jail Records

To conduct an inmate search in Arkansas, you can use the official website of the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC). The ADC provides an online inmate search tool on its website, where you can look up current inmates within the state's correctional facilities. The search results will display the inmate's current location, sentencing information, and release date, if available.

What you can find

When performing an inmate search in Arkansas, the following information is typically available:

  • Inmate Location and Facility Details: An inmate search provides data about the particular correctional facility where the inmate is currently situated. This will include the facility’s name, address, and contact details.
  • Booking Information and Charges: Inmate searches allow you to access specifics about the inmate’s initial booking into the facility, comprising the date of booking, booking number, and the exact charges leveled against them.
  • Sentence Length and Release Dates: Inmate searches provide data about the duration of the inmate’s sentence, including the starting date and the anticipated release date. This helps in understanding the period of their incarceration.
  • Parole Eligibility and Parole Board Decisions: An inmate search may indicate the inmate’s suitability for parole and provide information on parole board verdicts, such as the results of parole hearings and any conditions imposed.

How to do an Inmate Search in Arkansas

In Arkansas, you can use the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) Inmate Search to find information about inmates. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Go to the ADC’s Inmate Population Search Website: You can visit the ADC’s inmate population search at this URL: https://apps.ark.org/inmate_info/index.php 
  • Enter the Inmate’s Information: The search tool requires either the ADC number, the inmate’s name, or their gender and age range. Fill in the information you have.
  • Submit the Search: Once you’ve entered the necessary information, 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 intake date, their current location, and their parole eligibility date.

County Jails:

Can I look up mugshots in Arkansas?

To access mugshots in Arkansas, you can visit the official websites of the local law enforcement agencies or sheriff’s offices involved in the arrest. These agencies typically maintain an inmate roster that includes relevant information about the individuals, such as the charges they are facing, bail amounts, potential release dates, and the conditions for release. However, please be aware that not all mugshots are publicly available as certain offenders’ privacy is protected.

Arkansas Arrest Records

Arkansas arrest records refer to official documents and records that chronicle 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 interactions with the criminal justice system and to ensure transparency and accountability in law enforcement operations.

What Do These Records Contain:

Arkansas 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 in Arkansas 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 Arkansas penal 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. It’s important to note that for comprehensive court case information, one may need to access court records directly from the relevant court.

Arkansas Property and Asset Records Online

In Arkansas, property and asset records are maintained and made available by several state and county offices. The Arkansas Auditor of State oversees the unclaimed property program and provides an online search tool for finding and reclaiming assets. Property records are typically managed at the county level, by the County Clerk’s or County Assessor’s Office.

Unclaimed Properties in Arkansas

Locating unclaimed property in Arkansas is a straightforward process. You’ll need to provide some basic information such as your name and address to conduct the search. If you have ever lived or done business in another state, you can search multiple state databases simultaneously through missingmoney.com, which can help identify unclaimed assets across the country.

Now, Arkansas residents can search other state databases with just their first and last names through missingmoney.com.

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

Driving Records

In Arkansas, driving records are managed by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Depending on the type of Driving Records you’re requesting the fee will vary.

  • Insurance Record: This shows traffic violations from the past 3 years. It costs $8.50 if requested by mail or in person, and $10.00 if requested online.
  • Commercial Record: This type is often needed for employment purposes. Some information on a commercial record stays longer than 3 years. It costs $10.00 if requested by mail or in person, and $13.00 if requested online.
  • History Record: This contains information about your driving record since you got your license. It costs $8.50, but please note that History records cannot be requested online or at the Revenue Office. You must come in person or send a request by mail to get your History Record.

Civil Driving Infractions

In Arkansas, civil driving infractions are generally classified as misdemeanors. These offenses can result in penalties including fines, community service, or points on a driver’s license.

Some common examples of civil driving infractions in Arkansas are:

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

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in Arkansas is a more serious offense and may be classified as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. Penalties can include jail time, hefty fines, and the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license.

Arkansas White Pages - Find People, Addresses, and Other non-Official Information

Address Search

There are various online services and websites that offer reverse address lookup for Arkansas and other states in the US. These services often use public records and data sources, such as property tax records, property deeds, and other publicly available information, to gather the necessary details associated with a particular address. These records may contain:

  • Owner Information:
    First name, last name, aliases, age, and potentially more extensive data, such as information on relatives, associates, education, occupation, assets, licenses, and other relevant insights.
  • Contact Information:
    Phone number, email address, social media accounts, and even past addresses.
  • Court Records:
    Criminal history, arrests, warrants, bankruptcies, liens, or judgments associated with individuals residing at a particular address. 
  • Property Records:
    Property value, area code, zoning regulations, past sale history, property specifications, size, amenities, legal description, deeds, property use, tax details, mortgage information, and much more.

People Search​

In Arkansas, conducting a people search can help you gather information about individuals. There are numerous online resources and databases that can assist with these searches, providing access to a variety of information including names, addresses, and phone numbers. Various public records websites can be useful tools in this process.

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

Yes, it is possible to identify the owner of a specific phone number using reverse phone lookup services in Arkansas. These services provide information related to phone numbers, such as names, addresses, and sometimes additional details like photos or social media profiles. There are various ways to perform a reverse phone number lookup, including searches by name, address, or other related information.

How to Do a License Plate Lookup in Arkansas

Arkansas, like most states, restricts access to personal information based on a license plate number search due to privacy laws. This information is typically only accessible by law enforcement officials or for legal proceedings.

If you are the victim of a crime and have the license plate number of the perpetrator’s vehicle, you can provide this to local law enforcement. They can use this information to run a license plate lookup to identify the registered owner, which can assist in their investigation. However, the information obtained is typically not made available to the victim or the public for privacy reasons.

For general public use, there are third-party websites that can provide a vehicle history report based on a license plate number. These reports don’t provide personal information about the vehicle owner but can provide information about the vehicle itself. This can include details like safety recalls, significant repairs, dates and prices of past sales, and locations where the vehicle was previously registered or sold. These services are generally used for used car purchases to ensure the vehicle has a clean and transparent history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who and why can request public records?

In Arkansas, public records are accessible to all citizens, including individuals, organizations, journalists, businesses, and researchers. The intent behind allowing access to public records is to encourage transparency and accountability in government operations. It enables the public to gain a better understanding of the workings and decisions of governmental agencies.

Are there fees associated with requesting public records?

Yes, obtaining public records in Arkansas may involve certain costs. Government agencies typically charge nominal fees to cover the expenses associated with duplicating, digitizing, or collating the requested documents. The exact charges can vary depending on the agency and the specifics of the request. In some instances, these fees may be waived or reduced for certain types of requestors, such as members of the media or non-profit organizations.

Are public records Free to access?

Public records in Arkansas can sometimes be accessed for free. Some government agencies proactively publish certain records online, making them available to the public at no cost. However, if you need specific records that aren’t readily available, you may need to file a formal public records request, which could incur fees.

What is the response time for public records requests?

The time required to process a public records request in Arkansas can vary depending on the agency and the complexity of the request. The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act stipulates that public records “shall be open to inspection and copying during the regular business hours of the custodian of the records.” However, more complex requests may require a reasonable amount of time for the agency to gather and prepare the records.

Can my request be rejected?

Yes, a public records request in Arkansas can be rejected under certain circumstances. Government agencies may deny a request if the records are considered exempt from disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. Typical reasons for rejection can include the protection of personal privacy, ongoing investigations, national security, attorney-client privilege, or proprietary business information.

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