Facsnet.org Logo

Delaware Public Records

How to request Delaware Public Records?

The Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), under Title 29, Chapter 100 of the Delaware Code, defines public records as any information of any kind, owned, made, used, retained, received, produced, composed, drafted or otherwise compiled or collected, by any public body, relating in any way to public business, or in any way of public interest, or in any way related to public purposes, regardless of the physical form or characteristic by which such information is stored, recorded or reproduced. This encompasses documents, including but not limited to, written, printed, photographic, electronic, or sound recordings.

Table of Contents

If you're interested in accessing public records in Delaware, it's vital to understand the process to ensure your request is processed efficiently. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Where to find Public Records in Delaware

If you’re searching for public records in Delaware, the location or platform you’ll need to approach varies based on the type of record you’re after. Here’s a breakdown:

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

You can request these from the Delaware Division of Public Health's website. For detailed instructions and applications, visit their page on the Delaware Health and Social Services site. Most requests can be processed online, by mail, or in-person at local county offices. Website.

Property Records:

These records are typically held at the County Recorder of Deeds' Office within the respective county where the property is located.

Business Records:

For business-related information, the Delaware Division of Corporations is your primary source. Search for corporations, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies registered in Delaware at: Delaware Division of Corporations.

Court Records:

Delaware's Judicial Branch provides online access to court records, decisions, and more. Visit the Delaware Courts website for information. Remember to approach the specific court where the case was filed for detailed records, as practices may vary between courts.

Driving Records:

Managed by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), driving records can be requested online, by mail, or in-person. For more details, visit Delaware DMV.

Professional Licenses:

To verify a professional's license in Delaware, you can visit the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation's website at: Delaware Division of Professional Regulation.

Delaware State Archives:

For historical records or older documents, the Delaware Public Archives is a valuable resource. Check their offerings at Delaware Public Archives.

Are Delaware Public Records Available Online?

Absolutely, many Delaware public records can be accessed online. The Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ensures the public’s right to access information maintained by state and local government entities. While many departments provide online databases or portals for public record access, the extent of online availability can differ based on the department and the nature of the record.

State Public Records Law

The Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) governs the availability of public records within Delaware. Through FOIA, Delaware emphasizes governmental transparency and accountability, allowing citizens access to public records. Here are essential components of the Delaware Freedom of Information Act:

Which records are public in Delaware?

Which records are not public in Delaware?

Here are types of records that are typically not publicly available in Delaware:

Delaware Background Checks

ackground checks in Delaware are detailed examinations designed to compile an individual’s historical records for various purposes. These could include evaluating suitability for employment, housing, or partnerships. Typical types of screenings in Delaware may include criminal history checks, employment verification, educational qualification verification, credit reports, and reference checks. The scope of these checks can vary depending on the specific needs of the inquiry.

In Delaware, background checks are governed by state laws as well as federal laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These regulations set the standards for how personal information can be collected, utilized, and disseminated during the background check process.

Compliance with these legal and ethical standards is vital. This usually involves obtaining explicit consent from the individuals being checked, ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of the data, and giving individuals the opportunity to review and dispute any inaccuracies found in their background reports.

What Can Be Included In a Background Check Report?

Criminal Records

This section typically encompasses state-level convictions, any incarceration, sexual offenses, and traffic violations. Delaware law may also allow for the inclusion of federal criminal history.

Social Security/Citizenship Verification

Validating an individual's social security number and any aliases they might use is a standard part of background checks. Citizenship or legal residency status may also be verified.

Sex Offender Registry

In Delaware, individuals convicted of sexual offenses are required to register, and this information is usually included in background checks.

Terrorism Watch List

After 9/11, a federal list of individuals with known or suspected ties to terrorism was established. This information could be included in a background check if relevant.

Driving Records

If the role for which the background check is being conducted involves driving, driving records can be obtained from the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles. This may include information on DUIs or a history of reckless driving.

Education Transcripts

Given that people sometimes exaggerate or falsify their qualifications, verifying educational background can be essential. This can involve checking school transcripts to confirm academic performance and degrees earned.

Credit Report

Credit reports are often included in Delaware background checks, particularly for roles that involve financial responsibilities.

Delaware Court Records

Overview of the Delaware Court System and Its Structure

The judicial system in Delaware consists of a variety of courts that operate at different levels and handle various kinds of legal matters. Below is an outline of the structure of the Delaware judiciary:

  • Delaware Supreme Court: As the highest appellate court in Delaware, this court hears appeals from lower courts and has the authority to interpret both state laws and the Delaware Constitution.

  • Delaware Superior Court: This court has general jurisdiction and handles a broad range of civil and criminal cases. It is the main trial court in Delaware.

  • Delaware Court of Chancery: This court is renowned for its expertise in corporate law. It primarily hears cases involving equity disputes, including issues related to corporate governance.

  • Delaware Family Court: This court focuses exclusively on family matters such as divorce, child custody, and domestic violence cases.

  • Delaware Court of Common Pleas: This court has limited jurisdiction and primarily deals with misdemeanors and lesser offenses, along with civil cases involving smaller monetary disputes.

  • Justice of the Peace Courts: These are courts of limited jurisdiction and usually handle cases such as traffic offenses and minor civil matters.

Each court in the Delaware judicial system has its own set of rules and procedures, but all are governed by Delaware laws and regulations. The primary objectives of the Delaware judiciary are to resolve legal disputes fairly and effectively, ensure access to justice, and uphold the principles of due process and the rule of law.

Types of Delaware Court Records

Civil Court Records​

Criminal Court

Family Court Records​

Probate Court Records​

Traffic Court Records​

Delaware Court Records: Restrictions, Limitations, and Confidentiality

Delaware law imposes specific limitations and confidentiality requirements on court records to protect sensitive information and ensure individual privacy.

  • Sealed Records: Records that are sealed due to containing confidential or sensitive information are not publicly available. A court order is generally required to unseal these records, and such an order is typically granted only for compelling reasons.
  • Juvenile Court Records: These are confidential in Delaware and are accessible only to authorized individuals such as legal representatives, family members, and certain governmental agencies.
  • Mental Health and Probate Records: Records in cases dealing with mental health or probate matters are often restricted, requiring a court order for access to maintain privacy.
  • Trade Secrets and Proprietary Information: Records that include trade secrets or other sensitive business information may be redacted or sealed to prevent public access.
  • Data Security: Delaware courts often employ redaction and other techniques to secure confidential data within records.

The management of court records in Delaware is centralized and governed by state laws and regulations.

What do these records contain

Delaware Public Vital Records

Marriage and divorce records: In Delaware, marriage certificates can generally be obtained from the Office of Vital Statistics in the Delaware Division of Public Health. Divorce decrees are available from the Family Court in the county where the divorce was granted.

Birth and Death Records: The Delaware Office of Vital Statistics serves as the central repository for all public vital records in the state, including birth, death, marriage, and divorce records.

In Delaware, copies of vital records can be categorized as either certified or informational.

Certified vital records are those requested by the individual named on the record, immediate family members, or other legally authorized representatives, such as attorneys or government officials requiring the records for official purposes. These records can be used for legal procedures like establishing identity, applying for passports, or obtaining benefits.

Informational copies are similar to uncertified copies. They contain the same information as certified copies but are not suitable for legal purposes, marked to indicate their informational status.

Vital records can be requested in Delaware via online platforms, mail, or in-person.

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

Any additional copies for the above records is $10.00 each.

Delaware Public Criminal Records

Definition and Types of Criminal Records in Delaware

Criminal records in Delaware are official documents that detail a person’s criminal history within the state. They offer a comprehensive account of an individual’s interactions with the criminal justice system, including arrest records, court records, conviction records, sentencing information, and data on probation or parole.

Information contained in criminal records

  • Personal Identification Details: This includes the individual’s full name, aliases or nicknames, date of birth, and sometimes their residential address.
  • Arrest Records and Charges: These records detail specifics of the arrest, such as the date and location of the arrest, the law enforcement agency involved, and the specific charges filed against the individual.
  • Court Case Information and Outcomes: This section outlines legal proceedings related to the case, including the court’s name, case number, status, and key dates like arraignment, pretrial hearings, and trial outcomes.
  • Convictions and Sentencing Details: If convicted, this part of the record will specify the charges for which the individual was found guilty and details of the sentence, which could include fines, probation, community service, or imprisonment.
  • Probation or Parole Status: If under probation or parole, the record may include information about the conditions and terms of supervision.

Delaware Police Records and Reports

Under the Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), certain police records are available to the public upon request. However, some information, like victim data and details that may risk public or agency safety, may be withheld. Requests for police records can usually be made through the law enforcement agency that made the arrest or compiled the report.

Booking Records and Reports

Booking records are created when an individual is arrested. These records include the person's name, date and time of arrest, charges, and other pertinent details. Generally, booking records are public in Delaware and can be accessed via law enforcement agencies or certain online platforms depending on the jurisdiction.

DUI Records

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a criminal offense in Delaware. Records related to DUI arrests and convictions are generally public and can be accessed through the Delaware State Courts or the relevant county court. While some personal details might be restricted due to privacy laws, basic information is often accessible.

Felony and Misdemeanor Records

Records for felony and misdemeanor convictions can be obtained from the Delaware State Courts. Felony records are usually stored in Superior Court, while misdemeanor records are typically found in the Court of Common Pleas or Justice of the Peace Courts. If the individual is incarcerated, the Delaware Department of Correction provides an online inmate locator tool that can yield additional information.

Parole Records

Parole records can be requested from the Delaware Board of Parole or through the Delaware Department of Correction. These records include details about the terms of parole, interactions with parole officers, and progress reports.

Probation Records

Probation records in Delaware can be obtained from the Department of Correction or the specific court that handled the case, usually the Superior Court for felonies or the Court of Common Pleas for misdemeanors. Like parole records, they include information on the terms of the probation, reports from probation officers, and compliance updates.

Warrant Search

In Delaware, active warrants are generally not considered public information due to privacy concerns. Active warrants may be restricted to law enforcement use to prevent compromising ongoing investigations or infringing on an individual's privacy rights. However, executed warrants that result in an arrest become a part of the public record and can be accessed through various means, such as the Delaware Department of Correction's website or through local law enforcement agencies.

Inmate And Jail Records

The Delaware Department of Correction maintains an online inmate locator tool that allows for searches based on several criteria such as the inmate's name, last known location, or unique identification number. This tool provides a convenient way to find information about inmates in Delaware correctional facilities, and it is generally accessible to the public for free.

Inmate Lookup in Delaware: What You Can Find

When conducting an inmate lookup in Delaware, you can expect to find the following information:

  • Inmate Location and Facility Details:The search will provide details about the correctional facility where the inmate is located, including its name, address, and contact information.
  • Booking Information and Charges: You will be able to see information related to the inmate’s initial booking, such as the booking date, booking number, and the charges filed against them.
  • Sentence Length and Release Dates: The lookup tool will offer details about the length of the inmate’s sentence, starting from the date of commencement to the projected release date, helping you understand their period of incarceration.
  • Parole Eligibility and Parole Board Decisions:Some systems may also offer information regarding the inmate’s eligibility for parole, as well as outcomes from parole board hearings and any conditions imposed.

How to Conduct an Inmate Lookup in Delaware

In Delaware, you can use the Delaware Department of Correction’s Inmate Locator to find inmate information. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Visit the Delaware Department of Correction’s Inmate Locator Website: This website serves as the central hub for inmate information in the state.
  • Provide the Inmate’s Details: The locator typically requires the inmate’s name or unique identification number. Enter the details you have.
  • Submit the Lookup: After entering the information, proceed to perform the search.
  • Review the Details: If the inmate is in the system, their details will be displayed, including location, admission date, and potential parole eligibility.

Can I look up mugshots in Delaware?

In the state of Delaware, public access to criminal records, including mugshots, is governed by the Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Generally, arrest records and mugshots are considered public records and can be accessed through government resources such as the Delaware State Police or the Department of Correction website. These databases provide information about individuals who have been arrested or are currently in custody. However, some limitations may apply to juvenile records or cases still under investigation.

Delaware Arrest Records

Arrest records in Delaware are official documents that detail an individual’s history of arrests within the state. These records are designed to offer a comprehensive account of a person’s interactions with law enforcement, thereby fostering transparency and accountability.

What Do These Records Contain:

Typically, Delaware arrest records contain the following information:

  • Personal Identification Details: Like in many other states, Delaware’s arrest records include personal details about the individual, such as their full name, aliases, date of birth, and sometimes their address.
  • Arrest Details: The records also offer information on the arrest itself, which often includes the date, time, and location of the arrest, the agency that made the arrest, the name of the arresting officer, and the charges filed against the individual.
  • Booking Information: Details about the booking process may also be available. This can include fingerprints, mugshots, and other types of identifying information collected during the booking.
  • Charges and Criminal Offenses: Delaware arrest records will typically outline the specific charges or criminal offenses for which the individual was arrested, detailing the nature of the offense and any applicable Delaware penal code sections or statutes.
  • Court Case Data: Depending on how far along the criminal proceedings are, the arrest records might offer some information about the subsequent court case. This could include the name of the court, the case number, and other pertinent details about the case.

Delaware Property and Asset Records Online

Unclaimed property in the state of Delaware can usually be checked through the Delaware Division of Revenue’s Unclaimed Property website. Unclaimed property typically includes financial assets such as checks, stocks, or safe deposit boxes that have been dormant for a certain period.

Here’s how you can generally go about checking for unclaimed property in Delaware:

  • Online Search: Visit the Delaware Division of Revenue’s Unclaimed Property website. They usually have a search feature that allows you to search for unclaimed property by entering your name or the name of your business.
  • Submit a Claim: If you find property that belongs to you, you’ll usually need to provide additional identification or documentation to claim it. This could include providing a Social Security number, a utility bill, or other forms of ID.
  • Receive Property: Once your claim is processed and approved, you’ll receive the unclaimed property, either in the form of a check or the actual property itself.
  • Contact for Assistance: If you have difficulty using the online service or have questions, the Division of Revenue often provides contact information, such as a phone number or email, for further assistance.

Driving Records

In Delaware, traffic offenses are categorized into traffic violations and traffic crimes. Traffic violations are less severe and may result in fines and points against your driving record but generally do not carry the risk of imprisonment. Traffic crimes, on the other hand, are more serious offenses like DUI and can result in imprisonment.

Delaware operates on a point system for driving offenses. Accumulating too many points in a given time frame may result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

Civil Driving Infractions

Common Civil Driving Infractions in Delaware include:

  • Speeding
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Following too closely (tailgating)
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Failure to wear a seatbelt

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in Delaware is considered a criminal offense. Penalties for DUI may include fines, mandatory participation in an alcohol education program, and imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense and prior history.

Delaware White Pages - Access to People, Addresses, and Other Non-Official Information

Address Search 

According to Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act, property addresses and ownership information are considered public records, and thus are generally accessible to anyone. However, usage restrictions may apply, particularly when it comes to the sharing or use of this information for unauthorized purposes. These records are usually under the jurisdiction of the county recorder of deeds and can be searched by name, address, or parcel number.

People Search​

People searches in Delaware can be conducted through various online databases, including public records websites. These platforms typically offer information like full names, addresses, and phone numbers. While comprehensive, these databases are subject to Delaware’s privacy laws, and certain restrictions may apply to the use of this information.

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

Yes, reverse phone lookups can be conducted in Delaware to identify the owner of a specific phone number. These services can provide various details such as names, addresses, and sometimes additional information like social media profiles. There are several ways to conduct a reverse phone lookup in Delaware, including searching by name, address, or related information.

How to Do a License Plate Lookup in Delaware

Delaware law restricts public access to driver information based on license plate numbers. Such lookups are generally permitted only for specific reasons, such as by law enforcement or insurance companies.

If you are a victim of a crime involving a vehicle and you have the license plate number, you should report this information to local law enforcement. While the authorities can conduct a license plate lookup to aid in their investigation, this information is not typically disclosed to the general public or the victim.

For general inquiries about a vehicle’s history, you can use third-party services to get a Vehicle History Report. Such services use the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to provide details about the vehicle, including any safety recalls, significant repairs, or sales information. However, these reports will not typically provide information about the vehicle’s current or past owners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who and why can request public records?

In Delaware, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) grants the public the right to access governmental records. This encompasses a broad range of individuals and entities, including Delaware residents, journalists, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and researchers. The objective behind permitting public records requests is to foster transparency, openness, and accountability in government operations.

Are there fees associated with requesting public records?

Yes, there can be fees associated with requesting public records in Delaware. Government agencies are allowed to charge fees to cover the administrative costs of copying and producing the requested records. The fees can vary depending on the specific agency and the nature of the request.

Can I access public records for free?

Some public records in Delaware may be freely accessible online through various government websites. For example, some court records, legislative documents, and other types of public information may be available without any charge. However, for specific records not readily available online, you may need to submit a formal FOIA request, which could involve fees to cover administrative costs.

What is the response time for public records requests?

Under Delaware’s FOIA, government agencies generally have 15 business days to respond to a public records request. However, this timeframe can vary depending on the complexity of the request or the volume of records sought. If more time is needed, agencies must provide an explanation and an expected timeframe for the completion of the request.

Can my request be rejected?

Yes, a public records request can be denied in Delaware for various reasons. Government agencies may refuse a request if the records sought are exempt from public disclosure under Delaware law.

Scroll to Top