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Missouri Public Records

How to request Missouri Public Records?

Understanding public records in Missouri hinges on two critical laws. The Missouri Sunshine Law ensures both citizens and non-citizens have access to the majority of governmental public records, although there are specific exceptions.

On the other hand, the Missouri Open Meetings Act mandates that governmental meetings remain accessible to the public, with only a few exceptions. Essentially, the Sunshine Law states that the public can inspect and copy most governmental records, with certain exemptions in place.

Table of Contents

If you aim to access public records in Missouri, it's crucial to understand the process to guarantee prompt handling of your request. Follow this step-by-step guide for smooth navigation

Where to Find Public Records in Missouri

Different agencies in Missouri oversee various types of records. Here are common places to find them:

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

These records are generally sourced from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. You can make requests online, by mail, or in person. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services' Bureau of Vital Records manages and maintains all vital records within the state.

Property Records:

In Missouri, each county's recorder of deeds oversees property records. These documents provide insights into property ownership, its assessed value, and any existing liens or encumbrances.

Business Records:

To access business-related information, refer to theMissouri Secretary of State website as your main source.

Court Records:

To obtain court records, approach the court clerk's office in the county of the case's filing. For online court case searches, utilize the Case.net search tool, maintained by the Missouri Court System. It lets you look up cases by name, number, or filing date.

Driving Records:

In Missouri, driving records are managed by the Department of Revenue. You can procure your driving record either online or by visiting a Missouri license office in person.

Professional Licenses

To verify a professional's license in Missouri, you can visit the Missouri Division of Professional Registration: DCI or other appropriate licensing boards depending on the profession.

Missouri State Archives:

For historical records or older documents, the Missouri State Archives is a valuable resource.

Is Access to Public Records in Missouri Available Online?

Public records in Missouri are predominantly available online for easy access. For instance, the Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS) boasts an extensive online database that encapsulates Missouri criminal history records.

Individuals can conduct searches either by name or fingerprint to retrieve relevant criminal histories. Additionally, the Department of Corrections has integrated an Offender Search tool on its website, specifically designed to trace active offenders.

State Public Records Law

The Sunshine Law stipulates that the public can inspect and copy most records from governmental entities, though there are specific exemptions.

Which Records are Public in Kansas?

Which Records are Not Public in Missouri?

Missouri Background Checks

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a federal regulation, employers have the right to conduct background checks on potential employees, provided they adhere to the act’s stringent guidelines. This includes obtaining written consent from the applicant and ensuring they receive a copy of the report.

Missouri has specific rules governing the utilization of background checks. Notably, various Ban-The-Box laws restrict employers from inquiring about a candidate’s criminal history directly on the job application.

Employers seeking to conduct background checks can utilize the MACHS database. Additionally, the Missouri Court System provides a complimentary online search tool for state court records via the Case Net system.

What Can Be Included in a Missouri Background Check Report?

Criminal Records

This segment may include both state and federal convictions, imprisonments, sexual offenses, traffic breaches, and any mention of the individual on national terrorism watchlists.

Social Security/Citizenship Verification

It's essential to confirm an individual's social security number, identify any aliases they might use, and establish their legal status as a U.S. citizen.

Sex Offender Registry

Legally, registered sex offenders are required to be included in the database of their respective local areas.

Terrorism Watch List

Following the events of 9/11, the federal government keeps records of individuals believed to be connected to terrorism. Such information might also be reflected in the report.

Driving Records

If an individual's position entails driving duties, verifying a clean driving record is essential, particularly checking for instances of DUIs or reckless driving.

Education Transcripts

Checking educational records is crucial to validate the qualifications an individual lists on their application or CV.

Credit Report

A credit report can provide a glimpse into how an individual manages their finances.

Missouri Court Records

Overview of the Missouri Court System and Its Structure

The judicial system in Missouri is structured into three tiers:

  • At the pinnacle is the Supreme Court, serving as Missouri’s highest court. It primarily hears appeals from the courts below it.
  • The Court of Appeals acts as the middle tier, entertaining appeals arising from the circuit courts.
  • The foundational level consists of the Trial Courts, or the circuit courts, which have initial jurisdiction over both civil and criminal matters.

Cases initiated in trial courts typically start in the circuit court. However, specific cases, like probate and small claims, are addressed in specialized courts. Appeals from both the Court of Appeals and circuit courts ascend to the Supreme Court.

Types of Missouri Court Records

Missouri Civil and Small Claims Records

Criminal Court

Family Court Records​

Probate Court Records​

Traffic Court Records​

Traffic Court Records​

Missouri Court Records: Restrictions, Limitations, and Confidentiality

Missouri maintains stringent guidelines to protect the confidentiality of certain records, ensuring they remain beyond the reach of the general public. sealed.

Any other record that is sealed, expunged, or closed due to a statute, Supreme Court Rule, or a directive from a court of record for a demonstrated good cause. It’s evident that these measures aim to protect the privacy and rights of individuals, particularly in situations where disclosure could lead to potential harm or prejudice.

What Do These Records Contain?

The highest court in the state of Missouri, it takes up appeals from lower courts and has the authority to interpret state laws and the Missouri Constitution.

Missouri Public Vital Records

The Bureau of Vital Records, under the umbrella of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, plays a pivotal role in cataloging and preserving all vital records within the state of Missouri. This comprises crucial life event documentation such as birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates.

For those seeking to order any of these records, there are multiple avenues:

  1. Online: The VitalChek website provides a seamless platform for users to request these vital records.
  2. By Mail: If you’re looking to apply via this method, the process involves dispatching the filled-out application form to the Bureau. This form is readily accessible online. Alongside the form, a clear photocopy of a valid photo identification is necessary. Additionally, the required fee must be enclosed with the application.
  3. In-Person: Those preferring a face-to-face transaction can approach either the Bureau of Vital Records or their local public health agency. However, one must note that certain locations might necessitate a prior appointment to facilitate the process.

As with most administrative processes, fees are involved. In Missouri, the cost associated with acquiring a vital record hinges on the specific document and the number of copies desired. As an illustration, if someone wishes to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate, the initial copy is priced at $15. Should they need additional copies of the same record, each one will also be priced at $15.

Missouri Public Criminal Records

Definition and Types of Criminal Records in Missouri

Criminal records serve as formal documentation detailing an individual’s history with the law. These records encapsulate various interactions ranging from arrests to convictions. In Missouri, the primary custodian of these records is the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP). They hold the central repository of criminal history information for the state.

Information contained in criminal records

  • Personal Identifying Information: This includes the individual’s full name, date of birth, race, known aliases, and other identifying details. This section helps ensure that the record corresponds to the correct individual, especially in cases where two people may share the same or similar names.
  • Criminal Charges: Every interaction that leads to criminal charges is listed, detailing the type of offense, the date when the offense occurred, the specific location or jurisdiction of the crime, and the final outcome or disposition of the case. This can indicate whether the charges were dropped, led to a trial, resulted in a plea deal, or had some other resolution.
  • Arrest Information: Details of every arrest are maintained, even if they didn’t lead to formal charges or convictions. This section outlines the date of the arrest, the location, and the primary reason or cause behind the arrest.
  • Convictions: Any instance where the individual was found guilty of a crime is documented here. This includes not only the date and location of the conviction but also the specific nature of the offense and the sentence or penalty imposed by the court. It may include fines, probation terms, community service, or imprisonment details.
  • Outstanding Warrants: If there are any active warrants issued for the individual’s arrest, they will be noted in this section. Warrants can be issued for a variety of reasons, including failing to appear in court, violating probation terms, or new charges.

Police Records and Reports

Criminal records are formal documents detailing an individual's criminal background. In Missouri, the primary custodian of these records is the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP). However, local law enforcement agencies, police departments, and state courts also hold and maintain copies of such records.
In Missouri, a criminal record generally provides the following details:

  • Personal identification details like the individual's name, date of birth, race, aliases, and other identifiers.
  • Specifics about the criminal charges, such as the type of offense, date it occurred, location of the crime, and case outcome.
  • Data concerning the individual's arrests, noting the date, location, and cause of the arrest.
  • Information related to the individual's convictions, specifying the date, location, nature of the offense, and the sentence given. Details on any existing arrest warrants for the individual.

Booking Records and Reports

Booking logs or arrest records are essential components of the criminal justice system's transparency. They document instances when an individual is taken into police custody. Contrary to a full criminal record, which provides a broader overview of an individual's interactions with the criminal system, booking logs primarily focus on details surrounding an individual's arrest.

DUI Records

Missouri treats Driving Under the Influence (DUI) as a criminal offense. Missouri DUI records can be accessed online.

Felony and Misdemeanor Records

In Missouri, the criminal justice system classifies offenses into two main categories: felonies and misdemeanors, each with distinct consequences. Felonies are the more serious category and are divided into five classes, ranging from Class A (the most severe) to Class E (the least severe). The severity of the offense and potential punishment determine its classification. Class A felonies, for instance, carry the most severe penalties, often involving life imprisonment, while Class E felonies come with lighter sentences. In contrast, misdemeanors are less serious offenses and generally result in milder consequences, making them less likely to have a significant impact on an individual's future opportunities and life.

Parole Records

In Missouri, probation is administered and supervised by the Division of Probation and Parole (DPP), a part of the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC). Probation officers are designated to specific geographic areas and are responsible for overseeing probationers within their assigned regions. These officers play a crucial role in monitoring and assisting individuals on probation to ensure compliance with the terms of their probation and to support their successful reintegration into the community.

Probation Records

In Missouri, probation is administered and supervised by the Division of Probation and Parole (DPP), a part of the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC). Probation officers are assigned to specific geographical areas and have the responsibility of overseeing probationers within their designated regions. These officers have a vital role in monitoring and assisting individuals on probation to ensure they adhere to the conditions of their probation and facilitate their successful reintegration into the community.

Warrant Search

Conducting a warrant search in Missouri is a prudent step for individuals to ascertain if there are any active warrants against them, allowing them to take necessary legal action. Several methods are available for performing this search, including online resources and direct communication with local law enforcement agencies.

Inmate And Jail Records

Criminal records in Missouri are generated and maintained by various entities, including state courts, the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) and other relevant government agencies. These records, which are subject to the Missouri Sunshine Law, can be accessed by the public upon request, promoting transparency and open access to government information.

What You Can Find When Searching for an Inmate in Missouri

Missouri Inmate Records offer valuable insights for various stakeholders, including researchers, law enforcement agencies, and interested individuals. These records provide comprehensive information about an inmate’s criminal history, sentence, and other critical details. Here’s a breakdown of their significance:

  • Comprehensive Information: Unlike the basic data provided by the Missouri Inmate Search, these records offer a wealth of information about an inmate’s life, including their criminal history, sentence details, institutional conduct, and more.
  • Key Inmate Details: Missouri Inmate Records typically include essential inmate information such as their name, mugshot, date of birth, gender, race, physical description, booking date, sentence duration, and release date.
  • Criminal History: These records delve into an inmate’s past offenses, offering insights into the nature of the crimes, the dates of these offenses, the arresting agency, and the sentences imposed.
  • Institutional Conduct: Missouri Inmate Records go beyond the basics to provide details about an inmate’s behavior within the correctional facility. This includes disciplinary records and participation in various programs and activities.
  • Access to Court Proceedings: Requesting these records can grant access to an inmate’s court proceedings, fingerprints, as well as evidence like audio and video recordings, and police reports.

How to Conduct an Inmate Lookup in Missouri

Searching for information about an inmate incarcerated in Missouri is a relatively straightforward process, depending on the type of facility they are in. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

For MDOC Correctional Facilities (State Prisons or CSRC):

  • Visit the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) website.
  • Utilize the “Offender Web Search” feature.
  • Complete the Captcha verification to confirm you are not a robot.
  • Enter the inmate’s DOC ID (inmate ID) or their name.
  • Read and acknowledge the provided disclaimer.
  • Click the “Search” button.
  • Review the list of results, which includes inmate details like name, DOC ID, date of birth, gender, height, weight, and race.
  • For more detailed information on a specific inmate, click on their DOC ID. This will lead you to a page with their mugshot, crime information, and current location within the MDOC correctional system.

For Federal Prison Inmates in Missouri: Contact the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) or the specific federal prison facility. The FBOP offers an offender locator tool.

For County Jail Inmates: Visit the respective county Sheriff’s Office website. Some counties, like Cooper County and Jackson County, offer an offender locator feature. Others, such as Johnson County and Stone County, provide inmate rosters with information about current inmates in their facilities.

For Missouri Juvenile Detention Centers: Contact the Missouri Department of Youth Services (DYS) directly. While juvenile records are not accessible online due to privacy concerns, friends, family members, and authorized agents can obtain information about young inmates in Missouri through the DYS.

Can I look up mugshots in Missouri?

In Missouri, when an individual is arrested and taken into custody, law enforcement officers typically take mugshots of the individual, which are then included in the arrest record. These mugshots can also appear on inmate records and sex offender registries. Importantly, mugshots are considered public information in the state of Missouri.

For individuals interested in locating mugshots, the process involves visiting the local sheriff’s office or police department and performing an inmate search. The search will return the arrest record or criminal record, which will include a photograph of the subject of the report, commonly referred to as a mugshot.

Missouri Arrest Records

Missouri arrest records are considered public records in accordance with the Sunshine Act. To determine whether someone has been arrested or is currently in jail in Missouri, individuals can follow these steps:

Clerk’s Office at County Court:

  • Visit the clerk’s office at the relevant local county court.
  • Utilize public access computers available at the office.
  • Conduct a search query on the court’s database, which will retrieve any available arrest records.
  • Clerks of courts may also provide copies of criminal case documents upon request.

Local Sheriff’s Office or Police Station:

  • Contact the local sheriff’s office or police station.
  • Request police reports to inquire about recent arrests in the area.

By utilizing these resources, individuals can access arrest records and stay informed about recent arrests in Missouri, in compliance with the Sunshine Act’s provisions on public access to such records.

What Do These Records Contain:

Missouri arrest records typically contain a range of pertinent information, offering insight into an individual’s interaction with law enforcement. Here are the key details you can expect to find in these records:

  • Personal Identification Details: These records typically include the individual’s full name, any possible aliases, date of birth, and sometimes their residential address.
  • Arrest Information: Details regarding the arrest itself, including the date, time, and location of the arrest, the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest, and the name of the arresting officer.
  • Booking Information: Arrest records may feature information gathered during the booking process, such as fingerprints and mugshots.
  • Charges and Criminal Offenses: Arrest records provide information on the specific charges or criminal offenses for which the individual was arrested. This section may include details of the alleged offense and reference relevant penal code sections or statutes.
  • Court Case Information: If legal proceedings have commenced, the arrest record may contain details related to the court case, including the name of the court, the case number, and other pertinent particulars.

It’s important to note that while arrest records are generally considered public information, there can be exceptions or restrictions based on the jurisdiction and the nature of the case. Always refer to the most current state laws and policies regarding the accessibility and use of arrest records.

Missouri Property and Asset Records Online

Property records in Missouri are a valuable resource for determining property ownership, assessing property values, and identifying any liens or encumbrances on a piece of property. Here’s how you can access property records:

County Recorder of Deeds Website:

  • Visit the website of the recorder of deeds in the specific Missouri county where the property is located.
  • Many counties maintain online databases where you can search for property records.

Third-Party Websites:

  • Consider using third-party websites that specialize in property records searches.
  • Some third-party websites may charge a fee for access to their records, but they can be helpful if you cannot find the records you need on the county website.

Unclaimed Property Search:

  • If you are looking for unclaimed property in Missouri, you can visit the website of the State Treasurer’s Office.
  • They manage unclaimed properties, and you can search for any unclaimed property in your name or on behalf of others.

By utilizing these resources, individuals can access property records and information, facilitating various property-related inquiries and transactions in Missouri.

Driving Records

Driving records in Missouri are maintained by the Department of Revenue, and individuals can obtain copies of their driving records through online or in-person methods. There are two types of driving records available in Missouri:

Driving Records without Personal Information:

  • These records contain information about traffic violations, accidents, and points on your license but do not include personal information.
  • You can request this type of driving record in person at a Missouri license office or order it online.
  • To order your driving record online, you must create an account with the Department of Revenue. The results will be sent to the valid email address you provided during registration.

Driving Records with Personal Information:

  • This type of driving record can only be requested by you or a company legally authorized to access your personal information.
  • To obtain a driving record with personal information, you need to complete the “Request from Driver License Record Holder (Form 4681).”
  • Submit the form to the specified address indicated on the form, either through email or traditional mail.

Civil Driving Infractions

In Missouri, civil driving infractions are considered moving violations. These infractions are not classified as criminal offenses but can result in the accumulation of points on your driving record. The number of points assigned for a civil driving infraction varies based on the severity of the offense. Here are some examples:

  • Failing to obey a stop sign: 2 points
  • Speeding: 3 points

If a driver accumulates eight or more points on their driving record within an 18-month period, the Department of Revenue may suspend their driver’s license. Drivers need to be aware of their point total and practice safe driving to avoid potential license suspension.

Missouri White Pages - Finding People, Addresses, and Other Public Records

Address Search ​

In Missouri, conducting a Reverse Address Lookup can be a valuable resource for individuals seeking information about property ownership within the state. Here’s how you can use this service:

Use Online Platforms:

  • Several online platforms offer Reverse Address Lookup services.
  • Users can search for property ownership information by entering criteria such as the surname of the property owner, the property address, or the parcel number.

Access Restrictions:

  • Keep in mind that certain databases or platforms may have access restrictions.
  • Access to some databases may require membership, payment, or meeting specific criteria.

By utilizing these online tools and databases, individuals can gather information about property ownership in Missouri, assisting them in various property-related inquiries or research efforts.

People Search​

Performing a People Search in Missouri can provide valuable insights into an individual’s background. Online platforms offer access to public records, including basic information such as names, addresses, and phone numbers. Here’s how you can conduct a People Search:

Use Online Platforms:

  • Several online platforms specialize in People Search services.
  • Users can enter relevant details, such as the individual’s name, to initiate a search.

Access Public Records:

  • Public records may contain a range of information, including names, addresses, and contact information.

Respect Privacy and Legalities:

  • While conducting a People Search, it’s important to respect privacy and adhere to legal regulations.
  • Be mindful of any restrictions or limitations when accessing personal information.

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

Yes, you can access reverse phone lookup services to identify the owner of a particular phone number. These services compile information linked to phone numbers, which may encompass names, addresses, and, in some instances, additional details like social media profiles or photographs. There are various methods available for conducting a reverse phone lookup, including searching by names, addresses, or other related information. It’s essential to use these services responsibly, respecting privacy and adhering to legal regulations while uncovering information associated with phone numbers in Missouri. These services can be valuable for identifying callers or gathering additional details about specific contacts.

License Plate Lookups in Missouri

A Missouri license plate lookup involves using a license plate number to search for detailed information about a vehicle. This process provides specific details about the vehicle, including its current owner, Missouri traffic records, renewal date, vehicle identification number (VIN), historical data, odometer readings, and any associated liens. It is particularly valuable when considering the purchase of a used car, as it offers insights into the vehicle’s features and history.

The Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) oversees the issuance of vehicle license plates, with motor license offices located throughout the state’s counties and cities. License plate lookup services are accessible to anyone interested in obtaining information about a specific vehicle. These lookups are governed by the Missouri Motor Vehicle Code, which regulates the registration and issuance of license plates within the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who and why can request public records?

Understanding public records in Missouri hinges on two key laws. Firstly, the Missouri Sunshine Law grants both citizens and non-citizens the right to access the majority of public records held by governmental bodies, albeit with certain exceptions. Secondly, the Missouri Open Meetings Act mandates that all meetings conducted by governmental bodies must be open to the public, albeit with limited exceptions. Under the Sunshine Law, it is established that all public records of governmental bodies are accessible for inspection and duplication by the public, subject to specific exceptions. This legislation underscores the importance of transparency and access to government information while also recognizing the need for certain limitations to protect sensitive data.

Are there fees associated with requesting public records?

Yes, it’s common for public records requests in Missouri to be associated with fees. Government agencies typically impose reasonable fees to cover the costs associated with tasks such as copying, digitizing, or assembling the requested records. The exact fees can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific details of the request. In some cases, fee waivers or reductions may be available, particularly for journalists or non-profit organizations that are making the request. These fees are generally intended to balance the costs of providing access to public records with the public’s right to access government information.

Can I access public records for free?

Indeed, while some public records are conveniently available online as part of government agencies’ public outreach efforts, it’s worth noting that not all records are accessible through this method. Certain records, often due to their sensitive nature or specific requirements, may not be readily available online. In such cases, individuals seeking access to these records may need to follow specific procedures, such as submitting formal requests or visiting relevant government offices, to obtain the information they need. This approach ensures that public records remain accessible while safeguarding sensitive data appropriately.

What is the response time for public records requests?

Upon receiving a public records request, the public entity is legally obliged to respond “as soon as possible,” with a strict deadline of no later than 3 days. If there is any delay in providing immediate access to the requested records, the public entity must furnish a written justification for the delay. Furthermore, if access to the records is denied, the public entity is required to provide a written explanation for the denial. These provisions ensure transparency and accountability in the handling of public records requests in Missouri.

Can my request be rejected?

Yes. If you believe that your request for public records was improperly denied, you have the option to take legal action. In such cases, if you can demonstrate that the record in question should have been accessible to the public, and you were unjustly denied access, the responsibility falls on the public entity to prove that they were compliant with the law. Failure to do so may result in a favorable outcome for your case, potentially granting you access to the requested records. Legal action is a recourse available to ensure transparency and adherence to public records laws in Missouri.

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