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Alabama Public Records

The definition of Alabama public records can refer to but is not limited to digital to printed documents, letters, papers, books, or maps made or received by public offices in Alabama for general business purposes. 

How to Find Alabama Public Records

The Alabama Open Records Law and Code of Alabama 1975, § 36-12-40 allows every citizen to inspect and access Alabama public records

Many public records are maintained and are available at the Office of the Secretary of State and can be accessed online. Otherwise, requesters may need to personally ask for the public record they need in person during regular office hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, private sources can also provide access when the records are available. 

Take note that Alabama charges $1.00 per page to reproduce public records plus an additional $1.50 for the state seal annexation. You must pay more for annexation and any certificate worth $5.00.

You can also request Alabama public records using this form

Are Alabama Public Records Available Online?

As an open records state, Alabama public records are available online. However, Alabama property and property tax records may not be available online. Also, Alabama is one of the eight states in the United States that requires its requesters to be state residents, which means that non-residents cannot access any of their public records. 

What Records are Not Available in Alabama?

Regular public records like vital records and court records are available in Alabama except for a few exemptions like:

  • Administrative and legislative draft documents
  • Internal and external correspondence, i.e., emails 
  • Ongoing criminal investigations
  • Motor vehicle title and registration
  • Tax returns

Types of Public Records Available in Alabama

 The following records are available for access in Alabama. 

Alabama Public Criminal Records

The Criminal Records Identification Unit together with the Records Check Section of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) provides background checks and responds to requests for public criminal records in the state. 

To request a public criminal record in Alabama, you have to fill out a form and include your personal and work information.

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Alabama :

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office2200 Rev Abraham Woods, Jr., Blvd, Birmingham, AL
Mobile County Sheriff's Office510 South Royal St., Mobile, AL
Madison County Sheriff's Office100 Northside Square, Huntsville, AL
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office115 South Perry St., Montgomery, AL
Shelby County Sheriff's Office380 McDow Road, Columbiana, AL
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office714 1/2 Greensboro Ave., Tuscaloosa, AL
Baldwin County Sheriff's Office310 Hand Ave., Bay Minette, AL
Lee County Sheriff's Office1900 Frederick Rd., Opelika, AL
Morgan County Sheriff's Office119 Lee St., Decatur, AL
Calhoun County Sheriff's Office400 West 8th Street, Anniston, AL

Arrest Records and Warrants

The Alabama Law Enforcement Criminal Records Department (ALECRD) maintains and holds public criminal records, including arrest records of citizens in Alabama. 

You can find active warrants in Alabama from local law enforcement units in the state or do an online search. You may also use a third-party site like InfoTracer to look for information on arrest records and warrants in Alabama, 

Inmate and Jail Records

You can access inmate and jail records in Alabama by going through the state’s inmate search database. 

The best way to look for inmate records is to type in the unique six-digit Alabama Institutional Serial (AIS) number to find the records you’re looking for. 

If you don’t have the AIS, you can enter the first and last name of the person you’re looking for in the search field and get matching records, if there are any.

Jails and Prisons in Alabama :

Jefferson Bessemer County Jail1822 2nd Avenue North, Bessemer, AL
Jefferson Birmingham County Jail809 Richard Arrington Junior Boulevard North, Birmingham, AL
G Ross Bell Youth Detention Center716 Richard Arrington Junior Boulevard North, Birmingham, AL
William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility100 WARRIOR LANE, BESSEMER, AL
Homewood City Jail1833 29th Avenue South, Homewood, AL
Birmingham City Jail501 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL
Mobile County Jail & Minimum Security Barracks510 South Royal Street, Mobile, AL
Mobile County Youth Detention Center2315 Costarides Street, Mobile, AL
Mobile Community Based Facility/Community Work Center2423 N Beltline Highway, Pritchard, AL

Alabama Background Checks

The ALEA uses the Alabama Background Check (ABC) System for background checks. This online and secure service where employers can access comprehensive and up-to-date criminal records for prospective employees. 

However, this service is not free and requires employers to pay $15.00 for every background check, or you can get a premium service by subscribing annually for $95.00.

There’s also a warning that requesters who obtain criminal records under pretenses can be prosecuted since ALEA logs and heavily monitors all transactions in their background check system.

How to Find Sex Offenders in Alabama

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) keeps a record of more than 16,000 sex offenders in their sex offender registry. The state updates its registry every year by requiring sex offenders to report their whereabouts until three months after their birthday to give requesters the most recent information. 

The registry also allows you to register for email alerts to get updates when an offender gets within a mile of any of your addresses of interest, like your home, your workplace, the school, the park, the gym, or any other similar places. 

Registration for email alerts is free, and you can register an unlimited number of addresses.

However, an offender’s record may not be open as a public record if they have an out-of-state status or is a juvenile. 

Alabama Public Vital Records 

The Center for Health Statistics keeps public vital records in Alabama, including birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates. 

There is a standard request form for all mail-in applications for any type of public vital record in Alabama, or you can order online

Requesters can obtain vital records in two ways:

  1. Go to the county health department to issue a request and get a copy of the vital records within or less than 30 minutes.
  2. Mail a request to the county health department and wait seven to 10 days for the public vital records to arrive through the mail.

Aside from specific ID requirements and a $15.00 fee for one certified copy, only the following person can request and get public vital records:

  • The person named on the birth certificate
  • A parent or legal guardian
  • Spouse of the named person
  • Child of the named person
  • Sibling of the named person
  • A legal representative with authorization

Note that you need to pay $6.00 for additional copies and another $15.00 to expedite a record request for vital records in Alabama. 

Fees are non-refundable and strictly no cash. The State Board of Health only accepts money orders made to their office, although you can also order your vital records online

Below is the specific information for each vital record:

Birth certificates are considered confidential records under Alabama Law. 

Death certificates like birth certificates are considered confidential and can only be obtained by next of kin or authorized representatives. 

Marriage certificates are not restricted for access, so requesters can get them from the county office where the marriage license was issued. 

Divorce records, like marriage certificates, are available from the county court that granted the divorce.  

There are also divorce decrees in Alabama, which are court documents issued at the termination of marriages. 

Alabama Court Records 

The Alabama Administrative Office of Courts allows public record access to trial court records including civil, domestic, criminal, and traffic cases. 

On the other hand, court records unavailable online will require you to visit the clerk’s county offices where the case was heard to request the public record in person.  

State Court System in Alabama

Alabama’s court system is composed of the Supreme Court, the appellate courts, and three district courts: middle, northern and southern districts.

Courts in Alabama :

Irondale Municipal Court101 South 20th Street, Irondale, AL
Homewood Municipal Court310 West Valley Avenue, Homewood, AL
Trussville Municipal Court131 Main Street, Trussville, AL
Leeds Municipal Court1040 Park Drive, Leeds, AL
Bessemer Municipal Court1700 Third Avenue North, Bessemer, AL
Hueytown Municipal Court1318 Hueytown Road, Hueytown , AL
Mountain Brook Municipal Court56 Church Street, Mountain Brook, AL
Helena Municipal Court816 Highway 52 East, Helena, AL
Fairfield Municipal Court5231 Court B, Fairfield, AL

Driving Records

The ALEA provides driving records for a fee of $5.75. You can do it in person at any ALEA Driver License Office or order online.


To request for public driving records in Alabama, you need to provide the license, ID, or permit number in your license together with the last 6 digits of your social security number (SSN).


If an SSN is not available, you need to provide your first and last name, your date of birth, and your current residence’s ZIP code for your request to be processed. 


Civil Driving Infractions

Driving infractions in Alabama are considered misdemeanor offenses that can stay on a driver’s record and has a negative impact on their license, driving privileges, and car insurance premiums two years after the infractions happened. 


Alabama follows a point system for suspending drivers that commit civil driving infractions within two years: 


  • 12 to 14 points - 60-day suspension
  • 15 to 17 points - 90-day suspension
  • 18 to 20 points - 120-day suspension
  • 21 to 23 points - 180-day suspension
  • 24 and above points - license suspension for a year


Alabama License Plate Lookup

You can look up a license plate online in Alabama. All you have to do is enter the tag number and you can get a full history of any vehicle for free. 



Alabama Property and Asset Records Online 

The Alabama public property records can be accessed through the Secretary of State’s inquiry facility. You can search for public property records online using the name, book search, or township, including the range and section.


Property records are managed by registry of deed offices which are also organized on a county level.  For specific property records requests, you may visit the state’s county offices.

Alabama Unclaimed Property and Assets

Unclaimed property or assets in Alabama like cash, valuables, insurance benefits, stocks, and bonds are turned over to the Alabama Treasury.

You can search for unclaimed properties or assets to file a claim or check the status of your claim. 

Important Government Agencies in Alabama

Here are some of the most important government agencies to help you find public records in Alabama.


  1. Office of the Secretary of State
  2. Governor’s Office
  3. Legislative Office
  4. Department of Revenue
  5. Law Enforcement Agency
  6. Alabama Treasury
  7. Center for Health Statistics
  8. Records Disposition Authority
  9. Supreme Court
  10. Alabama Administrative Office of Courts

Counties in Alabama

Other Records in Alabama