Public Records Many public records are already available online and accessable without making a public records request. Birth & death certificates, marriage & divorce records - see NCDHHS Vital Records Real Estate Records or Deeds - check the Register of Deeds office where the property is located Court Records - for criminal and civil cases, police reports and traffic citations, contact the NC Judicial Branch or Clerk of Court in the county where the citation was issued. Background Check - the NC State Bureau of Investigation offers the public and authorized agencies criminal background checks. The North Carolina Department of Administration is committed to transparency and will furnish all requested public records as promptly as possible. Make your request as exact as possible (including names, dates, and specific search terms) to help us expedite fulfilling your request. Please allow additional time to review/redact very large requests. Excessively large requests may be provided in batches as they are completed. Under North Carolina public records law General Statute 132 and various other statutes, certain personal or confidential information is not public, and must be redacted or protected. We are not required to create a record that does not exist, nor compile a record or records in any format that does not already exist. For information on records management, visit the State Archives of North Carolina. Submit a NCDOA Records Request Frequently Asked Questions What is a public record? According to North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 132, public records are defined as, “all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions.” These items are considered to be the property of the people, and copies shall be provided for free or at minimal cost. What is NOT a public record? Examples of items that are not considered public record include: Social security numbers and other personal identifying information. Sensitive public security information Emergency response plans Law enforcement agency recordings 911 databases Criminal investigations Intelligence information records Trial preparation materials Attorney-client privileged communications State tax information Public enterprise billing information Innocence Inquiry Commission records Alarm registration information For full details regarding items not considered public record, see NCGS Chapter 132. Submitting a public records request Public records requests may be submitted in person, by mail, by phone or through electronic means. The preferred method for receiving public records requests is through the department’s online public request form, which allows NCDOA to better track requests and respond in a timely manner. NC Department of Administration 1301 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-1301 How quickly are requests provided? By law, state agencies are required to respond to public records requests “as promptly as possible.” Response times may vary based on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the request, the volume of records requested, the amount of time needed to redact confidential information and the resources required to fulfill the request. If staff find a request to be ambiguous, overly broad, or very time-intensive, a staff member may contact the requestor and attempt to clarify, narrow, or revise the request. A narrowly-tailored request limits the expenditure of department resources, and therefore allows the agency to respond to requests in a shorter timeframe. To assist our staff in providing a timely response to your request, we recommend the following when crafting your request: Be specific – Carefully consider what records you would like to request. Are there specific documents you are interested in? What divisions or staff members are included in your request? The more detail you can provide, the easier it is for our staff to locate any responsive public records. Provide dates – A date range can further help staff narrow the request to a particular timeframe, allowing for more efficient collection of records. In many cases, simple public records requests often can be fulfilled within a matter of days. Complex requests, especially those that require collecting and reviewing large quantities of emails or redacting confidential information, may take weeks or months to complete.