New Jersey Public Record

Interested persons in New Jersey can find public records at all levels of government that are open to the public through the Freedom of Information Act. Public records include any paper, written or printed book, microfilm, data processed or image processed document, information stored in government offices. Electronic files, sound recordings as well as photographs kept in state agencies are available for public viewing.  

The New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA) is a law that allows officials up to seven days to respond to a records request. However, certain records can be available immediately, depending on the nature of the request. The Government Record Council (GRC) makes sure that interested persons in New Jersey can access public documents, serving as a check for public offices. The most important thing about getting access to the correct public record is to know which agency holds the records.

New Jersey has a system through which it manages state records and its retention. The Supreme Court and Municipal Courts retain records of their Proceedings. Some files are considered permanent; others are on a schedule for destruction. The state records committee determines data retention periods. The State Records Committee comprises the Attorney General, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Director of Local Government Services, and the Secretary of State.

It is important to note that not all records in government agencies in New Jersey are subject to disclosure. Access to government records in New Jersey is dictated not only by the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). Federal statutes, regulations, and resolutions of the Legislature and the Governor could restrict information disclosure. The OPRA contains exemptions from disclosure of government records. These exemptions mean there are certain government records or types of information that are exempt from disclosure. 

Often, individuals in New Jersey request arrest records, criminal records, inmate records, vital records, business records, property records, and bankruptcy records.

New Jersey Arrest Records

Individuals detained in New Jersey for criminal offenses or misdemeanor have their information taken by the arresting agency. The offender’s name, the violation, arrest location, the arresting officer, and photograph go into the arresting agency’s documentation. To get arrest records, interested persons can visit the local state office responsible for the detention. The police department, the local sheriff’s offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation keep arrest records.

Criminal Records in New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety through the New Jersey State Police is responsible for criminal records in New Jersey. Interested persons, businesses, and organizations in New Jersey can conduct criminal history background checks through the state police. The Criminal Information Unit of the state police has procedures through which entities can obtain background checks. To obtain criminal records in person, visit the criminal information unit at:

The New Jersey State Police

Criminal Information Unit

P.O. Box 7068

West Trenton, NJ 08628

(609) 882-2000 Extention 2918

Email: [email protected]

Note that criminal history checks come at a fee.

New Jersey Inmate Records

The New Jersey Department of corrections maintains a database of all incarcerated persons in the state. Persons interested in viewing inmate records can visit any of the 11 correctional facilities in the state. The corrections department also has 11 RCRP (Residential Community Release Program) centers and an assessment center. 

The department of corrections also provides a means for interested individuals to search for offenders in New Jersey online through a web portal.

New Jersey Sex Offender Information 

The New Jersey State Police makes registered sex offender information available to the public. You can search for offenders in your neighborhood using a portal provided by the state police. Name, race, address, offense, and conviction dates of offenders are part of the information in the sex offender registry.

New Jersey Vital Records

The New Jersey Department of Health via the Vital Statistics Division is responsible for information regarding births, deaths, marriages, and divorces in the state.

Interested persons can find older vital records through the State Archives maintained by the New Jersey Department of State.

The division of Vital Statistics allows interested persons to order copies of records via the following mail address.

New Jersey Department of Health

Office of Vital Statistics and Registry

P.O. Box 370

Trenton, NJ 08625-0370

To obtain vital records in person, visit the health department at:

New Jersey Department of Health 

Office of Vital Statistics and Registry 

140 East Front Street

Trenton, NJ

The Vital statistics division also has vital offices in all the counties of the state. Through the health department’s website, you can Locate the vital Records Office in your county.

Interested individuals in the state also have the option of requesting vital records online.

Note that reobtaining records come at a fee.

New Jersey Business Records

The New Jersey Department of the Treasury via the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services (DORES) handles business records in the state. From filing information to registered organization documents, interested persons can get business records from DORES. The division provides online portals through which individuals can request standing certificates, business status reports, business registration certificates, and certificate validation.

New Jersey Bankruptcy Records

Bankruptcy cases are federal cases handled by the United States Bankruptcy Court through various districts in all the states. The United States Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey, is the only bankruptcy district court in New Jersey. Individuals interested in obtaining bankruptcy records can do so through the clerk of the court. Visit any of the court locations in Camden, Newark, or Trenton to make records requests.

Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is a record portal through which individuals can obtain federal case documents. Persons who are interested in accessing bankruptcy information can locate bankruptcy case records through PACER. 

The Bottom-Line

For most records that individuals in New Jersey request, the state has provided mediums through which the agencies release documents. The law through the Open Records Act guarantees public access to government agency documents. It is important to note that state agencies have the right to exclude some information from public access for privacy or security reasons.