Anyone can see and obtain copies of public records in Utah because the state operates a very open public records law. The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), peculiar to Utah, gives everyone the legal authority to access certain records prepared, preserved, or controlled by a government body at all levels. All government entities are mandated to respond to public record requests within the time frame allowed by law. You can conveniently access Utah public records online through the Utah Government Open Records Portal. You can browse all agencies and counties and submit a request for the document you want. You can access information from the agency holding the record via email, fax, U.S mail, or in-person by visiting the record-holding agency.
There are little or no limitations to the use of public records in Utah. However, some documents like private information of government employees, health information of individuals (records from private courts) have restricted access. If released to the public, documents that could likely cause security issues have protection by the law.
How Does the Open Record Portal Work?
1. First, find the government entity you want to contact and click on the request record button for the agency
2. Create an account with the State of Utah to connect online services if you do not already have one
3. Fill out the online request form and include a description of the record you want
4. You will receive a response within the time limit allowed by law for that request
5. Review your submission and track the progress of your request by clicking on the record request.
Utah Court Records
Court records are called dockets, and it is a log containing a comprehensive history of each case in the form of a brief, summarising the court proceedings. Most Appellate, Justice, and District Court records are public in Utah. Finding certain court records in Utah has been made convenient through a court case management system known as the XChange. This system manages and makes available some Utah court records to interested individuals. However, XChange only provides access to public court records. You can search District and Justice court records on the XChange platform using dates. You can also use party names and business names but note that a user account is necessary to use XChange. This service is accessible to users by paid subscription and available for free at most district courthouses and some justice court locations. To find Appellate court records in Utah, a requester can visit the appellate Court Clerk’sClerk’s office or use the Appellate Docket Search. Interested individuals must know the appellate docket number to successfully use the Appellate Docket Search. When an Appellate Court case is closed, the court then moves its original orders to an archive. This archive can be the Utah State Law Library, Utah State Archives, Brigham Young University Library, or the University of Utah law library. Interested parties can obtain such briefs can be obtained at any of the above locations. You can contact the office of the Utah State Appellate Clerk’sClerk’s office at:
450 South Street, 5th Floor
Salt Lake City, NT 84114
Phone: (801) 578-3900
Vital Records in Utah
Vital records are accounts of life’s milestones like birth, death, marriage, and divorce. The Vital Records and Statistics office in Utah, a subdivision of the Utah Department of Health, manages these documents. In Utah, birth records are public after 100 years of the event. Records of demise become public after 50 years, marriage and divorce papers are available to the community after 75 years. Otherwise, certificates can be requested and obtained by the person listed on the certificate, an immediate family member, a legal guardian, or an assigned legal representative. The Utah Department of Health offers online services where interested parties can place an order for vital.
Note that the department does not accept online orders for Stillbirth Certificates. You can place an in-person order at the Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health, 288 North 1460 West. All orders by mail require a completed application form (downloadable from the Utah Department of Health website), accurate fees for the record you request, and valid identification. Suppose you cannot print an application form; in that case, you can write a letter that includes details of the record of interest.
The letter should include the person’s name, date of the event, type of record, place of the event, name of parents, and maiden names if applicable. You should also state your relationship with the person, the reason for the request, and your signature. Mail the letter to:
PO Box 141012
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-1012
Other details to note:
- Obtaining records via mail takes a minimum of three weeks for the mailing process.
- Processing fees are attached to vital records requests. A copy of birth records cost $20.00, Death records cost $30.00, marriage (State) cost $18.00, Marriage (County) varies, Divorce (State) cost $18.00, divorce (County) varies. Additional copies of each of these records requested simultaneously cost $10.00 each.
A criminal record contains a person’s criminal history, arrest, and convictions. There are various reasons individuals or corporate entities run background checks in Utah, and these records are available to the community. Interested people can obtain their criminal records, or another’s at the Utah Department of Public Safety office or through the mail. You can download and fill out the Criminal History Record Application (Criminal Background Check) for mailing orders. Going with the directions on the form, mail the completed application with the fee to:
Department of Public Safety
Bureau of Criminal Identification
3888 West 5400 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84129
Phone: (801) 965-4445
Fax: (801) 965-4749
Visit the Utah Department of Public Safety Website to download application forms and get the information necessary to obtain criminal history records.
Utah Property Records
Public Property Records give information on Utah’s commercial properties, offices, mortgages, homes, titles, and more, and more. Property records offer buyers and sellers detailed information about properties and their owners. The Recorder’s office maintains documents relating to real estates such as mortgages, liens, deeds, maps, and ownership plots. The Recorder’s office can assist the public in locating actual property parcels on ownership plots. The official website of the Utah County Recorder will aid your search for property records. You can also obtain copies of deeds and view the fees schedule from the county office and obtain relevant information on property records at the Utah County Recorder’s office:
Utah County Recorder’s office
100 E Center Street
Provo, Utah 84606
Note that business hours are Mondays to Fridays, from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry
The State of Utah’sUtah’s offender registry is called the Utah Sex Offender & Kidnap Offender Registry. The Utah Department of Corrections maintains the registry. A list of offenses that qualifies a person’s inclusion in the registry includes aggravated sexual assault, aggravated exploitation of prostitution, aggravated human trafficking, and child kidnapping.
Also, object rape, custodial sexual relations (person in custody under age 18), incest, lewdness involving a child, rape, sexual battery (4 convictions required for registration), unlawful sexual conduct with a 16 or 17-year-old warrants addition to the registry.
Offenders must register twice every year, which keeps the registry up to date. To access the registry, visit the official website of the corrections department. You can use the search to view published offenders within a specified radius of your home, business, school, or other desired locations. You can also search for published offenders by last name, first name, or city.
Finally, finding records in the State of Utah is convenient as long as you know where to search. The Utah Division of Archives and Record Services is also a great search tool for finding records in the state, and access is made easy. The State Archives assists the Utah government agencies in managing and preserving documents and providing access to public information. You can visit the State Archive’s website or walk into the physical office at:
Utah State Archives
346 South Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1106
Phone: (801) 531-3848
Hours: 8 am -5 pm, Monday – Friday
Research: 9 am 4 pm, Monday -Friday