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Alabama Public Records

In Alabama, Code Section 36-12-40 says that the public has a right to examine or make a copy of government “writings” which are basically anything recorded by the state (paper, film, videos, audio recordings, photographs, and electronic media). Exceptions are juvenile offender records, school records, certain financial statements, tax returns, probation reports, and anything that could create a security threat.

Below you’ll find the Alabama online databases that we think will help you find the information you need.  If you’re looking for city or county records, Alabama licensure databases, or would like to search records by category, use the drop-down menus to the left.

  • Court System  The Alabama court system has four levels. At the first are the limited jurisdiction courts: Probate Courts, which handle wills & estates; Municipal Courts, which handle ordinance violations; and District Courts, which handle misdemeanors, small claims, and civil cases under $3,000. They share concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Courts on juvenile & civil cases between $3,000 and $10,000. At the second level are the general jurisdiction Circuit Courts, which try civil cases over $10,000, domestic relations cases, & felony criminal cases. At the third level are the Court of Civil Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals, which review opinions from the lower courts. The highest state court is the Supreme Court of Alabama, which reviews all lower court decisions.  Alabama does provide an online resource for trial court records in all counties, but unlike many other states that provide this as a free service, Alabama charges a registration and monthly service fee.  Go to our Court Records page for more information and to access the available free court searches.
  • Criminal Records  Jefferson, Madison, Marshall, and Tuscaloosa Counties have separate criminal divisions within each Circuit and District Court. Most felony cases are tried at the Circuit Courts. Misdemeanors committed with felonies are tried with the felonies in Circuit Court. Otherwise, misdemeanors are tried at the District or Municipal Court. DWI/DUI cases are handled in the District and Municipal Courts.  Alabama has a wide range of criminal record resources online.  You may access criminal court records in all counties through the State Judicial System, criminal histories, inmates, and parole violators, just to name a few.  For a list of available resources, use the menu or go here.
  • Vital Records  To order certificates, write to Alabama Vital Records, P.O. Box 5625,Montgomery, AL 36103-5625, (334) 206-5418; Fax: (334) 262-9563 or use VitalCheck online.  For more information on vital records and to access available online databases, use the "Category" menu on the left and select births, deaths, marriage records, or divorces. We've consolidated them into one page and offer access to archived birth records, FamilySearch genealogy birth, death, and marriage databases, the Social Security Death Index for Alabama, Alabama deaths from 1881 to 1974, cemetery & death records from available counties, statewide historical marriages, and various county marriage databases.

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