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California Public Records

This page lists statewide California databases in alphabetical order.  Click on "Popularity" to rank the list by number of visits. For county records, city records, license verification databases, or databases organized by category of record, use the menus in the left-hand column.

  • Court System  The California court system has three levels. At the first level are the Superior Courts. In 2000, under Proposition 220, all California counties unified their superior and municipal courts. Former municipal courts are now called limited jurisdiction superior courts. Civil, felony, misdemeanor, DWI/DUI, and juvenile cases are heard at the general superior courts, while felony preliminary hearings and smaller misdemeanors are heard at the limited superior courts. At the second level are the Courts of Appeal, which review decisions from the Superior Courts. At the top level is the California Supreme Court, which reviews decisions from all lower courts.  California Court Records
  • Criminal Records  Penal Code section 11105 makes it illegal to provide a full statewide criminal history to anyone outside of law enforcement, except to the person who is the subject of the report and authorized "Applicant Agencies" such as schools, in-home care providers, agencies that provide for the security and care of children, private patrol operators, etc.  For available free databases, legal ways to search criminal records in California and information on how to order a search from the state on yourself or someone else, go to our California Criminal Records page.
  • Vital Records Vital Records are available from the California Department of Health Services, M.S. 5103, PO Box 997410, Sacramento, CA 95899. Use the "California by Category" menu at left or click here for Vital Records. On that page we have statewide births from 1769 to 1850, 1905 to 1995; county birth indexes; the Social Security Death Index for California; various genealogical death record databases, obituaries, funeral home records, and county death indexes; genealogical marriage and county marriage databases; and Superior Court databases that offer searchable family court divorce record databases.


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