Pennsylvania Public Records
The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act was signed in 1998 and the Right-to-Know Law was signed in 2008. The Law established the Office of Open Records to enforce the sunshine laws and serve as a resource for obtaining public records. These include documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, film or sound recordings, information stored or maintained electronically, and data-processed or image-processed documents.
Examples of records that are exempt from public access include those that would violate personal privacy rights, endanger citizens or government entities, or are confidential by law.
The more popular and available Pennsylvania statewide resources are organized below on this page for you. If you don’t see the type of database you need here, check to see if it is maintained at the city or county level. Those menus are on this page in the margin.
- Court System - At the first level in the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial Systems are the minor courts, which are the magisterial courts in every county except Philadelphia. These handle small claims and minor criminal cases. Philadelphia has a county Municipal Court and a Traffic Court. The next level is the Common Pleas Court. There are 103 Courts of Common Pleas and these are the general trial courts, with civil, criminal, family law, juvenile delinquency, and probate jurisdiction. Above that is the Commonwealth Court and the Superior Court which are the two intermediate appellate courts. At the top is the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Pennsylvania also has a Register of Wills for probate matters. The Prothonotary is the civil records clerk of the Court of Common Pleas. Pennsylvania Court Records
- Criminal Records - The Magisterial Courts, Philadelphia Municipal Court and Pittsburgh Municipal Court handle minor criminal matters and traffic cases. There are 60 Common Pleas Courts and they handle felony, misdemeanor, DWI/DUI, and Preliminary Hearings. The Pittsburgh City Magistrates Court handles some Misdemeanor, DWI/DUI, and Preliminary Hearings, as do the Magisterial District Courts. Philadelphia Municipal Court covers all misdemeanor cases and preliminary felony hearings. To access criminal records and find more information about official searches, go to our Pennsylvania Criminal Records page.
- Vital Records - Birth and death certificates are provided to next of kin only and are available from: Vital Records, State Department of Health, P.O. Box 1528, 101 South Mercer Street, New Castle, PA 16101, 724-656-3100, fax 724-652-8951. Our Vital Records page has various historical county birth indexes; the Social Security Death Index for Pennsylvania; county death, obituary, wills, burial, and genealogy databases; statewide pay marriage databases; free county marriage databases; and county court and Prothonotary databases containing divorce records.
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Search the Pennsylvania Code by keyword or phrase and title.
|Company Search | Charitable Organizations |
Pennsylvania charities, professional solicitors, and counsels by employer identification number (EIN), name or address. Provides a list of costs and contributions, along with the total income.
|Company Search | Corporation, Limited Liability, FBN |
Search the Pennsylvania Department of State for corporations, orphaned corporate names, corporation name changes, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, and fictitious business names by business name or ID number.
|Criminal Background Search Pay Site|
Do a criminal background search statewide in Pennsylvania or search over 450 million criminal records nationwide. Pennsylvania records include: statewide District Court felony, misdemeanor and traffic filings; statewide corrections records; disposed cases from the Common Pleas Courts; and Pennsylvania registered offenders.
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections inmate locator.
|Megans Law Offenders |
Search Pennsylvania State Police records for registered Megans Law offenders by name, county, municipality, zip code, address radius, or view lists of absconded or non-compliant offenders, transient offenders, or violent predators.
|Official Website of Pennsylvania |
Visit the official site for the State of Pennsylvania to find government services, officials, state attractions, benefits, and more.
|State Police Phone Numbers |
Browse the Pennsylvania State Police telephone listings by troop designation, bureaus & offices, all stations, or recruitment coordinator listings.
|Unclaimed Property |
Pennsylvania unclaimed property database. Provides city, zip code, holder information, and recovery instructions.
|Uniform Commercial Code |
Pennsylvania Department of State Uniform Commercial Code database. Search standard RA9 (exact name), non-standard (soundex), or search by file number. Results are free and include file date, file number, debtor and secured party names and addresses. Document images require registration and a fee.
|Wine and Spirit Stores |
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board licensed Wine and Spirit stores. Search by category or location.
|Adoption - Waiting Children |
Browse or search for children up for adoption in Pennsylvania to view photo, name, PAE #, age, ethnicity, date listed/modified, personal details, families considered and legal status.
|Campaign Finance |
Search the Pennsylvania Department of State Campaign Finance Reporting System by filer name, election year, report cycle, office, district, and/or political party.
Pennsylvania Department of State registered charities.
|Child Support Dockets |
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services records of child support dockets. Free service, but registration is required.
|Child Support Liens |
Registration is required to search this Pennsylvania Child Support Program service to search for child support liens.
|Court Records | Appeals |
Search the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System for Supreme, Superior, or Commonwealth Appellate Court Web Docket Sheets by docket number or by court name and docket type, district, party name, etc.
|Court Records | Court of Common Pleas |
Search the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System by name for Court of Common Pleas Docket Sheets from criminal, miscellaneous, and summary appeal cases.
|Court Rules | Rules of Court |
Search the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System for local court rules by Judicial District, county, rule number, type, subject matter, etc.
|Criminal Histories Pay Site|
This service was established by the Pennsylvania Criminal History Information Act and provides access to the Pennsylvania Access to the Criminal History (PATCH) System for Pennsylvania criminal records.
Search the Pennsylvania Department of State elections database by keyword(s).
|Ethics Rulings |
Search for ethics advices, opinions and orders by the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission to view name, document number, type, date and document image.
|Eviction Records | Tenant Screening Pay Site|
Use Search Systems Eviction Records as part of your tenant screening. Search statewide in Pennsylvania for eviction records by tenant name (individual or business) for just $5 per search. Narrow results by city for common name searches.
|Find People |
Easy to use, find people in Pennsylvania instantly! Find addresses and phone numbers. Free summary of names. Fee for detailed reports.
|Insurance Companies - Eligible Surplus Lines |
Browse or search the Pennsylvania Insurance Department list of eligible surplus lines insurance companies. Browse by name or search by NAIC company code or a portion of the company name.
Search the Pennsylvania CareerLink jobs database by job title, salary range and location to view corresponding info, posting date, shift, job summary, education required and hours per week.
Search the Pennsylvania Legislature for Bills and Resolutions by Chamber/Document Type/Number or keyword and Session.
|Local Government Officials |
A link to the Pennsylvania government blue pages. Allows you to search for local government officials and their contact information by county, municipality, name, political affiliation, year term ends or gender. Tip: Use Internet Explorer only.
|Military - Mexican Border Campaign Veterans |
Browse the Pennsylvania State Archives Mexican Border Campaign Veterans Card File Indexes by name. Provides name, rank, regiment and company, age/place of birth, physical description, date of commission, home station and more.
|Military - Militia Officers 1775-1800 |
Browse the Pennsylvania State Archives Militia Officers Card File Indexes by name for officers who served during the American Revolution, in Indian campaigns, and in the Whiskey Rebellion. Database covers 1775-1800.
|Missing Children |
Browse this listing of missing children in Pennsylvania to view information including photo, name, DOB, case #, contact person/#, case type, physical description, date/city missing from and link to poster.
|Missing Persons |
Pennsylvania missing persons index, provided by the Pennsylvania Doe Network Area Director.
|Most Wanted |
Browse the Pennsylvania State Police list by name and photo for their ten Most Wanted fugitives.
|Private Adoption Agencies |
Browse this alphabetical listing of private adoption agencies in Pennsylvania to view agency name, address, phone, fax, e-mail, Website and hours of operation.
|Public Notices |
Use this service of MyPublicNotices.com in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and participating newspapers to search a database of PA public notices by date range, category and/or newspaper.
|Public Utility Commission |
Search the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission document database by document name/#/type, utility type and/or date to view documents including public meetings orders, commissioner motions &statements, administrative decisions and secretarial letters. Find daily actions and new cases using the side navigation on their page.
|Unemployment Compensation Benefits |
Search this database of recently filed Pennsylvania Forms UC-1099G, Statement for Recipients of Unemployment Compensation Payments by SSN to view amount of UC benefits paid and the amount of federal income tax withheld, if any.
Pennsylvania voter registration status by county, name, and birth date.