Tennessee Public Records
The Tennessee Open Records Act, found in Title 10, Chapter 7, Part 5 of the Annotated Code, mandates that all government records are “public records” and therefore shall be open for inspection by citizens.
Some exceptions noted in the Act include law enforcement emergency contingency plans, investigative records, medical records, Department of Agriculture records, student information, attorney general work product, appraisal information, animal health certificates & tracking programs, trade secrets, and personal private information.
Assembled below for your convenience are Tennessee databases of popular public records. Need records from a city or county? Access those from the menu options on the left.
- Court System - The Tennessee court system has four levels. First are: Courts of General Sessions (civil, domestic relations, mental health, estate, small claims, misdemeanor, traffic); Municipal Courts (city violations, traffic, preliminary hearings); and Juvenile Courts (paternity, juvenile). Second are trial courts: Circuit Courts (domestic relations, civil, criminal); Criminal Courts (in 13 districts, felony trials & misdemeanor appeals); Chancery Courts (courts of equity for civil & domestic relations); and Probate Courts (estates, wills, conservatorships & guardianships). Third are the Court of Appeals (civil, agency & juvenile appeals); and Court of Criminal Appeals (capital, felony, misdemeanor & juvenile criminal appeals). Fourth is the Supreme Court, which reviews decisions from lower courts. Tennessee Court Records
- Criminal Records - Misdemeanors, infractions, and traffic violations are handled by the Courts of General Sessions. Traffic and other violations occurring within a city are handled by Municipal Courts. Felony cases can be handled in Circuit Courts or Criminal Courts, depending on the judicial district. Visit our Tennessee Criminal Records page for more information and searchable database access.
- Vital Records - Birth, death, marriage & divorce certificates are provided by: Tennessee Vital Records, Central Services Building, 1st Floor, 421 5th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37247, (615) 741-1763, Fax: (615) 741-9860. Visit our Vital Records page for historical birth indexes; the Social Security Death Index for Tennessee; historical statewide death record databases; death records, cemetery indexes & obituaries from available cities & counties; statewide historical marriages, marriage databases from available cities & counties; and divorce databases from two counties.
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|Abuse Registry |
Search this Tennessee Department of Health registry by social security number or name for persons who have abused or neglected individuals or who have misappropriated personal property.
|Company Search |
Search the Tennessee Secretary of Records database by name or control number for foreign and domestic corporations, along with assumed business names, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, and reserved names.
More Public Records
|Death Records 1914-1933 |
Tennessee State Library and Archives index of death records index for the period 1914 through 1933.
|Health Care Facilities |
Search this Tennessee Department of Health database for Tennessee Health Care Facilities by facility type and county.
Browse this privately established database by county for Mediators in Tennessee. Provides name, business name, address, phone, fax, occupation, and areas of service.
|Missing Children |
Browse this listing of missing children in Tennessee to view information including photo, name, DOB, case #, contact person/#, case type, physical description, date/city missing from and link to poster.
|Service of Process/Summons |
Search this Tennessee Secretary of State database for unarchived process served through the Tennessee Secretary of State.
|Surplus Property |
Search and bid for surplus property offered for sale by the State of Tennessee.
|World War I Veterans |
Browse this Tennessee State Library and Archives Index to Tennessee World War I Veterans by name.