How to Find Public Records in Florida

How to Find Public Records in Florida

Searches for Florida public records allow the public to make informed decisions about individuals and businesses; this article contains concise resources on locating public records within Florida.

It is also important to note that some public documents, such as birth certificates, are challenging to find and not publicly accessible. If you cannot demonstrate that you are a direct family member or that the record belongs to you, know beforehand that you'd have difficulty accessing them.

The Sunshine Law for Florida Public Records

Florida's Sunshine Law guarantees the public's right to access government records, regardless of the record's format, transmission mode, or characteristics. The law specifies that records, such as documents, books, photographs, sound recordings, tapes, software, films, or other materials, can be obtained through paid or free public data searches.

According to the law, public agencies are not required to generate or reorganize records, address inquiries regarding the maintained records, or convert documents into different formats that are not already available. Therefore, all your requested records will be provided only in the same format in which they are maintained. 

Florida Court Records Search 

If you need to access court records in Florida, start by visiting the Florida State Courts System website at flcourts. The website provides a directory of district court locations and contact information for each of the state's 20 judicial circuits, which allows you to search for Supreme Court case records and civil/criminal cases across Florida. 

If you have specific questions or requests, contact the Florida State Courts System Public Information Office at (850) 922-5081 or log into the court's self-help app.


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What You Need to Find Public Court Records in Florida

1. Case number: You will need the specific case number you seek. If you don't have the case number, you may be able to search for records using the parties' names.

2. Court location: You will need to know which court the case was filed in, whether county courts, circuit courts, or district courts of appeal. 

3. Access to online court records: You will need a computer or smartphone with internet access to use the court's online portals.

4. Identification: Depending on the court and the records you request, you may need to provide identification, such as a driver's license, passport, or other government-issued ID.

5. Payment: There may be fees associated with requesting and accessing court records. Costs vary depending on the court and the documents you request. For instance, the Florida State Courts System charges $0.15 per page for most court records requested by mail, plus an additional $2.00 per document for certification.

Vital Records by Florida's Department of Health

Vital records in Florida include birth, death, adoption, marriage, and divorce documents. To locate these documents, begin your search at the state's health department Bureau of Vital Statistics using their contact information: 

Florida Department of Health,
Bureau of Vital Statistics,
1217 North Pearl Street,
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: (904) 359-6900
Online request: Vitalchek 


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What You Need to Find Pubic Vital Records in Florida

1. Name of the person on the record: You will need the full name of the person whose record you are requesting.

2. Date of the event: You will need the date of birth, death, marriage, or divorce.

3. Location of the event: You will need the city or county where the birth, death, marriage, or divorce occurred.

4. Identification: You may provide a valid ID depending on the agency and the record you are requesting.

5. Payment: The fees vary depending on the type of vital record requested and the method used to request the record. For example, a certified copy of a birth certificate from the Florida Department of Health costs $15.00.

Locate Public Criminal Records in Florida

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) keeps and maintains Florida's criminal records. Follow the next steps to obtain your necessary records from the FDLE: 

1. Visit the FDLE website 
2. Look to the top of the page and click on 'criminal history information
3. Search the drop-down menu for the 'obtaining criminal history information' tab and click
4. Select 'Public Records Request'
5. Accurately fill out the online application form or download and print it if you prefer to mail or fax it to the agency
6. Pay the required fees 
7. Submit the request

Alternatively, you can visit the FDLE's office at PO Box 1489, Tallahassee, Florida 32302. Or you could call the office at (850) 410-7000 to request public criminal records. 

What You Need to Access Sex Offense Public Records in Florida

1. Name: You need the person's full or partial name to search the sex offender registry.

2. Address: You may search for the address using the person's current address.

3. Offender ID: You can use a person's ID number to ascertain if they're registered sex offenders or not.


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Reasons for Florida Public Search Request Denials 

The sunshine law permits government agencies to refuse specific requests if the records contain confidential information.

 However, the law mandates all offices always to give the requester a reason for the denial and relevant citations from the measure to support their explanations.

If you receive a denied request without reason, you could ask the relevant staff at the organization to give you a reason for the denial. 


Additionally, if the public organization cites an unconstitutional reason for rejection, you can immediately file a civil action. It will then depend on the state's supreme court to decide if access can be granted.

Last Words: The Use of Third-Party Search Services to Find Public Records in Florida

Using a third-party public record search service in Florida is an innovative and efficient method to locate relevant information quickly. These tools scour through state and county department data sources to display single or multiple accurate and current public records.

All you need to run a public record search on these websites include:

● The individual's first and last name
● The individual's address
● Good internet connection
● Website fees

Not all third-party search services charge users to use their services. Our top choice,, provides one of the fastest ways to search government records in Florida using only the person's name, and it allows for unlimited searchings.

Start a Background Check Search

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