Kentucky Public Records: How to Find Public Records in Kentucky

Kentucky Public Records: How to Find Public Records in Kentucky

The search process for public records can be very difficult if you're looking for public records in Kentucky. Knowing where to begin is difficult because public records are dispersed among numerous state agencies. Fortunately, you can save time by comprehending state laws and procedures for requesting public records. 

Whether you're searching for court, vital, or property records in the state, this guide will give you the knowledge you need to find the public records you require.

The Open Records Law in Kentucky

The Kentucky Public Records Act defines the scope of public records in Kentucky, which includes a variety of tangible forms of information such as books, papers, pictures, tapes, discs, and any other documented material that has been produced, used, or is in the possession of a public agency.

Residents of Kentucky have the right to request state records under the Kentucky Open Records Act. According to the Freedom of Information Act, public entities must give those who ask for it access to specific information. 


However, this rule has some exceptions, such as preventing government employees from viewing personnel records.


an illustration of a file

How to Access Public Records in Kentucky

While some records can be accessed online, you might need to submit a formal records request for others. If a request is required, it can be made by phone, email, or mail to the department responsible for keeping the records.

If you access records from multiple locations, be prepared for some variations in the rules because every department is unique. In general, a request for public records ought to contain the following:

• Your name
• Search the subject's full name
• Contact information
• The name of the document
• Details about the document
• A time frame that you would like to receive the materials by
• Document delivery method (mail or email)

Types of Public Records in Kentucky and Where You Can Find Them

Kentucky Court Records

The majority of the time, court records are quite extensive and contain a variety of different documents. Names of parties involved, court docket, name of the attorney, information on the court case, city and state, case type, case number, case information, date of birth, and court orders are some of the records that most people find most useful when looking for court records.

The Administrator of the court's website has relevant data on the Kentucky Court of Justice. Court records on criminals can be searched on the state's CourtNet website, which also offers the related copies requested through the relevant courthouses.

Kentucky Criminal Records

The state judiciary of Kentucky maintains criminal records. The Clerk of Courts is responsible for updating these public records. The Kentucky Court of Justice handles requests for criminal records in the state via its online portal. Name-based and public records reporting are both accessible through this website.


Police Handcuffs on fingerprints crime page file

Kentucky Inmate Records

All adult correctional facilities in the state are managed by the Kentucky Department of Corrections, which also establishes the guidelines and requirements for all county-run facilities. 


The Kentucky Department of Corrections offers a searchable database for individuals who are being detained there, as well as former inmates who have completed their sentences. It is best you use the person's legal first and last name or alias to search for their inmate records.

Kentucky Property Records

The Kentucky Secretary of State's land office keeps public property records. You have access to property deeds, records of property tax assessments, land records, liens, titles, mortgages, probate, and zoning data. To learn more about the paperwork, costs, and procedures, contact the Kentucky Land Office.

Kentucky Land Office,
Office of the Kentucky Secretary of State Land Office,
700 Capital Avenue,
Suite 152,
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone number: (502) 564-3490

Kentucky Vital Records

The Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics maintains all documents and information on vital public records in the state. Public vital records that can be accessed in the state include Birth and Death Certificates or records, Marriage Licenses, and Divorce Decrees.

Public record requests, as well as record searches for vital records, will differ depending on the document you are looking for. VitalCheck is an online service that allows you to order vital records.

Contact info:
Office of Vital Statistics Department for Public Health
Office of Vital Statistics
Department for Public Health
Cabinet for Health and Family Services
275 East Main Street 1E-A
Frankfort, KY 40621


an illustration of a file

Other Questions People Ask About Finding Public Records in Kentucky

What are the public records exemptions in Kentucky?

The Kentucky Open Records Act lists 13 exemptions, the majority of which are more or less consistent with other states' FOIA laws. 

Trade secrets, police strategies, ongoing investigations, reports, laws, rough drafts, homeland security, purchases of real estate by public agencies, patient medical records, some voter records, and particular academic examinations are all exempt from this rule. Other categories of personal information about civilians are also exempt.

How long should it take before you get a response in Kentucky?

Kentucky agencies have three days to either deny or accept a request. If more time is required, these organizations will send out a letter informing the applicant of their 30-day extension.

What expenses are expected when requesting public records in Kentucky?

Governmental organizations are not permitted to charge for searches, but copying costs apply to non-commercial requests. Agencies may charge the actual price for generating copies of records for non-commercial requests. Commercial requests are subject to fees at fair rates. You can budget approximately 10 cents per page.

What is the best public records search database in Kentucky?

Organizations appointed by the government typically run the best databases for searching public records. The state's best resource for finding information on sex offenders is the Kentucky State Sex Offender Database, run by the state police. For accessing and copying land records at the county level, the Fayette County Clerk runs the most reliable database. 

Users can access inmate records and information online thanks to Kenton County's inmate roster. The Louisville Metro Police Department's records division is the best place to get hold of Jefferson County's arrest records and incident reports.


In this information age, the FOIA enables individuals to find crucial information that could be important to their lives or help in making decisions. Asides from government-run databases, third-party sites like also provide reliable tools for making public records searches.

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