Texas Public Records: How to Find Public Records in Texas

Texas Public Records: How to Find Public Records in Texas

The State of Texas has a long-standing history with public records, dating back to the 19th century; the beginning dates go back to the Texas General Land Office, where a vast collection of land grants that hold records of land transfer from state ownership to private citizens were kept. 


In addition, the state's court system has kept thorough records of all court cases, including civil litigation and criminal trials. 

Residents of Texas have the right to access public records created or obtained by state and local governments under the Texas Public Information Act. 


Regardless of format or medium, including paper, electronic, photographic, and audio or visual recordings, all records are covered by this Act.

You can obtain a wealth of important information by accessing public documents. 

However, figuring out how to seek and receive these records might take much work. Being able to navigate this process will help you save time and effort. 


This article will give you access to helpful tools for locating public records and addressing often-asked questions.


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Texas Public Records Act

The Texas Public Information Act comprises a set of regulations that oversee public information disclosure by Texas government agencies. 


These regulations empower the public to demand access to government records while stipulating guidelines and protocols for releasing such records. 

Suppose a governmental agency chooses to retain information that has been solicited. It must provide a written explanation to the requester detailing the reasons for withholding the files within ten days of receiving the records request.

Which Records Are Accessible to the Public in Texas?

Public records are accessible for inspection and duplication under the Texas Public Information Act unless prohibited by law. 


As per the law, Texas state agencies must maintain records that provide a comprehensive account of their activities and duties, including the documents produced while serving the public.

Examples of public records include:
● Birth and death certificates
● Marriage licenses
● Court records
● Tax records
● Property records
● Criminal records
● Driving record, and so on

Moreover, TSLAC (Texas State Library and Archives Commission) preserves public records in an archive, including maps, photographs, manuscripts, vital records, and other relevant documents.


A 3D render closeup view of an open filing cabinet drawer revealing generic documents inside

Can Everyone Access Public Records in Texas?

Under the Texas Government Code, Section 552.007, individuals, regardless of their residency status, are entitled to obtain public records, except in cases where the information is confidential, or the law prohibits disclosure. 


It includes persons who need the records for personal reasons or those conducting official background checks.

Government entities and other agencies must allow access to nonexempt information or records, and record custodians must provide access under Texas Government Code, Section 552. 


Nonetheless, custodians may limit access to confidential documents, particularly when requesters lack valid claims or interests in the file.

Where can I find criminal records in Texas?

A person's interactions with the numerous police departments in the state are thoroughly documented in their criminal record. 


To see a Texas criminal record of a person of interest, go to the Crime Records Division website of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Create an account and enter your name, address, phone number, email address, and payment card details. 

Where can I find court records in Texas?

You must submit the Texas Request for Records Application to receive court documents from Texas. When requesting records, be as explicit as possible. 


The form is brief and simple to fill out. Remember to provide your name, address, phone number, and email.

Typically, the County Clerk or County Clerk's office, which keeps records, receives the request.

Visit the Secretary of State's website for the contact information of county clerks.

Where can I find driving records in Texas?

You can request a copy of your driving record via mail or online. You must include your date of birth, social security number, and license number when making requests online. 


Click HERE to request your driving history online. Finish the Driver Record Request Form and mail it to the DPS at the following address if you are making a mail request:

Texas Department of Public Safety,
P.O. Box 149008,
Austin, Texas 78714-9008

How can I get access to vital records in Texas?

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services keeps vital records. These vital records include Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Marriage Licenses, and Divorce Decrees. The process for requesting public records of vital documents in Texas will vary based on the specific files you need.

To request a vital record in Texas, you can contact the Department of State Health Services at the following address:

Texas Department of State Health Services,
Texas Vital Records,
P.O. Box 12040,
Austin, TX 78711-2040

Alternatively, you can order Texas vital records online using the Texas Department of State Health Services – Order Records website.

Where can I find property records in Texas?

The County Appraisal District in Texas maintains every property record in the state. Through the county clerk or by creating an account with a third-party website that provides access to county clerk databases, you can search property records online, offline, or by mail.

It would be best to contact the Geographic Information System (GIS) to inquire about public access to data, parcels, and land use maps.


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What is the cost of public records in Texas?

The price of public documents varies depending on the type of request. Depending on the required number of pages, record custodians may charge requesters for materials, labor, or overhead fees associated with duplicating documents, as stated in Section 552.261 of the Texas Government Code. 

In Texas, there are specific fees for viewing or inspecting public records if extensive searches are required, and the custodian charges the workers employed to prepare the papers. 


Charges may not include the cost of labor, materials, or overhead expenses if the requested document is within 50 pages and is kept in the same building or storage facility. 
Instead, the custodian will only charge per page for photocopying. 


In addition, if the charges are more than $40, the custodian must provide an itemized statement detailing the estimated costs of the record and a notice of an alternative, less expensive method of obtaining the information, if available.


A Texas public records search is an integral part of the public record laws granting citizens access to all the government documents they need. 


Third-party websites like Truepeoplesearch.com have made this process easier by providing online tools to help search for multiple public records in a state. 


If you want to perform a comprehensive public record search in Texas, the website is at your disposal 24/7. 


By entering the name and state of residence of a person of interest into the Truepeoplesearch search bar, you will gain access to all their public records, including all the records we have listed here.

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