Utah government agencies create, maintain, and preserve public records. They make these documents accessible to everyone who needs them because they are regarded as being in the public domain.
The primary objective of public records is to ensure the public has access to information about how government functions and the decisions made, as well as to promote transparency and accountability in the political process. This article delves into Utah's public records and how you can quickly gain free or paid access to them.
Utah's public records law
The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) establishes the guidelines and processes for requesting and obtaining public records in Utah. GRAMA deems some records "public" and others "private," "controlled," or "protected." Public records can be obtained with or without a formal request, while private records are inaccessible.
Common examples of controlled or protected records include personal data about people, such as social security numbers and medical histories, and private business data, such as trade secrets.
Types of public records in Utah
Below are the common types of public records in Utah:
Utah birth and death records
Birth and death certificates are considered confidential records in Utah that become accessible to the public 100 years after the person's date of birth.
Before the time frame is complete, it is only available to the person listed on the certificate, their parents or legal guardians, or others with a legal right to the information. To find a birth record before it becomes publicly accessible, you should get a court order if you are not one of the above-listed.
How to obtain a birth or death certificate in Utah
Please fill out an application form and submit it to the Utah Department of Health and Human Services to order a certified copy of a birth certificate. You can do this in person, online, or by mail to Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-1012 Vital Records PO Box 141012.
Utah Marriage and divorce licenses
To obtain Utah marriage records, contact the county clerk's office where the marriage occurred. The office is responsible for maintaining marriage records kept private for the first 75 years of the wedding. It is compulsory to request a copy of the marriage record from the county clerk's office where the marriage or divorce occurred to obtain one.
Utah criminal records
The Utah Department of Corrections and the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification in the state's Public Safety Department are responsible for maintaining criminal records. You have to submit a request for a copy of the criminal record to either department to obtain one.
Criminal records in Utah show information about arrests, warrants, convictions, settlements, and sentencing. Here's the contact information to obtain criminal records from relevant Department of Public Safety units.
Bureau of Criminal Identification,
3888 West 5400 South,
Salt Lake City, Utah 84129
Fax: (801) 969-7065
Phone number: (801) 965-4445
Online requests: Utah Court's website
Utah court records
Utah's judicial branch maintains all court records in the state. These records are easily accessible through the courts' central repository online.
To access these records, search the database using the individual's case number or party name. It is also possible to run an appellate docket search to find out information about ongoing and pending court cases.
Check the local county's website for more information on local court records, or mail a completed request form to the office.
What records do individual courts in Utah maintain?
● Utah Supreme Court: Functions as the ultimate court of appeal, with the authority to review and decide on appeals from lower courts.
● Court of General Jurisdiction: Acts as the primary trial court and presides over a range of cases, including felony criminal cases, civil suits exceeding $10,000, election disputes, and juvenile matters.
● Courts of Limited Jurisdiction: Comprises district courts and handles misdemeanor criminal cases, minor civil cases, and traffic offenses.
Utah property and assets records
The Utah State Archives serves as a repository of valuable documents on property history, which may be of great interest to homeowners seeking information about the history of their properties. Public property records in Utah include deeds, mortgages, assessment rolls, and survey plans.
The state's Division of Unclaimed Property also provides access to asset records, including those associated with property abandoned intentionally or unintentionally by its rightful owner(s). This may include unclaimed savings accounts, wages, insurance benefits, jewelry, and other assets.
Utah's Treasury Department searches as overseer of the unclaimed property division and renders online services for individuals looking to conduct unclaimed property searches.
How to find property records in Utah
To obtain property records, contact or visit the county assessor's office in the district where the property is located. Make a formal request to the office stating concise descriptions and provide your contact address for feedback.
Utah background checks: An overview
If you want to find more information about a person's criminal history and relevant public records, run a background check.
In Utah, employers are allowed to make background checks before and after offering employment to a person. The Ban-the-Box decree, however, limits the information employers can obtain about an applicant's criminal history.
Moreover, the state abides by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in monitoring how employers use background check reports. It also requires employers to submit a written consent form from the applicant before they can search.
How to find sex offender public records in Utah
Utah runs a sex offenders registry that contains complete details about registered sex offenders living in the state. The state's law enforcement agencies maintain and update this database.
Some information about sex offenders in the registry includes their names, addresses, ages, race, sex, height, hair color, weight, mugshot, eye color, and other identifying characteristics.