How Arizona Records are Collected and Stored
Arizona Vital Records
The Office of Vital Records has been conferred with the responsibility of maintaining all vital state records which are created, administered, and maintained by the state of Arizona. These are inclusive of documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates. Permanent central registry compiles and stores them. Their purpose is to serve the statistical analysis of its population.
Accessing Arizona Public Records
Title 39 of the Arizona Revised Statutes can be referred to gain further insight into accessing public records. Public Record Requests have to be made directly to the agency where the records reside. The Arizona Ombudsman Citizen’s Aide can be consulted for questions or concerns regarding public record requests.
Types of Public Records
- Personal Records
- Court Records
- Business Records
Now, that we are familiar with the basics, let us get into the nitty-gritty of the rules and regulations regarding accessing such records.
Arizona Personal Records
They are covered by the statute and are under restricted access. Birth certificates are closed or inaccessible for a term of 75 years, whereas death certificates are closed for 50 years. Some records such as those of adoption, probate records involving juveniles, those of school students, and Arizona State Hospital records of patients are closed or inaccessible.
- i) Birth records: The birth of a child is documented by a vital record called the birth certificate. The state of Arizona segregates the birth records into two categories based on the sources in which the records were collected or gathered – 1909-1988 and 1988-present. In July 1909, a state-wide registration of birth records in Arizona genealogy began. It reached fruition by the year 1926. The county clerks then began sending copies of Birth certificates to Arizona Department of Health Services. These are available at both the home county offices and the State Department of Health Offices. For the period ranging from 1855-1939, the birth records are searchable at Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates. The birth records from 1988-present are found at the home County Health Department.
- ii) Death records: The state of Arizona does not divide death records into categories. All existing death records can be collected from the home County Health Department dating back to the earliest from 1844 to at least 50 years ago.
iii) Marriage/Divorce records: A government official issues a marriage/divorce record only after civil registration of the marriage/divorce. There hasn’t been a state-wide recording of marriage/divorce in the state of Arizona. After 1864’s territorial law requiring county recorders to keep marriage/divorce records, the clerks of probate courts issued marriage licenses from 1891-1912. The Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the marriage/divorce occurred keeps a record of the same. They are not available from the Office of Vital Records.
- iv) Adoptions: Though adoption records are sealed in Arizona for 99 years a Confidential Intermediary may prove to be helpful. For further information, visit the Confidential Intermediary Program site.
- v) Background checks: Contacting your local police department should help.
- vi) Drivers licenses and Vehicle registration: Arizona Department of Transportation and Motor Vehicle Record Request Form for car title information.
vii) Genealogy resources: Refer to Arizona State Archives
viii) Naturalizations granted by municipal, county or state courts (prior to 1906): Refer to Arizona State Archives
- ix) Naturalizations granted by Federal courts (after 1906): National Archives and Records Administration can be referred to.
The State Archives can be referred to for County Superior Court records that are 50 years and older. Except for some involving adoptions or juveniles, most court records are open to the public.
Arizona Business Records
Though the state archives do not boast of an extensive collection of business records, it does have some Arizona Corporation Commission records and some from the Arizona Secretary of State's Office that include business filings.
- i) Business licenses: Refer to Department of Revenue
- ii) Contractor Licenses: Arizona Registrar of Contractors
iii) Incorporation records: Refer to Arizona Corporation Commission
To sum up, the piece was penned to shed light on the status of state records in Arizona. The different types of state records and their current status and accessibility were enunciated in a digestible format.