Minnesota Public Records
Anyone can request public records from the state of Minnesota according to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA). The act applies to all government entities at the state and local levels, including law enforcement agencies.
A statement of purpose is not required to request public records, but it may help specify the type of records you are looking for. It is also a good idea to include your contact information if the agency needs to contact you.
How to Find Minnesota Public Records
To find public records, you can contact the state agency that maintains the records you are interested in. The agency may have an online search system, or you may need to submit a written request either by mail or through the agency's website.
If you are unsure which state agency to contact, you can refer to the Minnesota State Government Departments and Agencies page on the state's website.
The Minnesota Historical Society Library also has a wide variety of public records, including birth, death, marriage certificates, and census data.
Are Minnesota Public Records Available Online?
Most government agencies in Minnesota offer some online access to public records. However, the amount and type of information available may vary depending on the agency.
The Minnesota Judicial Branch offers an online searchable court records database, including criminal and civil cases. Some local counties also have online portals where you can search for public records such as property tax and court documents.
Third-party websites such as InfoTracer are also an excellent resource for finding Minnesota public records. These websites often have access to a wide range of records, including arrest records, court records, and vital records.
What Records are Available in Minnesota?
The type of public records available in Minnesota will depend on the agency you request them from. However, some of the most common types of public records include:
- Arrest Records
- Court Records
- Criminal Records
- Death Records
- Marriage Records
- Property Tax Records
- Vital Records
- Driver Records
- Archives and Historical Records
What Records are Non-Public in Minnesota?
While most public records in Minnesota are available to the general public, there are some exceptions. The MGDPA states that certain types of data are classified as private, non-public, or confidential, which means they cannot be released without the individual's consent.
Some examples of non-public data include:
- Social security numbers
- Driver's license numbers
- Bank account numbers
- Medical records
- Personnel records
- Student records
- Certain financial records
- Trade secrets
The MGDPA also allows individuals to request that their data be classified as non-public, preventing it from being released without their consent.
Types of Public Records Available in Minnesota
The following are some examples of public records available in Minnesota:
Minnesota Public Criminal Records
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension under the Minnesota Department of Public Safety maintains the central repository for all criminal history data in Minnesota. This includes convictions and arrests that law enforcement agencies across the state have reported.
The Minnesota Public Criminal History Search is a free service offered by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension that allows users to search for criminal records by name and birthdate. The search results will include information on the individual's offenses and convictions. However, arrest data is not included in this search.
Individuals may also request their criminal history data from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. A notarized General Informed Consent Form must be submitted along with the appropriate fees. The fees vary depending on the type of data requested, but they are generally around $8-$15.
Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Minnesota :
Arrest Records and Warrants
You can visit the sheriff's office in the county where the arrest occurred or contact the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Court records also provide information on warrants issued by the court. A warrant is an order from the court that gives law enforcement the authority to arrest an individual.
Inmate and Jail Records
The Minnesota Department of Corrections maintains an online database of all inmates currently in custody. The Offender Locator Search allows users to search for offenders by name or MNDOC ID Number.
You can find the following information in an inmate's record:
- Name and aliases
- MNDOC ID number
- Height and weight
- Custody level
- Sentence information
- Supervision status
Jails and Prisons in Minnesota :
Minnesota Background Checks
Minnesota has Ban-The-Box laws prohibiting any employer from asking an applicant about their criminal history on the initial job application. Employers can still run background checks, but they must wait until after the initial interview.
The state also adheres to federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which requires employers to get written consent from the applicant before running a background check.
You can run background checks through the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension or a private background check company.
How to find Sex Offenders in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Corrections maintains an online database of all registered sex offenders in the state. The Public Registrant Search, a free service, allows users to search for sex offenders by name, city, county, or zip code.
The search results will include the offender's name, address, photo, and offense information. The database also alerts users if a Level 3 offender, considered the most dangerous, moves into their area.
Minnesota Public Vital Records
The Office of Vital Records under the Minnesota Department of Health is responsible for maintaining and issuing all vital records in Minnesota. This includes birth, death, marriage, and divorce records.
You can either order through mail or in person.
For mail, you will need to complete the appropriate application form and send it along with the fees to:
Office of Vital Records
Minnesota Department of Health
P.O. Box 64499
St. Paul, MN 55164-0499
You can also order records in person by visiting the Office of Vital Records near you.
Minnesota Court Records
As mentioned above, Minnesota court records are public records. This means that anyone can request and access these records.
The Minnesota Judicial Branch has the Minnesota Trial Court Public Access (MPA), where the public has online access to case information for certain court case types. Meanwhile, Minnesota Court Records Online (MCRO) has a trial court database that the public can access for the district (trial) court records and documents.
You can also access court records by visiting the court clerk's office or contacting the court directly. Depending on the type of court, the documents may be available online, in person, or through the mail.
State Court System in Minnesota
The Minnesota state court system is divided into three levels:
- The Supreme Court
- Court of Appeals
- District Courts
The Supreme Court is the highest in the state and is responsible for reviewing appeals from the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals, meanwhile, reviews appeals from the district courts. There are ten districts in Minnesota, each with its court.
District courts are general jurisdiction courts where most criminal and civil cases are heard. These courts also handle small claims cases, probate matters, traffic violations, and other cases.
Courts in Minnesota :
Individuals may access their driving records from the Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. You can order your record by mail by providing the following information:
You can send this to :
Driver and Vehicle Services – Central Office
Town Square Building
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 190
Saint Paul, MN 55101-5190
You can also order your driving record in person by visiting the nearest DVS office.
To get someone else's driving record, you must complete a Driver Record Request Form along with a Grant Access to Record Authorization Form (PS2506) and submit it to the DVS with the appropriate fees. The form must be notarized and signed by the individual whose record is being requested.
Civil Driving Infractions
In Minnesota, traffic violations are called civil driving infractions. These include speeding, running a red light, and other minor offenses.
You will only need to pay the fine for most civil driving infractions. Fines can be paid online, in person, or through the mail.
If you wish to contest the citation, you can do so by requesting a hearing within 30 days of receiving the citation.
Minnesota License Plate Lookup
A lookup of license plates in Minnesota can be tricky as the state does not have a public database for license plates.
However, you can request records from the Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. They will be able to provide you with the information IF you have a legitimate reason for requesting it.
You can also use third-party websites that may access Minnesota license plate records. These websites usually charge a fee for their services.
Minnesota Property and Asset Records Online
The Minnesota Commerce Department is in charge of unclaimed properties located in the state. If you are looking for unclaimed property, you can search the database on their website. Unclaimed properties include money, stocks, jewelry, and other valuables turned over to the state.
Property records are found at the county level in Minnesota. To find property records, you will need to know the county where the property is located and the property's address or parcel I.D. number. You can access these records either in person or online.
Each county has its website where you can find information on how to request records. Counties like Hennepin and Ramsey have their property records available online.
Important Government Agencies in Minnesota
Several government agencies in Minnesota might be of use to you. These include:
- Minnesota Secretary Of State
- State Governor
- Minnesota Historical Society Library
- Minnesota Legislature
- The Office of Attorney General
- The Office of Vital Records
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
- Minnesota Department of Public Safety
- Minnesota Judicial Branch
- Minnesota Commerce Department
- Minnesota Department of Corrections
Counties in Minnesota
- Big Stone
- Blue Earth
- Crow Wing
- Lac Qui Parle
- Lake Of The Woods
- Le Sueur
- Mille Lacs
- Otter Tail
- Red Lake
- Saint Louis
- Yellow Medicine
List of Content
- How to Find Minnesota Public Records
- What Records are Available in Minnesota?
- Types of Public Records Available in Minnesota
- Minnesota Public Criminal Records
- Arrest Records and Warrants
- Inmate and Jail Records
- Minnesota Background Checks
- How to find Sex Offenders in Minnesota
- Minnesota Public Vital Records
- Minnesota Court Records
- Driving Records
- Civil Driving Infractions
- Minnesota License Plate Lookup
- Minnesota Property and Asset Records Online
- Important Government Agencies in Minnesota