Nevada's Public Records Act (NRS 239) is the state law governing access to public records. It also dictates government agency responsibilities regarding public records requests. The Nevada Secretary of State's office has a special information officer to handle the requests and follow up on any denials. Although the Secretary of State's office can handle many requests, in some cases, you may have to visit the government office or law enforcement agency in person to obtain records. The Nevada Secretary of State does provide very clear directions on how to submit requests. In an effort of transparency, The Nevada State Department of Administration has a website with many public records on it for you to use instead of having to submit a formal request.
Nevada government offices, law enforcement agencies, the courts, the Department of Corrections, and others create, store, maintain, and issue public records. Law professionals, individuals, private companies, and even babies create public records through their births.
"A governmental entity that has legal custody or control of a public book or record shall not deny a request made pursuant to subsection 1 to inspect or copy or receive a copy of a public book or record on the basis that the requested public book or record contains information that is confidential if the governmental entity can redact, delete, conceal or separate, including, without limitation, electronically, the confidential information from the information included in the public book or record that is not otherwise confidential."
The state of Nevada defines public records as public books and says this about them "If a public book or record is declared by law to be open to the public, such a declaration does not imply, and must not be construed to mean, that a public book or record is confidential if it is not declared by law to be open to the public and is not otherwise declared by law to be confidential."
The Nevada State Library, Archives, and Public Records is the agency in charge of all historical records for the state. They have an extensive digital collection of public records, but you can also visit in person to review their entire volume. Along with old vital records, they also have historical documents, government publications, military records, books, maps, photographs, and other materials available to use in research or just browsing.
Both the Nevada Secretary of State's office and the State of Nevada Department of Administration both provide detailed instructions on how to obtain public records. Many public records are stored online for easy access. However, you can also follow the steps below to submit a request:
In some cases, you will have to visit the government office in person to request records. Each agency has its own procedure and may charge different fees.
Nevada's Department of Public Safety Records, Communication, and Compliance Division is the agency to contact for copies of criminal records for the state. They provide full criminal history background reports to individuals who are the subject of the report. Each report costs $27. You can also check court records, local police, or even the Department of Corrections to find criminal records for offenders who went to prison.
Some common types of criminal records in Nevada include (but are not limited to):
The Nevada Judiciary is the government agency in charge of Court records in Nevada. They have a helpful website that includes a case search tool so you can find court cases and documents easily. They also have resources to find attorneys and download forms for filing. You can also visit a specific courthouse in person to request copies of public records. You may have to wait while they locate them, and there are usually fees involved.
Some types of court records in Nevada include:
The Nevada court system consists of four levels starting with the Supreme Court, then the Court of Appeals, then District Court, and Justice and Municipal Court.
Nevada arrest records are created by law enforcement agents and stored at local precincts, courthouses, and also the Department of Corrections. You can request copies through any of those sources for convicted offenders. If you want recent arrest records, your best bet is to call the local Sheriff's office and ask them for copies.
Some different types of arrests records in Nevada are:
The State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) is the centralized government agency in charge of vital records and statistics for the state. They offer copies of birth and death certificates. They do charge a fee, and they use the VitalChek online system for ordering. If you need copies of marriage or divorce certificates, they are handled at the local county level, so you must contact that county office to request them.
Along with criminal, court, arrest, vital records, some other types of public records you can find in the state of Nevada include, but are not limited to:
According to Nevada public records law, not all government documents are public records. Per NRS (239), the following items are kept confidential: