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Oklahoma Public Records

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The following is for informational purposes only

What are Oklahoma Public Records, and How are They Created?

Oklahoma Public Records

Oklahoma's open records law (Title 51 O.S. Sections 24A.1 - 24A.30) states that "All records of public bodies and public officials are open to any person for inspection, copying, or mechanical reproduction during regular business hours. The Open Records Act does not apply to records specifically required by law to be kept confidential. The public bodies will provide prompt, reasonable access to its records but may establish reasonable procedures to protect the integrity of its records and to prevent excessive disruption to its essential functions." Each and every government agency has its own procedure for supplying records, and they are allowed to charge a small fee for copies.

Government agencies (called public bodies) create, store, maintain and share public records. For example, the vital records office preserves all birth, death, marriage, and divorce records for the state. Law enforcement agencies create RAP sheets when someone is arrested, and later if the person is moved to prison, those become prison/jail records. The courts, legal professionals, and even individuals also create public records in Oklahoma.

"Public body" shall include, but not be limited to, any office, department, board, bureau, commission, agency, trusteeship, authority, council, committee, trust, or any entity created by a trust, county, city, village, town, township, district, school district, fair board, court, executive office, advisory group, task force, study group, or any subdivision thereof, supported in whole or in part by public funds or entrusted with the expenditure of public funds or administering or operating public property, and all committees, or subcommittees thereof. Except for the records required by Section 24A.4 of this title, "public body" does not mean judges, justices, the Council on Judicial Complaints, the Legislature, or legislators."

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries is the government agency tasked with preserving historical archives and public records. Along with vital records, their collections include:

  • Historical Records.
  • Images of Oklahoma.
  • Archives Month.
  • Teaching Resources and Online Exhibits.
  • Official papers of the Governor's office.
  • House and Senate bills, joint resolutions, and concurrent resolutions.
  • Supreme Court case files.
  • Territorial survey records and public land survey filings.

How to Access Oklahoma Public Records?

How to Access Oklahoma Public Records

There is no centralized office for making public records requests. You must contact each agency directly. However, the open records law requires each agency to designate a public-records official to handle all public records requests. Each agency can legally charge you a fee for copies of records. Some government bodies have sample letters you can use to request records. You can make a request in person, through the mail, by email, or by phone.


Different Types of Public Records in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Criminal Records

The Oklahoma State Courts Network has a website where you can easily search for criminal case files. The search criteria includes name, date of birth (range), type of court, type of case, and date the incident occurred. You can also search the Oklahoma Department of Corrections offender locator website to search for criminal records. Since law enforcement agencies create criminal records starting with a RAP sheet, you can also request some records through local police departments.

Some common types of criminal records in Oklahoma include (but are not limited to):

  • Felony and Misdemeanor Records - some common misdemeanors in Oklahoma are assault, breaking and entering, domestic violence, DUIs, shoplifting, and juvenile offenses. Some popular felonies include homicide, sexual assault, rape, aggravated assault, and burglary.
  • Jail and Inmate Records - both jails and prisons keep inmate records, and those too are public records. The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections has an online search tool you can use to locate criminals and their records.
  • Police Records - local police can provide copies of incident reports, police reports, sometimes mugshots, and even crime scene photos upon request.

Oklahoma Court Records

Different Types of Public Records in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Courts Network has a web portal where you can search for Court records in Oklahoma. The form on their website has many search criteria to choose from, and you can search by the court, area, party, and case number. You can also choose to visit a specific courthouse in person and request copies of court records. You may have to fill out a form and pay the fees, however.  

Some types of court records in Oklahoma include:

  • Civil Court Records - domestic relations cases such as divorces, marriages, paternity lawsuits, custody and child support cases, estates, conservatorships, wills, civil lawsuits, and small claims lawsuits.
  • Criminal Court Records - criminal filings for misdemeanors, felonies, and other citations. These may include things like trial paperwork, sentencing, prison transfers, and evidence related to the court case.
  • Financial Court Records - bankruptcies, liens, tax issues, company stock filings, and corporate financial reports.
  • Other Court Records - such as bench warrants, arrest warrants, judgments, traffic tickets, and other traffic violations, worker's compensation cases, and name changes.

The court system in Oklahoma consists of five levels beginning with the Supreme Court, then the Court of Criminal Appeals and Court of Civil Appeals, then the District Court, followed by the Court of Tax Review, Municipal Court Not of Record, and the Municipal Criminal Court of Record.

Oklahoma Arrest Records

Oklahoma arrest records begin at the local police level with a RAP sheet. Then they progress to the courts and eventually to the Department of Corrections if the person goes to prison. You can search online for arrest records through the Oklahoma State Courts Network or the DOC for convicted offenders.

Some different types of arrests records in Oklahoma are:

  • Drug charges.
  • Murder.
  • Shoplifting.
  • Simple assault.
  • Prostitution.
  • Domestic abuse.
  • Petty theft.
  • DUIs.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Booking details like fingerprints and mugshots.
  • Arrest warrants granted by a judge.
  • Bench warrants for not appearing in court.
  • Crime scene photos.
  • Witness statements.
  • Property crimes and accompanying paperwork.
  • Vehicle records if one was used during the crime.

Oklahoma Vital Records

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is the government agency that handles all vital records for the state. They have every birth, death, and fetal death certificate going back to 1908. You can easily request copies of certificates in person, through the mail, or online using one of two online portals (VitalChek, and Oklahoma). You can also order by phone using VitalChek. To obtain marriage certificates, contact your local town office. The Department of Health also handles health statistics for the state, adoption information, and corrections to vital records.


Other Public Records in Oklahoma

Other Public Records in Oklahoma

Along with criminal, court, arrest, and vital records, other types of public records you can find in the state of Oklahoma include, but are not limited to:

  • Government budgets and annual reports.
  • Driving records (without personally identifiable information).
  • Home addresses.
  • Maps, books, and tapes.
  • State health and wellness statistics.
  • Air and water quality (pollution reports).
  • OK property records, real estate deals, and land deeds.
  • Home phone numbers.
  • Police and accident reports.
  • Liens & tax issues.
  • Company incorporation records.
  • Demographics.
  • Library Research.
  • Personnel records for state agencies.
  • Permits, licenses, and certifications.
  • Government employee salaries.

What Information is Not Public Record in Oklahoma?

Not all public records in Oklahoma are open. According to their open records law, the following things will remain confidential:

  • "Computer software,
  • b. nongovernment personal effects,
  • c. unless public disclosure is required by other laws or regulations, vehicle movement records of the Oklahoma Transportation Authority obtained in connection with the Authority's electronic toll collection system,
  • d. personal financial information, credit reports or other financial data obtained by or submitted to a public body for the purpose of evaluating creditworthiness, obtaining a license, permit, or for the purpose of becoming qualified to contract with a public body,
  • e. any digital audio/video recordings of the toll collection and safeguarding activities of the Oklahoma Transportation Authority,
  • f. any personal information provided by a guest at any facility owned or operated by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department or the Board of Trustees of the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center and Nature Park to obtain any service at the facility or by a purchaser of a product sold by or through the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department or the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center and Nature Park,
  • g. a Department of Defense Form 214 (DD Form 214) filed with a county clerk, including any DD Form 214 filed before July 1, 2002, or
  • h. except as provided for in Section 2-110 of Title 47 of the Oklahoma Statutes,
  • (1) any record in connection with a Motor Vehicle Report issued by the Department of Public Safety, as prescribed in Section 6-117 of Title 47 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or
  • (2) personal information within driver records, as defined by the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, 18 United States Code, Sections 2721 through 2725, which are stored and maintained by the Department of Public Safety."