The Mississippi State Records' mission is to provide every person the right to obtain, preview, detect, and examine public records, thus ensuring residents of the state of Mississippi are provided access in accordance with the Mississippi Public Records Act, which grants any person the right to inspect, copy and reproduce public records.
The purpose of the request is meant to be immaterial. The identity of the person requesting records may affect access to those records when the person requesting is the subject of those records. These provisions may be found within law-signed clauses that exempt certain materials from disclosure.
Mississippi State Records contains information concerning the following subjects: criminal records, court records, and vital records, as well as over 25 million public records.
Yes. Most Mississippi records produced or maintained by the government are open and available to the general public. The Mississippi Public Record Act makes public records created or maintained by government agencies. Although these records are public, they are not available for anyone on the internet to download or in one central office to copy. Individuals interested in public records will have to conduct a public data search to locate the desired record. Afterward, individuals can send a public records act request to the public body maintaining the said record. The state Public Records Act permits anyone to conduct a free public data search regardless of their residential status.
Mississippi public records include:
Note, a public record shall not include personal information about government officials.
To obtain public records in Mississippi, interested parties must contact the appropriate state department responsible for keeping such records. Public agencies are required by the Mississippi Public Records Act to provide access to public records upon request. Different agencies handle different documents. Therefore, the requirements may differ from one to another. The following are some of the steps required to obtain a public record in Mississippi:
Know the Type of Information or Record
The first step in obtaining a public record in Mississippi is to determine the kind of record. For example, is the document a vital record or a bankruptcy record? Interested individuals who wish to obtain public records must provide relevant information that will aid in the record search. More often than not, a public body may decline a record request due to a lack of clarity in the description. A requestor may be required to provide information such as the requestor’s full name, names of parties involved, case type, case number, date range of the record, and more.
Contact the Public Body in Charge
After determining the kind of document, interested individuals should contact the public body in charge of the record. Requestors must contact the appropriate record custodian due to the different public bodies in possession of various documents. For instance, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (MDPS) maintains a sex offender registry, while the Mississippi State Department of Vital Records & Statistics handles record requests concerning vital records.
Create a Written Request
Interested individuals can obtain copies of Mississippi public records from different public bodies by filling out request forms. Nevertheless, certain public bodies may require that requestors submit their records requests in writing. A record custodian can easily track the progress of requests and prevent confusion by using written requests. A written request must include some of the following information:
Review and Submit the Request
Before submitting a record request to the record custodian, interested persons can review the information they entered. Interested persons may use any of the public body's contact information to submit a record request. Most times, a public body accepts record requests in person, via fax, mail, or online. A public body's contact information is commonly found on its contact us page.
Public city records may also be accessible from third-party websites. These non-government platforms come with intuitive tools that allow for expansive searches. Record seekers may either opt to use these tools to search for a specific record or multiple records. However, users will need to provide enough information to assist with the search such as:
Third-party sites are not sponsored by government agencies. Because of this, record availability and results may vary.
Public records can also be accessed from third-party websites. These third-party public records aggregate websites offer search services that are non-geographically limited, making the search result expansive and typically straightforward. However, users will need to provide enough information to assist with the search, such as:
Third-party public records search websites are not government-sponsored services. Therefore, the availability and accuracy of results can vary.
In Mississippi, interested persons can conduct a free public records search. Obtaining Mississippi public records for free depends on the record type and the public body responsible for such records. Interested persons who wish only to inspect a public record must contact the record custodian. Public bodies usually allow visitors to walk in and inspect their records during business hours.
Individuals can find public records for free in Mississippi by searching for electronic versions of available records. Most times, public bodies maintain an online database that grants interested persons access to their records. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety (MDPS), for example, maintains an online sex offender registry within its jurisdiction. Residents can search and access information about sex offenders in any area. Interested persons can access sex offender information by filling out the first name, last name, street, county, city, zip, and other relevant information.
Also, individuals can visit the county clerk or recorder offices for public records relevant to a specific county. This can be done in person, via telephone or mail.
Mississippi public records have been created since 1820 and contain information from 82 counties, thereby ensuring Mississippi abides by the commitment of the United States of America to remain a fair and just society for all. Now that record keeping is moving to the digital medium - a process that started in the late 80s - these records are increasingly available online as well, further strengthening this commitment.