A public records in Oregon is any document that contains information relating to the conduct of the community’s affairs. These documents include written papers, audio files, budgets, general statistics, and individual health information. The right to examine public records extends to everyone in the state. Individuals, corporations, firms, or associations can view open documents. The law on public records applies to all government agencies in the state. This law gives access to whoever may request information following the procedures or requirements needed to access such open document. Only authorized persons or bodies can view sealed records. All public bodies in Oregon have a written policy for making available records requests.
Vital Records in Oregon
Perhaps you cannot recall the date your parents got married; you can obtain the health department’s marriage records in the state. Information such as the date of your beloved grandmother’s death or you want a copy of your birth certificate; public records offices are there for you. These are important events that occur naturally in life, and the state keeps the records. Documents relating to birth, death, marriage, and divorce are vital records. The Oregon Center for Health Services is responsible for these data. The state agencies do not grant access to critical records without proper identification. A person requesting vital records will provide adequate information on the relationship with the subject. You can request essential records online through the Oregon Health Authority website.
Bear in mind that the Oregon Health Authority charges fees for vital records through its Center for Health Statistics. See below the contact information to write to or walk-in for crucial documents, including Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce (State) records:
Oregon Vital Records
P. O. Box 1405
Portland, OR 97293-0050
Oregon State Archives
800 Summer Street, NE
Salem, OR 97310
Telephone: (503) 373-0701
Fax: (503) 373-0953
Cost of Copy for birth, death, and marriage: $25.00 (additional copies of the same document requested simultaneously cost $25.00 each). Oregon’s Health Agency accepts personal checks or money orders payable to the Vital Records division.
Individuals interested in getting divorce records can do so through the County Circuit Court Clerk in the county. Typically, the county court that grants the divorce is the only place for individuals to request such records. Please note that the cost of acquiring certificates and making copies could vary from county to county.
Court Records in Oregon
The Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) provides the community with court records. Court records in the state include traffic information, marriage license information, child custody information, civil lawsuit information, felony information, divorce information, misdemeanor information, housing information, criminal information. These documents are maintained in the Oregon eCourt Information system and accessed without charge. However, requesting certified copies may attract commissions.
The court clerk’s office in each state court provides the public with procedures to access court data. Request can be made in person, online, post mail, or via email to the court or administrative office holding the record. The Oregon Judicial Branch provides information and procedure necessary to request and obtain court records, including info on charges, through its website.
You can also lookup case records online using the OJCIN (Oregon Judicial Case Information Network). The Oregon Judicial Branch also manages this online search facility.
Interested individuals may reach the Office of the State Court Administrator at:
Supreme Court Building
1163 State Street
Salem, OR 97301-2563
Oregon Relay Service: 711 TTY
Criminal Records in Oregon
Criminal records contain information gathered from different criminal justice agencies on a person. It carries the subject’s name and aliases, if any, physical description, date of birth, and arrest history. Criminal records also include records of any charges and any warrant, past or current.
The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Office, alongside the Oregon State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, provides services on criminal background checks. Anyone who seeks to run a background check may visit the CJIS office in person or send a mail. Alternatively, interested individuals can perform a search online, which could be the most convenient of the options.
You can perform a name-based criminal record search through the Open Records portal. A personal criminal record search costs $33.00 and on other persons $10.00 for each search, to be paid via money order or check. The CJIS may receive requests via electronic mail or postal mail. Suppose the requester wants it delivered via mail; in that case, the requester will enclose the application packet in a self-addressed stamped envelope. The agency will then provide the request results to the returning address on the envelope. From the date the agency receives the request, it takes fourteen (14) business days to process a criminal record. This duration is also subject to the volume of orders submitted for processing at the time.
Contact the state police for criminal records at:
Oregon State Police –
P.O. Box 4395
Portland, OR 97208-4395
Phone: (503) 378-3070
The Sex Offender Registry in Oregon
The term “Sex offenders” refers to persons who committed sex offenses like Child pornography, indecent exposure, rape. The state requires such persons to register with the State Police, and this data is made available to the community. However, not all persons convicted of a sex offense are in the registry, but those who present a higher risk of reoffending need the highest kind of notification (Level 3 Sex Offenders). The Sex Offender Registry Section of the Oregon State Police maintains the registry in Oregon. Data on sex offenders like name, address, and physical description is open to everyone so people living in the state can take the necessary safety precautions. Sex offenders living within the state can register, and individuals can access the registry on the Sex Offender Registration website.
To contact the State Police on sex-related offenses/ offenders, make your inquires at:
Oregon State Police
Sex Offender Registry Section
3565 Trelstad Ave. SE Salem, OR 97317
Business Records in Oregon
The Oregon Secretary of State Archive Division manages business records within the state. The Oregon Secretary of State (SOS) website makes it easy for persons to find the necessary information and obtain business records online. Individuals can access any of the following information: active business data list, new businesses registered, the state benefit companies. Interested persons can request copies and certificates of business registry documents and even perform a particular search request on the website. It generally provides all the necessary information you need to search the state’s business records. Interested persons can also find tax records online through the office of the Secretary of state. Visit the Corporation Division of the Secretary of State at:
Oregon Secretary of State
Public Service Building
255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 151
Salem OR 97310
Public records are generally just files and documents that the different government agencies have organized. The government offices collate these records through various platforms and make them available to the public for transparency, safety, and accountability. The online tools are practical and convenient. In cases where there appears to be some difficulty accessing certain records, contacting the Oregon Secretary Of State, State archives may help. Bear in mind that government agencies may exempt some records from public viewing.