Florida Public Records

By legal definition, according to state law, Florida public records include all documents like letters, papers, photographs, books, maps, sound recordings, data processing software, and any other similar material used in connection with official business transactions by any public agency. 

How to Find Florida Public Records

Any person can inspect or copy public records in Florida per the state's public records act as long as it’s within a reasonable time frame and under appropriate conditions. To request a public record, you may submit a request form online and be as detailed as possible with the document's details. 

You should also take note of the following fees for record duplication.

  • One-sided copy - $0.015 per page
  • Double-sided copy - $0.20 per page
  • Certified copies - $1.00 per page
  • CD-ROM - $0.85 each
  • DVD - $1.15 each

If applicable, prices may still vary due to the actual costs of material, supplies, and shipping costs. Additionally, private sources can also provide access when the records are available.

Are Florida Public Records Available Online?

Florida's public records are available online, except for state law exemptions. According to the state’s public records act, anyone can request a record online or by visiting the office of the agency body that holds the specific record. 

What Records are Not Available in Florida?

Any type of records maintained by public offices in Florida are available for public inspection and duplication. However, the agency body could redact information if the public record requested contain confidential data like the following:

  • Personal information like social security numbers and home addresses
  • Medical information
  • Juvenile records
  • Law enforcement records
  • Information of public officials

Types of Public Records Available in Florida

As an open records state, the following public records are available in Florida.

Florida Public Criminal Records

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Division of Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) maintains and provides the criminal history information of citizens in the state. 

The FDLE provides the following searches for public criminal records:

Instant Search 

This type of criminal records check provides results in minutes, and you have the option to print or mail the results. Each record check costs $24.00, plus a $1.00 fee for credit card processing. However, this type of search is not certified. 

Certified/Non-Certified Search

This type of search requires demographic information and notarized results are returned by US Mail. Non-certified searches take about five processing days while certified searches take a maximum of seven processing days. FDLE recommends waiting at least one month prior to contacting them for the request since the delivery time from US Mail is not yet included in the processing time. The same fees of a total of $25.00 apply to certified or non-certified searches.

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Florida :

Miami-Dade County Sheriff's Office9105 N.W. 25th St., Miami, FL
Broward County Sheriff's Office2601 W. Broward Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office2008 E. 8th Ave, Tampa, FL
Orange Orange County Sheriff's Office2500 W Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office10750 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL
Duval/Jacksonville County Sheriff's Office501 E. Bay St., Jacksonville, FL
Lee County Sheriff's Office14750 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Ft. Myers, FL
Polk County Sheriff's Office1891 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven, FL
Brevard County Sheriff's Office700 Park Ave., Titusville, FL
Volusia County Sheriff's Office123 W Indiana Ave 4th floor, DeLand, FL

Arrest Records and Warrants

Active warrants and arrest records are available to the public in Florida. The Florida Crime Information Center has a Public Access System (PAS) where you can search for warrant information. 

To perform the search, you need to provide the following information:

  • Last name
  • First name
  • Middle name or initial
  • Nickname
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Age
  • Captcha text

Inmate and Jail Records

Inmate and jail records are available at the Florida Department of Corrections through their online search tool. You can search using the 6-digit DC number to identify an inmate or use their first or last name in the search field. 
For a more thorough search, you may do individual searches by county depending on whether they have an available database online or through a 24-hour inmate information phone service.

Jails and Prisons in Florida :

Miami Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center3300 NW 27th Avenue, Miami, FL
Miami-Dade County Women's Detention Center1401 Northwest 7th Avenue, Miami, FL
Miami-Dade Pre-Trial Detention Center1321 Northwest 13th Street, Miami, FL
South Florida Reception Center14000 NW 41st Street, Doral, FL
Miami FCI 15801 S.W. 137TH AVENUE, MIAMI, FL
Miami FDC 33 NE 4TH STREET, MIAMI, FL
Miami RRM 401 N MIAMI AVENUE, MIAMI, FL
Miami-Dade Training & Treatment Center6950 Northwest 41st Street, Miami, FL
South Florida Reception Center, South Unit14000 NW 41st Street, Doral, FL
Dade Correctional Institution19000 S.W. 377th Street, Florida City, FL

Florida Background Checks

Aside from its instant and certified public criminal records check, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement allows employers to perform a Level II background check through the ORI check.

A Level II background check focuses on offenses that could disqualify an employee for breaking responsibility or trust for the position they are applying for. The Originating Agency Identification (ORI) number is a 9-digit unique identifier from a specific agency that can contain information on criminal offenses like negligence, sexual misconduct, murder, or even conspiracy to commit the said offenses. 

If an ORI number is unavailable, you may perform a regular background check using the FDLE’s instant search tool. 

How to Find Sex Offenders in Florida

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has a sex offender registry online that contains information on sex offenders and sexual predators living in or out of state. The search only requires at least one field completed, which can be a first name, last name, city, county, or ZIP.  You may sign up for an offender alert to get updates on the status of sex offenders that might be living near your area,

Florida Public Vital Records 

The Florida Health Bureau of Vital Statistics is the main repository of public vital records in the state. 

Below is the individual information on how to obtain each public record:

Birth certificates

Birth certificates can only be requested by the registrant as long as they are already 18 years of age. Otherwise, parents, legal guardians, or a legal representative can only request for a birth certificate since the state of Florida considers birth records less than 100 years old as confidential. 

You may order a birth certificate online, through the Bureau of Vital Statistics, or from local county health departments. 

Take note as well of the following fees when ordering a birth certificate in Florida

  • Online/VitalChek - $30.00 + UPS shipping costs
  • Bureau of Vital Statistics - $9.00 search fee + $14 per page when photocopying a document (a rush fee of $10.00 applies for walk-in services on the same day). Additional copies are available for $4.00 per page.
  • Local county health departments - fees may vary depending on the county.

Death certificates

Certificates that state the cause of death are considered confidential if the event occurred in less than 50 years. However, the deceased’s immediate kin or any representative can secure a copy provided that they can produce the necessary documentation to claim an insurance policy or provide a will. 

On the other hand, anyone of legal age from 18 years old may apply for a death certificate without the information on the cause of death.  

You may also order death certificates through the Bureau of Vital Statistics or the local county health departments. You may also order online

The following fees apply when ordering a death certificate in Florida.

  • Online/VitalChek - $28.00 + UPS shipping costs
  • Bureau of Vital Statistics - $5.00 search fee inclusive of one certified + $4 per page for additional certified copies. A rush fee of $10.00 applies for walk-in services on the same day. For an unknown year of death, an additional $2.00 fee will apply per search for every calendar year with a maximum of $50.00 fee.
  • Local county health departments - fees may vary depending on the county.

Marriage certificates

For marriage certificates, you may request them online and pay a fee of $28.00, plus shipping costs. Take note as well of the following additional fees:

  • Search fee - $5.00, plus an additional $2.00 for every calendar year for an unknown marriage year.
  • Rush fee - $10.00

You may also order through the Bureau of Vital Statistics and wait at least five (5) business days to process your request. Priority processing is available for rush orders for an additional fee of $10.00.  

Divorce certificates

For divorce certificates or divorce decrees, you may also order online or request through the Bureau of Vital Statistics. The same fees apply just like with marriage certificates. 

Florida Court Records 

Florida has a comprehensive public docket online where you can access court records using a case number:

You may also visit the County Clerk of Courts to find the court records you need specifically by county if the records are not available online.

State Court System in Florida

Florida’s state court system is composed of the Supreme Court, courts of appeal or district courts, circuit courts, and county courts. 

The Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the state, the courts of appeal are the final appellate for litigated cases, while the circuit and county courts serve as trial courts.

 

Courts in Florida :

Florida Third District Court of Appeal2001 S.W. 117th Ave., Miami, FL
Miami-Dade County FL Courthouse73 W. Flagler St., Miami, FL
Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida175 N.W. 1st Ave., Miami, FL
Broward County FL Courthouse201 S.E. 6th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL
Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida201 S.E. 6th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida425 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL
Orange County FL Courthouse425 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL
Pinellas County FL Courthouse315 Court St., Clearwater, FL
Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida315 Court St., Clearwater, FL
Fourth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida311 W. Monroe St., Jacksonville, FL

Driving Records

The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) allows you to check your own driving records online by simply entering your driver license number. To request a copy of your driving records, you need to complete a form, pay the corresponding fees for the record request you need, and mail it to the Bureau of Records. The state also has approved third-party providers to help you obtain your driving record. 

Civil Driving Infractions

Civil driving infractions in Florida are classified between these two categories:

  1. Non-moving traffic violations like improper child restraint or not wearing a seatbelt
  2. Moving traffic violations include reckless driving or speeding.

 

Traffic points are assessed on a person’s driving record depending on the infraction. Points are reduced or totally eliminated by attending a traffic school. If not, violators pay a fine or request a trial at the Judicial Circuit’s Traffic Hearing Officers

Florida License Plate Lookup

To check the availability of personalized plate configurations, you may visit the services page of the state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Florida Property and Asset Records Online 

The Florida Department of Financial Services manages all financial responsibilities of the state including its properties and assets. Property records are managed by the registry of deed offices which are also organized on a county level. 

For property information, you may submit a request using their public records portal

Florida Unclaimed Property and Assets

The Chief Financial Officer of Florida currently holds the unclaimed property and assets in the state currently valued at $2 billion. Unclaimed properties include tangible properties like jewelry, currency and historical items, money, securities, and other similar funds. 

You may search for unclaimed property online and submit a claim for free. 

Important Government Agencies in Florida

The following government agencies help you find public records in Florida.

  1. Governor’s Office
  2. Legislative Office
  3. Department of Law Enforcement
  4. Crime Information Center
  5. Department of Corrections
  6. Department of Law Enforcement 
  7. Florida Health - Bureau of Vital Statistics
  8. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
  9. Judicial Circuit’s Traffic Hearing
  10. Department of Financial Services
  11. Supreme Court
  12. Court of Appeals
    1. First District 
    2. Second District 
    3. Third District 
    4. Fourth District
    5. Fifth District

Counties in Florida