Ohio Public Records

The state of Ohio has a public records law that mandates government agencies and departments must disclose public records when those records are requested. Common public records that people request in the state of Ohio include criminal records, vital records and court records. It is important to understand where these records can be obtained in Ohio, and what records are considered public property within the state. Public records documents that can be requested include files, letters, reports, photographs, audio recordings, video recordings and electronic data and transactions related to public business.

Criminal Records

People who are interested in background checks in Ohio as well as criminal records documents in this state should begin their search at the Ohio Department of Public Safety Office of Criminal Justice Services. This government agency helps citizens connect with the right department in order to get the public information they need related to crimes, criminal activity and criminal history.

When searching for criminal records about a person who lives in Ohio, the person requesting the information must contact the Sheriff's Office for the county where the person lives. There are 88 different Sheriff's Offices in Ohio, so it is important to know where the person resides. While some offices will provide background check information for free for the person requesting the information, there is sometimes a minimal fee associated with this search. Typically, it costs about $3 per background check.

People who would like to search for criminal records and perform a background check online can do so through the Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, which is a part of the Ohio Attorney General's Office. An online check is more convenient for many people in Ohio, but it also costs additional money. Most background checks completed through the Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation cost between $20 and $25.

Vital Records

In Ohio, people can obtain birth and death certificates in a variety of ways. The Ohio Department of Health offers several options for people who want to obtain these records. People have the choice of visiting a Vital Statistics Office in person in order to acquire the documents in a short amount of time. There also is a walk-in service where people can immediately claim their records. People who are interested in this option can visit the Columbus Vital Statistics Office and pay a fee of $21.50 with cash, check, money order or credit card. Orders for birth and death certificates also can be placed through the mail or online.

Court Records

Court records are considered public records in the state of Ohio. People who are interested in court records must contact the Clerk of the Court Office. People who visit the Clerk of the Court Office website are able to obtain these records easily through an online search. Interested parties can search by case number, attorney name or judge name, to name a few search options. People also can access the Ohio Sex Offender List through this website.