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Arizona Law: Public Records

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ARIZONA LAWS GOVERNING PUBLIC RECORDS

According to Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) 41-151.18: ..."records" means all books, papers, maps, photographs or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, including prints or copies of such items produced or reproduced on film or electronic media pursuant to section 41-151.16, made or received by any governmental agency in pursuance of law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by the agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the government, or because of the informational and historical value of data contained in the record, and includes records that are made confidential by statute. Library or museum material made or acquired solely for reference or exhibition purposes, extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference and stocks of publications or documents intended for sale or distribution to interested persons are not included within the definition of records as used in this article.

Generally:
Arizona Revised Statutes Title 39
Arizona Revised Statutes Title 41, Chapter 8

Examples of other laws that may apply: 
Arizona Administrative Code - Vital records

Remember: These laws apply only to Arizona public records; if you are dealing with federal public records or another state's public records, other laws will apply.

OBTAINING PUBLIC RECORDS

Online
Some records are available for free online. Some agencies provide free online searching, but the actual records must be requested. Some only offer online access to permissible users. Others provide an online form to request records.

In person
Some agencies, such as the Clerk of the Court's office or the Recorder's office, may provide access to their public records at terminals. This may be the most effective way to search for records if there is no online access. The agency will most likely charge printing and copying costs.

Mail, fax and/or telephone
Upon request, most agencies will provide records by mail, fax or telephone. Access may be limited if you do not have enough information identifying the record(s) you are looking for. The agency will most likely charge printing and copying costs. To help expedite the process, look for a records request form online to print and mail to the appropriate agency.

FREQUENTLY REQUESTED RECORDS AVAILABLE ONLINE

 

City records Phoenix City Clerk
Corporations Arizona Corporation Commission
Court records Arizona Judicial Branch Case Lookup
County records Maricopa County Public Records Request
Genealogy Arizona Department of Health Services
Licensing information

Medical licenses: Arizona Medical Board 
Business licenses: Department of Revenue 
Contractor licenses: Registrar of Contractors 

Liens Vehicle liens: Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division 
Uniform Commercial Code liens: Office of the Secretary of State 
Property liens: Liens may be filed with the Arizona County Recorder's Office in the county where the property is located. Liens may also be filed with the Arizona Superior Court in the county in which the lien was filed.
Lobbyists Arizona Secretary of State
Police records Police records reside in the city or town where the offense occurred.