Georgia is a state rich in history and information, and its public records offer a wealth of data that the general public can access. Whether you’re seeking criminal records, vital records, or other information, Georgia’s commitment to open access ensures that residents and non-residents can quickly obtain the necessary records.

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Georgia Public Records

Georgia’s State Records Accessible to the Public

Georgia, under its Open Records Act (OCA), ensures that all public records are accessible to its residents. Therefore, Georgia residents have the privilege to view, scrutinize, and duplicate public records without being obligated to justify their requests. Interestingly, non-residents of the state also have the same access rights, as residency is not a prerequisite.
Typically, Georgia state records become accessible within three business days of requesting them. There may be a nominal fee associated with the request, which typically covers reproduction charges.
Nevertheless, there are specific exemptions to the types of records that can be accessed, despite the provisions of the act. These exclusions encompass sensitive information such as social security numbers (SSN), confidential documents, medical records, government employees’ details, juvenile records (criminal records of minors), and trade secrets, among others.
For those seeking record checks, third-party search sites are available for a fee. These sites provide accurate and up-to-date results and offer greater convenience compared to accessing official government sites. They are known for their speed and user-friendliness, making them an excellent starting point for record searches.

What Information is Included in Georgia Criminal Records?

Access to criminal records in Georgia is crucial for various reasons, including community safety and assessing trustworthy individuals, especially for landlords considering renting to prospective tenants.

Georgia criminal records typically contain, but are not limited to, the following information:

  • Subject’s biographical data, such as name, date of birth (DOB), social security number (SSN), gender, and more.
  • Details about the arrest, including the date of the arrest.
  • Information about the prosecutor involved in the case.
  • Data about the prison term served and the release date.
  • Judicial disposition information and other relevant details.

Are Criminal Charges Public Records in Georgia?

In Georgia, criminal records are considered public records by the state’s Open Records Act and align with the principles of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This means that anyone can access criminal records without the need to provide a specific reason for their request.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Some criminal records may be sealed or expunged. As per O.C.G.A. §35-3-37, certain criminal records are not accessible to the general public. This includes dismissed cases, cases not presented to a jury, and records with “time-expired restrictions.” These records are typically only available to law enforcement agencies and judicial officials. Juvenile records are often sealed and not available for public review.

How to Conduct a Criminal History Check in Georgia

Conducting a criminal history check on an individual is essential for community safety and employment purposes. Requesters seeking criminal history reports can access information on arrest records, court records, and background checks as follows:

Individuals interested in performing a criminal history check or accessing arrest records in Georgia can initiate a search through local sheriff’s offices and police departments. Criminal history records can also be obtained from courts of law. Individuals may request a personal criminal history check for themselves or someone else with their consent, as facilitated by O.C.G.A. § 35-3-34.4.
For example, the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Chamblee, and Hall County provide web resources for individuals seeking to conduct criminal history checks and offer information on associated costs. Requesters typically need to provide valid identification, such as a driver’s license, photo ID, or SSN card.
Qualified agencies and employers may contact the Georgia Criminal Information Center (GCIC) to obtain a criminal history report. Appointments may be necessary when visiting the center in person, and requests can also be submitted by mail to the following address:

Georgia Crime Information Center CCH/Identification P.O. Box 370808 Decatur, Georgia 30037
Appointments can be scheduled by calling (404) 244-2639.

How to Find Recent Arrests in Georgia?

It’s essential to note the distinction between a criminal record and an arrest record in Georgia. An arrest record is created when an individual is taken into custody during an ongoing investigation, but it does not constitute a criminal record. A criminal record is established when someone is convicted of a crime in a court of law.
To find out if someone has been arrested or is in jail in Georgia, it’s advisable to contact the local police department or sheriff’s office. It’s essential to determine the jurisdiction where the arrestee may be located and then reach out to the appropriate agency. Some law enforcement agencies, like Clayton County and Hall County, may provide online tools for tracking recent arrests. If no online resources are available, contacting the agency by phone or visiting in person may be necessary to obtain the desired records.

Arrests in Georgia

How to Find Mugshots in Georgia Online?

In the state of Georgia, criminal and arrest records often include mugshots or photographs of individuals at the time of their arrest. These images are typically part of the record creation process. However, due to concerns about rogue websites exploiting these photographs for commercial gain and malicious purposes, the Georgia State Legislature enacted the Georgia Mugshots Law in 2013 and 2014.
Under this law (Georgia Code §35-1-19), law enforcement agencies are prohibited from publishing mugshots on arrest records without the explicit permission of the person depicted in the mugshot. As a result, many mugshots may be displayed as an ‘image unavailable due to the law.’

Juvenile Records in Georgia: Are They Public?

Juvenile records in Georgia pertain to minor criminal offenses committed by individuals under the age of 16 who are involved in juvenile court proceedings. Unlike many other states, Georgia’s Open Records Act (ORA) often allows the public to access juvenile criminal records from the Department of Juvenile Justice, except where specific exemptions apply.
In 1995, Georgia introduced legislation that made court proceedings from juvenile courts open to the public. Records related to juvenile cases involving felony charges or child support hearings are always accessible to the public.
The Georgia juvenile points system comprises 10 decision points, developed in consultation with the U.S. Department of Justice. The juvenile justice system in Georgia aims to be rehabilitative, providing minors with an opportunity to correct their behavior and prevent future offenses. The points system includes:

  • At-Risk Population: Minors aged 0-16, categorized by ethnicity.
  • Arrests: Referrals to law enforcement or juvenile courts.
  • Referrals to Juvenile Court: Referral charges to juvenile courts, which may involve multiple charges.
  • Cases Diverted: The number of cases diverted from standard procedures.
  • Secure Detentions: Total new admissions to a Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC).
  • Petitions: Cases petitioned to juvenile court, with outcomes other than dismissal or diversion.
  • Delinquent: Findings of delinquency in court, involving misdemeanor or felony charges.
  • Commitments to DJJ: The number of cases resulting in a commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
  • Secure Confinement: Total youth placed in RYDC.
  • Cases Sentenced in Adult Court: Total superior court sentences with court dates.

How to Check for Warrants in Georgia (Free Georgia Warrant Search)?

A warrant is a legal document granting law enforcement the authority to arrest an individual or search their property. To determine if there’s an active warrant for their arrest, individuals should contact their local police department or sheriff’s office with jurisdiction. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation offers a list of Law Enforcement Links to agencies across the state that may assist in warrant searches.
Many law enforcement agencies have specialized warrant divisions that can provide this information. To conduct a successful search, individuals will need to provide their full name and date of birth to these agencies. They can make inquiries by phone or in person. It’s important to note that if an active warrant exists, the person inquiring may be taken into custody.
For example, Dalton County maintains an updated warrant list. Additionally, individuals may contact the court clerk with jurisdiction over the area where the warrant was issued for further information.

How to Find Sex Offenders in Your Georgia Area?

According to O.C.G.A. § 42-1-12 of the Georgia Legislature, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) serves as the primary repository for Georgia’s Sex Offender Registry data. Sex offender records are considered public information in the state of Georgia.
To access information about sex offenders, individuals can visit the GBI and use their sex offender locator tool to find registered sex offenders in their community. Once they have this information, they can contact the sheriff’s office department in the county where the offender is registered to obtain additional details, such as the offender’s employer’s address, vehicle registration, and school addresses (if applicable). An example of a Sex Offender Search tool is provided by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.

Area in Georgia

Georgia Background Checks: Searching Criminal Records and More

In Georgia, background checks encompass a variety of types, tailored to the needs of the requester and the specific purpose. These background checks can be broadly categorized into five distinct areas:

  • Criminal History Check: This comprehensive check includes a person’s prior arrests, convictions, sentencing information, dispositions, and charges.
  • Education Background Checks: These checks are vital for verifying the educational qualifications and degrees of individuals, ensuring that only qualified candidates are considered for employment.
  • Employment Background Checks: This type of investigation focuses on verifying a person’s work history to confirm the authenticity of their job experiences, ensuring they are suitable for the position at hand.
  • Driving Record Checks: This check evaluates a person’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records, which include information about accidents, moving violations, and any felonies related to traffic laws.
  • Credit Checks: Investigating an individual’s credit history, which provides insights into financial aspects like bankruptcies and foreclosures, is crucial for certain applications.

Georgia background checks serve a vital role in safeguarding the community, workplaces, and educational institutions. They also play a key role in ensuring that property owners make informed decisions when renting, contributing to the safety of neighborhoods.
Numerous facilities are mandated to conduct background checks on their employees. These facilities encompass nursing homes, hospices, assisted living centers, personal care homes, child-care facilities, and more.

For individuals, whether owners, employees, administrators, directors, or others, seeking to initiate a background check, the process begins by accessing the Georgia Criminal Background Check System (GCHEXS). Users will need to request a username and password from the system, after which they can enter specific details such as the type of facility for the check and their user type. This facilitates a seamless and efficient process for conducting background checks.

Georgia Background Checks

Georgia businesses that require fingerprint-based background checks for job applicants should utilize the online Georgia Applicant Processing Service (GAPS). Employers must possess a GAPS account number for this purpose. Citizens can also make use of GAPS for conducting fingerprint-based background checks by selecting the ‘Applicants Registration’ tab. Additional information about fees, processing times, and related details can be found on the website.
Background checks in Georgia encompass a 7-year retrospective period, meaning that arrests not leading to convictions will not be reported within this timeframe. This practice aligns with the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

What Appears on Georgia Court Records Searches? (Discover Free Divorce Records in Georgia)

Georgia court records are considered public records under the state’s Open Records Act, making them available for public inspection, examination, and reproduction. Some records are not accessible to the public, such as court-sealed records by court order and certain juvenile court records.

Typically, court records in Georgia include:

  • Docket information
  • Court rulings and orders
  • Evidence presented by either party during a trial
  • Legal pleadings and motions
  • Remarks made by judges in court cases, and more.

How Can I Access Court Documents and Records in Georgia? (Obtain Free Marriage Records in Georgia)

Individuals seeking court documents in Georgia can do so through various means: in-person, by phone, by mail, or online.

In-Person: To locate court documents and records in Georgia, individuals should visit the court with jurisdiction over the case. They can request a form from the court clerk, who will assist in completing the inquiry. An online court directory is available to help individuals identify the appropriate court for their request.
For records and documents from the Supreme Court of Georgia’s case management system, contact (404) 656-3470 with the case number and/or party names for electronic transmission.
For records and documents from the Court of Appeals of Georgia, individuals can visit the court in person. Before visiting, it’s advisable to call and confirm the availability of the requested records. The court charges $1.5 per page. The court of appeals clerk’s office is located at:

330 Capitol Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30334


Many counties offer a case search feature on their websites. For instance, Gwinnett Courts provide a Case Search feature on their website. Requesters should navigate to the relevant court with jurisdiction over the case and use the case number or parties’ full names as search criteria.
The Georgia Judicial Gateway provides e-Access, allowing users to select the court with jurisdiction over the court record and perform a search.

Records in Georgia

How to Obtain Bankruptcy Records in Georgia?

Bankruptcy proceedings in Georgia involve the legal termination of debt, following the guidelines outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. To access these records in the state of Georgia, you have several options:

Using PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records)

  • PACER provides a convenient way to retrieve and view bankruptcy records.
  • Register on the PACER website and access bankruptcy case records for $0.1 per page.

Contacting the Office of the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court
You can also obtain bankruptcy records by reaching out to the office of the clerk of the bankruptcy court that handled the specific case.

  • The Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (McVCIS) offers an alternative method for accessing records.
  • Simply dial the toll-free number (866) 222-8029 for assistance.

Older Bankruptcy Cases (Pre-2001)
If you are looking for bankruptcy cases dating back to before 2001, you can retrieve them from the National Archives.
These methods provide individuals with access to the bankruptcy records they need in Georgia.

Georgia Bankruptcy Records

Overview of Georgia Inmate Records Access

In Georgia, inmate records are accessible to the public, allowing residents to freely obtain and duplicate them, thanks to the state’s Open Records Act. These records typically encompass the following information:

  • Release date
  • Parole details if applicable
  • Location and date of incarceration
  • Sentencing particulars
  • Personal information including name, date of birth, gender, and more.

Access to inmate records holds immense importance for individuals seeking to locate family members, friends, or loved ones within Georgia’s prisons and jails. Additionally, these records play a critical role in tracking missing persons and eliminating suspicions of fatalities in various cases.
Georgia’s Department of Corrections (DOC) reports the presence of 183 jails across the state’s counties. As of 2019, the inmate population in these jails amounted to 45,340, with an additional 54,113 inmates housed in 34 correctional facilities operated by the DOC. Furthermore, there were 411,768 individuals on probation and 19,256 on parole at that time.

How to Access Jail Inmate Information in Georgia?

Local police departments and sheriff’s departments typically manage jails in Georgia, where inmates serve short sentences for misdemeanors or await trial. Therefore, individuals seeking information on jail inmates should initiate contact with these law enforcement agencies. The following steps should be taken:

  • Determine the jurisdiction where the inmate is located.
  • Get in touch with the respective law enforcement department.
  • Many agencies offer online search tools or maintain inmate rosters on their websites. For instance, Fulton County provides an Inmate Search tool for locating inmates.

Jail Inmate’s Information in Georgia

In situations where retrieval of this information is not possible, requesters have the option to contact law enforcement agencies by phone or schedule an in-person visit.

How to Find Georgia Prison Inmates?

Information Georgia State Prisons Georgia houses 34 state prisons across the state, all under the management of the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDOC). The GDOC maintains a comprehensive repository of inmate records for the state’s prison population. You can access these records through the agency’s “Find an Offender” tool on their website.
Additionally, the GDOC advises requesters to validate the information they find on the website by sending written correspondence to:

Inmate Records and Information

  • P.O. Box 1529
  • Forsyth, GA 31029

Georgia Federal Prisons

The state of Georgia is home to five federal prisons and two federal prison camps, overseen by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The BOP keeps a database of inmates who have been incarcerated or released after 1982 in federal prisons across the country. To locate federal prison inmates, you can use the BOP’s free “Federal Prison Inmate Locator” tool on their website. Simply search by the inmate’s username or inmate number.

Georgia Federal Prison

How to Determine the Release Date of a Georgia Inmate?

Discovering the expected release date of a Georgia inmate is a matter of significant concern, involving not only the inmate but also their family, friends, and, importantly, the victim if applicable. Some jurisdictions mandate that victims be informed of upcoming release dates or parole hearings, a measure aimed at safeguarding the rights of these victims.

State Prison Release Date

The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles typically assesses an inmate’s conduct in prison and their participation in rehabilitation programs. Based on this evaluation, the board establishes a release date through parole.
To find an inmate’s release date, individuals can utilize the board’s Inmate TPM Lookup tool.
Alternatively, you can inquire about this information by calling (404) 656-4661 or emailing [email protected]. In-person visits can also be made to the following address:

2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive SE Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower Atlanta, GA, 30334

Federal Prison Release Date
The BOP tool mentioned earlier provides the release date of an inmate based on the queried record dataset.

County Jail Release Date

To ascertain the release date of an inmate in county jail, interested parties can visit the county clerk’s office, local police departments, or the sheriff’s office. This information may also be accessible through their respective websites, phone inquiries, or in-person visits.

Visiting and Sending Money to Georgia Inmates

Visiting an Inmate For family and friends, visiting an inmate in Georgia serves as crucial psychological support for both the incarcerated individual and their loved ones. It also contributes to the inmate’s rehabilitation process.
Those seeking to visit an inmate must obtain approval from the facility where the inmate is housed. Typically, there is a pre-approved list of visitors, and visitations occur on weekends and holidays. It’s important to note that inmates often have a say in determining who can be on their approved visitor list.
Visitors should provide the inmate’s name, Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC ID), and their relationship to the inmate. Additionally, visitors must adhere strictly to visitation rules, including dress code requirements.

Sending Money While the basic needs of prisoners are covered by the GDOC, inmates may desire additional items such as snacks to boost morale. Family members and friends can send money to inmates for this purpose.

To send money to an inmate, the sender must be on the approved visitor list. This can be done online through the GDC website using two methods:

  • Sending a money order voucher.
  • Sending money online via JPay, for which requesters can set up a JPay account by entering their GDC ID and the inmate’s name.

Detailed information on fees and the Send Money link can be found here.

Accessing Georgia Vital Records Information

Vital Records encompass records of significant life events maintained by government authorities. In Georgia, these records include:

  • Birth records
  • Death Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce records
  • Fetal death records, and more.

There are two types of copies of vital records: certified and uncertified. Certified copies are official and typically bear a government seal, making them suitable for identification purposes. Uncertified copies, on the other hand, lack a government seal and cannot be used for identification.
The Georgia Department of Public Health Vital Records Office is the primary repository for vital records in the state, with all counties also issuing birth and death certificates. Records dating back to 1919 or earlier can be retrieved from the Georgia Archives or by contacting the county where the event occurred.

Access to Vital Records in Georgia

Georgia’s vital records are considered public records, and by the state’s Open Records Act, both residents and non-residents have the right to access and review vital records. However, there are exceptions for certain records and specific individuals who can access them:

  • Marriage Records: While marriage records are public, the data on marriage applications can only be accessed by the individuals named on the certificate. The marriage license itself, however, is accessible to the general public.
  • Divorce Records: Divorce records are public, and there are no restrictions on who can access them. Furthermore, the US Census Bureau publicly releases marriage and divorce rates for each Georgia county.

This comprehensive guide provides essential information on finding inmate release dates, visiting inmates in Georgia, sending money to inmates, and accessing vital records in the state.

Vital Records in the State of Georgia

Birth Records: Access to birth records is limited to specific individuals, including the registrant (the person named on the certificate), parents, grandparents, siblings, and offspring of the record holder. Only adults falling within these categories and legal representatives are allowed access.

Death Records: Similar to birth certificates, access to death certificates is restricted to immediate family members and legal representatives of the deceased individual. However, death records can be made available to the public with the Social Security Number (SSN) redacted.

How to Request Georgia Vital Records?

Georgia’s vital records can be obtained through both offline and online methods. Typically, you can request them from the county where the vital event took place or from the vital records office, and sometimes from both.

Online Requests

You can conveniently request vital records online through three methods described below:

  • Rover: Rover is the official government channel for requests, and orders made through this channel are directly transmitted to the vital records office. There’s an additional $8 processing fee on top of the outlined fees. Orders are shipped from the records office and usually take 4-6 weeks to arrive. Expedited shipping is available for an additional $10, reducing processing time to 5 business days and shipping within an additional 2-3 days. International shipping is also an option.
  • VitalCheck: VitalChek is a third-party vendor that accepts major credit cards for birth and death certificate requests. Orders are typically shipped within 8-10 weeks.
  • Gocertificates: Gocertificates is another third-party vendor where the public can obtain vital records and certificates using major credit cards. Only birth and death certificates are available through this method, and orders are shipped within 8-10 weeks.

Offline Requests

To request vital records in Georgia offline, individuals usually need to fill out a Georgia vital records form, enclose any applicable fees, and provide a copy of a valid ID. This can be done in person or by mailing the request to:

State Office of Vital Records 1680 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30349
The office’s lobby hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. A list of county vital records offices and their locations can be found here: Find a Vital Records Office.

Costs of Obtaining Certificates

  • Marriage Certificate: $10 for the first copy, and additional copies are $5 each.
  • Divorce Certificate: The Georgia Department of Public Health Office of Vital Records does not have custody of divorce records. Requesters need to contact the county where the divorce was granted for information on fees.
  • Birth Certificate: Certified birth certificates can be obtained from the local county office where the birth occurred or from the Georgia Department of Public Health Vital Records Office. The cost for a birth certificate is $25, with additional copies priced at $5 each.
  • Death Certificate: The cost for a death certificate is $25, and extra copies are available at $5 each.

Costs of Obtaining Certificates Georgia

Gaining access to public records in Georgia can prove to be quite a formidable undertaking, given the substantial volume of data and the various repositories one must navigate to procure the necessary information. Our platform offers a convenient solution, enabling requesters to swiftly and precisely retrieve the data they seek.


How can I access Georgia public records for free?

You can access Georgia public records for free through various government websites and agencies. One of the primary resources is the Georgia Open Records Act, which mandates that many government records be made available to the public. To start, you can visit the official Georgia state website and navigate to the relevant department or agency that holds the records you’re interested in.

Are all Georgia state records available for free?

While many Georgia state records are available for free, some may have associated fees for copying or processing. However, under the Georgia Open Records Act, government agencies are required to provide access to public records as economically as possible, and they may offer certain records online at no cost.

How can I request public records in Georgia?

To request public records in Georgia, you typically need to contact the specific government agency or department that maintains the records you’re interested in. They may have online request forms or contact information on their websites. Be prepared to provide details about the records you’re seeking and comply with any necessary procedures outlined by the agency.

Are there any restrictions on accessing Georgia public records?

While Georgia has open records laws, there are some exemptions for records that contain sensitive or confidential information. Examples include certain law enforcement records, medical records, and certain financial data. It’s important to understand these exemptions when requesting access to public records.

Can I access Georgia court records for free?

Georgia court records are generally public records, but access can vary depending on the specific court and the type of records you’re seeking. Some court records may be available for free online, while others may require a fee or an in-person visit to the courthouse. Check with the relevant court or consult the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts for guidance on accessing court records.