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Are Connecticut Records Public?

Under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), information or records kept by public agencies in the state are considered public, except where exempted by law. The FOIA ensures transparency and accountability by the government to anyone interested in accessing records maintained by state and local government agencies.

The FOIA applies to the branches of government at all levels, namely:

The FOIA also prescribes instances where records will be exempt from public access. These exemptions include private information in public documents, records related to ongoing law enforcement investigations, personnel records, trade secrets, and other specified categories.

Who Can Access Connecticut Public Records?

Anyone can request and access public records in Connecticut. By Connecticut General Statutes Section 1-210, every person has the right to inspect, copy, and receive a copy of records maintained or kept by any public agency. The law does not specify the timeframe for custodian agencies to respond to record requests. It states that agencies are to “promptly” provide requesters with access to records. Promptness is determined by: 

  • How busy the agency is at the time of the request,
  • How time-consuming it will be to comply with the request and
  • The urgency of the need for the records.

There may be costs for obtaining copies of public records. Governmental agencies can charge search, copy, electronic, and other relevant fees necessary.

Note: Although Connecticut public records are presumed to be accessible to everyone, certain records or information are exempted from public access by federal or State law or regulation.

Do I Need to State My Purpose and Use When Requesting Public Records in Connecticut?

You do not need to state the purpose and use when requesting records in Connecticut. The FOIA allows individuals to request records without stating the purpose of the request. However, you should ensure that you provide sufficient information to assist the government agency with the search for the record.

What Records are Public in Connecticut?

Public records in Connecticut include a wide range of records and documents maintained by courts, law enforcement agencies, vital records departments, and other divisions. Some public records include court records, criminal records, arrest records, property records, bankruptcy records, birth records, and divorce records. 

Connecticut Public Court Records

In Connecticut, court records typically include documents and information related to legal proceedings, such as case filings, judgments, orders, and transcripts. The Connecticut Judicial Branch is responsible for maintaining court records for the state. Public court records in Connecticut include information about criminal and civil cases, such as case numbers, parties involved, case status, filings, and judgment.

Individuals can request Connecticut court records by emailing or calling the Centralized Services Unit at 860-263-2750. Requests must include the name of the case and docket number. Requested records are usually available within one or two business days. The Connecticut Judicial Branch also provides an online case lookup portal to access the Supreme and Appellate Court, Superior Court, and Centralized Small Claims Court records.

Note: Certain records are not accessible to the public. They include sealed or confidential records, erased records, juvenile records, and certain family court matters.

Connecticut Public Criminal Records

In Connecticut, criminal records include information about an individual’s criminal-related activities and law enforcement actions. This includes arrests, charges, convictions, and other legal proceedings involving criminal offenses. The Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification is tasked with maintaining public criminal records at the state level.

Public criminal records in Connecticut may contain information like the search subject’s name, date of birth, mugshots, fingerprints, arrest details, charges filed, court appearances, judgment, and sentencing.

To obtain criminal records in Connecticut, complete the Criminal History Record Request Form and mail your request with a government-issued ID and the applicable fees to:

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

State Police Bureau of Identification

1111 Country Club Road

Middletown, CT 06457

(860) 685-8480

Note: There are certain restrictions and redaction policies in place regarding some criminal records. For instance, juvenile records and sealed records are restricted from public access. Also, the personal identifying information of victims or witnesses is usually redacted.

Connecticut Public Arrest Records

In Connecticut, public arrest records are generally available to the public. Anyone can request arrest records in the state by providing specific details about the search subject, such as their name and date of birth. Arrest records can be obtained by contacting the local police station or sheriff’s office where the arrest was made and making a formal request.

There are certain instances where arrest records or some parts of it may not be accessible to the public. For example, arrest records containing information regarding ongoing investigations are not available for public viewing until the investigation and matter are concluded.

Connecticut Public Bankruptcy Records

Bankruptcy records in Connecticut contain information regarding the legal proceedings of individuals or entities filing for bankruptcy under federal bankruptcy laws. They contain details such as the debtor's name, address, contact information, bankruptcy chapter filed, list of assets and liabilities, creditors’ claims, court filings, and case disposition. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut oversees bankruptcy records within the state. There are three courthouses:

United States Bankruptcy Court - Bridgeport

Brien McMahon Federal Building

915 Lafayette Boulevard

Bridgeport, CT  06604


United States Bankruptcy Court - Hartford

Abraham Ribicoff Federal Building

450 Main Street, 7th Floor

Hartford, CT  06103


United States Bankruptcy Court - New Haven

Connecticut Financial Center

157 Church Street, 18th Floor

New Haven, CT  06510

You can access bankruptcy records in Connecticut by visiting the courthouse and making a request at the clerk’s office or using the public terminals available at the clerk’s office. Online access is also available through PACER, a public access court electronic records tool that grants access to federal court records.

Connecticut Public Birth Records

Public birth records in Connecticut include information such as the individual’s name, date and place of birth, parents’ names, and other relevant information. Birth records in Connecticut are confidential and not open to the general public, except for those at least 100 years old. Birth records of less than 100 years old are accessible to eligible parties only.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is responsible for maintaining birth records in the state. You can obtain certified copies of the birth certificate from any town vital records office or the State Vital Records Office in Connecticut. Fill out the State application or Town application form. Mail your request with a valid ID and fees ($30 for the State application and $20 for the Town application) to the applicable Town Vital Records Office or the State Vital Records office at:

Connecticut Department of Public Health

State Vital Records Office

410 Capitol Avenue, 1st Floor

Hartford, CT 06106

Connecticut Public Death Records

Public death records in Connecticut include information such as the deceased’s name, date and place of death, cause of death, and other relevant details. Certified death records are available to persons over 18 years old. However, the decedent’s social security number is available only to their spouse or next of kin.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health maintains death records in the state. You can obtain copies of death records in Connecticut by completing the State application or Town application form. Forward the completed form, with a valid ID and evidence of payment of the application fee, via mail to the appropriate Town Vital Records Office or the State Vital Records office at:

Connecticut Department of Public Health

State Vital Records Office

410 Capitol Avenue, 1st Floor

Hartford, CT 06106

Connecticut Public Marriage Records 

Public marriage records in Connecticut include essential details about marriage, such as the names of the couple, the date and location of the marriage ceremony, and the names of witnesses. Marriage records are accessible to persons over 18 years old. However, the information available to a requester excludes the social security number of the couple, except the request is made by any of them.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health keeps marriage records in Connecticut. To obtain Connecticut marriage records, fill out the State application or Town application form. Mail the completed form with a valid ID and evidence of payment of the application fee to the applicable Town Vital Records Office or the State Vital Records office at:

Connecticut Department of Public Health

State Vital Records Office

410 Capitol Avenue, 1st Floor

Hartford, CT 06106

Connecticut Public Divorce Records

Public divorce records in Connecticut contain relevant information about the dissolution of a marriage, including the parties' names, the date, and place of the divorce decree, details about child custody arrangements, division of assets, and any relevant court orders or settlements. Divorce records in Connecticut are kept by the Connecticut Superior Court, where the divorce or dissolution was granted.

To obtain divorce records, visit the court where the divorce or dissolution was finalized. You may be required to provide details about the divorce, such as the names of the parties and the date of the divorce decree. You will also be required to pay the requisite search and copy fees.

Note: Certain divorce records or some parts of them may be precluded from public viewing. This includes sensitive information and confidential information.

Connecticut Public Inmate Records

Public inmate records in Connecticut are generally accessible to the public. However, the FOIA provides for instances where the public cannot access inmate information. This includes juveniles and information about the inmate's health. Connecticut inmate records include information about the inmate’s name, booking details, mugshots, sex, current location, sentence, release date, and any disciplinary actions or incidents during incarceration. The Connecticut Department of Correction keeps custody of inmate records in the state. You can access inmate information in state facilities through the inmate search portal. The portal allows you to search all inmates or for specific inmates using their CT DOC Inmate Number, name, or date of birth. If the inmate is in a municipal facility, contact the local police or sheriff’s office of that municipality to obtain information about the inmate.

A person’s current incarceration in a state facility does not mean they have been convicted of a crime, as Connecticut’s correctional system also holds persons awaiting trial. 

The contact information of the Connecticut Department of Correction is below:

Connecticut Department of Correction

24 Wolcott Hill Road

Wethersfield, CT 06109

(860) 692-7780

Connecticut Public Sex Offender Information

In Connecticut, sex offender information is available to the public to help communities stay informed and aware of individuals convicted of sex crimes residing in their area. The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) maintains an online searchable Sex Offender Registry for the state. The registry provides access to information about registered sex offenders, including their names, addresses, photographs, and details about their offenses.

The Sex Offender Registry is created to promote public safety and for responsible use and dissemination of this information. It is important to use the information judiciously and avoid engaging in vigilantism or harassment against offenders. Any person who uses information from the registry to injure, harass, or commit a crime against any person included in the registry shall be subject to criminal prosecution.

Connecticut Public Property Records

Property records in Connecticut contain information about real estate ownership, transactions, and assessments of real property in the state. The information may include property ownership, legal descriptions, sales history, assessed values, property taxes, zoning regulations, and building permits. Property records are usually in the custody of the Town Clerk’s Office in the judicial district where the land is located. To obtain property records, you have to visit the Clerk’s Office, mail a formal request, or use the online database provided by the Town Clerk’s Office. You may need to provide information about the property and property owner.

Although property records are generally public, there are certain restrictions that may arise with accessing property records. For example, sensitive information like the Social Security numbers of property owners may be redacted. Also, certain property records, such as those related to ongoing legal disputes or sensitive financial transactions, may be restricted from public access to preserve confidentiality or prevent interference with legal proceedings.

What is Exempted Under the Connecticut Public Records Act?

Exemptions under the FOIA refer to categories of records or information that are not available to public viewing. These exemptions protect certain sensitive or confidential information from disclosure while balancing the public’s right to access government records.

Examples of records and documents exempt from public access in Connecticut are:

  • Preliminary drafts or notes that the public interest in withholding such documents outweighs the public interest in disclosure;
  • Personnel or medical files and similar files that the disclosure would constitute an invasion of privacy;
  • Records of law enforcement agencies relating to ongoing investigations that the disclosure of such records would lead to the disclosure of: (a) the identity of informants or witnesses that would endanger their safety; (b) the identity of minor witnesses; (c) information that is prejudicial to a prospective law enforcement action; (d) investigatory techniques not know to the public; (e) juvenile records; (f) information of the victim of a sexual assault or injury; or (g) uncorroborated allegations.
  • Records pertaining to strategy and negotiations regarding pending claims or pending litigation to which the public agency is a party until the claim or litigation is concluded;
  • Trade secrets and commercial or financial information given in confidence;
  • Records, tax returns, reports and statements exempted by federal law or the general statutes or communications privileged;
  • Adoption records and information;

How Do I Find Public Records in Connecticut?

Finding public records in Connecticut depends on the record type you seek. There is no uniform way of obtaining public records in Connecticut. Generally, to obtain public records from a public agency in Connecticut, you must request such records from the custodian agency. The agency may mandate that you make a written request to that effect, providing particular information to assist with retrieving the record. You may be charged fees for obtaining copies of the record, certifying the record or providing electronic forms of the record.

Can I Find Free Public Records in Connecticut Using Third-Party Sites?

There are third-party sites that offer access to Connecticut public records. However, these third-party sites are not verified or backed by the government. Hence, you should exercise caution when accessing them. Accessing public records through these websites has its risks and benefits. The risks include disclosing personal information and receiving erroneous or incomplete information due to restricted access to records. The benefits are convenience, access to additional services like data analysis, and access to aggregated information.

Make sure you verify the information provided by third-party websites for accuracy by cross-referencing it with legitimate government sources. Also, use only reliable websites and pay attention to their terms and conditions and privacy policies.

How Much Do Public Records Cost in Connecticut?

The fees and costs of obtaining public records in Connecticut vary based on the record type and the custodian agency. Generally, the law allows these agencies to charge fees for providing copies of public records. Municipal agencies usually charge 50 cents per page, while state agencies charge 25 cents per page. There may be other fees for certified copies of the public records or for transcriptions, printouts, or records on electronic media.

There are exemptions and waivers for public record fees in Connecticut. They include incarcerated persons and requests by journalists or news media organizations. Public agencies may also waive or reduce fees if the requester is unable to pay.

What Happens If I Am Refused a Public Records Request?

If your public records request is refused in Connecticut, it may be any of the following reasons:

  • The requested records fall under one of the exemptions outlined in the FOIA.
  • Your request was vague, overly broad, or lacked specific details necessary for the government agency to locate the requested records.
  • Fulfilling the request may cause an undue burden on the custodian agency, such as requiring extensive resources or disrupting regular operations.

If your public records request is denied, you can challenge the decision through the appeals process:

  • Internal Review: You can contact the government agency that denied your request, asking them to conduct an internal review of the denial and reconsider their decision.
  • The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC): If the agency upholds the denial or fails to respond, you can file an appeal with the FOIC within 30 days of the denial. The FOIC is an independent state agency responsible for handling issues related to public records access. The appeal can be through a letter providing the relevant information relating to the denial of access. The letter can be mailed, faxed, or emailed to:

Freedom of Information Commission

18-20 Trinity Street

Hartford, CT 06106


Fax: (860) 566-6474

The FOIC hears and decides appeals within one year after the filing of the appeal. It may confirm the action of the public agency or order the agency to provide relief that appropriately rectifies the denial of access.

  • File an appeal with the Superior Court: If the FOIC denies the appeal, you can appeal to the Connecticut Superior Court. You must serve a copy of the appeal to the FOIC and the relevant public agency within 45 days of receiving the FOIC’s final decision and file the appeal with the Superior Court.
Connecticut Public Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!