What record are you seeking?
The NC Department of Administration is not the custodian of vital records, court records or private property records.
- For Birth or Death Certificates - contact NCDHHS Vital Records
- For Marriage or Divorce Records - contact NCDHHS Vital Records
- For Court Records (criminal or civil cases, police reports or traffic citations) - contact NC Judicial Branch Services or contact the Clerk of Court in the county where the citation was issued.
- For Real Estate Records or Deeds - check the Register of Deeds office where the property is located
- For Background Checks - the NC State Bureau of Investigation offers the public and authorized agencies criminal background checks.
The North Carolina Department of Administration is committed to transparency and will furnish all requested public records as promptly as possible. Make your request as exact as possible (including names, dates, and specific search terms) to help us expedite fulfilling your request. Please allow additional time to review/redact very large requests. Excessively large requests may be provided in batches as they are completed.
Under North Carolina public records law General Statute 132 and various other statutes, certain personal or confidential information is not public, and must be redacted or protected. We are not required to create a record that does not exist, nor compile a record or records in any format that does not already exist.
For information on records management, visit the State Archives of North Carolina.
For questions & records request updates:
According to North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 132, public records are defined as, “all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions.”
These items are considered to be the property of the people, and copies shall be provided for free or at minimal cost.
Examples of items that are not considered public record include:
- Social security numbers and other personal identifying information.
- Sensitive public security information
- Emergency response plans
- Law enforcement agency recordings
- 911 databases
- Criminal investigations
- Intelligence information records
- Trial preparation materials
- Attorney-client privileged communications
- State tax information
- Public enterprise billing information
- Innocence Inquiry Commission records
- Alarm registration information
For full details regarding items not considered public record, see NCGS Chapter 132.
Public records requests may be submitted in person, by mail, by phone or through electronic means. The preferred method for receiving public records requests is through the department’s online public request form, which allows NCDOA to better track requests and respond in a timely manner.
NC Department of Administration
1301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1301
By law, state agencies are required to respond to public records requests “as promptly as possible.” Response times may vary based on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the request, the volume of records requested, the amount of time needed to redact confidential information and the resources required to fulfill the request.
If staff find a request to be ambiguous, overly broad, or very time-intensive, a staff member may contact the requestor and attempt to clarify, narrow, or revise the request. A narrowly-tailored request limits the expenditure of department resources, and therefore allows the agency to respond to requests in a shorter timeframe.
To assist our staff in providing a timely response to your request, we recommend the following when crafting your request:
Be specific – Carefully consider what records you would like to request. Are there specific documents you are interested in? What divisions or staff members are included in your request? The more detail you can provide, the easier it is for our staff to locate any responsive public records.
Provide dates – A date range can further help staff narrow the request to a particular timeframe, allowing for more efficient collection of records.
In many cases, simple public records requests often can be fulfilled within a matter of days. Complex requests, especially those that require collecting and reviewing large quantities of emails or redacting confidential information, may take weeks or months to complete.