Alaska Public Records

Public records include criminal records, driving records, vital records, inmate records, and more. They are a database of information that has been filed or recorded or by local, state, and federal government agencies. These agencies are responsible for the fees, retrieval, delivery, availability, and more.

Public records are available online, via mail, or in person. While there are laws in place that require government agencies to allow access to public records, there are exceptions, and retrieving records can take time and cost money.

Which federal laws apply to public records in the United States?

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) into law in 1966, and it went into effect one year later, in 1967.

The FOIA allows the public the right to access public records maintained by agencies within the federal government. Federal agencies must produce requested documents to the public unless the information requested is exempted by law.

How does Alaska law define public records?

Like the FOIA, the Alaska Public Records Act (Alaska Statue 44.25.110) requires that local and state agencies make public records available for the public to inspect in the form in which the agency keeps or distributes the records. The Alaska Public Records Act defines any exceptions to the law and notes that there will be reasonable fees associated with obtaining records.

Alaska public records include, but are not limited to:

  • Business records
  • Court records
  • Criminal records
  • Driving records
  • Government contracts
  • Historical records
  • Licensing records
  • Vital records
  • Voting records

Exceptions

According to Sec. 40.25.120 of the Alaska Open Records Act, every individual is allowed to inspect the state’s public records, except for the following (for complete details, refer to the specific code listed with the exceptions):

  • Vital statistics and adoptions (AS 18.50)
  • Juvenile records
  • Medical and related public health records
  • Records required to be kept confidential by state law or federal regulation, or law
  • Federal assistance confidentiality requirements and regulations as set forth by 20 U.S.C. 1232g
  • Law enforcement information or records that could interfere with enforcement proceedings, investigations, or prosecutions, impede a person’s right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, invade a victim, witness, defendant, or suspect’s personal privacy, release a confidential source’s identity, or cause danger to an individual.
  • Any names, addresses, or other information disclosing that an individual is an Alaska Higher Education Savings Trust participant under AS 14.40.802 or advanced college tuition savings program participant as described by AS 14.40.803 -14.40.817
  • Public records that could lead to or potentially lead to the theft of an individual’s electronic signature
  • Certain accident, collision, or casualty reports involving boats as described under AS 05.25.030
  • Information or records having to do with procedures, a program, or a plan regarding the state’s security.
  • Trade secrets, proprietary, or privileged records under AS 43.90.150 or 43.90.220(e)
  • Applications received under AS 43.90 until notice is published under AS 43.90.160;
  • Alaska Gasline Development Corporation information as outlined under AS 31.25.010 or an Alaska Gasline Development Corporation subsidiary that is confidential under a valid confidentiality agreement or by law
  • North Slope natural gas project details as described in AS 38.05.020(b)(11) and AS 38.05.020(b)(12)
  • Alaska Medical Assistance False Claim and Reporting Act proceedings as detailed in AS 09.58
  • Names, addresses, and other information naming an individual as an Alaska savings program under AS 06.65
  • Artists’ submissions requested by the Alaska State Council on the Arts under AS 44.27.060;
  • Records that are investigative files under AS 45.55.910 or confidential under AS 45.56.620

Where can I get Alaska public records?

The Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the agency that oversees public record access for the state. State regulations stipulate that all individuals, estates, trusts, firms, private corporations, political subdivisions, government agencies, or any other entities have the right to request information from the appropriate government agency.

According to the law, the state agency must disclose the records to the requestor promptly, unless:

  • the records fall under Alaska or federal statutes or regulations,
  • the records are covered by exemption, privilege, or principle recognized by the courts
  • the records are under a lawful agency protective order
  • the records infringe upon the rights of any other individual or entity
  • the records impair any agency functions

The requestor is required to pay a fee for records, audio, and photos. If the requestor asks for more than one record, different regional offices may complete the request separately.

To access public records in Alaska, you must submit the following information via an online Research Request with the Department of Safety:

General information including:

  • Name
  • Company
  • Phone
  • Fax
  • Email
  • Mailing Address

Whether you are requesting as an Individual/Private Person, Law Enforcement Agency, Insurance Agency, State Agency, Law Office, Media / Television, Business, School, City Borough, Student, University, or Federal Government Agency

The section or detachment your request should go to when submitting a request. Select from one of the below:

  • Commissioner’s Office: records from the APSC (Alaska Police Standards Council) or CDVSA (Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault) recruitment or personnel records or files, or statistical data
  • Fire Life Safety: Fire-related incidents, inspections, and plan review information
  • Alaska State Troopers: For information regarding service calls not having to do with wildlife incidents:
    • A Detachment: Dillingham, Dutch Harbor, Haines, Hoonah, Juneau, Ketchikan, King Salmon, Kodiak, Petersburg, Prince of Wales, Sitka, Wrangell
    • B Detachment: Big Lake, the Butte, Copper Center, Hatchers Pass, Glennallen, Houston, Palmer, Talkeetna, Wasilla, Willow, Valdez.
    • C Detachment: Bethel, Aniak, St Mary’s, Unalakleet, Dillingham, Illiamna, Emmonak, King Salmon, Kotzebue, Kodiak, McGrath, Nome, Selawik, and outlying villages located in the western part of the state.
    • D Detachment: Fairbanks (outlying areas), North Pole, Parks Hwy: Anderson, Cantwell, Healy, Nenana, Tri-Valley area, Hurricane Gulch Villages: Ft Yukon (AST assists Ft. Yukon PD), Galena, Minto, Rampart, Richardson, Ruby, Tanacross. Richardson Hwy: 12-mile village, outside Eielson AFB, Coldfoot, Delta Jct., Northway, Salcha, Tok
    • E Detachment: Anchor Point, Clam Gulch, Crown Point, Kasilof, Happy Valley, Homer, Kachemak Selo, Kenai, Cooper Landing, Nanwalek, Nikiski, Nikolaevsk, Ninilchik, Port Graham, Razdolna, Seward, Soldotna, Sterling, Voznesenka, Whiskey Gulch
  • Alaska Bureau of Investigation (ABI): Bureau of Highway Patrol (BHP), Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU), Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory information, Major Crimes
  • Anchorage Judicial Services: Court documents of incidents in Anchorage or taking place in Anchorage courts
  • Alaska Wildlife Troopers: For incidents involving fish and game or wildlife:
    • Northern Detachment: Mat-Su: Anchorage, Glenallen, Palmer, Talkeetna, Wasilla; Kenai: Anchor Point, Cordova, Seward, Soldotna, Valdez; Fairbanks: Aniak, Cantwell, Bethel, Delta Junction, Coldfoot, Fairbanks, Kotzebue, Tok, McGrath, Galena, Nome.
    • Southern Detachment: Dutch Harbor, Haines, Dillingham, Hoonah, Juneau, King Salmon, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Petersburg, Prince of Wales, Sitka, Wrangell.

The form will ask that you choose yes or no if you are a party or representing a party in administrative or judicial litigation with Alaska where the record requested is relevant (AS 40.25.122 and 2 AAC 96.220). If you answer yes, you must abide by any applicable procedure rules having to do with the proceeding.

Criminal Records

According to Alaska Statute (AS) 12.62.160, an individual is allowed to request Alaska criminal justice information as long as it meets the requirements set forth by said statute.

Alaska Statute 12.62.900(8) includes the following when defining criminal history record information: past convictions, current offenders, and criminal identifications.

Alaska Statute 12.62.900(9) defines criminal identification information as photographs, fingerprints, and other descriptions or information that can identify an individual arrested or prosecuted.

In Alaska, the Criminal records and Identification Bureau (R&I) manages the state’s criminal history records, fingerprint identification information, and the central repository for all criminal history information.

The Alaska Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AAFIS) confirms an arrested individual’s identity by matching latent crime scene prints with prints already on file. AAFIS is a member of the nine-state Western Identification Network, a nine-state database that shares fingerprint information.

Criminal justice agencies must report criminal justice activity to the repository. Arresting agencies are responsible for reporting any arrests, prosecutors must report declined charges, and courts are required to report dispositions to filed charges.

Criminal history information is maintained through the Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN) database. Such information is made publicly available.

Be sure to provide as many details as possible, including the name of the person involved, date of birth, dates, etc., to ensure the agency can complete research effectively.

If you are requesting records or reports, you will need to include the following:

  • DPS Incident/Case Number
  • Address or location of the incident
  • Date of incident
  • Court Case Number

You must confirm whether you want photos or audio.

You can choose how you would like to receive the information: mail, email, fax, or pickup. If you select pickup, you will need to write in the post location where you would like to pick up the records.

Court Records

Before we look into locating court records in the state of Alaska, it’s important to have an understanding of how the courts work in Alaska.

Alaska has two appellate courts – the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. The Alaska Constitution established the Supreme Court, and the Alaska Legislature created the Court of Appeals in 1980.

There are 30 lower courts, including trial and superior courts, located across Alaska’s 30 boroughs.

The Supreme Court

The highest legal authority in Alaska is the Supreme Court, which consists of five justices, including one Chief Justice. The Supreme Court hears appeals and helps settle conflicts, debates, or precedents in lower courts. The Supreme Court is also responsible for managing the state’s judicial system.

According to Alaska’s constitution, the Supreme Court oversees all civil and criminal cases and defines how the practice of law within the state.

The Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals, created in 1980 by the Alaska legislature, is a three-judge court consisting of two associate judges and a chief judge. The Court of Appeals hears appeals in cases involving criminal prosecution, post-conviction relief, habeas corpus, juvenile delinquency, extradition, probation and sentence, parole, and bail matters.

The Appellate Clerk

The Appellate Clerk’s Office, located in Anchorage, assists the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. The appellate courts clerk, who must be an attorney, is responsible for managing the appellate court’s case flow. The clerk also suggests any procedural improvements. The clerk’s job duties include filing case data, calendaring publishing opinions, and other related tasks. The clerk is also responsible for filing case information, calendaring, publishing opinions, and related tasks.

Trial Courts

Trial courts hear court cases that occur within their jurisdiction. Trial courts hear the facts of cases and make decisions based on the law.

There are two levels of trial courts in Alaska: the Superior Court and the District Court. These trial courts are divided into four judicial districts:

First District

Second District

Third District

Fourth District

Every January, the Supreme Court chief justice chooses a Superior Court judge from each of the four districts who will act as the presiding judge for one calendar year.

Superior Court

The Superior Court, made up of 42 Superior Court judges, is the trial court of general jurisdiction. The Superior Court hears criminal and civil cases.

District Court

The District Court, made up of 23 District Court judges currently, is a trial court of limited jurisdiction.

You can find a detailed chart of the Alaska Court System Structure and Flow of Civil and Criminal Appeals for more information.

Are court records public information?

Court records are public information per the Alaska Open Records Act unless prohibited by law.

Where can I get copies of court records?

Alaska allows you to search for appellate court records or trial court records via their website.

You can search for appellate court records online by court case number, party name, attorney name, or most requested case files.

You can search for trial court records using Alaska’s Courtview Public Access Website. These records include the superior and district courts.

You can also contact the Clerk of the Appellate Courts for information regarding court records:

Clerk of the Appellate Courts
303 K Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
phone: (907) 264-0608
fax: (907) 264-0878

Criminal Records

According to Alaska Statute (AS) 12.62.160, an individual is allowed to request Alaska criminal justice information as long as it meets the requirements set forth by said statute.

Alaska Statute 12.62.900(8) defines criminal history as to past convictions, current offenders, and criminal identifications.

Alaska Statute 12.62.900(9) defines criminal identification information as photographs, fingerprints, and other descriptions or information that can identify an individual arrested or prosecuted.

In Alaska, the Criminal Records and Identification Bureau (R&I) manages the state’s criminal history records, fingerprint identification information, and the central repository for all criminal history information.

The Alaska Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AAFIS) confirms an arrested individual’s identity by matching latent crime scene prints with prints already on file. AAFIS is a member of the nine-state Western Identification Network, a nine-state database that shares fingerprint information.

Criminal justice agencies must report criminal justice activity to the repository. Arresting agencies are responsible for reporting any arrests, prosecutors must report declined charges, and courts are required to report dispositions to filed charges.

Criminal history information is maintained through the Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN) database. Such information is made publicly available.

We’ve compiled a brief overview of Alaska’s arrests as well as crime statistics based on FBI reports.

  • Thirty-two law enforcement agencies reported 27,811 arrests were made in Alaska in 2019, decreasing 10.1% from the previous year.
  • There were 6,342 reports of violent crimes in 2019, decreasing 2.6% from the previous year. Among the violent crime arrests, 70 were for murder, and 1,101 were for rape.
  • In 2019, Alaska led the nation in crime rates per 100,000 persons in the following categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.

Criminal History Search

In Alaska, you can submit a name-based or fingerprint-based search request to the Criminal Records and Identification Bureau.

The Criminal Records and Information Bureau recommends that you base use positive fingerprint identification when requesting a background check as name-based searches can be missed due to aliases or other names.

The Alaska Court System and other criminal justice agencies might have public records databases; however, data from the Criminal Records and Identification Bureau is confidential and only releases information allowed by law.

For example, only the subject of the record may request the following information:

  • Past Conviction Information
  • Current Offender Information
  • Criminal Identification Information
  • Non conviction Information
  • Sealed Information
  • Correctional Treatment Information (if available)

On the other hand, the law allows for any person to request the following information:

  • Criminal Identification Information
  • Current Offender Information
  • Past Conviction Information

An “interested person,” defined by Alaska Statute 12.62.900(18) as an individual that appoints, employs, or permits another individual to work with or without pay in a position where they would have disciplinary or supervisory power over a dependent adult or minor can request the following information:

  • Correctional Treatment Information (if available)
  • Criminal Identification Information
  • Current Offender Information
  • Non conviction Information
  • Past Conviction Information

You can request information from the Criminal Records and Identification Bureau if there is another state or federal statute that allows you to do so. When you submit your request, you are required to include a copy of the statute authorizing the release of the information with fingerprints or the appropriate completed form.

You may also request a name-based or fingerprint-based criminal history report if you are a licensing agent or potential employer of a former or current Alaska resident. The information available to you will be dependent upon the type of work the licensee or employee will be doing. You are allowed to receive “interested person” information if the licensee or employee will be working with dependent adults or minors.

How much does a criminal history record check cost?

The fee for a criminal history background check in Alaska varies based on the type of check you would like the state to run:

  • Name-based background check: $20
  • Fingerprint-based background check: $35
  • Fingerprint-based state and national background check: $48.25

Additional copies are $5 each if requested with the original background check. If you need additional reports at a later date and did not ask for them when submitting the initial request, you will be charged $20.

How can I obtain criminal history information?

The state of Alaska offers four different ways of obtaining criminal history for yourself or someone else.

State Name-Based Check if you are the Record’s Subject

If you are the record’s subject, you can go to any one of the following locations to request a state name-based background check:

  • Any authorized local police agency
  • Any Alaska State Trooper detachment
  • The Department of Public Safety, Criminal Records & Identification Bureau

The state of Alaska requires that you present two forms of identification when requesting a name-based background check at any one of the above-mentioned locations. One form must be a valid government-issued photo identification such as your driver’s license or passport.

If you cannot go to a location in person, you can ask that a copy of the repository-managed record be mailed to you.

Complete the name-based form and mail your money order or check (made payable to the “State of Alaska”) to:

Alaska Records & Identification Bureau
5700 E. Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99507

State Name-Based Check From an Individual or Entity who is not the Record’s Subject

If you are not the record’s subject and would like to submit a request for a background check of that subject, you will need to complete a form and select from one of the following reasons as to why you are requesting a background check:

  • Any person/any reason: this report consists of charges resulting in a conviction and open or current criminal charges. Sealed records are excluded.
  • Interested persons: this report consists of all criminal charges and dispositions. Sealed records are excluded. You, as the requestor, are required to submit the purpose of your request detailing the supervisory or disciplinary power status.
  • Federal or state law authorized requests: this report includes criminal justice information needed for any reason that is allowed by state or federal law.

The form requires that both the requestor and record subject provide their signature and sign an unsworn falsification statement. Mail your check or money order, made payable to the “State of Alaska,” with the completed form to:

Records & Identification Bureau
5700 E. Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99507

Fingerprint-based state background checks

In Alaska, a record’s subject needing fingerprint-based state background checks is required to send in a personal request asking that the criminal history information is released. The request should be sent to the following:

Department of Public Safety, Criminal Records & Identification Bureau
5700 East Tudor Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99507

The subsequent information is required to be produced in person or by mail:

  • a complete ten-print set of fingerprints using the FBI’s standard applicant card, the FD-258
  • a letter explaining why the record’s subject is requesting the information
  • a $35 money order made out to the state of Alaska
  • the current mailing address

Results typically take two to three weeks to arrive via mail.

Fingerprint-Based State and National Background Checks

Only authorized employers can ask the state of Alaska for fingerprint-based state and national criminal history information.

How long does a criminal history record check take?

It currently takes two to three weeks to conduct a background check and mail results.

Who can access my criminal records?

Criminal records, handled by Alaska’s Criminal Records and Identification Bureau, are confidential. State and national background checks must abide by strict guidelines as defined in Pub L. 92-544, AS 12.62.160, and 13 AAC 68.

A person or company requiring a background check for licensing or employment must initially obtain your written permission or fingerprints.

Criminal justice agencies have access to criminal history record information managed by the repository for any reason having to do with criminal justice.

Can I challenge my criminal history record information?

If you would like to challenge your criminal history record, you can fill out the Request to Correct Criminal Justice Information form, include copies of any documentation, and mail it to the following address:

Criminal Records and Identification Bureau in the Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN)
5700 East Tudor Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99507

If you feel that your criminal history information is denying you a privilege or right, the department must respond to you within five days and send it to the responsible agency.

Warrant Records Search

The Alaska State Court System maintains a list of AST-related active warrants in the following formats:

Warrants are organized by detachment and include the following information:

  • Last, first, and middle name
  • Sex
  • Age as of 03/10/2021
  • Bail amount
  • Description of the type of warrant issued
  • Court order ID

You can email any questions or concerns to warrants@dps.state.ak.us. If you would like to stay anonymous, you can contact Crimestoppers.

Where can I find Alaska inmate records?

The Alaska Department of Corrections (AK DOC) is the agency responsible for overseeing the state’s correctional facilities. The AK DOC runs rehabilitative programs for inmates, including health, vocational services, educational services, rehabilitation, and others.

The AK DOC manages the following institutions:

How do I search for an inmate in Alaska?

You can conduct inmate searches online by checking the database that the AK DOC uses, called VINElink.

You can also call a toll-free number, 800-247-9763, to receive inmate information. You can call this number 24/7 to hear an inmate’s location and release date.

Sex Offender Information

According to AS 18.65.087, the Department of Public Safety has the authority to oversee the Alaska Sex Offender Registry, a central public registry of persons who must register as child kidnappers and sex offenders as defined in AS 12.63.010. The registry includes registered, convicted sex offenders (AS 12.63.100) and convicted sex offenders who have failed to comply or register.

You can search the Alaska Sex Offender Registry online using one or all of the methods described below:

Search the registry
Search by map
Search the Sex Offender/Child Kidnapper Registry

There is no charge when conducting a sex offender search.

Vital Records

Vital records are legal documents proving a person’s identity or noting significant life events.

According to Alaska law, vital records are confidential and only become public records after 100 years for birth records and 50 years for all other records.

The Health Analytics & Vital Records division manages vital records in Alaska, including:

You can order copies of birth, marriage, divorce, and death certificates using one of the following options:

  • By mail or fax: You can mail or fax (not both as you will be charged twice and it is non-refundable) a request using the appropriate form.
  • In person: You can visit the Anchorage or Juneau office to submit your application and receive your order.
  • Online: You can submit requests using VitalChek. If you choose to order online, there are additional fees.

The Health Analytics & Vital Records Section has the following suggestions when requesting vital records by mail:

  • Vital records contain confidential, sensitive information. Since you cannot track regular mail, consider using a shipping method that has a tracking number attached, such as FedEx or Priority Mail, so that you know where exactly your mail is.
  • Another reason to use a shipping method that has a tracking number is to make sure you don’t have to resubmit your request and pay again, which is the case for regular mail orders.
  • “General Delivery” mailing addresses are not recommended. If you must order in this manner, it’s suggested that you use a shipping method with a tracking number.

To amend a vital record, call the Special Services Unit at 465-1200 for further instructions.

Contact the Juneau Vital Records Office with any additional questions or concerns.

Historical Records

The Alaska State Archives was established in 1970 and became open to the public in 1972. The State Archives conserves government records that define Alaska’s history.

The Records & Information Management Service (RIMS) works with state agencies to maintain temporary and permanent records.

To see all services and fees regarding State Archive records, visit the Alaska State Archives homepage.

Driving Records

The Alaska DMV manages driving records for the state.

You can request driving records by mail, online, or at your local DMV office.

Request Driving Records Via Mail

Complete and mail in the Request for Driving Record (Form 419) form with the following information:

  • Record type you are requesting (full individual record, insurance record, or CDL employment record)
  • Requestor name, address, and phone number
  • Requestor date of birth OR Alaska driver license number
  • Requestor social security number
  • How you would like your record to be delivered (email, mail, or fax)

You will need to include your payment information (by credit card, money order or check made payable to the State of Alaska.)

Mailing Address:

3901 Old Seward Hwy, Ste 101
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: 907-269-5551

Request Driving Records Online

In order to request a copy of your driving record online, you must first prove your identity. You will be required to submit the following information:

  • Social Security Number
  • First and Last Name
  • Date of Birth

You will then be asked to confirm what type of record you are requesting:

  • Full Individual
  • CDL Employment
  • Insurance

The record will be in PDF format and can be downloaded or emailed to an email address entered below.

What is the fee per driving record?

The fee is $10 per driving record whether requesting by mail, online, or in-person.

Can I request driving records for another person?

Driver license records are confidential. In order to obtain another person’s driving records, you must have consent from that person.

What do I do if there is an error with my public records in Alaska?

If you believe any of your public records contain an error, contact the government agency responsible for maintaining the specific record.

Background Hawk - Team

Background Hawk - Team

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