Connecticut Public Records

Public records are information, usually in the form of documents stored in a database by public agencies. It is up to the various public agencies (local, state, federal) to manage and determine public records’ availability.

Typically the following records are included:

  • Criminal records
  • Vital records
  • Driving records
  • Government program financial documents
  • Communications between government officials and state agencies
  • And many more

There are several ways to access public records. Individuals can access public records in person, online, or by mail. Some public records are easier for the public to access than others, and several have a fee attached to them, but many are free.

Below we will give a detailed breakdown of the State of Connecticut’s public records, how to access and search for them, what the fees are (where relevant), and what you need to provide to request them.

How Does Connecticut State Define Public Records?

In 1975 the state government enacted the CFIA (Connecticut Freedom of Information Act) to make publicly available Connecticut’s governmental records. Statues 1-200-259 give specific definitions to these transparency laws.

Section 1.200.5 of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act defines public records as any handwritten, tape-recorded, photostated, printed, typed, photographed, or otherwise recorded form of documentation that pertains to the business conducted by a public agency or the business of government. Section 1.218 of the CFIA stipulated that unless prohibited by law or contract, the public is entitled to receive copies of the above documentation.

Compared to other states, the Connecticut Government ranks number 14 by the Better Government Association in integrity and transparency.

What are the Exemptions to Accessing Public Records?

The CFIA outlines several exemptions to accessing open records. These exemptions include the following:

  • Preliminary drafts/notes that
  • Personal/medical files whose revelation would invade the privacy of an individual
  • Law enforcement records that are currently in either trial or pre-trial
  • Law enforcement records that would place victim/culprit in danger
  • Pending litigations negotiations or strategies
  • “Trade Secrets”
  • Financial information not required by any existing statutes
  • Licensing tests
  • Records/reports of collective bargaining
  • Personal information about school enrollment
  • Records of Adoption
  • Petitions
  • Complaints
  • Information jeopardizing the security of individuals, infrastructure, corrections facilities, or telecommunications
  • The address of individuals enrolled in a confidentiality program

Connecticut State Police Incident Reports

The following sections provide information on how to access public records regarding police incident reports relating to motor vehicle accidents.

Accident Information Summaries

An Accident Information Summary provides the following information:

  • Parties Involved
  • Vehicles involved
  • Insurance information
  • Brief summary of the accident

This information is available to the parties involved and is accessible on the DESPP website. Accident Information Summaries are available for 30 days from the accident date.

Several Connecticut General Statutes can restrict information availability. If information is marked as restricted, visit the local State Police Troop of the area the accident occurred in and ask for a copy of the Accident Information Summary.

There is no fee to obtain the Accident Information Summary. However, it is not the official accident report.

Where can I request a complete case report?

Connecticut General Statute 29-10b allows requests for complete case reports for a search fee of $16.00.

  • Fill out the “Request for Copy Report” linked here.
  • Enclose the search fee by check or money order, made payable to ‘Treasurer – State of CT’ for $16.00 per request.
  • Indicate the number of reports requested.
  • Indicate the case number, incident type, date, time, and the names of the persons involved.

Mail your request to:

DESPP-Reports ; Records
Unit, 1111 Country Club Road,
Middletown, CT 06457-2389

Other ways to acquire case reports on motor vehicle accidents

Motor vehicle accidents of a simple nature are often available at http://www.BuyCrash.com. Usually, they are available within ten business days following the accident. Additional fees collected by a third party may be requested.

If the accident you are requesting information about is not available online within thirty days of the accident, you can request other reports pertaining to the investigation electronically here.

Where do I serve a Subpoena for the DESPP Report?

You can serve a Subpoenas for Reports and Records at the following address:

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
Connecticut State Police Headquarters
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, CT 06457

Criminal History Records/Fingerprinting Services

The State Police Bureau of Identification controls Criminal History Records and Fingerprinting Services.

*Due to COVID, some of these services are available by appointment only. Check the State Police Bureau of Identification website for the most up-to-date information on accessing these services.

Fingerprinting Services

The State Police Fingerprint Identification Unit controls all fingerprinting services. The unit will take a fingerprint scan which is required to access the following service:

  • Letters of Good Conduct
  • Guard Cards
  • Pardon requests
  • Fingerprint supported Criminal History Record Checks
  • Fingerprints for employment or licensing

Criminal History Record Checks

Fill out the following form to request criminal history.

Mail your criminal history record requests to the following address with the appropriate fee enclosed:

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
State Police Bureau of Identification
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 685-8480

Fees

All fees are required to be paid separately by check, cash (exact amounts, no change provided), or money order. Direct any questions about payments to the State Police Bureau of Identification at 860-845-8480.

The following is a list of fees for the above services:

  • $15 for fingerprinting
  • $75 for State Criminal History Check
  • $13.25 for Federal Criminal History Check
  • $36 for search by Name/Date of Birth (provides existence of a record and not the actual report)

Pending Criminal/Civil Cases

The Judicial Branch maintains and compiles case lookup information.

In this section, we will look at how to access records about the following:

  • Supreme/Appellate Court
  • Civil Court
  • Family Court
  • Housing Court
  • Small Claims Court
  • Criminal Cases

Supreme/Appellate Court Cases

Unless confidential under Connecticut law (see below*), most cases filed after Jan. 1, 1991, can be displayed on the following webpage using the following search parameters:

  • Case name
  • Docket number
  • Party name
  • Attorney name/law firm/Juris number
  • Trail Court Docket Number

*In the following cases, information will not be provided if the case pertains to:

  • Juveniles or youthful offenders
  • Foreign protective orders
  • Relief from physical abuse
  • Other instances where the revelation of the identity or location of the protected party is prohibited from being revealed

Superior Court Cases

The public can access judicial notices, court orders, and other documentation in electronic form. Civil, small claims, and housing cases that have a return date after Jan. 1, 2014, are available over the internet at the following link.

Certain laws and court orders protect some documents and are not open to the public. You can view many of these documents by visiting the clerk’s office where the file is located. You will need authorization by law/court order to see them.

Some civil cases filed before 2014 may be available online, but those that are not, as well as pleadings, can be viewed during business hours at the Judicial District clerks’ office where the case is located.

Affidavits of Debt are not available publicly online for small claims cases if filed before Oct. 16, 2017.

Like the Supreme and Appellate Courts, you can search by the following parameters:

  • Party Name
  • Docket Number
  • Attorney/Firm/Juris Number
  • Property Address

The Judicial branch does not guarantee the accuracy of the information and assumes no liability for its use.

Business Filings

These records show the formations and changes to corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and other businesses.

The Office of the Secretary of the State controls all business files. There are two ways you can access business records for the State of Connecticut.

The first is through the Business Services Division’s CONCORD system, which is responsible for maintaining the business registry for the State. This business registry aims to provide accurate public records of each business entity in the State.

The Business Services Division also records statements of finance filed under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), as well as personal property liens.

However, business entities dissolved before November of 1977 may not be available in the online databank. Researchers can call 860-509-6003 if they have questions about such entities.

Using the state governments the CONCORD system, you can search the following:

The second way to access Connecticut business is through the Connecticut Data Collaborative, which has partnered with the Office of the Secretary of the State to provide comprehensive access (including search and download) to Connecticut Business Registry data.

The Connecticut Data Collaborative gives you multiple tools to search and find business registration data. This data is available from the beginning of 1980 through to February 2021 and is open and accessible to all.

There are eight ways to explore the data:

  1. Search Business: This allows for full-text searching and downloading of registration records by city, name, address, business id, filing number, principle, and/or agent name.
  2. Business by Sector Map: The purpose of this map is to show the locations of business clusters. The Connecticut Data Collaborative gives a list of nearly 100,000 companies in the State and maps them by sector and subsector.
  3. NAICS Code Lookup: You can use this search tool to find the North American Industry Classical System (NAICS) code to find business activity in over 1,057 sectors and subsectors.
  4. Download Data by Month: This allows you to download the most recent Secretary of the State business registration data by month. Files are downloadable as .csv files.
  5. Starts and Stops: Gives you a general overview of business formation in the State. This includes business entities forming or registering, dissolving, or withdrawing within a given month.
  6. New Business Registrations: A dashboard given by industry registration counts. Businesses are classified based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). This allows you to see over-time registration for the State as a whole and for individual towns.
  7. Compare Towns: This section will give you data on a particular town or group of towns.
  8. Formations Over Time: Enables you to explore business formation patterns by county, town, year, quarter/month, or business type. You can visualize the data on a bar chart or map.

License Verification

Using the following link, you can search for public records of licenses, permits, certifications, or registrations of individuals, companies, and businesses.

These records are under the authority of the Department of Consumer Protection and the Department of Public Health. The data in this license lookup is updated instantaneously and can be considered a primary verification source.

The lookup pertains, but is not limited, to the following occupations and trades:

  • Medical professional
  • Home improvement contractors
  • New home contractors
  • Real estate professionals
  • other trades and occupations

Financial and Banking Licenses

Licenses for businesses in the financial and banking industries are controlled and regulated by the State of Connecticut Department of Banking.

You can use the following links to determine whether a company, business entity or individual is currently and appropriately licensed with the department.

The following sections look at the public record information regarding licenses for mortgage brokers, mortgage lenders, collection agencies, debt adjusters, check cashers, and other financial industry licenses.

Bona Fide Nonprofit Organizations

These are organizations with tax-exemption status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and conduct activities that serve charitable as opposed to commercial purposes.

The following link downloads a .xlsx document that lists the Bona Fide Nonprofit Organizations in Connecticut that are currently approved.

You can direct questions concerning bona fide nonprofits to Richard Cortes at the Consumer Credit Division (CCD) using the following email address:

richard.cortes@ct.gov

To view a complete list of the criteria for bona fide nonprofit licensing, visit the following webpage.

Business and Industrial Development Corporations

Section 36a-627 of the General Statutes outlines and defines the Department of Banking licenses business/industrial development corporations.

The Banking Commissioner licenses participating lenders.

Direct your questions regarding business and industrial development corporations to Mary Ellen O’Neil (Director, Financial Institutions Division) at the following email address:

mary.oneill@ct.gov

You can find a list of registered Connecticut business and industrial development corporations at the following link.

Business Opportunities

The State Government of Connecticut defines business opportunity as the sale/lease of any services, supplies, equipment, or products that enable the investor/purchaser to start a business.

Find a copy of the act (Chapter 672c of the Business Opportunity Investment Act) that regulates business opportunities at the following link.

You can find a list of the Registered Business Opportunities in Connecticut here.

Some business opportunity sellers do not have to register with the Department of Banking. In these cases, the above Act does not apply. These business opportunity sales are of federally registered marketing programs that contain trademark/service marks.

You can find a complete list of Federally Registered Trademarks and Service Marks in the State of Connecticut here.

Check Cashers

The Department of Banking licenses businesses or persons who cash drafts, checks, or money orders.

There are two ways to identify the licensed check casher businesses allowed to operate in Connecticut.

NMLS Consumer Access – This is a searchable site allowing public viewing of state-licensed check cashers.

This downloadable .xlsx document also provides a detailed list of licensed check cashers in the State and the relevant information about their licenses.

Conditional Registrations

Conditional registrations include the following dealers/agents:

  • Broker-dealers
  • Broker-agents
  • Investment advisers
  • Investment adviser agents

This link lists the relevant publicly available registration statuses of the above dealers/agents.

Consumer Collection Agencies

Any business must acquire consumer collection agency licenses who engage as a third party in receiving or collecting payments of consumer debt.

Public records that verify consumer collection agencies licensed to do business in Connecticut can use the NMLS Consumer Access portal or download from the following link a spreadsheet of licensees.

Corporations Acting in a Fiduciary Capacity

You can find a list of corporations that can act in a fiduciary capacity over various funds and are not a banking institute here.

Financial Institutions

For information regarding the public licensing records of Connecticut’s Financial Institutions, click the following links:

Investment Advisers

This section contains information relating to the public records of the registration of investment advisors who buy or sell securities. You can obtain more information about investment advisers from the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website. There you can access free documents about the business and services of each advisor.

For questions about public records about investment advisors, contact the Securities Division at (860) 240-8230, or email Kevin Maher at: kevin.maher@ct.gov

Download a spreadsheet of investment advisors registered in the State of Connecticut.

Download a spreadsheet of SEC-registered investment advisors who have filed notice with the Securities Division.

Download a spreadsheet of investment advisors who are exempt under the “Order Governing Certain Investment Advisers Exempt from Federal Registration Following Passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.”

Loan Processors/Underwriters

Loan processors and underwriters provide clerical/support duties relating to the processing or underwriting of mortgage loans. They must be licensed to practice in Connecticut, and their licenses are a matter of public record.

You can use the NMLS Consumer Access to search public information relating to Loan Processors and Underwriters’ current state-licensing.

You can contact Richard Cortes at the Consumer Credit Division for information regarding Loan Processors and Underwriters’ public records by email: richard.cortes@ct.gov

Click the following link to view a spreadsheet of all currently licensed Loan Processors/Underwriters in Connecticut.

Mortgage Services

Public information pertaining to various Mortgage Service licenses can be found in the following links or using the NMLS Consumer Access.

Sales Finance Companies

Any person in the State of Connecticut engaged in the business of acquiring retail installment contracts or installment loan contracts from retail sellers is a ‘Sales Finance Company.’ These are defined by Connecticut Government Statutes sections 36a-535(1) and 36a-770.

Anne Cappelli of the Consumer Credit Division handles all questions relating to the licensing of Sales Finance Companies. Email address: anne.cappelli@ct.gov

You can use the NMLS Consumer Access to search public information relating to Sales Finance Companies’ current state-licensing.

The following spreadsheet document lists the Sales Finance Companies licensed to do business in Connecticut.

Student Loan Servicers

Section 36a-846 of the Connecticut General Statutes defines ‘Student Loan Servicer’ as any individual responsible for servicing student education loans to a borrower.

Jessica Morton of the Consumer Credit Division handles all questions relating to the licensing of Student Loan Servicers. Email address: jessica.morton@ct.gov

You can use the NMLS Consumer Access to search public information relating to Student Loan Servicers’ current state-licensing.

The following .xlsx document lists the Student Loan Servicers licensed to do business in Connecticut.

Other Public Records Pertaining to Licensing

Click the following links to access additional public information for licenses of the following business types:

Connecticut State Inmate Records

The State Department of Corrections manages all correctional facilities in Connecticut, and the department manages all publicly available information regarding detainees.

Inmate records contain personal information of incarcerated individuals in state-run jails, detention centers, and other penal institutions.

Records include the following information:

  • Aliases
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality/ethnicity
  • Unique identifiers/associations
  • Primary charges/current sentence
  • Booking/arrest details
  • Conditions of bail/bond
  • Court dates
  • Release dates

State laws stipulate that all or some of the above information can be made accessible to interested members of the public. You can search for information about currently incarcerated offenders with the Department of Correction in Connecticut on the Offender Information Search portal.

You will need the following information in at least one of the following fields to conduct a search:

  • CT DOC Inmate No.
  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • Date of Birth

This information is updated regularly by the Connecticut Department of Correction, but information may quickly change and may not reflect current offender status. Connecticut’s Youthful Offender Statute prohibits the inclusion of these offenders from this list.

The Connecticut State Department of Corrections website contains contact information about each in-state facility.

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Use the following link to locate information regarding inmates of a federal prison from 1982 to the present.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Use the following link to locate information regarding detainees currently in the custody of ICE.

If you have any questions about the status of inmates held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, direct them to the regional ICE office at 617-565-4946

Connecticut State Sex Offender Registry

The Department of Emergency Services ; Public Protection is a division of the Connecticut State Police. They oversee the Sex Offender Registry, and information on that registry is available to the public.

Use the Offender Search portal to find offenders within a specific radius of your desired address.

Details available to the public free of charge include:

  • Physical description (age, sex, race, hair color, scars/tattoos, height, weight, eye color)
  • Known addresses
  • Description of offenses
  • Probation conditions
  • Compliance status

You can acquire further information by phoning the Division of State Police Sex Offender Registry at (860) 685-8060 or emailing them at: sex.offender.registry@ct.gov

Driving Records

The Department of Motor Vehicles maintains and disseminates all publically accessible driving records.

You can apply online via their online portal, in person (by appointment only), or by mail via the address listed below.

Who is eligible to access driving records?

Any individual can request their own driving history or apply to acquire the driving history of another person.

How do you apply?

Print a Copy Records Request Form.

Check the appropriate box depending on the information required. You can request the following information:

  • Driver License File Information (printout of license class, endorsements, restrictions, original issue date, and status)
  • Driver License Application (copy of current document)
  • Registration File Information (copy of current computer record)
  • Registration Certificate (copy of current document)
  • Registration Return Plate Receipt (copy of current computer record)
  • Insurance Information Only

Fill in the relevant section, complete the form’s application section, and include payment of the $20.00 fee per request.

If mailing, include a photocopy of your drivers’ license, passport, or non-driver identification card. If applying in person, make an appointment at one of the following offices

How do I apply online?

To apply online for driving records, first, gather the following information:

  • First/last name as it appears on your license
  • Date of birth
  • Street address
  • Drivers license #
  • Social security #
  • Credit/debit card

Use the following link to download and print your driving history. It will be available to you for 30 days.

To request driving records for individuals other than yourself, make the request by appointment at one of the above offices, or mail the Copy Records Request Form to the following address, with the applicable fees:

Department of Motor Vehicles
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06109
Attention: Copy Records

Vital Statistics

Virtually all Connecticut vital records can be made public, but it is not absolute, and several records are restricted from disclosure. As a general rule, confidential records will be made available only to the registrant or the immediate family members, legal or court-issued representatives.

Some records will be made public in uncertified or information forms for non-official use such as genealogy or research. These records are deemed ‘unofficial’ by the issuer and have no legal standing.

What information is needed to search Connecticut vital records?

  • Name of the registrant
  • Date of birth, death, marriage, or divorce
  • Location of the judicial district where birth or death occurred
  • Name of registrants legal gradients
  • License/case file number of record (if applicable)
  • Name presiding judge (if applicable)
  • State bar number of legal representatives involved (if applicable)

The Connecticut State Department of Public Health is responsible for processing requests for online vital records.

Connecticut statutes proclaim that vital records deemed public can be accessed by any interested member of the public.

Requests for certified records and documents that are otherwise restricted require government-issued ID. Depending on the record’s status, sworn affidavits, court orders, or other documentation to establish relationships between registrant and requestor may be required.

Birth

In Connecticut, birth records are not publicly accessible unless 100 years after the birth has passed. These records are only available to the registrants themselves, their parents, spouses, children, or court-authorized legal representatives.

The vital records offices of the town where the birth occurred manage and disseminate birth records.

Eligible persons can use the State Birth Record Application or Town Birth Record Application to obtain birth records. Fill out the form and submit it to the following address with the fee listed below:

Connecticut Department of Public Health
Vital Records Section
Customer Services, MS#11VRS
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134-0308

For the State Birth Record Application, a Postal Money Order made payable to ‘Treasurer, State of CT’ for $30.00 is the only form of payment accepted.

For the Town Birth Record Application, a Postal Money Order made payable to the City/Town for $20.00 per full-sized certificate, $15.00 per wallet-sized certificate are the only forms of payment accepted.

Death

Death records are publicly accessible by interested parties, provided they are 18 years or older. Sensitive information such as social security numbers can only be released to next of kin or spouses.

Make requests for death records to the town where the death occurred or the State’s vital records office.

The following forms are required to access copies of death certificates:

Mail the filled out form as well as the fees listed below to the following address:

Connecticut Department of Public Health
Vital Records Section
Customer Services, MS#11VRS
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134-0308

The fee for a copy of a Death Certificate from the State is $20.00 per copy. Payment must be made with a Postal Money Order only, made payable to the ‘Treasurer, State of CT.’

The fee for a copy of a Death Certificate from the Town is $20.00 per copy. Payment must be made with a Postal Money Order made payable to the City or Town of death.

Marriage

Marriage records are public information in Connecticut. Persons 18 years and older can purchase copies of these records. Unless being released to parties named on the record, things like social security numbers are excluded from public access.

The office of the Town Clerk in the judicial district where the marriage was licensed, as well as the Connecticut state Vital Records Office, can process marriage record requests.

You can find a link to download the Town/City Marriage Record Order Form here.

You can find a link to download the State Marriage Record Order Form here.

Choose the appropriate application and fill it out and deliver in person or via mail, along with the enclosed fee listed below to the following address:

Connecticut Department of Public Health
Vital Records Section
Customer Services, MS#11VRS
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134-0308

The fee for a copy of Marriage Certificates at the State or Town is $20.00 per copy. Personal Checks are not accepted. Send a Postal Money Order payable to the Town/City.

The fee for a copy of the State Marriage Record Order Form is $20.00 per copy. Personal Checks are not accepted. Send a Postal Money Order payable to: ‘Treasurer, State of CT.’

Divorce

In Connecticut, divorce records are available to the public. The requestor must be 18 years old or older. Like other certificates, there are certain restrictions on the disclosure of information to the public. Details like property inventories, bank accounts, and financial settlements are restricted to the parties involved.

The Judicial District Superior Court Clerk of the county where the divorce was granted manages the dissemination of divorce records, and they should be contacted for copies.

The following information must be provided regarding the record of interest:

  • Names of involved parties
  • Date and placed divorce was granted/filed
  • Docket number/case file number
  • Names/state bar numbers of involved litigants

The requestor will pay copy and certification costs, and you must provide a government-issued ID to confirm access eligibility.

Historical Records

The Connecticut State Library has made it their mission since 1855 to acquire historical records from all three State government branches. The State library was made the official State Archives by the General Assembly in 1909 and currently contains nearly 50,000 cubic feet of documentation and records.

The Archives contains records about the implementation and evolution of state public policy, the history of the Connecticut government, institutions and people, and its citizens’ rights and claims.

The document “Important Dates in the History of Connecticut’s Public Records and State Archives Programs” outlines a history of public records and state archives for Connecticut.

The State Archivist is Lizette Pelletier, and her office number is: (860) 757-6542

The following is a directory of historical and genealogical subject guides available in the State Archives. Each link will give you more information on accessing the relevant documents.

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