New Mexico Public Records

Search For Public Records

This article will provide a comprehensive guide to acquiring and viewing publically available records in the State of New Mexico.

What are Public Records

Public records are provided to citizens of a country to ensure a fair and just society. One of the foundations of a healthy democracy is open access to the business of government.

Over the last decade, public records have increasingly become available online. Digital records are the standard way of acquiring most records in this day and age. However, there may be some records that are more readily available than others.

Depending on the record, you may have to travel to a courthouse, police station, or government archive to access the original document if you meet the qualifications to do so.

Typically access to public records is overseen by the Attorney General of the state in question. Public records deal with governmental affairs and information about law enforcement, business licensing, property ownership, court cases, and vital statistics and documentation about citizens residing in the state.

How Does New Mexico Define Public Records

The act governing public records in New Mexico is the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act. This law states that all government information of the state and its 33 counties are available to the public upon request. If the record falls under one of the exemptions listed below, it will not be open to the public.

New Mexico’s State Records contain over 20 million documents and have been collected since 1821.

Accessing public records can prove to be a difficult task, depending on the state and its laws. New Mexico does not have a central repository for public records. Each governmental division has its own search procedures and fee structures. Some departments do not have clear rules on acquiring records.

It is important to note that just because a government department does not have an online records repository does not mean there are no public records for that department. As a citizen, you will have the right to inspect most records about the business of government.

Contacting the agency or government body and asking how to acquire the records you are looking for is a good starting point in any record search.

Federal Public Records Laws

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the central basis requiring governmental records to remain open to the public. Another important law dealing with publicly available information is the Privacy Act of 1974.

The FOIA was instituted in 1967 to allow public access to the actions of the United States Federal Government. Most individual states have their own statutes and laws surrounding the collection and dissemination of public records. But they follow a similar format to the federally mandated regulations.

The Privacy Act of 1974 is closely linked with the FOIA. Whereas the FOIA grants public access to information about federal government actions and topics, it does not cover individuals. The Federal Privacy Act, on the other hand, allows for access to records pertaining to individuals.

The Federal Privacy Act allows individuals the right to view and make copies of files about themselves. It also allows other public entities to use this personal data in a variety of situations, such as:

  • Statistical research
  • By order of a court of law
  • As needed by law enforcement agencies
  • If medically necessary

You can find out more information on how to make an FOIA Request through the FOIA government website run by the United States Department of Justice.

What are the Exemptions to Accessing Public Records?

A few exceptions are detailed in the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act about when it is inappropriate to release information to the public. In New Mexico, the act provides broad authority on the right to inspection, and agencies can individually determine whether the release of information is appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

These are the following areas where record confidentiality is required:

  • Medical Records: Records about physical or mental examinations or the medical treatment of individuals confined to an institution.
  • Letters of Reference: Employment, licensing, or permit letters of reference or recommendation.
  • Matters of Opinion: Memos or letters of opinion, like those that go in personnel files or student records.
  • Law Enforcement Records: Pertaining to records with information regarding confidential sources, information on individuals who have been accused of a crime but not charged; documents about law enforcement methods.
  • Confidential Materials Act: Any materials that fall within the parameters of The Confidentials Materials Act.
  • Public Hospital Records: Information about hospitals that pertain to trade secrets, business plans, or information that is attorney-client privileged.
  • Tactical Response Plans: Pertains to information about responses and procedures that reveal risks, vulnerabilities, or tactical security procedures. Such records could assist in facilitating a terrorist attack.
  • Protected Personal ID Information: Personal ID information may be redacted before inspection of a public record. The record, however, shall not be exempt from inspection, but the personal ID information will not be made available.
  • Other Laws: Records whose inspection has been limited by other laws and statutes.

What New Mexico Public Records are Covered in this Article?

In this article, we shall cover as many of the main New Mexico public records categories. We will include detailed information on how to acquire them, what forms you need to fill out, and what the fees are (if any).

Information on the following records is included in this article:

  • Police Reports
  • Criminal History Records
  • Court Cases (Civil, Supreme, Appellate, Superior)
  • Inmate Records
  • Sex Offender Registry
  • Driving Records
  • Business Records and Business Filings
  • License Verification for Businesses
  • Vital Statistics (Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce)
  • Historical and State Records

New Mexico Criminal History Records

In New Mexico, individuals are allowed to request their own criminal history in the form of an Arrest Record or a Police Certificate of Good Standing. Detailed information on how to acquire these records is provided below, or you can go to the New Mexico Department of Public Safety website for more details.

These reports are made from a variety of sources, including the courts, law enforcement agencies, and online government databases. Criminal records archives often go back to the 1970s. This was when criminal record data started to be collected and centralized. With the advent of the computer in the 1990s, recordkeeping and accuracy dramatically increased.

So the more recent the record, the more accurate details it is likely to have.

What are Arrest and Criminal Records?

After an individual is arrested or apprehended by a law enforcement entity, an arrest record is created.

This record provides:

  • Incident details.
  • Personal information of the individual.
  • Sometimes any previous criminal record information.

Arrest records are used during criminal cases, where the record is frequently used during the trial when deciding sentencing. The record can remain public long after the trial regardless of whether or not they are convicted. The general public can access these records if they properly petition for them.

Criminal records and histories are more thorough and typically contain information about the arrest along with warrants, third-party complaints, convictions, and cases that were for whatever reason dropped.

Arrest records also differ from arrest warrants issued by judges or magistrates. Arrest warrants grant law enforcement the authority to arrest individuals suspected of a crime and/or seize their property. These documents are created before the arrest, whereas the arrest record is made after the apprehension has occurred.

What Does an Arrest Record Include?

Arrest records typically include the following information. Some of this may be redacted if requesting records for an individual other than yourself, depending on state laws.

  • Location and date of arrest
  • A chronological description of the incident that led to the arrest (including any witness testimony)
  • Physical details and characteristics of the arrested individual
  • Personal information of the arrested individual (name, contact information, known aliases, address, SSN, phone number)
  • Photographs
  • Fingerprints
  • Charges filed
  • Crime classifications
  • Bail, if granted
  • Court dates
  • Details from any interrogations

What Charges Can Appear on Arrest and Criminal Records?

In New Mexico, charges fall into two classes: Misdemeanors and Felonies.

Misdemeanors in New Mexico: New Mexico defines misdemeanors as non-indictable offenses. Generally, these are less severe than a felony. New Mexico divides Misdemeanors into two categories: misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors. Punishment for misdemeanors is not likely to exceed one year of jail time or a $1000 fine.

Felonies in New Mexico: Felony offenses in New Mexico are crimes punishable by jail sentences of at least one year. Felonies can also be punishable by the death penalty.

Felony crimes fall into five classes:

  • Capital Felonies – aggravated sexual assault, premeditated murder
  • 1st-Degree Felonies – robbery with a deadly weapon, sexual assault of minor, murder.
  • 2nd-Degree Felonies – drug trafficking, production of child porn, robbery.
  • 3rd-Degree Felonies – Some sex crimes, aggravated battery.
  • 4th-Degree Felonies – burglary, aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter.

Arrest Records

The New Mexico Arrest Record Information Act stipulates that any individual has the right to inspect arrest record information regarding themselves. They may do so in person through their counsel or through another authorized agent.

Arrest record information is maintained by the State Central Repository of Criminal History. It includes information on individuals arrested in the State of New Mexico for DWI offenses, felony, or misdemeanor offenses. This information is based on fingerprints that were taken at the time of the arrest.

To acquire an arrest record, the Authorization of Release of Information form (Spanish version here) must be legibly filled out and submitted to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for processing.

Notarization of the above form is required, and a fee of $15.00 per record must be made in the form of a cashier’s check or money order payable to the Department of Public Safety.

The DPS must receive the Authorization for Release form with the original signature of the applicant and the appropriate payment to release the arrest record information.

Mail everything to the following address. It should take about two weeks for you to get it back.

Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 1628 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-1628 ATTN: Records

Police Certificate of Good Standing

Typically this certificate is needed for immigration purposes. The cost of a Police Certificate of Good Standing along with the background check above is $33.00,

To acquire this document, print, fill out and submit the Authorization for Release of Information form (linked to above). Have it signed and stamped by a Notary Public.

In addition to filling out this form, you will need to attach a letter with your name, address, and contact number. Clearly indicate that you are requesting a “Police Certificate of Good Standing.” Indicate in this letter that you want all of the documents mailed to you at the address you provided.

You will also need to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a $1.00 stamp.
Include a money order for $36.00 made payable to the Department of Public Safety. This amount will pay for the following:

  • Authorization for Release of Information ($15.00)
  • Police Certificate of Good Standing ($18.00)
  • TOTALING ($36.00)

Mail everything to the following address. It should take about two weeks for you to get it back.
Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 1628 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-1628 ATTN: Records

For more information on acquiring an Arrest Record or Police Certificate of Good Standing, you can view an informational document here.

New Mexico Sex Offender Registry

In addition to maintaining the Criminal History Record search, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety also oversees the Sex Offender Registry. The Sex Offender Registry lists individuals required by law to register due to a conviction for sex-related crimes. Either 10-year or lifetime registrations are possible, and the public has full access to the registry.

The registry’s purpose is to provide the public with information regarding the whereabouts of registered offenders in the state of Maine. Pursuant of State statute NMSA 29-11A-1, registration is limited to those sex crimes whose sentencing requires registration.

Periodically, registrants must provide verification of their address, but registrants may move and fail to notify the bureau of their address change. Any offender convicted in New Mexico and moves elsewhere will have their information maintained in the registry until their obligation expires.

However, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety cannot guarantee the accuracy of the registry’s information but makes every effort to ensure the information contained therein is up to date and accurate. The National Sex Offender website can be consulted to corroborate your search further.

Using the New Mexico Sex Offender Registry, you can search by the individual (first/last name), by location (city/town), or by area (ZIP code/radius).

New Mexico Court Cases

The Judiciary Branch of the State of New Mexico allows online access to court case information. There are two options for looking up New Mexico court cases: an online app and a case lookup system.

Although you can still use the older Case Lookup system, which can be found on the New Mexico Courts website, the Courts of New Mexico also has a new mobile app. This app allows for access to New Mexico’s publicly available court case information on smartphones and tablets.

The New Mexico Courts Case Lookup app displays information for both criminal and civil cases, including the following information:

  • Hearing date information
  • Names of the parties involved
  • Attorneys involved
  • Name of the presiding judge
  • Register of actions
  • Charges and their disposition
  • Other criminal case information

The New Mexico Courts Case Lookup app also allows users the ability to search for a variety of court case information:

  • State court
  • District, magistrate, and metro courts
  • Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
  • Search by party name or case number
  • Municipal Court DWI cases

You can also use PACER to search for New Mexico court cases of all levels of the courts. You must register with them before you can use this federally managed service,

New Mexico Inmate Records

Inmate records in New Mexico contain information about prisoners in private or state-run detention centers, prisons, or jails. These records contain a compilation of the detainee’s personal information, such as their names, DOB, known aliases, and identifiers.

They also contain crime-related information such as sentences and charges, DOC number, court information, and release dates. You can find this information by contacting the New Mexico Department of Corrections.

You can also contact the correctional facility the inmate is located in for records-related requests. What follows is a list of contact information for both state-run and privately operated facilities

State Level Facilities


Central New Mexico Correctional FacilityP.O. Drawer 13281525 Morris Road, Los Lunas, NM 87031-1328 Phone: (505) 383-3383
Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility185 Dr. Michael Jenkins Road, Clayton, NM 88415 Phone: (575) 374-4005
Penitentiary of New MexicoP.O. Box 1059 Santa Fe, NM 87504-1059 Phone: (505) 827-8201
Roswell Correctional Center578 W. Chickasaw Road, Hagerman, NM 88232 Phone: (575) 625-3100
Springer Correctional CenterP.O. Box 10 Springer, NM 87747 Phone: (575) 483-3100
South New Mexico Correctional FacilityP.O. Box 6391983 Joe R. Silva BoulevardLas Cruces, NM 88004-0639Phone: (575) 523-3200
Western New Mexico Correctional FacilityP.O. Box 250 Grants, NM 87020 Phone (505) 876-8300

Privately Run Facilities

Guadalupe County Correctional FacilityP.O. Box 520039 Agua Negra RoadSanta Rosa, NM 88435 Phone: (575) 472-1001
Lea County Correctional Facility6900 West Millen Hobbs, NM 88244Phone (575) 392-4055
Northwest New Mexico Correctional CenterP.O. Box 8001700 East Old Highway 66 Grants, NM 87020 Phone (505) 287-2941
Otero County Prison Facility10 McGregor Range RoadChaparral, NM 88081Phone (575) 824-4884

Offender Search

The intent behind offender search is to provide the general public and law enforcement agencies information about offenders incarcerated (or on probation/parole supervision).

To access the Offender Search portal, you will need either the offender’s first, last name, or New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) number. You cannot begin the search process without this information.

The Offender Search portal provided by New Mexico does not cover City or County Detention Facilities. It only covers State-run facilities.

Once you make your search, a list of offenders matching your search criteria will show. From there, you will be able to view:

  • First, middle, and last name
  • NMCD number
  • Offender number
  • Supervision status
  • And if more details are available.

Click View Details to find further information about the incarcerated individual. From there, you will be able to see additional details about the individual, including:

  • Facility/Region offense was carried out in.
  • Who the probation/parole officer is.
  • Individual demographic information (Height, Weight, Eye Color, Ethnicity, etc.).
  • Current offenses.
  • Judgment of the court.
  • Past Offenses and their release date.

For more information on accessing inmate records, use the following contact information covering the Offender Search portal:

New Mexico Conviction Records

Conviction Records are official documents that indicate a person was found guilty of a crime at a court hearing. These records will feature the convict’s personal information, details of the charges, and what sentencing they received.

Conviction records will also indicate how the person pleaded, including if they pleaded nolo contendere. These records will also contain adjudications, dishonorable discharges, fines, probation, and paroles. Excluded from these records are details of sentences or convictions that have been reversed/annulled.

New Mexico Parole Records

Parole records provide detailed information about the release of prisoners before the completion of their sentence. The New Mexico Parole Board manages these records and the task of granting or denying parole privileges in the state.

If parole is granted, the convict will be strictly supervised and pay a monthly supervision fee. They will be required to submit to drug testing and unannounced visits of their domicile. The Parole Board may impose whatever conditions it deems appropriate in order to ensure the best interests of New Mexico’s citizens.

You can obtain any publicly available information about parole or your own parole record by contacting the parole board and asking to speak to the records information unit.

New Mexico Parole Board45 Penitentiary Rd. Santa Fe, NM 87508(505) 827-8825

Records Information Manager45 Penitentiary Rd. Santa Fe, NM 87508(505) 827-8825

New Mexico Probation Records

Probation records in New Mexico include official documents detailing the conditions by which a convicted criminal can serve their sentence outside of a detention facility. These records include the conditions of the probation imposed by a judge and who the probation officer is. The conditions of the probation depend on the crime committed and therefore differ from individual to individual.

New Mexico Juvenile Criminal Records

Juvenile records are documents about the criminal activity of adolescents or children in the state. Typically these records are sealed and confidential, meaning that there are limited rights granted to viewing and obtaining them.

If a Juvenile is proven guilty of an offense, they will not be considered a convict but rather an adjudicated delinquent.

Juvenile criminal records include:

  • Arrest records
  • Records of proceedings
  • Detention center records

These records remain confidential in the State of New Mexico but are valid unless the individual listed on the record petitions to have it erased. Individuals who are adjudicated delinquents do not need to respond ‘yes’ to questions about whether they have been convicted of a crime.

New Mexico Driving Records

The New Mexico Motor Vehicles Division supplies an easy-to-use online portal that allows anyone access to certified and non-certified Driving Records.

The records provided here contain only the past three years of driving record history. They are official copies.

To obtain your own Driving Record you will need the following:

  • Credit card to pay the Driving Record fee
  • Your DOB
  • The last four digits of your SSN
  • Your Driving License number (9-digits)

Non-Certified Driving Records: This version is available for $6.63. It is not certified, which means it may not be accepted by your insurance agency, employer, or others that require certified copies.

Certified Driving Record: This version is available for $9.99, and it is accompanied by a letter of certification from The Motor Vehicle Division of New Mexico.

New Mexico Accident Reports

Accident reports which involve fatalities are kept for twenty years. Accidents not involving fatalities, such as property damage or hit and runs, are kept for five years. The Inspection of Public Records Act allows the public to inspect these documents.

The Department of Public Safety will issue copies of these reports, provided they receive a written request. This applies to any civilian or agency.

Two search systems are available ACCIDENTS and ECrash.

ACCIDENTS is a Criminal Justice Information System and has accident information from before and including 2012.

ECrash is a newer system allowing inquiries about crash and accident reports from 2012 to the present. Anyone can log on to the site, request and access these reports and any supplements.

Public records requests from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety/Accidents Departments can be submitted online by filling out the IPRA Request Form.

You can email the form as an attachment to either:

Or send it via mail to:
P.O. Box 1628 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504

New Mexico Business Records and Filings

The Secretary of State’s office is responsible for issuing and maintaining the business records of Kentucky. It is their job to issue certificates of existence and certificates of authorization and provide the public with copies of documents on file.

You can obtain information on any business entity or corporation in New Mexico by performing a search on the Secretary of State’s website. Like most states, corporate registration information is provided for free, but additional information and documents will require a fee.

You can search New Mexico’s corporations and businesses here.

Third-party multi-state search (nationwide search with a $25.00 fee for one-day unlimited searches)

New Mexico Property Records

Parcel and property records are handled by a variety of departments within the individual county governments. It will depend significantly on the county whether the online search tools exist for looking up land use or ownership. Sometimes the county assessor is in charge of maintaining these records. Sometimes that job falls to the treasurer or clerk.

You can search for individual county records by clicking on the following links:

Vital Statistics

The purpose of these statistics is to establish an individual’s legal identity, age, nationality, parentage, marriage status. They also document every death that occurs in the state, its cause, place, and date. These records are kept in a central repository.

There are two ways to request vital records in New Mexico. One is via mail with an application form. The other is online via VitalChek, a third-party vital records repository.

In New Mexico, most Vital Records are restricted to specific individuals: the registrant and their immediate family or those with tangible proof of legal interest. These records are restricted to anyone other than the following individuals:

  • Mother of registrant
  • Father of registrant
  • Siblings of registrant
  • Child or grandchild of the registrant
  • Spouse of registrant
  • Grandparents

The New Mexico Vital Records Bureau maintains New Mexico Vital Records. A different bureau maintains marriage and divorce records. VitalChek offers easy online access to vital records. You can search by the following parameters:

  • Name of the person on the record
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Birth State
  • Purpose of the record request
  • Applicants current address and name

Birth Records

Unless the record exceeds the 100-year limit, New Mexico Birth Records are not public. Records under the 100 years limit will only be provided to the immediate family of the requestor or individuals with a demonstrable interest.

To begin the process of acquiring a New Mexico Birth Record, complete the Birth Record Search Application. You will also need a valid photo ID and provide proof of your relationship with the person on the certificate.

To request the birth certificate by mail, you may also write a letter. Be sure to include the following information:

  • The birth name of the registrant
  • Date of birth
  • County of birth
  • Full name of registrant’s parents
  • Reason for making the request
  • Delivery information
  • Names of the applicant and a signature

Include $10.00 to cover the request fee, only payable by money order. Address this check to
New Mexico Vital Records Office PO Box 25767 Albuquerque, NM 87125

Or you can visit the Bureau’s office in Socorro County, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or Gallup and make an in-person request.

You can also order birth certificates for yourself or another person through a third party like VitalCheck. There, birth certificates cost $5.00s per copy. They are available as far back as 1889 to the present day.

Death Records

New Mexico Death Records are only available to the public if fifty years have passed between the death and now. If it is within the timeframe of fifty years, these records are restricted to the public unless they are a direct relation of the deceased, or they can prove they have a legal right to records access.

In addition to accessing Death Records from VitalChek, you may also request them at the New Mexico Bureau of Vital Records Statistics.

The fee is $5.00, and the request can be made in person or via mail.

Mail-in service will be provided upon the receipt of the fee, as well as the Death Record Search Application, or a letter detailing the following information:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date of Death
  • The county or city the death occurred in
  • SSN of deceased (if known)
  • Name of Mortuary (if known)
  • Applicants relationship to deceased
  • Reason for the request
  • Applicants name/signature
  • Delivery information

Mail the above letter or application along with the fee to the following address:

New Mexico Vital Records Office PO Box 25767 Albuquerque, NM 87125

Or you can visit the Bureau’s office in Socorro County, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or Gallup and make an in-person request.

You can also order death certificates for yourself or another person through a third party like VitalCheck. There, death certificates cost $5.00 per copy. They are available as far back as 1889 to the present day.

Marriage Records

Marriage Records in New Mexico are not public information. They are restricted to the public, and only specific individuals can request them.

In New Mexico, Marriage Records are not kept by the Bureau of Vital Records. Nor can you acquire these records online. Direct your requests to the County Clerk of whichever County the marriage occurred in.

You can find information about each county clerk on the New Mexico Secretary of State website.

You cannot order New Mexico Marriage Records from VitalChek.

Divorce Records

Similarly, Divorce Records in New Mexico are not public information. They are restricted to the public, and only certain individuals can request them.

In New Mexico, Divorce Records are not kept by the Bureau of Vital Records. Nor can you acquire these records online. Direct requests to the District Court of whichever County the marriage occurred.

You cannot order New Mexico Divorce Records from VitalChek.

New Mexico Historical Records and State Archives

The records kept in state archives are historical in nature and can deal with a wide variety of topics relating to the state and its history. Many historical organizations exist in New Mexico, and each of them helps collect and maintain these repositories.

Some are housed in the State Archives, some in the State Library, while families or public institutions privately hold others. Often you will have to physically go to these places to access and make copies of records.

In a few cases, some documents may be available for search and viewing online.

New Mexico State Archives

The New Mexico State Archives is a significant resource for people looking into New Mexico’s history. It maintains records and collections that include the following archives:

  • Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe
  • Archives of the Diocese of Gallup
  • Census Records
  • County Records
  • District Court Records
  • Land Grants/Conveyances
  • Military Records
  • Wills/Diaries
  • Private Records
  • Prison Records
  • Published Family Histories
  • Newspapers
  • Vital Records

Visit the New Mexico State Records Center at the following address:

1205 Camino Carlos Rey Santa Fe, New Mexico
Phone: (505) 476-7900

New Mexico State Library

The State Library of New Mexico maintains the Southwest Collection, a reference source for individuals seeking historical information about the State, its history, environment, and government.

The purpose of the State Library of New Mexico is to support research in state history and collect documents in accordance with the State and Federal Document Collection statutes.

This library is an excellent resource of a variety of collections, including:

  • State Census (1830-1920)
  • City Directories
  • Vital Records
  • Biographies
  • Genealogy Master Index
  • Ellis Island Passenger Records
  • County Histories

Visit the New Mexico State Library at the following address:

1209 Camino Carlos Rey Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507
Phone: (505) 476-9700

Family History Centers

These New Mexico family history centers offer comprehensive genealogy resources, including family history records, obituaries, vital records, census records, court records, and many more.

You can contact any of them to make records requests, although they may charge a copying fee. You can find them at the following locations:

1010 Bondad Avenue Grants, New Mexico (505) 287-2470

400 W Apache Farmington, New Mexico (505) 325-5813

3210 Venus Street Las Cruces, New Mexico (505) 382-0618

1100 Montano Rd. N.W. Albuquerque, New Mexico (505) 343-0456

New Mexico Genealogy Records

Several third-party genealogy databases exist where you can search for military records, cemeteries, old school yearbooks, as well as get in touch with other researchers.

  • New Mexico Genealogy: This service is provided through and contains an extensive online database of obituaries, cemeteries, military records, and many other New Mexico historical records.
  • New Mexico Genealogy Queries: A Free and open public exchange where people can search and find other genealogists working on the same family lines or researching the same topic as yours.
  • New Mexico Cemeteries: Provides a repository of burial records for veterans and families interred in national cemeteries throughout the state and nation.

New Mexico Public Records by County