Oregon Public Records

Public records are documents and materials relating to a wide variety of activities conducted in any given jurisdiction. These records can be about government departments, their decisions, finances, the actions of public agencies and bodies, and specific information about citizens of a jurisdiction.

Some examples of public records include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Criminal
  • Court
  • Inmate
  • Sex Offender
  • Driving
  • Business
  • Vital
  • Historical
  • State Government
  • County

These records are governed by specific rules that stipulate what the public can and cannot access. These rules are laid out in state and federal freedom of information laws. Typically these laws state that the public has robust rights when it comes to accessing documents about the affairs of the state. However, several exemptions apply.

The digitization of public records has increasingly made it easier for people to access them, either through government-run or third-party online databases. Digitization has made these records more available and the process for acquiring them more accessible than it was a few decades ago.

This article explores the public records of the State of Oregon. We will delve into the relevant laws that govern accessing and using public records in the state, how and where to find them, and link to the appropriate forms and databases. We will also cover any fee and contact information available and provide step-by-step instructions on requesting records about Oregon’s Government, businesses, and citizens.

Oregon Public Records and Public Meetings Laws

Oregon offers every interested citizen the right to obtain, view, and use public records. They take to heart the idea that for a democratic society to function, citizens have the right to inspect all records created by a governmental body unless exempt by statute, law, or court order.

Oregon is home to over 35 million public records, which they began collecting in the year 1800 from its 36 counties. Click the following link to learn more about Oregon’s public records and open meetings laws.

Oregon Criminal Records

Criminal records are compilations of various documents about a person’s criminal history. Different government agencies and departments contribute to these records, including correction facilities from state and county level jurisdictions, police departments, and courts.

Most criminal records in Oregon are available in online records portals maintained and disseminated by the Oregon State Police.

What Information is in a Criminal Record?

Criminal records typically contain the following information compiled from a variety of different sources:

  • Birth name and known aliases
  • Birthdate
  • Description of physical appearance
  • List of charges
  • History of arrest(s)
  • History of warrants (current and past)

Arrest Records

Arrest records are one source of information for criminal records.

An arrest record is a summary of an individual’s history of arrests providing a variety of information about the arrestee and the circumstances of the arrest. Arrest records do not mean that an individual is guilty.

The public, with few exceptions, can gain access to arrest records. In Oregon, access may be restricted if the case is before the courts, or if they are sealed for public safety reasons, or in cases where the individual is found innocent.

The following information is usually contained in an arrest record:

  • Name of the arrestee and known aliases
  • Date of charges filed
  • Case type
  • Assigned case number
  • Name of court
  • Charges/offenses

Arrest Warrant Records

Another source of information for criminal records in the State of Oregon is an arrest warrant. Judges issue these documents, and they authorize law enforcement to detail/arrest the person named on the warrant.

In Oregon, police officers can arrest an individual without a warrant if the officer witnesses a crime or has a reasonable belief that a person has or is about to commit a crime.

Arrest warrants contain the following information:

  • Name of individual
  • Charges behind arrest
  • Terms affecting time and location of arrest

Conviction Records

Like arrest records and arrest warrant records, conviction records are part of the makeup of a person’s criminal history. If a person is found guilty, pleads guilty, or pleads nolo contendere in a court of law, then a conviction record records this.

Other information included in a conviction record is whether or not an individual has been judged delinquent, has been placed on probation, has been fined, imprisoned, or paroled. Convictions are rendered either by a judge or jury. Conviction records do not include judgments that were erased by pardons, reversed, or set aside.

How are Offenses Structured in the State of Oregon?

If a crime is committed in the State of Oregon, the charge will either be a misdemeanor offense or a felony.

Misdemeanor: These offenses are not as severe as felonies and are non-indictable. Courts can sentence a person to a term in jail, impose a fine, or require both. There are four categories of offense in Oregon:

  • Class A is punishable by a fine of up to $6,520 or imprisonment for up to 364 days.
  • Class B is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 or imprisonment for up to 6 months.
  • Class C is punishable by a fine of up to $1,250 or imprisonment for up to 30 days.
  • ‘Unclassified’ is a misdemeanor offense in which the penalties are specified in a statute.

Felony: Violations of Oregon’s criminal legislature result in a felony offense that carries a minimum sentence of more than a year. Convictions are served in a state prison or county jail, and depending on the crime, may be subject to the death penalty. Oregon’s Felonies are divided into the following classes:

  • Class A is the most severe. Fines can go up to $375,000 or up to 20 years in jail.
  • Class B can result in a fine of up to $250,000 or up to 10 years in jail.
  • Class C can result in a fine of up to $125,000 or up to 5 years in jail.

How do I Access the Information in a Criminal History?

Oregon Criminal histories are available to the public according to state law*. This information is provided through the CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services) Salem Division. Access is provided either through an ‘open records program’ or an ‘own records program.’

The ‘open records program’ allows you to access someone else’s information. The ‘own records program’ will enable you to access your own records.

*NOTE: As of April 2021, The Oregon State Police is making changes to how it disseminates criminal records; visit the Criminal History Record Checks website for the most up-to-date way to request these records. You can also ask about these changes by sending a message to LEDS.2020@osp.oregon.gov

How do You Request a Copy of Your Own Record?

The Oregon State Police can give you a copy of your criminal history, or they can provide you with documentation proving you do not have a criminal history in the state.

    • Complete the Copy of Own Oregon Record/Clearance Letter Request Instructions form.
    • Submit a hard copy of properly rolled fingerprints (contact local law enforcement, a fingerprinting service, or the Salem headquarters).
    • Pay the $33.00 fee (plus $5.00 for notarized) with a check or money order made payable to the Oregon State Police.
    • Mail all of the above to the following address:

Oregon State Police
CJIS Division Unit 11
PO Box 4395
Portland, OR 97208-4395

Response times may vary, but it generally takes between 7 and 10 business days to process a request and send out the results. Expedited requests are not possible at this time.

How do You Request a Copy of Someone Else’s Record?

In Oregon, a person’s criminal history is a matter of public record. This means that any interested party can access it. However, the information that will be provided will be limited. The following information will be included:

  • Arrest date
  • Offense
  • Arresting agency
  • Court
  • Disposition
  • Sentencing information
  • Date of parole (if applicable)

The individual about whom the record is being requested will be notified of the request. They will be given 14 days to challenge the accuracy of this record, but if no challenge is received, the record will be provided to the requestor.

Suppose an employer is requesting information about an employee. In that case, the employee must be informed about the request. The employer must confirm on the form that they have indeed notified the individual of this request.

To make this request, fill out the Request For Oregon Criminal History Information On Another Individual form.

The request must include the following information:

  • Full name of the individual you are requesting information about
  • Individual’s date of birth
  • Individual’s Social Security Number
  • Current address or the last known address
  • Name and address of the individual or organization making the request
  • Check or money order made payable to Oregon State Police (or credit card if submitting in person) for $10.00.
  • Fingerprints are not required.
  • Notarization is not available.

Once the form is filled out, you can submit it along with the payment to one of the following addresses:

For Billing Customers:

Criminal Justice Information Services Division
Attn: Open Records
3565 Trelstad Ave. SE
Salem, Oregon 97317

For Direct Pay Customers:

Oregon State Police Unit 11
P.O. Box 4395
Portland, Oregon 97208-4395

Oregon Inmate Records

Inmate records are publicly available data about incarcerated individuals in the state, county-run jails, or prisons of Oregon.

Typically these records include basic personal information, as well as the known aliases of the individual. Often these records are accompanied by mug shots and a physical description. Arrest and booking details are also included, along with the charges issued, bail or bond amounts, and all relevant information from the courts.

Some if not all information contained in inmate records is available to the public according to various federal and state laws. There are a few ways of obtaining this information. The first is to query the facility at which the incarcerated person is held directly.

The Oregon Department of Corrections also provides offender information in its Oregon Offender Search database as a public service. This search portal provides access to information about offenders currently in the custody of either the Oregon Department of Corrections or local Community Corrections offices.

The website displays information about offenders, but it only includes offenses that are associated with the reason for their current incarceration. Thus it is not a history of every crime the offender has been charged with.

How do You Obtain Official/Certified Copies of Offender Records?

The Oregon Offender Search is not an official record and does not contain all offenses an individual has been charged with, convicted of, and sentenced for. To request an official or certified copy of offender records, you will be required to submit a public records request.

In order to locate the records you are looking for, direct your request to the Oregon Department of Corrections along with the following information:

  • Type of records sought
  • If the records involve an adult currently in custody, the AIC, and the SID number
  • Subject matter
  • Date range (approximate if unknown)
  • Make your request for AIC court documents in the county where the conviction occurred

Use one of the following forms to acquire an Offender Information and Sentencing Computation:

If you know the location of the incarcerated individual you are seeking records for, send your request to the appropriate institution listed below. If you are making a department-wide request, send it to the ‘Non-Offender Records’ option in the list below. Click on the link of the appropriate institution to query the person in charge of records requests at that location.

Oregon Sex Offender Listings

The Oregon State Police oversees the Sex Offender Registry. Information on that registry is available to the public. They enable the public to receive notifications on the location of individuals who may pose a danger to their area. However, the registry only lists Level 3 Sex Offenders. These individuals have been deemed high risk in terms of reoffending.

This is a federally mandated program introduced by Megan’s Law, and these registers contain the locations, names, and convictions of sex offenders in the state.

The registries are online, and the public can do their own research as they see fit. 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:

  • Last registration date
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Age
  • Known aliases
  • Sex
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Hair color
  • Eye color
  • Charges
  • Offender status

Further information can be acquired by phoning the Division of State Police Sex Offender Registry at (503) 934-1258 or emailing them at Sexoffender.Questions@osp.oregon.gov.

Oregon Driving Records

The following records are made available by the DMV. Only specific individuals are qualified to receive these records. The provisions and exemptions for these records are laid out in statutes governing the Department of Motor Vehicles and drivers.

These records can be ordered online or ordered directly from an Oregon DMV location. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the availability of many of these services. Check the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services webpage for the most up-to-date information on accessing the available records, as well as for a list of DMV locations that can process your records requests.

What follows is a list of records offered by the Oregon DMV.

  • Certified Three-Year Non-Employment Record: A driving record that includes all accidents in the State of Oregon, diversion agreements, and conviction information. Fee: $1.50
  • Certified Open-Ended Non-Employment Record: Insurers and their support organizations will use this record to offer discounts to an individual. It includes all accidents in the State of Oregon, diversion agreements, and conviction information. Fee: $1.50
  • Certified Three-Year Employment Driving Record: This driving record includes all job-related convictions, accidents, and CDL entries in the State of Oregon. Fee: $2.00
  • Certified Court Printout: You can purchase a ten-year or a five-year record. The ten-year record includes convictions for traffic offenses, entries relating to a commercial license, diversion agreements, and entries pertaining to drug and alcohol rehab. The five-year record includes convictions for minor offenses, accidents, suspensions, cancellations, and revocations. Fee: $3.00
  • Certified Court Printout with CDL Certification: Same as above but with any CDL medical qualifications. Fee: $3.00
  • Certified and Uncertified Drivers License Information: a record that includes information about your driver’s license, including name, address, license number, birth date, license type, issue and expiration dates, restrictions, endorsements. $1.50
  • Traffic Accident and Insurance Information: This record is not an official accident report but is a certified letter with the identity of vehicle ownership, driver, and occupants, vehicle registration number, insurance information, and names of witnesses to the accident. Fee: $12.50
  • Police Crash Report: A copy of an accident report provided by the Oregon State Police. Fee: $8.50
  • Certified Drivers License Application History: This report provides details about all original licenses, renewals, and replacements, as well as any ID car transactions. Fee: $17.50

Oregon Vital Records

Oregon is considered a closed records state when it comes to vital records. This means that access to birth, death, marriage, and divorce records within the state are restricted to the registrant, their legal representatives, or immediate family members. Only these individuals can access them.

These restrictions only apply for a specific period of time. Once that period of time has elapsed, the public can request copies, and they will be made available to any interested individuals for genealogical or informational purposes.

The following information is usually required of the requesting party before a request can be processed:

  • Registrants name
  • The date on which the vital event was licensed or occurred
  • Which judicial district the event was recorded in
  • Name of registrants parents (including maiden names)
  • Record case file number.

The Oregon Health Authority maintains the records, and they can be ordered online through their website.

What is the Difference Between Certified and Informational Copies?

Certified records are legal records that can be used for various legal or official assignments, such as establishing identity. Typically they contain a mark of authentication in the form of a raised seal bestowed by the record’s custodian. These records are only available to the individual on the record or the authorized individual listed above.

Information copies are usually available as a matter of public record. These documents are not considered legal and cannot be used to establish identity. Typically, they are used for research or genealogical purposes.

Marriage Records

Oregon’s marriage records are not public records by law until 50 years after the date on the marriage license. State eligibility requirements must be met to view the records. To meet these requirements, you must be one of the following:

  • Party named on the record
  • Current spouse of registrant
  • Legal representatives of any of the above parties
  • Someone who has been issued a court order to view the documents
  • Researchers authorized by the state

To obtain a record of the marriage, follow these steps:

    • Fill out the Oregon Marriage Record Order Form
    • Include a check or money order made payable to the OHA/Vital Records: $25.00 for first certified copies, with $25.00 per additional copy. These fees are non-refundable.
    • Self Addressed stamped envelope.
    • Photocopy of a government-issued ID and/or proof of relationship.
    • Mail all of the above to the following address:

Oregon Vital Records Office
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 205
P.O. Box 14050
Portland OR 97293-0050

You can also order in person, although additional fees may apply. The record will be available within an hour (so long as they are submitted by 3:30 pm). Visit the State Vital Records Office at the following address:

800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 205
Portland, OR 97232-2187

Ordering Oregon Marriage Records Online

The State of Oregon has partnered with VitalChek Network, Inc. for all online orders of marriage records. This independent company charges additional fees for the use of its service. These fees can be paid by credit card.

Visit the VitalChek website to place your online order. The first copy costs $25.00, with all additional copies costing $25.00.

Divorce Records

In Oregon, certified divorce records are made available only to parties listed on the divorce record, authorized individuals, or by court order until 50 years after the divorce was granted. The public can request information records, but details about financial settlements, alimony, spousal support, bank statements, property inventories, and social security information will be redacted.

To obtain divorce records, follow these steps:

      • Fill out the Divorce Record Order Form
      • Include a check or money order made payable to the OHA/Vital Records: $25.00 for first certified copies, with $25.00 per additional copy. These fees are non-refundable.
      • Self Addressed stamped envelope.
      • Photocopy of a government-issued ID and/or proof of relationship.
      • Mail all of the above to the following address:

Oregon Vital Records Office
800 NE Oregon St., Suite 205
P.O. Box 14050
Portland OR 97293-0050

You can also order in person, although additional fees may apply. The record will be available within an hour (so long as they are submitted by 3:30 pm). Visit the State Vital Records Office at the following address:

800 NE Oregon Street
Suite 205
Portland, OR 97232-2187

Ordering Oregon Divorce Records Online

The State of Oregon has partnered with VitalChek Network, Inc. for all online orders of divorce records. This independent company charges additional fees for the use of its service. These fees can be paid by credit card.

Visit the VitalChek website to place your online order. The first copy costs $25.00, with all additional copies costing $25.00.

Birth Records

Unless a birth record is over 100 years old, it is not a public record in the state of Oregon. Until such time it is available only to the registrant, their parents or guardians, descendants or next of kin, legal representatives, or state-authorized genealogists.

To obtain the record of birth, follow these steps:

      • Fill out the Oregon Birth Record Order Form or Oregon Full Image/Long Form Birth Record Order Form.
      • Include a check or money order made payable to the OHA/Vital Records: $25.00 for first certified copies, with $25.00 per additional copy for the regular birth record, $30.00 for the long-form. These fees are non-refundable.
      • Self Addressed stamped envelope.
      • Photocopy of a government-issued ID and/or proof of relationship.
      • Mail all of the above to the following address:

Oregon Vital Records Office
800 NE Oregon St., Suite 205
P.O. Box 14050
Portland OR 97293-0050

You can also order in person, although additional fees may apply. The record will be available within an hour (so long as they are submitted by 3:30 pm). Visit the State Vital Records Office at the following address:

800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 205
Portland, OR 97232-2187

Ordering Oregon Birth Records Online

The State of Oregon has partnered with VitalChek Network, Inc. for all online orders of birth records. This independent company charges additional fees for the use of its service. These fees can be paid by credit card.

Visit the VitalChek website to place your online order. For the Long Form Birth Certificate, the first copy costs $30.00. All additional copies cost $30.00. For the Regular certified birth record, the cost is $25.00, with all additional copies costing $25.00.

Death Records

In Oregon, until 50 years after the creation of a death record has passed, a death record is not open to the public. This is true of fetal deaths as well. You must be an immediate member of the deceased’s family or a legally authorized individual to obtain access to these records.

To obtain the record of death, follow these steps:

      • Fill out the Oregon Death Record Order Form
      • Include a check or money order made payable to the OHA/Vital Records: $25.00 for first certified copies, with $25.00 per additional copy for the regular birth record. These fees are non-refundable.
      • Self Addressed stamped envelope.
      • Photocopy of a government-issued ID and/or proof of relationship.
      • Mail all of the above to the following address:

Oregon Vital Records Office
800 NE Oregon St., Suite 205
P.O. Box 14050
Portland OR 97293-0050

You can also order in person, although additional fees may apply. The record will be available within an hour (so long as they are submitted by 3:30 pm). Visit the State Vital Records Office at the following address:

800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 205
Portland, OR 97232-2187

Ordering Oregon Death Records Online

The State of Oregon has partnered with VitalChek Network, Inc. for all online orders of death records. This independent company charges additional fees for the use of its service. These fees can be paid by credit card.

Visit the VitalChek website to place your online order. The first copy costs $25.00, with all additional copies costing $25.00.

Oregon Business Records

By law, many business records are available for the public to search and view. These records are maintained by the Corporation Division of the Oregon Secretary of State. There are two ways to access these records.

      • Search for a business name in the online business registry database and view the digital files available in the registry.
      • If the file you are looking for is not available in the above database, you can submit a Copy Request Form.

Use the following steps to search the business registry database:

      • Select the type of search you want to complete by clicking on the four available options: entity name, business ID number, business filing number, or individual’s name.
      • When searching by an entity or individual name, you will also be able to select one of the following search methods: ‘exact match,’ ‘begins with,’ ‘full text’ (available only for entity name search), or’ index search.’
      • If an entity or individual name is selected, the results will list all registered businesses that resemble the search criteria.
      • Choose any of the results by clicking the hyperlink. This will display a summary of all the publicly available information on the business entity.
      • You can also reach the summary by selecting and entering the business’s ID number directly on the search page.
      • You can select ‘filing’ or ‘activity’ to display specific filing from the summary screen, and a list of filings will be returned to the user. You can also search by filing numbers on the original search page.
      • If there is no hyperlink available, that means there is no electronic record available for that filing. However, if there is, you can download a pdf document of the file by clicking on the hyperlink.

In addition to the business registry database, the Office of the Secretary of State of Oregon offers many publically available business statistics on business, notary, and UCC filings. You can view digital monthly reports from 2016 to the present on the Oregon Business Statistics webpage.

Search Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Records

The Oregon Secretary of State offers a UCC record search portal where you can find most digital images of publically available files. If a digital file is not available, you can use the Information Request Form to request a copy.

You can also search the UCC Data List for monthly filings. A report of UCC renewals is also available, as well as a Farm Products Master List.

If any of the above does not meet your needs, you can file a UCC Custom Requests form.

Oregon Historical and State Records

The Oregon State Archives is located at 800 Summer St. NE in Salem. They offer a full-service reference room that houses a variety of guides, records, and indexes of Oregon’s history, citizens, businesses, and legislation.

View the Basic Researcher’s Guide to learn more about what is contained in the State Archives and how to request, access, and view the materials available.

The archives include many digitized documents that can be searched for online and many of which can be downloaded as a digital image or PDF document for free.

The archives also include many guides, records, and indexes, all of which can be searched online. Some of these documents may be available as digital images or documents, while others will require a visit to the reading room to view them.

These archives are searchable by the following categories:

      • Early Oregonians Database: Documents the citizens living in Oregon before it became a state.
      • Governors Records Guides: Provides biographies and listings of governors, and in some cases, their letters and message.
      • Historical Photography: Collections of historical photographs available in the State archives. These photos are from collections held in the Salem Public Library, Marion County Historical Society, and the Oregon State Archives.
      • Legislative Bill Tracings: Details committee names, minutes, tapes, and research information related to certain legislative bills from the early 1980s to the present.
      • Legislative Committee Minutes: Contains summaries of audio logs and other recordings of committee proceedings from the early 1990s to the present.
      • Oregon Historical County Records: These records include maps of counties and other images of the 36 counties in the State of Oregon.
      • Oregon Historical Index: Lists historical entries compiled and held in the State Archives.
      • Guide to Legislative Records: How to access information on legislative records, as well as histories of legislation and inventories of the records themselves.
      • Legislators/Staff Guide: Presents listings of members of the Oregon legislature, their residences, districts, and party affiliations from 1941 till today.
      • Territorial Records Guide: These records include maps, the histories of Oregon’s various agencies and counties, descriptions of provisional government records, as well as territorial government records, and inventories of their contents in the State Archives.
      • State Agency Records: Records of state agencies and public bodies held in the archives, including agency histories, their scope, notes on their contents, descriptions of the records, slideshows of selected images, and helpful links.

The archive also offers several topical research guides. To learn more, click on the following links of the available topic guides:

There are fees for several of the services offered by the State Archives. The various charges are laid out in the Archives Division Fees document.

If you know the record you wish to order, you can request it directly using the Request Copies from the Oregon State Archives form. Payment instructions will be sent to you via email upon filling out the form, and you will learn more details about how these records will be disseminated to you.