California Public and Criminal Records
State of California Most Updated Public and Criminal Records Portal

California takes great strides in protecting individuals' privacy, operating within enacted state laws and federal statutes, the state has imposed amongst the toughest restrictions to public records in the United States. California Department of Justice provides background checks for employers, professional certification or licenses, temporary VISA or immigration purposes and foreign adoptions or yourself only. Obtaining records from individual departments may be a better method. Court clerks in the county where the criminal case is filed can provide copies of their files unless sealed by court order. A directory of California's major public records custodians allows anyone to see available channels to obtain copies, certificates, files and any other form of information granted by law.

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Public Records Information

California is the largest state (by population) in the United States with over 37 million residents. There are 58 counties and 478 cities covering 155,959 square miles. Sacramento is the capital and the sixth largest city in the state amongst Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco and Long Beach. The “Golden State” is the sixth largest economy in the world. Its leading industries are technology, agriculture and banking.

The state of California’s departments provide public records from various department and administration divisions. Recorders are not the sole custodians of records, departments maintain and provide information individually.

Criminal records can be obtained from several public sources in California with various policies to service requests. Employers can access the automated service from the California Department of Justice to conduct background checks online. Individuals can also request a self background check. Separate law enforcement agencies provide incident and police reports.

Background Information. Personal information is needed for identification, verification, passports and instances where official documentation is required. California's department of Public Health issues certified authorized and informational copies online to the public. Certain employers require applicants to provide a driving record which can be requested directly from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Court Records Information

Court self help services help the general public and attorneys directly access records from all 58 county superior courts. Case information is offered by court clerks with services to obtain copies of filings. Online calendar of upcoming cases, party names and division details where trials are held are available from Appellate to lower courts. The PACER system is a Bankruptcy public case access system operating separately from other court services..


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