California, "The Golden State" obtained statehood on September 9, 1850. It is the third largest state in the country at 158,706 square miles with the largest state population. The state motto is the Greek word "Eureka" meaning "I have found it". It has appeared on the state seal since 1849. The state seal was designed by US Army Major R.S. Garnett. The seal depicts the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva with a grizzly bear and a cluster of grapes at her feet. A miner working near the Sacramento River with the Sierra Nevada peaks above. At the edge of the seal are 31 stars for the 31 states at California's time of admission. In much the same way that Minerva sprung full grown from the head of Jupiter, California became a state without having to go through a territorial stage. California has an array of state symbols including the State Animal which is the California Grizzly Bear. Also designated to symbolize this beautiful state are the State Colors of blue and gold and state flower the Golden Poppy. California was the first state to designate an official state rock in 1965, Serpentine. In 1985 California was the first to designate a State Prehistoric Artifact. A chipped stone bear discovered at an archaeological dig in San Diego County. Other symbols are the State Bird (the California Valley Quail), Tree (California Redwood), Mineral (Gold) and Fossil (Saber-toothed Cat). The official State Song is "I Love You California" written by Los Angeles merchant F.B. Silverwood. In the contiguous (lower) 48 states, the highest point is California's Mt. Whitney, at 14,495 feet and is less than 100 miles from Death Valley California, the lowest point in North America. The capitol of California is Sacramento. Sacramento became the state's capital city in 1854, four years after California was admitted into the Union. There were three capitols previous to Sacramento. San Jose, Vallejo and Benicia.
California's government includes the Governor as well as 80 Assembly Members and 40 Senators. There are 58 counties in California containing 481 incorporated cities and towns. Basic provisions for the government of California counties are contained in the California Constitution and the California Government Code. The fundamental difference between cities and counties in California are that counties lack broad powers of self-government that cities have. Additionally legislative control over counties is more complete than it is over cities. There are two types of counties in California. General law counties which adhere to state law as to the number and duties of county elected officials. And Charter counties which have a limited degree of "home rule" authority that may provide for the election, compensation, terms, removal, and salary of the governing board.
Freedom of information in California is controlled by Constitutional, legislative, and judicial rules. Proposition 59, commonly known as the Sunshine Amendment added to the California constitution that the people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny. State law enforcement is provided by the California Highway Patrol which allows access to the statewide integrated traffic system reports as well as collision reports and statistics on drunk driving and fatalities. Individual county sheriffs offices provide such records as crime reports, inmate information and wanted persons. Public records such as birth, death and marriage certificates may be obtained from each counties recorder/clerk.
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 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.
Find out how to obtain criminal history records from the state of California. Get detailed criminal background searches using law enforcement and official information.
- California Criminal Self Service Center
How to see or get a copy of records from criminal cases.
- California Department of Justice Background Checks
Background criminal record searches of individuals as a pre-employment requirement, fingerprinting, foreign adoptions, licensing, certification, condition of residency and more. Online criminal history checks, applicant fingerprinting and processing costs. Access an automated telephone system to find out about your submissions. Conduct a search of your own criminal history and see records that are available for public viewing.
- California Inmate Locator
Locate inmates held in California correctional facilities. Obtain an inmate's contact information including the current facility and location where the prisoner is held. Research statistical information about parolees and inmates. View reports about prisoners in custody of the state penal system and see current data of jail populations supervised by the state's DOC.
- California Sex Offenders
Information provided by criminal justice departments and local police agencies. Daily updated list of persons required to register in California as sex offenders. View detailed profiles on all registrants. Publication directory of reports to legislators regarding California's Megan's law.
- California Wanted Alerts
Search for fugitives wanted by the California department of Corrections. The state's wanted person's online database to the public will show photo, age, physical description, offense, bulletins, warrant date and crime information.
- California Criminal History Request and Review
Information of arrests and convictions in California
- California Criminal Record Expungements
Information and resources to assist in expunging criminal records state and nationwide.
Access arrest records directly from California law enforcement agencies individually. Request information of incidents, charges and details from state and local police departments. Records division contact information and requirements to order official reports.
- California Highway Patrol
Look up current arrests, CIG alerts (radio stations broadcast of warnings regarding unusual or hazardous traffic conditions) and hot spots.
- California Department of Fish and Game
Fishing licenses, hunting licenses and more.
- California Attorney General
California office of the attorney general.
- Commission On Peace Officer Standards and Training
California law enforcement training academy and more.
- California County Sheriff Arrest Reports
Directory to county Sheriff offices and reports in California.
Search government agencies open to the public to find assets of companies, corporations, or individuals.
- California Property Records
Obtain property tax info by contacting the county assessor.
- Individual and Business Unclaimed Property Search
Database of unclaimed property reported by various financial institutions, insurance companies, corporations and associations. Search can be conducted by individual owner's name, business name, government entity or property. Query results show owner's name, reported owner name, type of property, cash reported and the entity that reported the unclaimed property.
- California Business, Corporation, LLC and LLP Search
Information for corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships of record with the California Secretary of State
- California Professional Licenses
Look up and verify professional licenses.
- California Official Document Search by Agency
Search Records By individual agencies throughout the state of California. Open access to California state clerks, offices and public services, forms and instructions to procedures when requesting official and un-official documents.
- California Business Filings By Name
Search Corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership names and foreign name registrations
- State of California Professional License Online Verification
Search all professions in California from accountants to vocational nurses and view status of an individual's or firm's licenses by name. Additional background of licensee's information, education, years in practice, past disciplinary actions taken by the state, bonds or other detailed data required by the state can be viewed online. Look up entities required to file for permits when conducting a business in the state.
- California Secretary of State Archives
Local and state government recorded historic events. Records are compiled by state agencies, state Supreme and Appellate Courts, state legislature and governor. Historical investigation supported by documents for researchers. See the state's resources and research room access.
- Search for People at University of California at Berkeley
- University of California at Davis Directory
- University of California at Irvine
- University of California at Los Angeles Campus Directory
- University of California at San Francisco Directory
- Search for Students and Staff at University of California at Santa Cruz
- San Diego State University Web Directory
- San Francisco State University Directory
- Pomona College Directory
- University of Southern California Student Directory
Search California court records for the general public, attorneys and other members of the legal justice system. Search case status, plaintiffs and defendant names, subsequent filings, discovery and judgment of a case utilizing state court web resources. View the status and upcoming cases on calendar. Criminal courts include traffic divisions, small claims and misdemeanors to superior court felony cases and supreme court hearings. Access bankruptcy filings and procedures in obtaining details of the case. Preparation and procedures for persons interested in using self help, legal aid and low cost options open to the public.