Rhode Island Public Records
Rhode Island Public Records - The State With the Toughest Laws
Most public records are readily available, and some states have public records laws that are so lenient that almost any record is available to the public. Rhode Island public records are a little different. Rhode Island has several safeguards in place to make it possible not to gain access to the laws.
In early 2011, the new governor put into place a variety of discretionary choices by those in charge of Rhode Island public records to make it more difficult to gain access to these records. The changes are also vague, so it is possible to be denied access to a record that you should be legally allowed to access.
What Can You Do?
If you want to access Rhode Island public records, you can still contact the state's agencies directly. Often times you will still be able to retrieve access to these records as needed. You can also utilize websites that have already collected the data in these records and have generated databases that you can access to receive it.
If you are still denied access to the Rhode Island public records and there is no way to find that information online, another option is to file an appeal. The appeals process is time consuming and difficult, but often you'll find that in the end you are still able to access the record that you are entitled to access.
Rhode Island Birth Records
City and town clerk offices have records for all the births, deaths, marriages, and civil unions that occur in those cities and towns. All 39 cities and towns can also provide copies of most birth certificates for anyone born in the state on or after January 1, 1960.If you need a Rhode Island birth record from prior to 1960, then each individual town clerk’s office will be able to assist you. So if the parent’s were living in Bristol Rhode Island when the birth occurred, that would be the town office that you would want to contact for a birth record.
Rhode Island Death Records
The State of Rhode Island houses their death records under the title of Vital Records. This is a branch of the state department of health. The Office of Vital Records is responsible not only for death records and information, but for making corrections to those documents.
Under their laws they only offer certified copies of Rhode Island Death records to be given to those who are considered to have connected and substantial interest. Under these qualifications are, Attorneys, examining titles. The agents of these entities are also intern allowed to request Death Certificates. The guardian of the person named on the certificate is qualified to request a certified copy. Another qualifying individual is someone who is attempting to protect their right to property. Corporations or agencies are an example of someone who is not considered to be directly connected to the situation and is therefore unqualified to receive vital records.
If you feel you are entitled to the vital information contained within a Rhode Island death record you may petition the court, if the court deems it appropriate then they will issue a court order that you will be able to present to the registrar, who will have to give you the documents requested that are covered in the document.
You must have valid ID when you arrive to request or pick up your records. The Office of Vital Records will take between eight and six weeks before they will complete your regular request. However if there is a reason to rush you may for an additional fee as for an express request from the State office. A rush request will be completed within five business days. The forms needed to request a death certificate is available online, or you can visit a local office, under the town clerk, courthouses or city offices.
Additional Rhode Island Resources
The links listed below lead to government agencies that provide free online access to public record information.