The history of St. Clair County starts in 1818 when the area became an official Alabama county. When looking for St. Clair County public records, you will find that few records exist earlier than that date. Also, the state made it the law for counties to record birth and death registrations in 1908, so that is when the majority of records will have started.
St. Clair County public records are available for a fee from the health department office in Pell City. If you aren't close enough for a personal visit, you can always mail them your application materials. The forms can be downloaded from the Alabama Department of Public Health, and they require such information as names, dates and locations to clearly identify which record you are seeking.
The health office is open to the public during usual weekday business hours, so you can just go when it is convenient to drop off your forms. They can usually provide you with your vital records documents while you wait. If you choose to mail in your forms, you can expect a wait of between 1 and 2 weeks. Mailed applications will have to include the fee as a money order made out to the State Board of Health.
St. Clair County Birth Records
You are permitted to request your own St. Clair County birth records, or get copies of records for your own immediate family. Other than that, they are restricted for 125 years after the date of birth to protect people's privacy. The current fee for a birth record is $15, and extra copies are $6 each (of the same record). Any early records, typically from before 1908, will likely not have the child's name listed so be prepared to provide accurate parent's names to pinpoint which record you need.
St. Clair County Death Records
It only takes 25 years for the privacy period to expire for St. Clair County death records which makes accessing them a little easier. For the first 25 years after the date of death, they are limited to immediate family members just like birth records. Then they become public documents and can also be found at the State Archive and possibly even your local library. Otherwise, you can still get certified copies at the health office for $15.
St. Clair County Marriage Records
The state didn't start to keep marriage records until 1936, and divorce records weren't kept until 1950. But the county was keeping marriage registrations for much longer, usually through the Probate courts. They are also located in Pell City. If the health department has the records, it will cost $15 per copy, but getting a St. Clair County marriage record from the courthouse may cost less.
St. Clair County Criminal Records
St. Clair County criminal records are held by the state, just like criminal records in any county. They are private at all time, and you will only be permitted to make a request if you are asking for your own criminal files. Law enforcement officers, other legal professionals and certain employers (who do background checks) may also have access if required. To request your own criminal records, send in the proper forms to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center along with the $25 fee.