Tuscaloosa is one of the largest counties in Alabama, and it was established as a county in 1818. Many Tuscaloosa County public records are available from that time or even earlier. It wasn't until 1908 that the state made it a requirement so not all registrations were made until that year. After 1908, you can be almost certain that all births and deaths were accurate recorded.
The state Vital Records department maintains a complete database of these records, but the local health department office in can access it in order to issue copies of Tuscaloosa County public records on request. You just have to fill out a request form, and submit it to the office which is in Tuscaloosa. If you are there in person, you usually get your copies back in under an hour. If you choose to mail your forms in, they are fairly quick at processing and usually have your Tuscaloosa County public records back to you within 2 weeks.
Your application has to have a completed request form, the search fee, and a piece of your own photo ID. A photocopy is fine if you are mailing in your forms.
Tuscaloosa County Birth Records
Alabama state law doesn't allow any birth records to be made public for 125 years after the date of birth. Any Tuscaloosa County birth records under this restriction will only be issued to the person on the record, or to members of their immediate family. So you can get copies for your child, parent, spouse or sibling no matter how recent the birth is. Outside that group of relations, you will not have access. The fee for each copy requested is $15 but you can get extra copies (if ordered at the same time) for $6 each.
Tuscaloosa County Death Records
Copies of Tuscaloosa County death records cost the same as birth records, and recent records will also have the same immediate family restrictions. But with death records, the limitations only last for 25 years. You can get anyone's death records after that. For any genealogical or informational purposes that don't require a certified copy, you can get copies of most older records through the State Archives or online genealogy websites.
Tuscaloosa County Marriage Records
The state made it a requirement to record marriage events by the county in 1936, so you will get the best data for the years after that. But the Probate courthouse should have a large number of older records from the years before that. Tuscaloosa County marriage records are not private so you can make a request for anyone's records. Through the health department, each record will cost $15 but the Probate court may have its own pricing for retrieving copies.
Tuscaloosa County Criminal Records
Tuscaloosa County criminal records are subject to state-wide regulation and are not issued to people making requests unless you are applying to get a copy of your own criminal history files. The cost for each request is $25 and you have to send your forms to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center by mail. Their website has full instructions as well as blank forms that you can print out.