Michigan public records are governed by an Open Records Act which came into effect to provide transparency in government business. Called MORA (Michigan Open Records Act), this law states that a public record is any written prepared document that is held and used in official functions from when it was created.
This law also includes any media besides written, such as recordings or videos. Certain types of records that are not available for public viewing are records that could infringe on privacy, records that could compromise investigations or obstruct justice, student and medical records, business trade secrets, and any other records that are protected by law, whether is it local, state, or federal.
A written request is not necessary to view public records, although you may find that submitting one cuts down on confusion and makes things move along smoother.
Vital records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses and divorce decrees may be obtained using this address or phone number:
State of Michigan Vital Records Office 201 Townsend Street, Capital Building View, 3rd Floor, Lansing MI 48913
At Seeking Michigan you can run an online search for all types of records, both historical and current. You can search for documents, maps, photos, and audio clips.
There are also historical documents on Michigan, as well as genealogy tools.
For background checks or criminal histories try this site called ICHAT. The records are not free and the site is complicated but there is a tutorial section.
The public records center for the state is a bountiful archive. You can perform searches on:
You can also search records here by county or town.
There are many times when you need to know how to get a hold of records for family reasons. And these days knowing how to run a quick search on someone can come in very handy. Even the gardener may be someone with a past that could turn out to be dangerous.
Another reason to search records is a very common hobby these day's - genealogy. You may find records that are priceless to your children. And it is an honor to suddenly find out that you had a great uncle in the war that you never knew about. Many people find heroes in their family tree that they never knew existed.
To lookup Michigan public records information, contact:Michigan Office of the Attorney General
The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to perform a Michigan public records search. This means that you'll be able to look into various documents and other kinds of data that are created, maintained and utilized in order to perform some official function. You may need to do this kind of inquiry for many reasons from simple to complex, such as employment or adopting a child from another country.
The Michigan Freedom of Information Act of 1979 (MCL 15.231 et seq., MSA 4.1801(1) et seq.) set the requirements for what constitutes a public record in Michigan as well as speaking to their disclosure by public bodies within the state. Generally speaking, it pertains to any government record except specifically named exceptions. More specifically, the term "public record" means "a writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body in the performance of an official function, from the time it is created."
The law states that any individual or agency may ask to look at, photocopy or ask for a copy of any Michigan public record and there are no requirements based on residency or age to make such a request. The only requirement is that each request must be made in writing to the Freedom of Information Act Coordinator. Requests must be granted or a 10-day extension filed for within five business days from the date of the request for public records in Michigan.