Rhode Island Public Records

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About Rhode Island Open Public Record

The Rhode Island Open Meetings Act dictates the way in which public meetings are conducted and the Access to Public Records Act (APRA) ensures the access to open public records. The APRA was first enacted in 1979 and revised in 1991, 1998 and 2008. Rhode Island was the forty-ninth state to enact a state law guaranteeing access to public records. Rhode Island has set up the Open Government Unit to investigate violations of the Open Meetings Act and the APRA. There are, however, exemptions defined in the law to protect from disclosure when a persons personal privacy would be invaded without warrant. Rhode Island was the first colony to declare independence from British rule on May 4, 1776. However, Rhode Island was the last state to ratify the United States constitution, and it became the 13th state of the Union on May 29, 1790. Rhode Island is the smallest state by area in the United States. It has 5 counties, 8 cities and 31 towns. The Bureau of Criminal Investigations under the office of the Attorney General allows access to criminal history records. Search quickly and accurately for Rhode Island public records. Solicit all levels of Rhode Island government and their sites for services and public information. Useful links to vital, court and criminal records, as well as current news and crime reports. See Rhode Island crime statistics, census data, housing and economy information. Find criteria about the state's residents, education, income and payrolls. Also explore current real estate data, property and land values. Read about Rhode Island's business demographics and look up taxes by county. Check back regularly as new resources and data are added to this site.
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Rhode Island Free Public Records Directory


Departments which record, maintain and provide official documents, certificates or information requested by the general public.

Rhode Island Free Court Records Search


Recent court criminal actions, civil lawsuits and bankruptcy filings.

Ask Questions, About Rhode Island

  • Where can I find in Rhode Island, the House vote on tolls?
    Are you talking about the truck toll bill? The governor (Raymondo) approved the bill after the debate, 52 for and 21 against. (Staff)
  • What is the best way to view arrests across Rhode Island?
    There are crime maps on individual police websites that show all incidents, including arrests throughout Rhode Island. Arrests are published online by individual, either small or large law enforcement departments. When a person is booked, the police will enter the information in an arrest log, jail/inmate list, or any other term used to show people that are in custody. There are periodicals which show recent arrests in their local areas. (Staff)
  • Where can I find different types of background checks in Rhode Island?
    There are numerous ways in which to order a background check and several types. You can conduct the search for different case types at once, or you can also choose to search just a felony or misdemeanors. You will be able to see the case's description, court, filing date, case type, status, arrest details, arresting agency and case ID. This is not a complete background check, only a check of case records of certain types. Background check is a broad term. In many cases it is just a search of criminal records and others it's more. There are instances where an individual needs to show a driver's history record to an employer as a term of their application process. Various departments throughout Rhode Island have individual responsibilities. Although police departments make out the reports, the cases end up in court. It is best to look up court records as the state police does not seem to have an online source to conduct a background check. Some background check of criminal records services reveal their coverage, such as whether traffic violations, misdemeanors or DUIs appear. A case search from the courts would generally cover a lot of the criminal records, however traffic violations if only resulted in just a citation will probably not show up. You can search for records on your own and only get what you need. If all you need is a criminal record check, the criminal courts is where to look. However, if you're looking for assets such as home ownership for example, you can look up land records from the town clerk's office, here are links to town/city websites, look for the town clerk, some of the services such as form downloads and instructions on how to request property information is also included. (Staff)