Texas Public Records Questions and Answers (FAQ)

Texas Public Records Questions and Answers (FAQ)
  • How can I find out if someone was fired from a job or laid off in Texas?
    Sometimes the employee and employer end up in court for termination, agreements, and other disputes. You can always check to see if either was in court and read about the case.
  • Where can I find, in Texas, information on my ex-husband's autopsy in October 2014?
    Was there an inquest? You can check the frequently asked death registration questions on the Texas Department of Health site. Go to the home page, Vital Statistics Unit, and Death Registration Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Where can I find in Texas if there is a warrant for someone's arrest for child support?
    Which county? Some counties have warrant checks through their sheriff's departments and police, and others through their courts.
  • Where can I find in Texas if a business has filed for bankruptcy?
    Bankruptcies in Texas are in four districts, Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern. You can look up cases from all four with the search fields under "Texas Free Court Records Search." The records go back to 2014, with new cases added regularly. If you don't need the entire case file, information about a bankruptcy case number, party names, types of filing, and dates are openly available. The search can be based on a keyword, so you will not need to know much about the case before searching it. Here's a sample of what you will view: Court Name: U.S. Bankruptcy Court Records for the Southern District of Texas Case Number: -- Party Name: -- Filing Type: Bankruptcy, Office: 4 Chapter: 13 Trustee: --, -- [Chapter 13 Trustee's Notice of Confirmation Hearing and Plan Summary (batch)(BNC NOTICING)] Date Published: -- --, --
  • Where can I find, in Texas, a copy of the police records of the father of my children?
    You may be looking for two separate records: the police report and the case file (if one was filed). You can go directly to the court's website and see how to search their files. The police department that made the arrest will have a website with a page regarding requesting incident/arrest reports. The county court, which has jurisdiction in this case, may be one of the counties with free online case searches; Harris and Howard's counties are just two examples.
  • Where can I view in Texas, an automobile accident report?
    Go directly to the police department, which made the accident report. Dallas only charges six dollars for the report, but it's hard to say what you will need without knowing the area/county where the accident happened. Some, if not all, have same-day counter reports available.
  • Where and how do you search for someone who says they are licensed to do pest control in Texas?
    The Texas Department of Agriculture licenses and regulates individuals engaged in structural pest control business. The department's website provides contact information for the public as their online web search is up but not running.
  • How can I find my own arrest records and mugshots in Texas?
    To get your arrest record, you can visit that police department's website and try obtaining one or see how to get one otherwise. If there was a defense attorney, they might have a copy as it is requested by defense attorneys regularly.
  • How do I find any complaints against car dealers and car manufacturers in Texas?
    You can always look up civil cases filed against any dealer or manufacturer.
  • Are Texas warrants for arrest signed by the judge available through public records?
    You can look up warrants in certain County Sheriff's warrant search pages, I.e., Travis, Orange county, or cities such as Vidor. Many contracts are county-level, so some will be easy to search, and others will take more work to find, depending on the county. The Texas Department of Safety has a warrant search web page. However, the search requires a Texas driver's license number and the date of birth.
  • How can I find in Texas if a person has declared bankruptcy?
    Begin with a name search above under Texas Free Court Records Search. You can go from there after seeing what is available here. If the information pops up, there will be a link to the source.
  • Where do I find records of crimes committed in the house I'm renting in Texas?
    Periodicals and local papers (online or otherwise) will have many of these incidents reported. Another idea would be to do a reverse address search to find out who lived there previously. Once you have a list of names, you can check for past criminal activity under the individuals who lived there.
  • How do I find out in Texas if an unlicensed driver who hit another car and the other driver died was prosecuted?
    If there were prosecution and conviction, it would be the same as looking for a public criminal record, which should be available. If you know the court/county, you can search their court records and check that county's courthouse website for an electronic case search. Using Dallas county as an example, the county district clerks site has an online. If that's the county, there's a tab above "Records," the drop-down will have a hyperlink, "Online Records Search," which will take you to a page with a hyperlink, "Dallas County Felony and Misdemeanor Courts Case Information." After that, you can conduct a free criminal records search.
  • How can I find out if it is a crime in Texas to charge rent without a lease, in other words, a verbal agreement?
    Taking others’ legal advice without being certain who they are or their qualifications is not a wise approach. The Texas constitution and statutes are online openly and freely to the public. Start here by selecting the property codes; then, there will be categories such as “Residential Tenancies” and more. You can spend as much time there looking as you need. Another approach will look up tenant rights directly on the state’s attorney general’s website. Look under tenant rights, and you’ll be able to navigate to many answers. Even when your answer seems to be an obvious one, you should look it up yourself. Also, look up the difference between civil and criminal negligence.
  • Where would I get a copy of my criminal background in Texas?
    The state of Texas conducts TXDPS Crime Records Service. However, there's still no guarantee whether it's accepted unless the person requesting the check, such as a landlord, mentions it.
  • How can I find out about Texas marriage records?
    You can download 1966-2013 Texas marriage records from the state health services department here: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/marriagedivorce/mindex.shtm or search over 1.6 million marriages recorded in Texas between 1837 and 1973 here: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1681052
  • How can I find the owner of the property in Texas?
    It depends on the county. Search the county name and then add CAD, Tax Office, or GIS, and you'll find the available property search databases for that county.
  • Where can I find all copies of my complete criminal records in Texas?
    The court where the criminal cases were heard would have the lawsuit filed unless a judge seals it. You can either go to the courthouse or have an attorney service (similar to a delivery service specializing in court documents) do it for you. There are other options with private services and investigators.
  • How do I find the booking and information charges for an inmate arrested recently in Texas?
    The links on this page state government-related. Select a county or city from the menu above where the incident occurred. Local police departments have booking logs, depending on which department you can check directly. A list of currently reported arrests is below, under Texas Free Arrest Records in date sequence.
  • Where can I find in Texas if someone has or has a life insurance policy?
    Not unless you call every insurance company in the U.S. and know that person's SSN.
  • Where can I find in Texas, contact information about a person?
    When conducting a people finder search, you will most likely have to separate the two last names or any other names under that same person. The middle initial, the area such as county or city location of residence, is helpful to narrow the search. There are many automatically generated address locators online; even with older information, you can see relatives and confirm you have the right person. You can then see the middle initial and verify it's theirs. Property ownership deeds are public and recorded by the county clerk. A name search, either in person or online, depending on the county, will pull up the address, dates of property ownership, and other details such as a joint owner spouse or trust.
  • Where can I find the statute of limitations on bounced checks in Texas?
    The Texas statutes are freely available online for anyone to look up. There's a query page that allows you to search by key terms. It may be frustrating, but the work is mainly done once the correct words are used. It helps tremendously if you are familiar with the correct terminology, such as 'instrument,' or if it is considered a forgery, fraud, or whatever the correct term needs to be used.
  • Where can I find in Texas all warrants that could be in my maiden name and three married names created by identity theft?
    Each name will most likely need to be searched individually. To go even a step further, different middle initials can add to the scope of the search as some records may include other middle initials or names, use a hyphenated name or a previous name as a middle name in error, or any combinations. It is more work than searching four names that have been the same throughout history. You have a helpful advantage if the names are unique, meaning fewer records to search.
  • Where can I find Texas citation statistics for a particular city?
    Cities are patrolled by their local police, the county sheriff if no local police are present, and the state troopers, in some cases, patrol rural areas. Law enforcement agency budgets are public records, including the details of their income. Depending on the particular area/agency, the information can be online through their website or be requested to view them. You can ask the department where these stats are kept; the approach to finding the information rests on which area! Participating law enforcement agencies put violators on crime maps where daily incidents are shown to the public. This search can be narrowed to show traffic violations only.
  • How many Comanche and Cherokee Indians resided in the Carlo Drive area when the city was annexed to Texas in 1845?
    The answer may be more historical than statistical. Archived historical data is available through many society organizations, either by area or subject, and libraries in the area hold many historical publications.
  • Where can I find in Texas what jail my friend is located?
    Using the crime maps arrest search, you can zero in on the area. Some icons let you select specific crime/charges for the arrest; for example, if the charge is DUI, you can look up all the DUI's in a large area without being overwhelmed. If you know which area, police, or sheriff's departments have a custody list that can be searched online, or you will see how you can check by calling or checking their website, it's a common occurrence for the public to search for a possible arrestee.
  • Where can I find in Texas if registered sex offenders' names stay on the list once deceased?
    Offender registries' policies and procedures can vary from one to the other. According to the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), most jurisdictions will keep the offender on their lists even after their death.
  • Where can I find in Texas all rulings on grand jury indictments of Joel W. Dotson in 2005?
    There are possible matching records from the Lubbock County grand jury; this is based on a name search only. Possession of a controlled substance / Forgery / Theft with two priors (less than $1,500)
  • Where can I find in Texas my sister, born on March 5th, 1992?
    There is a possibility that the name may have changed due to marriage(s). If there's a residence purchased by the person you're searching for, the maiden can be viewed in connection with the new spouse. Marriage and divorce decrees are available through the Texas state health services. Compilations of divorce or annulments are indexed and open to the public for search purposes through the same source.
  • Where can I find Texas, my brother, who is in foster care?
    As a tip, when asking for assistance to locate people, it is always helpful to get specific answers with a particular question to start. Being specific with the location of the record(s) helps minimize broad generalized answers—an example of vital information to help with searches in the area, as specific as possible. Different areas have various available public resources and policies. Texas has 254 counties, over 1900 police agencies, and approximately sixty thousand sworn officers. Second, if the most transparent approach has been attempted already, post a mention so as not to get the same in return from unknowing contributors. Other help would be the age; even the approximate is helpful.
  • Where can I find, in Texas, information on an unsolved robbery in 1994?
    Periodicals offer great information, and even more so in smaller cities. Many news organizations that cover crime events are now online. The courthouse provides a way to look up the file if the case went to trial. Much of it rests on the area where the incident occurred. If an individual is related to the incident, a police report can be provided by the law enforcement agency.
  • Where can I find, in Texas in 1987, a court hearing for the custody of a minor child?
    Which court is the case being heard in? Many of them have sites with updated calendars and clerk information.
  • Where can I find help in Texas with my child custody case?
    Family courts are divided into counties across Texas. Depending on the county of the divorce, there are legal aid organizations to help families with lower income. Tarrant County, legal aid of North West Texas, offers its services in 15 locations across 114 counties in Texas. They prioritize persons with incomes within 125 percent of the U.S. poverty line and, in some instances, 200 percent or less of the national poverty line, which is nearly $4000.00 per month for a four-member family. You can look up other organizations on the court's web pages. This information was found by looking up the Tarrant county courthouse's webpage.
  • Where can I find in Texas criminal records from 1998 through 2001?
    The Texas department of public safety offers a conviction database open to the public. Their webpage explains what is in it and its compliance with Chapter 60 of the code of criminal procedure (CCP). This database was reviewed in 2002 and found that about 60 percent of the dispositions from the courts made it into the computerized criminal history system (CCH), primarily due to the lack of reporting from the courts and related arrests from the individual agencies. The person can request records from the CCH for specific research reasons. Looking up your records from the police does not have the privacy of personal information issues to deal with. If you are aware of the cities where your arrests occurred, you can request the record from the local department directly, many of which offer online requests.
  • Where can we find in Texas if a crime has been committed at a for-sale property that was a foreclosure?
    If it is recent, crime maps go back to September 2014. The area where the crime could have occurred is a factor, as not all police agencies report their arrests/incidents to crime maps, and larger cities are more likely to show their arrests. You will most likely have to search several unrelated sources. Public libraries have archived periodicals, including local papers, which may have carried a story relating to any crimes in the area. There are methods making searches easier, previously on micro-film and more recently computerized digital files.
  • Where can I find in Texas if I can view public online arrest reports for free?
    You can view recent arrests online freely. However, an official police report is requested from the department which made the arrest. Free arrest information can be found with updates reported to various public record outlets or from individual law enforcement agency inmate searches, crime mapping, and arrest logs, all of which depend on the police department. "Public record" means it is available for access; it does not mean it is free; this is a common misconception amongst researchers. There are plenty of free records, however.
  • Where can I find access to information about a hit and run on my vehicle in Texas if I was not present?
    You go to the police department where your vehicle was hit and ask for a blue form. Complete that, then send it off to your insurance company.
  • Where can I find in Texas a copy of the incident records of times police were called to an address?
    Which area the property is located in can make the search either easy to look up or more difficult to find out. If the law enforcement agency participates in crime mapping services/sites, the public can easily view all the incidents reported by the local police/sheriff online. Crime maps show incidents city block by block. Crime reports are also released by police, many of which maintain websites with news and activity updates. Local, small papers can also be used to look up old reports of crimes and police activities.
  • Where do I find, in Texas, access to my entire arrest record?
    You will need to go to individual police departments if you would like to see the complete reports. Police reports are official documents requested by attorneys and others involved in the case/incident. A report of arrests that police sees is not the same and may not even contain as much information as the full report. If the arrest resulted in a criminal case being filed, the court could provide a copy of the file.
  • Where can I find out in Texas why the police were called to my house last night?
    Call the police or ask the neighbors.
  • Where can I find in Texas access to my arrest records if I was arrested on August 1st, 2015?
    Access the police department which made the arrest through their website and see what you need; the process can differ from one area to another. Many of these types of requests can be done over the net. When on the site, look for the records department. Police departments issue arrest records regularly to defense attorneys, defendants, prosecutors, and others related to the case.
  • Where can I find in Texas, the name of the arresting officer?
    Arrest reports are public records. However, they still have guidelines when they are made available. Each department has policies on its websites regarding who and how to get the official reports.
  • Where can I find in Texas, information about arrested individuals' incarceration and release records from prison in 2012?
    There are state, city, and county facilities where arrested individuals can be housed. Each has its means of providing public information. Also, records can be either statistics or information about persons in custody. These departments have public information offices or officers that give information to the media; also, their information can be found on the site's web pages.