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North Dakota Public Records

The North Dakota Open Records Law provides that all government records are available for public inspection and copying unless specifically exempted by statute. The Open Records Law does not require that only residents of North Dakota or U.S. citizens can request records.

The request must specify the desired records with as much detail as possible to locate them. The government entity must respond within a reasonable amount of time. The response must either provide the requested records or deny the request and give the reason for the denial.

How to Find North Dakota Public Records

Like other states, North Dakota's public records are managed by each government agency. The state does not have an online portal to search for public records. However, the state has a few online resources to help find public records.

The North Dakota Secretary of State's website allows for searching business entities, charities, and notaries. Meanwhile, the North Dakota Department of Health holds vital documents, such as birth, death, marriage, and divorce records, that you can request online or through the mail.

Contact the agency directly to request public records from a government agency in North Dakota. The state's Open Records Law does not require that the request be made in writing, but it is recommended that there is a record of the request. The agency may charge a fee for copies of the documents, but the fee cannot exceed the actual cost of copying the records.

Information you need to include in your request:

  • Your name, address, and telephone number
  • As much detail as possible about the records you are requesting
  • The preferred format for receiving the records (e.g., paper copies, electronically, etc.)

Are North Dakota Public Records Available Online?

Not all North Dakota public records are available online.

Some counties in North Dakota have created online portals that allow for the searching of court records and vital records. For example, Grand Forks County has an online property search tool that enables users to search for property records within the county.

Contact the government agency to find out if the records you seek are available online. You can also use third-party websites to search for public records, but remember that these websites may charge a fee.

What Records are Available in North Dakota?

Records that are made public in North Dakota are the following:

  • Criminal History Records
  • Vital Records
  • Property Records
  • Business Entity Records
  • Warrants
  • Court Records
  • Driving Records
  • Historical Records

Not all records are available to the public. For example, confidential information such as social security numbers, medical records, and juvenile records are unavailable. Exemptions of the Open Records Law can be found here.

What Records are Non-Public in North Dakota?

The following records are exempt from North Dakota's Open Records Law:

  • Social security numbers
  • Medical records
  • Financial or bank account numbers
  • Juvenile records
  • Patient records
  • Trade secrets
  • Autopsy Images

Types of Public Records Available in North Dakota

The following are types of public records available in North Dakota:

North Dakota Public Criminal Records

The Attorney General of North Dakota is responsible for maintaining criminal history records. This includes dismissed charges, charges that resulted in a not guilty verdict, and expunged records.

You can either search for criminal history records through fingerprints or names. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) provides criminal history record checks under the Attorney General's office.

You need to provide the following information to request a criminal history record check:

  • Name or known aliases
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number OR Fingerprints
  • Authorization Form
  • Address

To request a criminal history record check, you will need to pay a $15 fee, fill out the Record Request Form and submit it to the BCI. You need to wait 7-10 business days to receive the results of your request.

Some are examples of what you will find in a criminal record:

  • Mugshots
  • Arrests
  • Detention center bookings
  • Current and past warrants
  • Convictions
  • Fingerprints
  • Criminal case number
  • And more

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in North Dakota :

Cass County Sheriff's Office1612 23rd Ave. N., Fargo, ND
Burleigh County Sheriff's Office514 E Thayer Ave, Bismarck, ND
Ward County Sheriff's Office204 Front St SE, Minot, ND
Morton County Sheriff's Office205 1st Ave NW, Mandan, ND
Stark County Sheriff's Office66 W Museum Dr, Dickinson, ND
Williams County Sheriff's Office223 E Broadway, Williston, ND
Stutsman County Sheriff's Office205 6th St SE, Jamestown, ND
Richland County Sheriff's Office413 3rd Ave N, Wahpeton, ND
Rolette County Sheriff's Office16 1st South West, Rolla, ND
Ramsey County Sheriff's Office222 Walnut St W, Devils Lake, ND

Arrest Records and Warrants

The public can access arrest records and warrants in North Dakota. You can request these from BCI or the sheriff's office in the county where the arrest was made.

Some of the information that you will find in an arrest record includes:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Physical description
  • Address
  • Employer
  • Arresting agency
  • Charges filed
  • Bail amount
  • And more

You can also see warrants through North Dakota Courts Records Inquiry, where you can see active warrants for a person or business. You can also see if there is a warrant for your arrest.

To find out if someone has an active warrant, you will need to provide:

  • First and last name
  • County/Address
  • Middle initial (if known)
  • Date of birth (optional)
  • Case Status
  • Date filed
  • Case types

Inmate and Jail Records

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) is responsible for inmate and jail records in North Dakota. The DOCR website has an online search tool called Resident Lookup, where you can search for people incarcerated in North Dakota.

To use the Resident Lookup, you will need to provide the individual's last name or the starting letters of the last name you are searching for. You will then be provided with a list of offenders that meet your search criteria.

Some of the information you will find in an inmate record includes:

  • Name
  • Alias
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Date of birth
  • Custody status
  • Projected release date
  • Location

Jails and Prisons in North Dakota :

Cass County ND Jail450 34th Street South, Fargo, ND
Missouri River Correctional Center1800 48th Avenue S.W., Bismarck, ND
North Dakota State Penitentiary3100 Railroad Avenue, PO Box 5521, Bismarck, ND
Burleigh County ND Detention Center4000 Apple Creek Road, Bismarck, ND
Ward County ND Detention Center315 SE Third St., P.O. Box 907, Minot, ND
Ward County ND Juvenile Detention Center315 3rd Street SE, PO Box 907, Minot, ND
North Dakota Youth Correctional Center701 16th Ave SW, Mandan, ND
Morton County ND Correctional Center205 1st Avenue NW, Mandan, ND
Stark County ND Jail66 Museum Drive West, PO Box 130, Dickinson, ND
Dakota Horizons Juvenile Detention66 Museum Drive, Dickinson, ND

North Dakota Background Checks

North Dakota follows federal and state laws when it comes to background checks. These laws regulate how employers can use an individual's criminal history and other information when hiring.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers are allowed to conduct criminal background checks as long as they are job-related and consistent with business necessities. Employers should also let applicants explain any criminal history on their records.

In North Dakota, employers are not allowed to ask about an applicant's criminal history on the job application, as stated by the North Dakota Ban-The-Box Law.

How to find Sex Offenders in North Dakota

The Attorney General's website provides the public with information on registered sex offenders in North Dakota. The site is called the North Dakota Sex Offender Registry, and it is searchable by name, city, county, or zip code.

North Dakota Public Vital Records

Vital records are a type of public record that document an individual's life events. These include birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates. In North Dakota, vital records are managed by the Division of Vital Records under the Department of Health.

You can request vital records through this secure web app or the mail. Please note that you must be the mother, father, or person on the vital record to request a copy. You will also need to provide a government-issued ID and a request form for the specific vital record you need.

If you are requesting a vital record through the mail, you will need to send your request and other requirements to:

The North Dakota Department of Health – Division of Vital Records

Division of Vital Records

600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 301

Bismarck, ND 58505

North Dakota Court Records

The North Dakota Courts Records Inquiry can be used to access court records. This online tool is available to the public and can be used to search for court cases by name, case number, or filing date.

Court records are also available through the clerk of court in each county. To request copies of court records, you will need to visit the clerk's office in person or send a request through the mail.

You can visit the North Dakota Court System website to find contact information for the clerk of court in your county. Simply select the county you are interested in, and you will be provided with the clerk's office's address, phone number, and email address.

State Court System in North Dakota

The state court system in North Dakota is divided into three levels:

  • The Supreme Court
  • The District Court
  • Municipal Courts

The Supreme Court is the state's highest court and hears appeals from the lower courts. The District Court is the court of general jurisdiction in North Dakota, and it hears both criminal and civil cases. Lastly, municipal courts are limited jurisdiction courts that hear misdemeanor criminal cases and ordinance violations.

To learn more about the court system in North Dakota, you can click the link here.

Courts in North Dakota :

West Fargo Municipal Court800 4th Ave E, West Fargo, ND
Cass County District Court211 9th St. S., Fargo, ND
Fargo Municipal Court402 Northern Pacific Ave, Fargo, ND
Bismarck Municipal Court514 E Thayer Ave, Bismarck, ND
Burleigh County District Court514 E. Thayer Ave., Bismarck, ND
North Dakota Supreme Court600 E. Boulevard Ave., Bismarck, ND
Minot Municipal Court420 3rd Ave SW, Minot, ND
Ward County District Court315 3rd St. S.E., Minot, ND
Morton County District Court210 2nd Ave. N.W., Mandan, ND
Mandan Municipal Court205 2nd Ave NW, Mandan, ND

Driving Records

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) is responsible for maintaining driving records in the state. These records contain information on an individual's driving history, such as traffic violations and accidents.

You can request your driving record through the NDDOT website here. However, this is a limited version of your document and does not contain information on accidents or violations over three years old.

To get a complete copy of your driving record, you will need to fill up this form and mail it along with a $3 fee to:

Drivers License Division

608 E Boulevard Ave

Bismarck ND, 58505

You can visit this website and follow the instructions for online requests. Take note that there is also a $3 fee for online requests.

Civil Driving Infractions

Civil driving infractions are a violation that does not result in points added to your driving record. These include offenses such as:

  • Speeding (1-10 mph over the limit)
  • Improper lane change
  • Failure to wear a seatbelt
  • Minor parking violations

You can pay the fine or contest the ticket in court if you have received a civil driving infraction.

North Dakota License Plate Lookup

There is no centralized database for license plate lookup in North Dakota. However, you can request records from the NDDOT that will provide you with information on the registered owner of a vehicle.

To do this, you will need to contact the NDDOT by booking an appointment here. You may need to provide the license plate number of the vehicle as well as the make, model, and year.

North Dakota Property and Asset Records Online

The County Courthouse is the best place to start your search for property and asset records in North Dakota. Each county has its own Assessor’s Office or Registry of Deeds responsible for maintaining these records.

You can either request these records in person or by mail. Some counties also have online portals where you can search for property and asset records. However, not all counties have this feature, so it is best to contact the office in your county of interest directly.

Meanwhile, the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands manages unclaimed properties. You can search for unclaimed property on their website here.

Important Government Agencies in North Dakota

The following agencies are responsible for maintaining public records in North Dakota:

  1. North Dakota Secretary of State
  2. State Governor
  3. North Dakota State Historical Society
  4. North Dakota Courts
  5. Attorney General of North Dakota
  6. Division of Vital Records
  7. Department of Health
  8. North Dakota Highway Patrol
  9. North Dakota Department of Trust Lands
  10. North Dakota State Treasurer
  11. North Dakota Department of Transportation
  12. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Counties in North Dakota

Other Records in North Dakota