Mississippi Public Records
According to the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, public records are considered public property and are open to inspection by any person. Public records include, but are not limited to, court records, government documents, and police reports.
This rule has a few exceptions, such as records protected by confidentiality laws or considered trade secrets. However, these exceptions are few and far between. Generally, if a record is created or kept by a government agency, it is considered a public record and subject to public inspection.
How to Find Mississippi Public Records
Depending on the government agency responsible for maintaining the records you are interested in, you may be able to request public records online, by mail, or in person.
Most public records requests have specific forms that must be completed and submitted. The forms will ask for information about the type of records you are requesting and your contact information.
Generally, the details below are required when making a public records request:
- The name, address, and telephone number of the person requesting the records
- A description of the records you seek
- The date or period the records cover
- The format in which you would like to receive the records (e.g., paper copies, digital files, etc.)
Are Mississippi Public Records Available Online?
Some public records may be available online, depending on the government agency responsible for them. The Department of Corrections has an Inmate Records database wherein the public can search for inmates by name or ID number.
Counties like Harrison and Jackson offer online case searches of land records. Third-party websites such as InfoTracer also offer online public records searches for a fee.
What Records are Available in Mississippi?
The types of records available to the public vary by government agency, but some of the most common types of public records in Mississippi include:
- Court records
- Arrest records
- Birth and death records
- Marriage and divorce records
- Business licenses
- Property tax records
- Criminal history
- Driving records
- And more
What Records are Non-Public in Mississippi?
While the Mississippi Public Records Act does provide the public with access to many types of records, there are a few exceptions. Some of the records that are exempt from disclosure include:
- Medical records
- Personnel records
- Law enforcement investigation records
- Pending litigation
- Privileged attorney-client communications
- Child abuse and neglect records
- Juvenile records
- Test results and questionnaires
Types of Public Records Available in Mississippi
Below are some of the most common types of public records available in Mississippi:
Mississippi Public Criminal Records
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is in charge of public criminal records in Mississippi. The Bureau of Investigation is responsible for maintaining these records, which include information on criminal history, arrest warrants, and sex offender registry.
While there is no online database of criminal records, the public can request these records through the mail by submitting the Authorization to Release Background Info form and a $32 fee to:
MS Bureau of Investigation
ATTN: CIC/Background Checks
3891 Highway 468 West
Pearl Mississippi 39208
Additionally, on-demand court records are available at the Mississippi Electronic Courts System of the Mississippi State Judiciary.
Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Mississippi :
Arrest Records and Warrants
Arrest records can be found in a Criminal History, a public record maintained by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. Local law enforcement agencies also maintain their arrest records within their jurisdictions.
Arrest warrants are public records, but Mississippi does not maintain them. Instead, each county maintains its database of outstanding warrants. Contact the county's sheriff's office or court clerk to find arrest warrants in a particular county.
The Department of Public Safety also has a Most Wanted List, which features fugitives with outstanding warrants.
Inmate and Jail Records
As mentioned above, the Mississippi Department of Corrections has an online Inmate Records database, which the public can use to search for inmates by name or ID number. This database includes information on inmate location, release date, and charges.
Individuals can also visit the local sheriff’s office to find jail records. Jones County Sheriff's Office, for example, offers an online database of its current inmates.
Jails and Prisons in Mississippi :
Mississippi Background Checks
While Mississippi does not have Ban-The-Box legislation, the state follows the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which regulates how employers can use background checks during hiring.
Employers in Mississippi who want to order a background check on an applicant must first get written consent from the applicant.
In addition, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This means that an employer cannot unfairly use a background check to exclude someone from a job opportunity.
How to find Sex Offenders in Mississippi
DPS also maintains a public Sex Offender Registry, which includes information on offenders who have been convicted of sexual offenses. The registry is searchable by name or geographical search.
There is no need to create an account to search the registry; however, to receive email alerts when an offender moves into your area, you will need to create a free account.
Mississippi Public Vital Records
The Mississippi State Department of Vital Records and Statistics is responsible for vital public records in Mississippi. This includes birth, death, and marriage. Divorce records can be found in the local Chancery Clerk's office since they are not maintained at the state level.
There are three ways to request vital records from the state:
- Online: You can order birth, marriage, and death records online through the VitalChek website.
- By Mail: To order birth or death records by mail, you will need to complete the Mississippi Application for Certified Copy of Birth Certificate or Death Certificate form and send it, along with the required fees, to the Mississippi State Department of Vital Records & Statistics, 222 Marketridge Drive, Ridgeland, MS 39157
- In-person: The Vital Records Office is open Monday-Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. You must visit the office and bring a valid photo ID to order records in person.
Mississippi Court Records
According to the Public Records Act of 1983, all court records in Mississippi are public unless they are sealed or restricted by law. This includes criminal and civil court cases, as well as probate records.
To access court records, the Mississippi Judiciary has an online database where individuals have access to public court records.
Alternatively, the local county courthouse will also have court records open to the public. It is important to note that not all counties have an electronic database; therefore, you may need to request records in person or by mail.
State Court System in Mississippi
There are four levels of courts in Mississippi:
- Supreme Court
- Intermediate Appellate Court
- Courts of General Jurisdiction
- Courts of Limited Jurisdiction
The Mississippi Supreme Court is the highest state and hears appeals from lower courts. The Intermediate Appellate Court hears appeals from the Courts of General Jurisdiction.
There are two types of Courts of General Jurisdiction: Circuit Courts and Chancery Courts. Circuit Courts have jurisdiction over all felony cases, divorces, land disputes, and wills. Chancery Courts have jurisdiction over all matters involving equity, including adoption, guardianship, trusts, and estates.
Lastly, there are three types of Courts of Limited Jurisdiction: County, Justice, and Municipal Courts. County Courts hear misdemeanor cases, small claims cases, and traffic violations. Justice Courts have limited civil and criminal jurisdiction and concurrent jurisdiction with Circuit and Chancery Courts in certain circumstances. Municipal Courts have limited criminal jurisdiction over ordinance violations within city limits.
Courts in Mississippi :
The Driver Records Division of DPS is responsible for maintaining driving records in Mississippi.
You can order your driving record online through the Self-Service Portal, where you need a credit card and your Mississippi Driver's License or ID number. You can also order your driving record by mail by filling up this form and sending it with an $11 check or money order to:
Mississippi Department of Public Safety
P.O. Box 958
Jackson, Mississippi 39205
Civil Driving Infractions
Traffic infractions are handled by the local county court where the violation occurred.
To contest a traffic ticket, you must appear in court on the date specified in your citation. Alternatively, you can plead guilty and pay the fine by mail or online if your county offers this option.
Your driver's license may be suspended if you fail to appear in court or pay the fine.
Mississippi License Plate Lookup
The Department of Revenue is responsible for issuing license plates in Mississippi. You may need to write a formal request to the Department of Revenue to perform a license plate lookup.
Your request should include:
- The license plate number
- The make and model of the vehicle
- The name and address of the registered owner
- A daytime phone number where you can be reached
Third-party websites may also offer license plate lookups for a fee.
Mississippi Property and Asset Records Online
Each county in Mississippi has a Chancery Court that handles all land records for the county.
You can access land records, including deeds and mortgages, through the local county Chancery Court. Alternatively, you can access land records online through a third-party website.
Unclaimed properties, meanwhile, are managed by the Mississippi State Treasurer. You can perform a search for unclaimed property on a dedicated website by entering your name or the name of your business.
Important Government Agencies in Mississippi
The following agencies may be able to help you access public records in Mississippi:
- Department of State
- Governor's Office
- Mississippi Department of Archives & History
- Mississippi Legislature
- Office of Attorney General
- Department of Health
- Department of Public Safety
- Mississippi State Judiciary
- Department of Corrections
- Department of Revenue
- Mississippi State Treasurer
Counties in Mississippi
- Jefferson Davis
- Pearl River
List of Content
- How to Find Mississippi Public Records
- What Records are Available in Mississippi?
- Types of Public Records Available in Mississippi
- Mississippi Public Criminal Records
- Arrest Records and Warrants
- Inmate and Jail Records
- Mississippi Background Checks
- How to find Sex Offenders in Mississippi
- Mississippi Public Vital Records
- Mississippi Court Records
- Driving Records
- Civil Driving Infractions
- Mississippi License Plate Lookup
- Mississippi Property and Asset Records Online
- Important Government Agencies in Mississippi