Open Public Record Act:
According to Arizona law, all officers and public bodies must maintain records that provide an accurate accounting of their official activities as well as of any government funded activities. Basically, any record that was created or received by a government agency or employee that is related to public business is considered a public record and available for inspection. There are exemptions such as if the record is confidential by law, the privacy interests outweigh the public’s right to know, and if disclosure of the information is not in the best interest of the state. You can submit a request to the public body that maintains custody of the records you wish to obtain.
You can obtain a copy of a birth certificate from the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Vital Records. Only individuals who are 18 years of age or older can request for a certified copy of a birth certificate. Since vital records are not considered a public record, access to birth certificates is limited to the following persons:
- registrant (self)
- adult child
- adult grandchild
- adult brother or sister
- a person designated in a court order
- attorney representing the registrant, his/her parent, or his/her guardian
- adoption agencies representing biological or adoptive parents
- government agency
Requests can only be submitted by mail. You will need to complete the Application for Certified Copy of Birth Certificate and submit it along with a copy of your valid government-issued picture ID (both front and back). Please note that you are not the registrant or the parent named on the birth certificate, you will be required to include proof of eligibility. Also, you will need to include a self-addressed stamped envelope as well as the appropriate fee ($20). The only acceptable payment methods are cashier’s checks, money orders, Visa, or MasterCard. Cash will not be accepted. If you wish to get expedited service, you will need to pay an additional processing charge of $11.
If you wish to apply in person, you will need to visit your local county health department’s Office of Vital Records. You can also obtain copies of birth certificates online through VitalChek Network, Inc.
The Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Vital Records houses all death records that have occurred in the state. You can submit your request for a copy of a death certificate by mail. You will need to submit the following documents:
- A completed Application for Certified Copy of Death Certificate
- A copy of the front and back of your valid government-issued picture identification which bears your signature or have your signature notarized.
- Proof of eligibility.
- Include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your request.
- Appropriate fee ($20)
The payment methods accepted by this office are cashier’s checks, money orders, Visa, or MasterCard. The exact amount must be written on the cashier’s check or money order which must be made payable to the Office of Vital Records.
The normal processing time for a request is five business days after the application has been received by the office. You can request for expedited service which costs an additional $11.
If you wish to submit your application in person, please visit your local county health department. For online orders, you can submit your request to VitalChek Network, Inc.
Death records are not considered public record. Access to copies of a death certificate are limited to individuals 18 years of age or older who fall under one of the following categories:
- funeral director
- adult child
- brother or sister
- a person designated in a Power of Attorney
- a person responsible for final disposition
- a person named as the executor or beneficiary of the deceased individual’s estate
- a beneficiary of the deceased individual’s life insurance policy
- a person named in a court order
- a person authorized by an eligible person
- an insurance company/financial institution
- a hospital/healthcare institution
- a person with a court order having a claim against the deceased individual’s estate
- an attorney representing a person eligible to receive a certified copy
- a consulate of a foreign government
- government agency
If you wish to obtain information on any of the elected officials of Arizona, you can visit the official website of the state which lists all the various officials as well as links to their website. For example, you can view information on all state senators through the Arizona State Legislature website. In it, you’ll find the names of all House of Representative Members such as John M. Allen, the Majority leader. You’ll also be able to find their district, party, email address, room number, and phone number. Additional information include their personal biography, committee assignments, and sponsored bills.