Open Public Record Act:
The Minnesota Data Practices Act is a series of laws that provide the public with the right to access all public records of state and local government bodies. Public records are any documentary material that is created, received, or maintained by a government agency. The state also has an Open Meeting Law which ensures that any meeting where public business is conducted must be open to the public.
Birth certificates are available from the Office of Vital Records. Requests can only be submitted by email, fax, and mail. To obtain a birth certificate, you must complete an application form which must be signed and dated in front of a notary public. You will also need to provide valid identification that you have a tangible interest. Only the following individuals are allowed to obtain a copy of a birth record:
- the person on record
- child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of the person on the record
- parent named on the person’s record
- grandparent or great-grandparent
- legal custodian/guardian
- person with a court order
- authorized representative
The cost of a birth certificate is $26 and each additional copy costs $19. The fees are non-refundable. The Office of Vital Records at the state accept payments that are made by credit card, check, or money order.
The Minnesota Official Marriage System is a database of marriage certificates created, designed, and managed by the counties inside the state. You can use the search boxes to locate a marriage certificate in the system. You’ll be able to choose the county, input the names of the parties involved, and the range of dates.
The Office of Vital Records does not record divorces. If you wish to obtain copies of divorce decrees, you can visit the county district court office where the divorce was granted.
The Office of Vital Records maintains records of death for the state of Minnesota. All records have been electronically registered since 1997. The records filed with the state office go as far back as 1908. You can obtain a copy of a death certificate by visiting any county vital records office. You can also obtain copies by submitting a request through email, fax, or mail to the Minnesota Office of Vital Records. Acceptable forms of payment are credit card, check, and money order. All applications must be signed and dated in front of a notary. You will also be required to show valid identification. The cost of a death certificate is $13 and each additional copy costs $6.
The Minnesota Missing and Unidentified Persons Clearinghouse is a database and resource center for all missing children and adult cases in the state. You can view information on each case such as the name, photo, age, date missing, and address of the missing person.
The Minnesota Government website lists all the elected officials in the state. You will also be able to view a list of all state boards, councils, commissions, committees, ombudsmen offices, and task forces. For example, from this list, you can learn more about the Attorney General, Lori Swanson, and the functions of her office.