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Alaska Public Records

Alaska Public Records

How Open Are Alaska Public Records?

Alaska is one of the few states that has several clauses that prevent the release of public records. Most states have decided that every document in the government is made public, unless it may affect public safety. But Alaska public records limit several of the documents that are normally made public, for example:

  • Vital Records
  • Many states release a variety of vital records, but Alaska public records does have its limitations. For example, adoption records are not included, nor are other vital records that may be seen in more transparent states.

  • Certain Government Records
  • The Alaska government has accepted several measures that allow for confidential meetings, status reports, etc., in some aspects of government. This has been met with criticism since the purpose of the law is to prevent secret meetings.

  • State Ethics Committee
  • Meeting notes of the state ethics committee are also confidential, and not placed in Alaska public records until after the ruling has been resolved. This includes banning the individual making the ethics complaint from speaking about the complaint in public.

    For most of what you are looking for Alaska public records will still contain that information. But the government itself prefers its secrets be kept, so it has changed some of the rules regarding public records against the purpose of the law.

    Alaska Birth Records

    You might need an Alaska Birth Record for ancestral reasons, genealogy reports or because you are trying to build your family tree. Or you might simply just need a copy of yours or your child’s birth certificate. Whatever the reason is, Alaska has three ways to obtain a birth record.

    • 1. Visit one of three offices in to obtain an Alaska Birth Record. These offices are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, or Juneau. These requests can usually be processed while you wait.
    • 2. Print and complete their application form from the Internet and mail it in to their central office. The Bureau typically takes two to three weeks to process your request after they receive it.
    • 3. For rush Alaska Birth Records, you can fax your order. Faxed orders are typically processed within three business days. If you decide to fax in your order, they request that you call to ensure that they received it.
    Under Alaska law, all vital records are confidential until a certain number of years after the event. In the case of Alaska Birth Records, this time frame is one hundred years. Unless you are the person named on the certificate, or the mother, father or legal guardian of the named, you will not be able to obtain a certificate until the one hundred years has past.

    Alaska Death Records

    We all know that we require birth records for many things in life, but we never think about needing a death record. Alaska death records are required to finalize estates after somebody passes away. Just like a birth record was proof of your birth, a death record is proof of a death and is required to close out many accounts.

    Alaska death records were required by law starting in 1913. Prior to this year, records were sporadic. In some cases, Alaska may have an older record on file, but they will not research it for genealogy purposes. Alaska is a closed record state, which means that their death records are not part of the public domain until after fifty years. Before this time, only a parent, child, grandchild, or legal representative of the named will have access to the record.

    When requesting Death records you will need to know the name of the deceased, as on record, so be sure you know if they went by a different name than they had on record. It can help if you know the date of death or as close to it as you can get, also if you know the spouse and date of the persons birth this will help, they will also need to know the city or county that the person died in to do an accurate search.

    Additional Alaska Resources

    The links listed below lead to government agencies that provide free online access to public record information. 

    For the MOST COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCE  describing all access methods, restrictions, fees, and search procedures on over 28,000 government and private agencies visit the Public Record Research System (PRRS-Web).  We provide the extensive details and in-depth data you will not find doing a Google search!


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