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Minnesota Public Records

Minnesota Public Records

What is Minnesota Public Records Law?

Every state has their own laws for the collection and handling of public records. Minnesota public records are governed by the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act - an act designed to explain what data is considered government data (which is considered a matter of Minnesota public records) and what data is considered private (which cannot be released in record form).

The act itself was designed to address all of the following:

  • How the government should collect and handle keeping records.
  • How the government should allow individuals to inspect and copy records.
  • How the government should respond to requests and how disputes should be resolved.
  • Criminal penalties for going against the laws found in the Data Practices Act.
  • Minnesota public records contain a vast amount of information on the businesses, government, and people of Minnesota. By law, the government is required to make that type of data public when it is believed to be of public interest and not violate privacy or safety issues.

    The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act is the main law in charge of that data. It's designed to make sure that the government keeps to the practices recommended by legislature, and any issues with the information that is provided by the law needs to be addressed to your representative.

    Minnesota Birth Records

    In the state of Minnesota, registration for Birth started in the year 1900 and general compilation was done in 1915. The state birth records then were handled by the Minnesota Historical society but now the registration of vital records is done by the Minnesota Department of Health.In order to access these records you first need to send an application to the State’s Department of Health through the Office of the State Registrar; which is located in St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0882. The application can be mailed, faxed or delivered in person.The Minnesota Birth Records can be checked by anyone except for a child born to unmarried parents. According to Minnesota State laws, the birth record of a child born to unmarried parents would be kept confidential unless at the time of birth, the mother declares demographic data to be publicized. The confidential data is only accessible to the child (when he/she reaches the age of 16), the mother, father, legal guardian, the Commissioner of Human Services and a person with a written authorization from any of the previous mentioned persons.There are also online methods of checking the records but for an original copy you have to use the above mentioned procedures.

    Minnesota Death Records

    The State of Minnesota keeps their death records under the Minnesota Department of Health, simply under Certificates and Records. You can obtain a Minnesota death record from local counties, as long as the death has taken place during or past 1997. You may request either a certified or non certified copy. However if you are requesting a certified copy you will have to provide proof of tangible interest.

    To prove tangible interest in the certificate you must meet the eligibility requirements. If you are the child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, spouse, legal custodian, conservator, or guardian of the person whose death certificate you are requesting you are entitled to a certified copy. Other ways you may qualify for a certified copy of the death certificate in Minnesota are, you are the estates representative or were the personal representative of the person who has passed. A licensed attorney may apply, if you have filed the certificate, or are a representative of the person who has, siblings of the person who has died, or if a requested record of death is required in relation to a trust, the trustee may obtain one.

    Minnesota death records are a matter of public interest and allow for anyone for any reason to request a non-certified copy of death. You will still need to put in an application, in both cases you will have to complete separate applications for each death in question. They offer a worksheet to assess what your fees are, and will not accept an application where the fees are not listed. For a certified copy, you will have to have your signature notarized. The form can then be either mailed or faxed to the Minnesota Department of Health at the appropriate address.

    Additional Minnesota 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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