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Washington Court Records

WashingtonCourtRecords.us is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the FCRA and does not provide consumer reports. All searches conducted on WashingtonCourtRecords.us are subject to the Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.


Are Washington Records Public?

Washington Records are generally open to the public. The Washington Public Records Act (Chapter 42.56 of the Revised Code of Washington) grants interested persons the right to access state and local government records, except where restricted by law. It also outlines the rules for accessing public records in the Evergreen state.

Who Can Access Washington Public Records?

Washington Public Records are available to any interested individual. Washington does not require a requester to be a state resident. Also, unlike some U.S. states, Washington does not restrict access to public records based on a person's status. Government records are available to incarcerated persons, felons, or convicts.

Do I Need to State My Purpose and Use When Requesting Public Records in Washington?

Requesters are not required to state purpose and use when accessing Washington Public Records. The Washington Public Records Act does not mandate individuals to state the purpose or use of public records. However, Chapter 42.56.070(8) of the Revised Code of Washington prohibits using public records for commercial purposes. Access to Washington Public Records is to show government accountability and transparency. Washington Public Records is available to persons who may need them for 

  • Research
  • Journalism
  • Educational purposes or
  • Personal use.


What Records are Public in Washington?

Public Records in Washington are documents created and maintained by state and local government agencies. In Washington, Public Records include but are limited to

  • Minutes of meetings by officials of government bodies or agencies
  • Contract agreement between the government and third parties
  • Government budgets outlining income and expenditure
  • Email correspondence of government officials relating to their duties
  • Property Records
  • Public notices
  • Police reports
  • Licenses and permits
  • Bankruptcy Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Washington Court Records 
  • Birth Records.

Washington Public Court Records

Washington Court Records are documents relating to court proceedings in the state. In Washington, maintaining Court Records is the duty of the court clerk's office of the respective courts that presided over the cases.

Washington Court Records information includes

  • Case type
  • Case number
  • Filing date
  • Case status
  • Court orders
  • Judgment
  • Court Calendar
  • Names of parties involved in a case

Although Washington Court Records are public, there are restrictions to accessing certain records due to privacy and security considerations.

Washington Public Criminal Records

Criminal Records are official documents that describe an individual's crime history.

Washington Public Criminal Records information include

  • Warrants 
  • Mugshots
  • Criminal charges 
  • Aliases
  • Arrest records
  • Court documents
  • Deposition
  • Sentencing 
  • Convictions
  • Probation and Parole records.

Although Criminal Records are public in Washington, there may be restrictions on some records for legal and security reasons. Access to Criminal Records in Washington is limited to authorized persons and agencies. The following individuals and entities can access Washington Criminal Records:

  • Owners of the Records
  • Employers who are authorized to conduct background checks on potential employees 
  • Law enforcement
  • Government agencies for licensing or regulatory activities
  • Authorized entities such as government contractors or organizations involved in child or vulnerable adults care.

In Washington, keeping Criminal Records is the responsibility of the Washington State Patrol (WSP). For information on how to access Criminal Records in Washington, send an email to:

The Washington State Patrol
PO Box 42600
Olympia, WA 98504

Also, interested persons can make an in-person visit to:

The Washington State Patrol
Helen Sommers Building,
106 11th Avenue SW
Olympia, WA 98501.

Washington Public Arrest Records

Arrest Records are public and accessible to interested persons. However, there may be redactions for privacy and security reasons. To access Arrest Records in Washington, a requester needs to contact the Washington State Patrol and may have to:

  • Provide valid identification
  • Show authorization
  • State the purpose for the Arrest Records request (this may be necessary to comply with the privacy laws) and 
  • Pay any applicable fee that comes with the request.

In Washington, access to Arrest Records may be subject to restrictions. The following Arrest Records are not available for public access in Washington:

  • Juvenile Records
  • Information that can jeopardize ongoing investigation
  • Personal Information that will breach privacy laws, and
  • Case details that relate to confidential matters.

Washington Public Bankruptcy Records

Bankruptcy Records are legal documents that contain information on bankruptcy proceedings. The following are key details of Bankruptcy:

  • Case information (this includes case number, filing date, case status, and chapter number)
  • Income, assets, and liabilities 
  • Debtor's information (such as 
    • Name
    • Contact details and
    • Social Security Number).
  • Creditors' information (this includes
    • Names
    • Addresses, and 
    • Proof of claim) 
  • Court filings and documents that include
    • Petition
    • Statement of financial affairs
    • Schedules A - J
  • Court orders and decisions.

To look up Bankruptcy Records in Washington, interested individuals should make a formal request at the relevant bankruptcy court). Requesters seeking to access bankruptcy records in Washington may need to provide case details to aid in the search for the records and pay applicable access fees.

In Washington and other U S. states, keeping Bankruptcy Records is the prerogative of the United States Bankruptcy Courts. There are two branches of the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Washington:

  • The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington, and
  • The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington.

For more on Bankruptcy Records in Washington, the requester can call 

  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Eastern District of Washington at (509) 458-5300 or 
  • The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Western Washington at (206) 370-5200 or (253) 882-3900.

For in-person access to Bankruptcy Records in Washington, visit the relevant court at the following locations:

Washington Eastern District
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court
920 West Riverside Avenue,
Suite 661 Spokane,
WA 99201.


Washington Western District
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court
700 Stewart Street,
Suite 6301 Seattle,
WA 98101.

Washington Public Birth Records

Public Birth Records in Washington is an official document containing state childbirth details. Birth Record information includes

  • Name of the owner of the records
  • Date of and place of birth
  • Name of the parents
  • Mother's maiden name, and
  • The child's gender

In Washington, keeping Birth Records is the responsibility of the Washington State Department of Health (WSDH). Access to Birth Records in Washington is restricted to the records owner and persons with tangible interest. 

For information on how to access Washington Public Birth Records, send an email to ContactCHS@doh.wa.gov or write to:

Center for Health Statistics
Department of Health
PO Box 9709
Olympia, WA 98507

Also, in-person visits are available by appointment at:

The Washington State Department of Health
Center for Health Statistics Town Center 2
111 Israel Road SE
Tumwater, WA 98501.

Washington Public Death Records

Washington Public Death Records are official documents that contain details of a person's death. Typically, Public Death Records information includes most or all of the following:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Residence address 
  • Birthplace 
  • Cause of death
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Age at the time of death
  • Names of the parents of the dead
  • Occupation at the time of death

Maintaining and providing access to Death Records in Washington is the responsibility of the Washington Department of Health. 

Note that some Death Records information may have restrictions for privacy reasons (for instance, there may be redactions of sensitive and private records such as cause of death and Social Security Number).

To obtain Death Records in Washington, a requester needs to

  • Submit a formal request to the Washington Department of Health
  • Provide valid identification and
  • Pay applicable access fees.

Washington Public Marriage Records 

Marriage Records are official documents that legalize the union of two individuals as a couple. Public Marriage Records in Washington encompass the following:

  • Names of the couple
  • Date of marriage
  • Location of the marriage ceremony
  • Names of the witnesses (at least two that are above 18 years)
  • Name of the marriage officiant
  • Marriage license number 
  • Date of issuance of marriage certificate

Keeping and maintaining Marriage Records in Washington is the duty of the Washington Department of Health and the relevant county offices across the state.

Interested individuals need to request the Washington Department of Health or the relevant county auditor's office to obtain Public Marriage Records in Washington. In Washington, the requester for Marriage Records must 

  • State the names of Marriage Records owners
  • Provide the date of marriage and
  • Pay applicable fees for accessing the records.

Note that there may be restrictions on certain marriage records information for security and privacy reasons.

Washington Public Divorce Records

Public Divorce Records are documents containing details of the legal termination of a marriage. A divorce decree includes the following:

  • Names of the divorced
  • Date and location of divorce
  • Reasons for divorce
  • Child custody (if any)
  • Division of assets
  • Alimony 
  • Child support (if applicable)
  • Spousal support.

The following steps outline how to obtain Divorce Records in Washington:

  • Contact the county clerk's office at the county where the divorce decree was issued or the Washington State Department of Health. The county clerk's office is responsible for records before 1968, while the WSDH maintains divorce records from 1968 to date.
  • Make a formal request by providing the names of the divorced, case number, date of divorce, or any information that will aid in locating the records.
  • Provide indentations, and
  • Pay any applicable fees.

There may be redactions to Washington Public Divorce Records information for privacy and security reasons.

Washington Public Inmate Records

Washington Inmate Records are official documents containing information on persons incarcerated in the various correctional facilities in the state. Inmate Records information includes:

  • Name of the inmate
  • Booking date
  • Charges
  • Mugshot
  • Location of the correctional facility
  • Crime History
  • Sentencing details
  • Parole status, and
  • Release date

Access to Washington Inmate Records is open to the public, but there may be restrictions to certain information for security and privacy reasons. To look up Public Washington Inmate Records, requesters need to contact the Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) or use the Inmate Search service provided by the department.

For information on Washington Public Inmate Records, visit the WDOC official website, call (360) 725-8213 (Monday through Friday), or write to:

The Washington Department of Corrections 
PO Box 41100, Olympia, WA 98504-1100.

For in-person inquiries on Washington Inmate Records, visit the Washington Department of Corrections at:

7345 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501-6504
Email: DOCCorrespondenceUnit@doc.wa.gov.

Washington Public Sex Offender Information

Public Sex Offender Information provides details on individuals who have been convicted of sex offenses. In Washington, Sex Offender Information is available to the public. To access Washington Sex Offender Information:

Note that responsible dissemination of Sex Offender Information is vital for public safety. Also, there should be a balance between community safety and individual privacy.

Washington Public Property Records

Property Records in Washington are documents relating to estate and property ownership in the state. Washington Public Property Records encompass information on

  • Ownership of property
  • Property transaction history
  • Legal description of the property
  • Building and zoning information
  • Mortgage Information 
  • Easements and encumbrances, and
  • Tax assessments.

To access Washington Public Property Records

  • Determine the county where the property is located
  • Contact the county assessor's office
  • Provide the property details to aid in locating the records
  • Fill out any necessary form and submit a formal request
  • Pay access fees (if applicable).

Note that access may be limited to the property owner or authorized person for privacy reasons. Also, restrictions may be in place to protect the privacy of the owner of the records and for legal reasons.

What is Exempted Under the Washington Public Records Act?

The concept of exemption under the Washington Public Records Act refers to certain categories of information not subject to public disclosure. In Washington, the following records are exempt from public inspection and copying:

  • Adoption records
  • Juvenile records
  • Personal information 
  • Investigation and law enforcement records
  • Crime victim information
  • Employment records
  • Licensing records 
  • Attorney-client privilege information
  • Real estate transaction records
  • Trade secrets
  • Health care and vital records 
  • Archeological sites 
  • Student educational information.

 The following steps outline how to challenge an exemption to access Washington Public Records:

  • Request a review of the exemption
  • Seek meditation or informal resolution to address concerns
  • File a lawsuit if the agency upholds the exemption
  • Wait for the court to determine if the exemption is in order
  • If dissatisfied with the court decision, file an appeal.

How Do I Find Public Records in Washington?

Residents and non-residents can find public records in Washington using the following steps:

  • Identify the agency in possession of the records
  • Check online databases (some agencies make public records available through online portals)
  • Log in to the state-wide database to search for the required records 
  • Visit government websites for any available records 
  • Make an in-person visit to the records custodian agency 
  • Make a formal Public Records request to access the required records
  • Verify and pay any applicable fee
  • Visit local agencies,  libraries, and archives for information on public records.

The following tips may be useful for efficient and effective records search:

  • Define the specific information needed and identify the agency in possession of the records
  • Have a single repository to store records for easy access when required
  • Automate the retrieval process when dealing with a large volume of data
  • Organize existing files to remove irrelevant ones
  • Use online search tools to filter irrelevant records to save time.

Can I Find Free Public Records in Washington Using Third-Party Sites?

Yes. Public Records are available through third-party sites. Operating independently of any government agency, such sites offer convenience and flexibility by conglomerating information and documents from various sources and providing online tools for easy records search. However, it is necessary to note that while third-party online databases may be convenient for public records search, information and documents sourced from these websites may not be credible.

How Much Do Public Records Cost in Washington?

Public Records custodian agencies in Washington cannot charge for Records viewing. However, the Washington Public Records Act permits public records custodians to charge reasonable fees to cover the cost of making copies of records for requesters.

In Washington, the cost per page for copies of Public Records must not exceed $0.15. In addition, agencies may charge fees for staff salaries, benefits, or administrative costs related to the time spent making copies of the records. Also, a government agency will assess a requester for the cost of delivering public records.

The cost of Public in Washington depends on the agency, volume, type, and complexity of the records. Typically, government agencies in Washington may charge fees for Public Records to cover the following costs:

  • Copying 
  • Delivery 
  • Research 
  • Electronic records and
  • Special services.

Government agencies in Washington may offer waivers or fee reductions for obtaining public records if they are for:

  • Educational purposes
  • Research
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Public interest
  • News media.

Also, there may be a fee reduction or waiver if the requester is undergoing financial hardship or the records are for personal use.

What Happens if I Am Refused a Public Records Request?

In Washington, a government agency may refuse access to public records if:

  • There is a legal exemption on the records 
  • The request is unreasonable 
  • The records are subject to a confidentiality agreement
  • The records pose security risks 
  • The request places an undue burden or cost on the agency 
  • There is a breach of privacy law.

In Washington, a requester has the right to challenge a refusal to access Public Records. The following steps outline how to challenge a denial of access:

  • Submit an appeal for a review of the decision
  • Seek mediation or dispute resolution if available
  • Contact the Washington State Office of the Attorney General for a review of the agency upholding the decision to deny access to the public records.
  • Seek advice from legal professionals.
  • File a lawsuit against the agency to enforce access to the records.

Also, requesters can engage legislators who can advocate for the release of the records.

Washington Public Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!