Colorado Public Records
The Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) defined public records as any “writings made, maintained or kept” by any public office in the state.
Public records in Colorado are available to the public, and anyone can request to inspect and review public documents.
How to Find Colorado Public Records
Public records in Colorado are available online, although some records may be restricted. If this happens, you need to send a written request by mail or email to the specific government agency or office with the public records you need. However, private sources can also provide access when the records are available.
When making a records request, make sure that you furnish the following information:
- A detailed description of the public record you need
- Your complete name
- Current mailing address
- The contact information like an email address or a phone number or both
Specific information allows the government of Colorado to process your public records request faster. With that, it’s best to be as detailed as possible with the information you provide the government agency that maintains and handles the public record you require.
Are Colorado Public Records Available Online?
Public records in Colorado are available to everyone and can be accessed online. The best way to check for public records is to visit the official websites of Colorado’s government offices. Suppose the public records you need from the state are not available online. In that case, you may visit the government agency in person or mail your request to the specific offices that handle and maintains the public record.
What Records are Available in Colorado?
The Colorado Open Records Act makes all public records in the state open to citizens at reasonable times.
Reviewing public documents for up to an hour is free, and you can get copies and printouts of public records for up to 20 pages free of charge.
However, you must pay $30.00 for every hour after the first hour of reviewing, gathering, or copying documents. Additional pages after the 20-page printout are available for free but succeeding pages cost $0.07 per page. Fees vary for postage and handling depending on the weight and size of your records request.
Note that current fees for each service for obtaining public records in Colorado are subject to change without notice.
What Records are Not Available in Colorado?
The following records are considered confidential in Colorado:
- Warrant information
- Juvenile records
- Law enforcement records
- Other confidential records
Types of Public Records Available in Colorado
You can access the following public records in Colorado.
Colorado Public Criminal Records
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is a division of the state’s Department of Public Safety that is the central repository of public criminal records, including arrests, in the state.
Public criminal records are available online through CBI’s Internet Criminal History Check System (ICHC). Mandatory information for accurate results includes the following:
- First and last name (using the exact spelling and without suffixes)
- Date of birth
- Social security number (optional, but provides better matches when available)
Regardless of the search results using the ICHC, you will be charged $5.00 for every search. Fees are non-refundable. You will be charged an additional $5.00 for every record you select and view. You need to complete a request form and pay $13.00 to the CBI using your credit card for notarized copies of public criminal records. Pre-printed business checks are also accepted, and in-person transactions accept cash payments with denominations no larger than $20.00.
Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Colorado :
Arrest Records and Warrants
The state uses the same online system as ICHC to help citizens access arrest records online. Warrant information is open to the public and can be accessed by contacting the county sheriffs of Colorado or by mailing a request to CBI. You may access the Colorado Courts Record Search for statewide warrant searches and pay $7.00 for every search.
Inmate and Jail Records
- DOC number or the 6-digit identification number assigned to offenders
- First and last name
- Date of birth
Jails and Prisons in Colorado :
Colorado Background Checks
Colorado background checks for employment are more thorough and are fingerprint-based on information provided by local law enforcement agencies in the state.
Background check fees vary depending on the record information that employers require.
How to find Sex Offenders in Colorado
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has a sex offender registry containing information on sexually violent predators and their last known location in the state. Local law enforcement like the police or the county sheriff’s office can also provide a list of sex offenders, but only within their area of jurisdiction. The website also has a free subscription service to notify residents of a sex offender’s current registered location by ZIP code.
Colorado Public Vital Records
Vital records in Colorado are considered confidential, but you can request a copy online and pay a fee of $20.00. For additional copies requested simultaneously, you need to pay an additional $13.00 for each copy.
To order a copy of birth or death records in Colorado, visit the Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) Vital Records and proceed with your order.
Marriage and divorce records are not available at the DPHE. However, they provide verification of civil unions, marriages, and divorces recorded at the state registrar from 1900 to 1939 and 1975 up to the present.
For certified true copies of marriage certificates, you may contact the county office clerk that issued the marriage license. For divorce decrees, contact the district court that finalized the divorce.
Colorado Court Records
Court records in Colorado are considered public and can be accessed by interested individuals online.
To look up a court record, you must provide the following information:
- First and last name
- Case number (year, class, and case sequence)
- Attorney bar number
- Date Range
You may also request access to court records through the Colorado Judicial Branch.
Take note of the following fees:
- Reproduction (copy) – $0.25 to $25.00
- Retrieval fee per hour – $5.00 to $30.00
- Postage prices (USPS) - $1.00 (for 17 pages) to $19.00 (for 1200 pages)
Records requests are attended to within three business days, provided that you meet all identifications and requirements upon the issuance of the request.
State Court System in Colorado
There are four levels in the court system of Colorado:
- Supreme Court
- Court of Appeals
- District Courts
- County Courts
County courts in Colorado handle minor criminal matters and traffic cases.
District courts handle several types of cases like civil claims, probate matters, criminal matters, juvenile matters, and divorce cases.
The Colorado Court of Appeals is not a trial court but is instead responsible for reviewing court decisions made by the district courts.
The Supreme Court in Colorado is the highest and last resort court in the state court system.
Courts in Colorado :
The person named on the driving record or authorized representatives like an attorney or a private investigator can also request another person’s driving records provided that they accomplish the forms for the release and affidavit of intended use and statement of fact.
To make a request, all you need is a valid email address plus pay $9.00 for a non-certified copy of your driving records or $10 for an official and more detailed driving record.
Civil Driving Infractions
The state of Colorado lists the following as the most common civil driving infractions that could negatively impact a citizen’s driving record history:
- Underage DUI
- Failure to dim high beams
- Stopping at an intersection or crosswalk
- Driving on the left or the wrong side of the road
- Unsafe lane change
- Driving with an open container (alcohol or marijuana)
Colorado License Plate Lookup
You can perform a license plate search in Colorado using the DMV’s vehicle record search.
You need the vehicle identification number (VIN) and the license plate information. All other information like the vehicle’s year and make, name, or address is optional.
Take note that license plate searches cost $2.20 per search.
Colorado Property and Asset Records Online
You may look up property records online in Colorado using third-party sites like InfoTracer.
The Colorado Department of the Treasury has an available service for unclaimed properties and lost or forgotten assets. Using their dedicated website service, you may claim or check for existing claim status.
Important Government Agencies in Colorado
Below is the important list of government agencies in Colorado to help you find public records:
- Secretary of State
- Governor’s Office
- Legislative Office
- Colorado Judicial Branch
- Colorado Bureau of Investigation
- Colorado Department of Correction
- Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) Vital Records
- Division of Motor Vehicles
- Colorado Department of the Treasury
- Colorado Department of Revenue
Counties in Colorado
- Clear Creek
- El Paso
- Kit Carson
- La Plata
- Las Animas
- Rio Blanco
- Rio Grande
- San Juan
- San Miguel
List of Content
- How to Find Colorado Public Records
- What Records are Available in Colorado?
- What Records are Not Available in Colorado?
- Types of Public Records Available in Colorado
- Important Government Agencies in Colorado