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Ohio Public Records

Ohio Public RecordsOhio is one of the most populated states in the country, with a total population of more than 11.5 million as of the most recent count. This state may have been inhabited as early as 13,000 B.C., with Native Americans dominating the territory throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, until France entered and developed their own presence within the lucrative fur trade. The state became an official member of the Union in 1803, as the 17th state to become a part of the U.S. With a long and colorful history, those in search of Ohio public records can enjoy a glimpse of that history by the people who were born, married and died in the state. 

Those in search of Ohio public records will find that the majority of vital documents for the state are stored at a single location, which is the Department of Health. However, those that need records dating back beyond the past century will probably need to research through the Ohio Historical Society State Archives. Before you begin your Ohio public records search, it is important to note the following:

  • Most vital records for Ohio are stored at the state’s Department of Health.
  • This office offers access to records in person, by mail and online.
  • Ohio is considered an “open records” state, meaning anyone can access public records here.
  • Older documents are also available through the Ohio Historical Society State Archives.
  • Some documents must be retrieved by the county office where the event took place.
  • Ohio Public Records Search: Eligibility

    Ohio is considered a “public records” state, which means any member of the general public who wants access to certain public records issued in Ohio can gain access to them. This differs from other states that might restrict access to official copies due to privacy laws within the state. Those interested in gaining access to Ohio gov public records have a number of options for finding the documents they are seeking. They can submit a request through the appropriate government office, providing all the information they can on the subject and the event.

    Individuals are also welcome to come into offices in person to perform their searches. Appointments are required for those that wish to search records in person, and an appointment can be made by phoning the office directly. Internet access if also available. The state of Ohio also suggests hiring a professional genealogist for this purpose, although the state stops short of recommending a specific company or individual for this purpose.

    Public Records Locations for Ohio

    The majority of vital records in Ohio are stored at the Ohio Department of Health. This office keeps all birth certificates for 125 years and death certificates for 50 years. At that time, files are typically moved to the Ohio Historical Society State Archives.

    It is important to note that while public records for Ohio are available at the Ohio Department of Health, certified copies of those documents may be requested. However, once the documents move to the State Archives, certified copies may no longer be available. The State Archives also hold a wealth of historical OH public records, including census and military records, war collections and naturalization records.

    Marriage and divorce records for Ohio are stored at the specific county office where the event was originally recorded. The Department of Health does offer a search service to help interested parties locate the document in question, if they don’t know the specific county where the event took place. However, copies are only available through county offices, once documents have been located.

    Finding Ohio Public Records Online

    To make public records searches faster and more convenient, online public records in Ohio are also available. The Department of Health offers their own online Ohio public records search service, although the wait time to receive document copies is similar to that of mail requests.

    The state also partners with VitalChek, an online service used by many states to allow interested parties to conduct searches and request copies of documents from the comfort and privacy of home. There is an additional charge for using the VitalChek service, as well as a standard fee for document copies.



     
    State of Ohio Resources & Statistics
    Separator Line

    Population:
    11,910,485

     
    Under 18:
    2,874,751

     
    Over 65:
    1,085,545

     
    Employed:
    6,151,893

     
    Land in Square Miles:
    40,948.38

     
    Acres of Farms:
    14,435,583

     
    Births:
    148,388

     
    Deaths:
    109,031

     
    Infant Deaths:
    1,082

     
     
    Murder:
    543

     
    Forcible Rape:
    4,419

     
    Robbery:
    18,719

     
    Assault:
    16,316

     
    Total Violent Crime:
    39,997

     
    Burglary:
    102,554

     
    Larceny \ Theft:
    260,786

     
    Motor Vehicle Theft:
    28,532

     
    Total Property Crime:
    391,862

     
    Ohio Public Records Locations
    Department of Public Safety
    OSHP Central Records, 1st Fl
    PO Box 182074
    Columbus, OH 43218-2074
    Phone:
    614-466-3536

    Fax:
    614-644-9749










    Attorney General's Office
    State Office Tower
    30 E Broad St, 17th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215-3428
    Fax:
    614-644-6135










     
    Ohio Department of Health
    Bureau of Vital Statistics
    PO Box 15098
    Columbus, OH 43215-0098
    Phone:
    614-466-2531

    Fax:
    866-881-9699










    Secretary of State
    Corporate Records Access
    PO Box 1329
    Columbus, OH 43216
    Phone:
    877-767-3453

     
    614-466-3910










     
    Ohio Bureau of Investigation
    Civilian Background Section
    PO Box 365
    London, OH 43140
    Fax:
    740-845-2633










    Ohio Department of Health
    Bureau of Vital Statistics
    PO Box 15098
    Columbus, OH 43215-0098
    Phone:
    614-466-2531

    Fax:
    866-881-9699










     
    Department of Public Safety
    Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    1970 W Broad St
    Columbus, OH 43223-1102
    Phone:
    614-752-7600

    Fax:
    614-995-7946










    GED Transcript Office
    25 S Front St, 1st Fl
    Columbus, OH 43215-4183
    Phone:
    614-466-1577

    Fax:
    614-752-9445










     
    Governor's Office
    77 S High St, 30th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215
    Phone:
    614-466-3555

    Fax:
    614-466-9354










    Ohio Department of Natural Resources
    Division of Wildlife
    2045 Morse Rd, Bldg G-2
    Columbus, OH 43229-6693
    Phone:
    614-265-6300

     
    800-945-3543










     
    Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
    Bureau of Records Management
    978 Freeway Drive, N.
    Columbus, OH 43229
    Phone:
    614-752-1076

    Fax:
    614-752-1086

    Records:
    614-752-1159 Ext. 3










    Legislative Service Commission
    77 S High Street
    Columbus, OH 43215
    Phone:
    614-466-3615

    Fax:
    614-644-8744










     
    Ohio Department of Health
    Bureau of Vital Statistics
    PO Box 15098
    Columbus, OH 43215-0098
    Phone:
    614-466-2531










    Ohio Bureau of Investigation
    Sexual Offender Registry
    PO Box 365
    London, OH 43140
    Phone:
    866-406-4534

    Fax:
    740-845-2021










     
    Historical Society
    Archives/Library
    1982 Velma Ave
    Columbus, OH 43211-2497
    Fax:
    614-297-2546










    Administrative Director
    Supreme Court of Ohio
    65 S Front Street
    Columbus, OH 43215-3431
    Phone:
    614-387-9000

     
    800-826-9010

    Fax:
    614-387-9419










     
    UCC Records
    Secretary of State
    PO Box 669
    Columbus, OH 43216
    Phone:
    877-767-3453

     
    614-466-3910

    Fax:
    614-466-2892










    Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    Motor Vehicle Title Records
    1970 W Broad St
    Columbus, OH 43223-1102
    Phone:
    614-752-7752

    Fax:
    614-752-7001










     
    Secretary of State
    Elections Division
    180 E Broad St, 15th Fl
    Columbus, OH 43215
    Phone:
    614-466-2585

    Fax:
    614-752-4360










    Bureau of Workers Compensation
    Customer Contact Center - Records Mgr
    30 W Spring St, 10th
    Columbus, OH 43215-2241
    Phone:
    800-644-6292

    Fax:
    877-520-6446

    Records:
    614-728-3210