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Rhode Island Public Records

Rhode Island Public RecordsRhode Island is the smallest state in the U.S. in terms of total area, but with a population of more than one million people, it is also one of the most densely populated. The state boasts a significant piece of American history, as one of the 13 Original Colonies and the 13th state to join the Union in 1790. The state was first settled by former residents of the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the 17th century, and played a significant role in the Revolutionary War a century later. Rhode Island public records offer a glimpse of the people who have lived and died in this state for generations, and up to the present time.  

Finding Rhode Island public records is a relatively easy process, since many of the vital records for the state are held at a single government office, which is the Department of Health. Those who wish to dig deeper into the history of the state will also find a wealth of information through state archives. Before searching for public records in Rhode Island, keep these tips in mind:

  • Many Rhode Island public records can be found at the state’s Department of Health.
  • Vital records in the state are considered “confidential,” which means access is retricted.
  • The Department of Health offers public records services in person or by mail.
  • Forms for requesting Rhode Island public records can be found at the Department of Health’s website.
  • Additional information about Rhode Island residents is available through the Rhode Island Historical Society.
  • Public Records Eligibility in Rhode Island

    Rhode Island public records are classified as confidential, which means access to these documents is restricted to those with a “tangible interest” in the information. This typically encompasses the person on the document, if over the age of 18, immediate family members and legal representatives of any of these parties. Members of legally appointed genealogical societies and attorneys-at-law may also access documents if they show good reason or doing so. Those who need the information to protect a personal or property right, or those with an official court order, may also access vital records in Rhode Island.

    The restrictions on these documents are in effect for a set period of time. Rhode Island birth and marriage records are considered confidential until 100 years after the date of the event.  Rhode Island death records become open to the public 50 years after the date of death.  After these time periods, the RI public records are available for viewing by the general public. Documents that date back this far are held at city or county offices where the event took place, or at the Rhode Island Historical Society.

    Best Locations for a Rhode Island Public Records Search

    The Rhode Island Department of Health is the best place to search for vital records in the state. This agency holds all birth, death, marriage and civil union documents for the state, dating back many years. The Department of Health provides access to such documents through in person requests and by mail. Mail requests may take a number of weeks to process; however, expedited service is also available for an additional charge.

    All of the forms to request specific documents are provided through the Department of Health website. Requests can also be made without a form by listing all of the necessary information about the subject of the search, the event and vital information about the person making the request. Identification is required with all document requests, which includes any sort of government-issued identification that includes a photo of the individual. Copies of identification must be sent with mail requests. A signature is also required, which binds the researcher to the accuracy of the information submitted.

    Online Public Records Availability in Rhode Island

    Currently, the state does not make online Rhode Island public records available. The only methods for searching and retrieving documents are by mail and in person. Online forms are available to complete and submit, but they must be mailed to the agency, rather than emailed. The Rhode Island Historical Society does offer a few online resources, but they are more for academic purposes. Documents through this office also must be requested in person or by mail.



     
    State of Rhode Island Resources & Statistics
    Separator Line

    Population:
    1,788,050

     
    Under 18:
    233,115

     
    Over 65:
    146,847

     
    Employed:
    619,991

     
    Land in Square Miles:
    1,044.93

     
    Acres of Farms:
    61,223

     
    Births:
    12,697

     
    Deaths:
    10,007

     
    Infant Deaths:
    76

     
     
    Murder:
    29

     
    Forcible Rape:
    277

     
    Robbery:
    879

     
    Assault:
    1,436

     
    Total Violent Crime:
    2,621

     
    Burglary:
    5,570

     
    Larceny \ Theft:
    20,899

     
    Motor Vehicle Theft:
    3,200

     
    Total Property Crime:
    29,849

     
    Rhode Island Public Records Locations
    Rhode Island State Police
    Accident Reports
    311 Danielson Pike
    North Scituate, RI 02857-1907
    Phone:
    401-444-1143

    Fax:
    401-444-1133










    Attorney General's Office
    150 S Main St
    Providence, RI 02903
    Fax:
    401-222-1331










     
    State Department of Health
    Division of Vital Records
    3 Capitol Hill, Room 101
    Providence, RI 02908-5097
    Phone:
    401-222-2812

     
    401-222-2811










    Secretary of State
    Corporations Division
    148 W. River Street
    Providence, RI 02904-2615
    Phone:
    401-222-3040

    Fax:
    401-222-1309










     
    Department of Attorney General
    Bureau of Criminal Identification
    150 S Main Street
    Providence, RI 02903
    Phone:
    401-274-4400 Ext. 2232

    Fax:
    401-222-1331










    State Department of Health
    Division of Vital Records
    3 Capitol Hill, Room 101
    Providence, RI 02908-5097
    Phone:
    401-222-2812

     
    401-222-2811










     
    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Driving Record Clerk, Operator Control
    30 Howard Ave, Bldg #58
    Cranston, RI 02920
    Phone:
    401-462-0800










    Department of Education
    GED Testing
    255 Westminster
    Providence, RI 02908
    Phone:
    401-222-8948

    Fax:
    401-222-4256










     
    Governor's Office
    State House, Room 115
    Providence, RI 02903-1196
    Phone:
    401-222-2080

    Fax:
    401-222-8096










    Boat Registration & Licensing
    Licensing
    235 Promenade St, Rm 360
    Providence, RI 02908
    Phone:
    401-222-3576

    Fax:
    401-222-1181










     
    Rhode Island Department of Corrections
    Records
    PO Box 8249
    Cranston, RI 02920
    Phone:
    401-462-3900

    Fax:
    401-462-2253










    Secretary of State
    Public Information Center
    State House, Room 38
    Providence, RI 02903
    Fax:
    401-222-1404










     
    State Department of Health
    Division of Vital Records
    3 Capitol Hill, Room 101
    Providence, RI 02908-5097
    Phone:
    401-222-2812

     
    401-222-2811










    Sex Offender Community Notification Unit
    Varley Building, 40 Howard Avenue
    Cranston, RI 02920
    Phone:
    401-462-0905

    Fax:
    401-462-0916










     
    Office of the Secretary of State
    State Archives & Public Records Administration
    337 Westminster St
    Providence, RI 02903
    Phone:
    401-222-2353

    Fax:
    401-222-3199










    Court Administrator
    Supreme Court
    250 Benefit St
    Providence, RI 02903
    Phone:
    401-222-3266

    Fax:
    401-222-4224










     
    UCC Section
    Secretary of State
    148 River St
    Providence, RI 02904-2615
    Phone:
    401-222-3040

    Fax:
    401-222-3879










    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Vehicle Records
    100 Main Street
    Pawtucket, RI 02860
    Phone:
    401-462-4368

    Fax:
    401-721-2697










     
    Secretary of State
    Elections Division
    148 West River St
    Providence, RI 02904-2615
    Phone:
    401-222-2340

    Fax:
    401-222-1440










    Department of Labor & Training
    Division of Workers' Compensation
    PO Box 20190
    Cranston, RI 02920
    Phone:
    401-462-8100

    Fax:
    401-462-8105










     
     

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