The citizens of Connecticut are served through many different public agencies, and one of the responsibilities of those agencies is to provide Connecticut public records. Each of these agencies produces and manages its respective records. In 1975, the Connecticut General Assembly gave the right to the public to view and obtain copies of a majority of these documents.1
Fortunately, finding these records is easier than ever and getting free Connecticut state records can be done with a name, and a click of a button.
Not only is this true when using a records search tool that finds free CT marriage records and more, but most agencies provide free public records search portals that can be accessed online.
This guide explains how to get Connecticut public information fast and obtain state records easily.
Accessing Connecticut Public Records & Associated Laws
In 1967, the United States Department of Justice gave citizens of the United States, with some exceptions, the right to access records that are produced and stored by federal agencies.1 As mentioned previously, Connecticut enacted a similar law that provides public rights to most documents produced by state agencies.2
Even though state agencies manage these records, a central repository does not exist for the many types of information. If looking for documents, an individual must know where to find each record they are searching for. Whether it be a type of court, county records department, or jurisdiction, one must know where to start the search.
It’s important to keep in mind that, although government agencies are bound to provide access to a majority of Connecticut public records, there is generally a fee associated with obtaining copies of these documents. Because records might ultimately have a cost through each subsequent agency, it could be beneficial to pay a fee to use a third-party search, which might entail less effort and time.
Checking Criminal Records in Connecticut
Many reasons may prompt a search to find out if someone has a criminal record. These records can give important background on a person and may be imperative as an employer, property owner, or when pursuing personal relationships. Criminal records in Connecticut contain a history of charges that a subject was convicted of along with all details of such conviction, such as:
- Arrest information
- Court documents
- Sentencing details
- Fingerprints and mugshots
Are Criminal Records Public Information in CT?
Although a majority of documents and information produced by government agencies in the state are available to citizens, there are exceptions. For instance, Connecticut public records for criminals do not include cases with juvenile offenders.3
Other records not available for public disclosure include information regarding an ongoing investigation, details of victims of sexual assault, signed witness statements, etc.4
How To Look Up Criminal Records in Connecticut
There are various places to look up someone’s criminal record in Connecticut and each provides slightly differing information such as conviction case information, arrest warrants, sex offender registry details, etc.
The information below is a summary of what can be found, but for further details, visit out our guide on Connecticut criminal records and arrest records which provides every criminal record custodian or agency in CT, the processes to request each record, and links to local law enforcement’s arrest logs (if available), as well as their contact information.
The Connecticut State Police Bureau of Investigation provides a criminal record search that allows authorized agencies to look into someone’s past, and they also allow individual’s to check their own record.
There are three ways to request a search through the State Police:6
- A search by name and birth date
- Will not provide a record; only confirmation of whether a record exists
- Fee of $36.00
- A history search for criminal convictions by name and date of birth
- Will provide a copy of the record if found
- Fee of $75.00
- A history search for criminal convictions by fingerprints
- Requires fingerprinting documentation completed by law enforcement
- Will provide a copy of the record if found
- Fee of $75.00
In either of these processes, a Criminal History Request Form should be submitted along with a money order or check made payable to the Treasurer – State of CT. If more than one subject is to be searched, a form and fee for each individual are required. The form and payment can be mailed to:
DESSP – SPBI
1111 Country Club Rd
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
If a statewide criminal history record is not needed, a local record lookup can be performed at individual police departments throughout the state. To locate a specific agency, a web search for that entity, such as “Newtown Connecticut criminal history” will provide the related government website.
The division of records for the town of Newtown only provides records for the municipality of Newtown and will not include statewide records. For a $10.00 fee, a request with a Criminal History Record Request form for a history check can be made. This check only confirms or denies the existence of records for an individual.
Contrarily, if a local or statewide search is not sufficient and a country-wide criminal history is needed for an individual, employing a third-party search, for a fee, may provide a wider array of results.
How To Find Connecticut Arrest Records Free
Although some arrest information may be found in criminal history records, if someone has not been charged with a crime, the details will most likely not be included in the record. To find recent arrests for free, searching individual city and county law enforcement sites should direct individuals to a city-specific search function or further details on who to contact.
To find out if someone is arrested/in jail in Hartford County, Connecticut, use a search engine with the keywords “Hartford County CT arrests” to find the government website for Hartford County. Pinpointing the government website for the search will lead to the most up-to-date search function or contact information for the agency responsible for arrests. Hartford County’s government website displays an Arrest Log PDF link on the Police webpage.
If a current arrest list is not published on a city or county site, another free option to locate arrestee information is to contact jails and police departments directly by phone or in person. The search suggestion listed above should result in current phone numbers and locations for each agency and may be the best way to learn how to get jail paperwork and arrest details.
How To Search Connecticut Criminal Records Pictures (Mugshots)
When arrested and booked by law enforcement, before being jailed, fingerprints and photos are taken of the subject. These photos are called mugshots and are included in criminal history records but they are not always readily available in every jurisdiction within Connecticut.
One site that is required by law to include mugshots, along with additional information, is the Sex Offender Registry, which is included in Connecticut public records. If a sexual offender was incarcerated during or after October 1st of 1988, they are required to register with the State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. More information regarding this registry will be listed below.7
Some cities throughout Connecticut have a most wanted list which includes mugshots. Searching the city of Enfield Connecticut through a web search brings up mugshots of Enfield’s Most Wanted.
If a mugshot is not easily located, it might be beneficial to pay for a third-party search which could result in a larger result of photos.
How To Check to See if You’re on Connecticut’s Warrant List (Free Connecticut Warrant Search Options)
To see if there is an active warrant out for an individual, navigate to the Judicial Branch Arrest Warrants site. At a minimum, the search function needs the first two letters of the subject’s last name, town, or court location. To narrow down a search, some or all entries can be entered.
The results include subjects that match the criteria entered. Each listed warrant includes the:
- Subject’s name
- Most recent address
- Birth year
- Type of warrant
- Warrant issued date
- Docket number
If a warrant is suspected and is not listed on the judicial site, contacting the city or county where the suspected warrant may have been issued could give more information. A web search for the local police or sheriff’s department should list the phone number to contact for more information.
The Connecticut Office of Policy and Management directs all persons looking for specific information regarding warrants, including a bench warrant, to contact the Program Manager for the Protection Order Registry and the Paperless Rearrest Warrant Network:
Judicial Branch of Superior Court Operations
Can You Look Up Juvenile Records in Connecticut?
Juvenile records in Connecticut are not made accessible to the public for the protection of the child and the child’s family. These records are only made available to:
- The parents or guardians of the minor
- The attorney representing the minor
- Certain law enforcement and judicial employees with a role in the case9
How Do You Look Up Sex Offenders in CT?
As briefly described above, sexual offenders jailed during or after October 1, 1988 are required to register with the State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. As of 2022, there are 5,971 sex offenders on the registry.7
This database houses details for each sexual offender throughout the state and includes:
- Personal details with descriptions and photos
- List of sexual offenses
A sexual offender can be searched by address, name, email address, phone number, etc.
This search will list all sexual offenders matching the search criteria. If no criteria are input, the site allows a user to browse all published offenders.
The database also allows users to submit tips in regard to offenders, register to receive updates on offenders, or receive alerts by email for offenders in a particular area.
How To Perform a Connecticut Background Check
Connecticut refers to background checks as either criminal history checks or background checks performed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Children and Families (DCF).10 Criminal history records were described in-depth above, so DCF background checks will be explained here.
Three types of background checks through DCF exist :
- Child Abuse Central Registry for Employment background check
- Foster Care Adoption background check
- Adam Walsh’s background check
The employment check for those working in a service relating to children or families includes records from the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect. An authorization form filled in and signed by the potential worker is required.
A background check for adoption and foster care is also required with a similar form. This is required for those looking to foster, adopt, or work with children or families in a licensed facility.
An Adam Walsh background check is not limited to Connecticut and can only be requested by state agencies. More information on this national background search can be found on the CPS Background Check Portal.
Information such as employment background, residential history, to find out if someone is married, etc., is not listed in the above background checks.
If more detail is needed, a private background check company has access to data that is not easily searchable by an individual. While it may incur a fee, the information the background check provides might be worth the cost.
Connecticut’s Judicial System & Court Records
Connecticut courts are dispersed throughout the state and each court has a different function. The courts are split into the:11
- Supreme Court – Final court for appeals
- Appellate Court – Appeals court
- Superior Court – Family court, civil claims, criminal cases, etc
- Probate Court – estate issues, conservatorships, etc
Each of these courts produces records, a majority of which are public. Sealed court records or records which are explicitly exempt (such as juvenile records) are not publicly available.
The state of Connecticut has one federal district court and it hears cases that have federal jurisdiction.
How To Look Up Court Cases & Court Records in Connecticut (Find Free Connecticut Divorce Records)
The State of Connecticut Judicial Branch has compiled a case look-up page that includes links to online searches provided by the judicial system.
Supreme and Appellate cases both use the same search site. The State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Supreme and Appellate Court Case Look-Up includes case information from 1991 and forward.12
The Superior Court Case Look-Up for small claims, civil, family, and housing is available for public use. Cases are able to be searched by name, docket number, attorney, etc., and results include all matching search criteria.
A separate Criminal and Motor Vehicle Case Search are also available. These convictions and pending cases can be searched by:
- Convictions by Last Name
- Convictions by Docket Number
- Pending cases by Last Name
- Pending cases by Docket Number
If a certain case is not being produced by the online search, the Connecticut Judicial Branch advises contacting the court clerk for the jurisdiction in which a case was located. To locate a particular clerk, a web search can bring up an address and website for the desired location. For example, a search for “Hartford Judicial District clerk”.
Once the location of the respective court is found, a request can be made in person. Fees for state records are listed on the Judicial Branch website and are as follows:
CT Bankruptcy Court Case Lookup
Bankruptcies are handled by the District of Connecticut United States Bankruptcy Court and are considered Connecticut public records. Most bankruptcy court records can be accessed through the Pacer site.
A hard copy of court records can be requested in person for $32.00 at one of the following :
US Bankruptcy Court
Connecticut Financial Center
157 Church St.
New Haven, Connecticut 06510
US Bankruptcy Court
Brien McMahon Federal Building
915 Lafayette Blvd.
Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604
US Bankruptcy Court
Abraham Ribicoff Federal Building
450 Main St.
Hartford, Connecticut 06103
Bankruptcy cases that have been closed and archived can be found at the National Archives Court Records page.
Connecticut Inmate Records
In 1968, all state prisons and county jails in Connecticut were unified. This unified group now falls under the Connecticut Department of Correction. The records of these groups are all maintained by the same entity.
Inmate records could be called prison background checks because they contain details such as pertinent personal details, arrest and conviction information, location, and sentencing details.
How Do You Find an Inmate in a CT Jail?
Jails are typically made up of inmates awaiting a trial or serving short sentences. Connecticut, as mentioned above, combined jails and prisons together, ultimately making it easier to find someone.14
To find an inmate in Connecticut, a user can search the Connecticut State Department of Correction database using the Offender Information Search.
This search allows users to search by inmate number, name, or birthdate. Subsequent results reveal the location of the inmate, offense, sentence info, and parole information.
How Do You Find an Inmate in a CT Prison?
The Offender Information Search mentioned above allows a user to search state prisons throughout Connecticut. The inmate information also includes a registration link for the Connecticut Automated Victim Information and Notification services, which is operated by VINELink.
One Federal prison, FCI Danbury, is located in Connecticut. This prison is not maintained by the Connecticut Department of Corrections, but by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has an online search for inmates on their Find an Inmate webpage.
Find Inmate Release Dates in Connecticut
Inmate information listed on the Department of Correction website is for public access. Information regarding sentence length and inmate release dates is listed with each inmate’s information.
If more detailed information is needed, a subject can register with VINELink, as mentioned above, to receive notifications on release information.
How To Visit & Put Money On Connecticut Inmate’s Books
Before visiting or sending money to an inmate, it is imperative that their whereabouts are confirmed. This can be done by using the Offender Information Search explained above.
- Be added to the approved visiting list
- Ensure details of the visit correspond to the visiting rules
- Be advised to check the in-person status of visitations, as things can change quickly
- Arrive early to check in with the required identification
If an in-person visit is restricted for any reason, a video visit can be scheduled using the following criteria:15
- Be added to the approved visiting list
- Have a valid email
- Submit video visit request and receive confirmation
- Arrive early to the video visit to check in with the required identification
Adding money to Connecticut Inmate’s books, or to their inmate account, can be done using four different methods. The Inmate Account page on the Department of Correction website contains PDFs that give detailed directions on how to securely send money to someone in jail or prison. The payment methods are:
JPay: Online, mobile, phone, or cash locations at CVS and Walmart
TouchPay: Phone, online, and in-person locations
Western Union: Internet, phone, in-person locations
USPS: Check or money order made payable to the inmate must include:
- Inmate Name, including first name, middle initial, and last name
- Inmate number
- Inmate date of birth
- Sender’s full name
- Sender’s entire address
- Mail to: Inmate Trust Fund, PO Box 290800, Wethersfield, Connecticut 06129
Vital Records of CT
The Connecticut State Vital Records office is an overarching term for the vital records offices throughout the state. Connecticut is separated into 169 municipalities and each one has an office. This agency maintains records and documents pertaining to births, deaths, and marriages.16
The records, such as the divorced percentage of people in every Virginia county, were also made available through the United States Census Bureau.
Unlike many states, Connecticut does not consider a divorce certificate a vital record.
Can Anyone Access Vital Records in Connecticut?
Access to vital records is limited due to the amount of personal information included in them. Statistical information is open to public viewing through the Connecticut Registration Report compiled by the Vital Records Department. Below is a portion of the 2018 Connecticut Registration Report showing birth rates by town and by ethnicity.17
How To Search Connecticut Vital Records Free (Search Free Marriage Records in Connecticut)
Information on how to locate vital records can be found, for free, on the Department of Public Health’s Vital Record page. Although Connecticut does not maintain a public records repository for all documents in one place, the state does utilize VitalChek for online certified document orders.
To order a birth certificate/certificate of birth through VitalChek, proof of self or an immediate relative must be provided. To order a death certificate/certificate of death or a marriage certificate, basic details must be included in the request to process the order.
A VitalChek fee is charged in addition to the standard document fee charged by the state. A breakdown of charges along with a thumbnail picture representation of the document will be provided before the order is placed.
If an individual would prefer not to use VitalChek or the information needed is not found there, the Office of Vital Records provides an online Directory page with a list of the 169 towns in Connecticut, along with their address, phone number, and a link to their webpage.
A record request can be obtained through each of the above towns. A certified copy of birth certificates is $20, marriage certificates are $50, and a death certificate is $20. An example of a death certificate request from the Lebanon, Connecticut website is below:
A form, along with a certified check or money order can be mailed or delivered to the Lebanon Town Hall at:
579 Exeter Road, Main Floor
Lebanon, Connecticut 06249
Various questions may arise, such as “Are marriage records public?” or “Can I access public divorce records?”. Contact the State Vital Records Office directly at +1-860-509-7700 if further clarification on which documents are considered Connecticut public records.
1Connecticut General Assembly. (n.d.). Citizens Guide. CT.gov. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/FOI/Quick-Links/Citizens-Guide>
2US Department of Justice. (n.d.). Freedom of Information Act: Learn. FOIA.gov. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <https://www.foia.gov/about.html>
3Connecticut Judicial Branch. (n.d.). Criminal / Motor Vehicle Case Look-up – CT Judicial Branch. Connecticut Judicial Branch. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <https://www.jud.ct.gov/crim.htm>
4Connecticut Legislature. (n.d.). Sec 1210 Formerly Sec 119 Access to public records Exempt records. CT.gov. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/FOI/Regulations/The-FOI-Act/Sec-1210--Formerly-Sec-119--Access-to-public-records--Exempt-records>
5State Police Bureau of Investigation. (n.d.). State Police Bureau of Identification. CT.gov. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/DESPP/Division-of-Emergency-Service-and-Public-Protection/Reports-and-Records/State-Police-Bureau-of-Identification>
6Town of Newtown. (n.d.). How do I obtain a Criminal History Background check? Newtown-ct.gov. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from <https://www.newtown-ct.gov/records-department/faq/how-do-i-obtain-criminal-history-background-check>
7United Way of Connecticut. (n.d.). Sex Offender Registry – Connecticut – United Way of Connecticut – 211 and eLibrary. CT 211. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from <https://uwc.211ct.org/sex-offender-registry-connecticut/>
8Office of Policy Management. (n.d.). Current: Arrest Warrant Data. CT.gov. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/OPM/CJ-CJIS/CJ-Arrest-Warrant-Data/Arrest-Warrant-Data>
9State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. (n.d.). JUVENILE COURT RECORDS – LEGAL GUIDE. Connecticut Judicial Branch. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from <https://www.jud.ct.gov/juv_infoguide/IJCP_CourtRecords.html>
10Department of Children and Families. (n.d.). Background Checks. CT.gov. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/DCF/Background-Checks/Home#Employment>
11Ballotpedia. (n.d.). Courts in Connecticut. Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from <https://ballotpedia.org/Courts_in_Connecticut>
12Connecticut Judicial Branch. (n.d.). Supreme and Appellate Court Case Look-Up. <https://appellateinquiry.jud.ct.gov/>
13Administrative Office of the US Courts. (n.d.). PACER Case Locator: PACER. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from <https://pcl.uscourts.gov/pcl/index.jsf>
14Department of Correction. (n.d.). Connecticut Department of Correction. CT.gov. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/DOC>
15Department of Correction. (n.d.). General Visiting Information. CT.gov. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/DOC/Miscellaneous/Visiting>
16Department of Public Health. (n.d.). Welcome to Connecticut’s State Vital Records Office. CT.gov. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Vital-Records/State-Vital-Records-Office--Home>
17Department of Public Health. (2021, April 15). Reg Report 2018_063021_with TOC_TOF_cross-reference4. CT.gov. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Departments-and-Agencies/DPH/Vital-Statistics/Registration-Reports/Reports/2018_CT_Registration_Report.pdf>
18STATE OF CONNECTICUT. (n.d.). CT.gov. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from <https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DESPP/reports_and_records/DPS0846CCriminalHistoryRecordRequestFormRev120117pdf.pdf?la=en&hash=EA50398A227AA13333672A334F53FB6B>
19RECORDS REQUEST. (n.d.). Newtown-ct.gov. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from <https://www.newtown-ct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3546/f/uploads/records_request_form_.pdf>
20(n.d.). Hartford Police Department Daily Arrest Log. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from <https://www.hartfordct.gov/files/assets/public/police/police-documents/blotter.pdf>
21Enfield’s Most Wanted | Enfield, CT – Official Website. (n.d.). Enfield-ct.gov. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from <https://www.enfield-ct.gov/557/Enfields-Most-Wanted>
22Arrest Warrants. (n.d.). Connecticut Judicial Branch. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from <https://www.jud2.ct.gov/VOP/>
23Case Name. (n.d.). ct. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from <https://appellateinquiry.jud.ct.gov/CaseNameInq.aspx>
24(n.d.). Department of Correction Inmate Information Search. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from <http://www.ctinmateinfo.state.ct.us/>
25(2011, September 6). Lebanon CT |. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from <https://www.lebanonct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif4596/f/pages/death_certificate_request.pdf>