Kentucky Background Checks & Public Records

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The State of Kentucky

Officially acknowledged as the Commonwealth of Kentucky, this U.S. state is situated in the east-south-central region of the country. It’s one of the four commonwealths in the country. Frankfort is its capital city, but Louisville is its largest city.

Kentucky is the 26th most-populated state and is bordered by large states. Hence, when acquiring public records or conducting background checks, be sure to look at its neighboring states as well.

Counties in Kentucky 


Where To Get Public Records In Kentucky

Like in any other state, Kentucky doesn’t maintain a central repository of its public records. Such reports are distributed to various government bodies.

Vital records, for instance, are managed by the Office of Vital Statistics (OVS). These milestone records include birth and death certificates, and marriage and divorce records.

For criminal records and arrest records, the Court of Justice is in charge of these. These records contain an official compilation of a person’s criminal history, including arrests, convictions, and incarcerations. If you’re looking for inmate records, however, you could navigate to the Kentucky Online Offender Lookup. An inmate record entails specific details of an inmate’s incarceration such as registration number, custody status, and mug shot.

The administrative office of the courts handles court records. They’ve created CourtNet, an online database where they store court records such as dockets, case files, jury records, and witness documentation.

Property records are also considered public records in Kentucky. The Secretary of State handles land records, the Department of Revenue manages property tax records, and the county clerk’s office where the site is located keeps the deed records.

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records in Kentucky

On top of existing federal laws on public records, the Kentucky Open Records Act contains state-wide rules and regulations governing the access and use of public information. These laws aim to provide transparency and convenience. 

The respective agency must respond to a records request within three days, informing the requestor if it’s approved or denied. They provide a written explanation should an extension be needed to acquire the required data. 

Most public records in Kentucky are now available online. There are, however, those that require a formal written request which could be sent via mail, email, or in-person. Some departments also allow over-the-phone requests. The issuing agency could charge fees, around 10 cents per page, for requested copies. Note that the process and fees could vary per department or per county.

If the processes seem to be too tedious or time-consuming for you, you may always utilize a third-party people search engine.

Kentucky Background Check Reports

The Kentucky State Police (KSP) conducts standard and criminal background checks. Though most of the requests they receive are for employment purposes, background checks may also be used to screen renters, child care workers, adult caregivers, and adoptive or foster parents.

The state strictly abides by the current federal laws governing background checking, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). On top of these, Kentucky has also implemented limited Ban-the-Box legislation.

A Kentucky background check usually includes personal information, criminal history (if any),  driving records, and credit check. When running a thorough background check, the person’s name is cross-checked against the national sex offender registry and the terrorist or fugitive lists.

Anyone can request a background check in Kentucky, even non-residents. You may also utilize a trustworthy third-party site.

Kentucky Offical Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About Kentucky Background Checks

How do I get a background check in Kentucky?

To get a background check of your criminal records, you may submit a request to ​The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). You can submit a request online through FastCheck, or in-person or via mail to the Administrative Office of the Courts. The fee for criminal records checks is $25. 

How far back does a background check go in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, there are no time restrictions with background checks. Regarding criminal records, only convictions can be reported. 

How do I look up criminal records in Kentucky?

To look up a person’s criminal records in Kentucky, you must submit a request to ​The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) in-person, via mail, or online. Otherwise, you could utilize a third-party service like Kiwi Searches to get instant criminal records. 

Are Kentucky divorce records public?

Divorce records in Kentucky are not viewable to the public. To request such records, you must contact the county clerk or circuit clerk where the divorce was granted.