Pennsylvania Free Public Records Directory


Pennsylvania Public Record Directory

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania began as a royal land grant from King Charles II to William Penn in 1664. Its name means “Penn’s Woodlands”. Penn established a colonial government that included county commissions and religious freedom, both innovations that were later adopted by other colonies and states. The Declaration of Independence was signed at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the state’s largest city, in 1776. The United States Constitution was drafted in Independence Hall, and Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify it in 1787. Because these important founding documents were signed in Pennsylvania, and because of its central location among the original 13 states, it earned the nickname The Keystone State. Pennsylvania was the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the Civil War.

With nearly 13 million residents, Pennsylvania is the 5th most populous state. At 46,000 square miles, it is the 12th largest state by area. It is the 9th most densely populated state. At 1,500,00 population, Philadelphia is the largest city, and the only city with over a million residents. The capital is Harrisburg, a city of only 48,000 in the center of the state.

Pennsylvania is bordered New Jersey on the east, New York on the north, Ohio on the west. West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware form its southern border. It has a humid continental climate, although the Appalachian Mountains in the center of the state have much colder winters. Temperatures range from the average lows in the low 20s to average highs in the low 80s.

Because its founding philosophy included religious tolerance, Pennsylvania became a home for diverse religions. Penn and the other founders were Quakers. Pennsylvania has one of the largest populations of Amish and Mennonites, second only to Ohio. A large number of German immigrants continued to speak a local dialect erroneously called Pennsylvania Dutch (a corruption of Deutsch), and many members of Amish and Mennonite communities still speak it as their first language. The state motto is Virtue, Liberty, and Independence.

Among all states, Pennsylvania ranked #16 in opportunity #10 in housing affordability, but only #38 in education and #45 in natural environment.

To find Pennsylvania public records, see our directory below of all types, including criminal records, official documents, deed records, and electronic records.

Pa
Abbreviation PA
Capital Harrisburg
Population 12,805,537 (2017 est.)
Area size 46,055 sq. mi
Demonym Pennsylvanian
Primary languages spoken English, Spanish
Governor Tom Wolf
Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack
U.S. Senators Bob Casey, Pat Toomey
U.S. House Delegation 12 Republicans, 5 Democrats
Time Zone Eastern: UTC -5/-4
*The map and data in the table are from Wikipedia.

Browse by Public Record Category

There are two types of public records: 1) personal public records that document major life milestones such as birth certificates, death certificates, divorce records, and marriage records, etc.; and 2) government records that are made public such as property tax records, recorded land records, voter records, crime data, jail inmate records, and court records. The Freedom of Information Act is a national law that releases government agency public records and makes it possible to view most public records. Since there are a multitude of records available, it can be difficult to know how or where to access them.

Pennsylvania’s first public records law, enacted in 1957, presumed that all government records were not public, and placed the burden of proving why a record should be made public on the person requesting the record. This was changed by the Right-to-Know Law in 2008, which reversed the presumption and made all government records public, placing the burden on the relevant agency to show why a record should not be released.

When you are ready to start your search, you’ll find our Public Records Directory website easy to use since all of the records can be searched by federal, state, county, city, town or type of record. The links provided will connect you to the best website for the record search, provide details about the record, or provide contact information for those records without search capabilities.

Find Pennsylvania Statewide Public Records

Fast access to Pennsylvania public record sources at the state level.

Additional Pennsylvania public records links can be found on our Pennsylvania county and city level pages using the navigation links above.

Other Pennsylvania Public Records

Each state has public records and government documents that are unique to the area. Some types of public records found in Pennsylvania include police pursuit reports and licenses of businesses manufacturing drugs, medical devices, or medicated cosmetics. Most states have some unusual laws too; Pennsylvania makes it illegal to tell fortunes. More examples of public access records available at the state level in Pennsylvania may be found below. Many more examples may be found if you search by county.

Sources:

Pennsylvania - Statewide Public Records Links
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