Rhode Island Free Public Records Directory


Rhode Island Public Record Directory

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it has the longest name: the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Two of its four original English settlements were on an island. The largest of the four – Providence Plantation – was on the mainland and was next to another settlement. When the settlements were united, they combined the names. “Plantation” was another term for “colony” at the time. The original “Rhode” island is now named Aquidneck Island. The state faces the Atlantic Ocean to the south and has many other islands, bays, and inlets; these features give Rhode Island its official nickname: “The Ocean State.” In fact, only 86% of the state’s 1,214 square mile area is on land.

The original settlers were religious dissenters from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Rhode Island became a haven of religious freedom. That independent tradition continued into the American Revolution, when Rhode Island became the first colony to renounce its allegiance to the Crown – and the last new state to ratify the Constitution.

A part of New England, Rhode Island is bordered on the west by Connecticut and on the north and east by Massachusetts. With a population of slightly over a million, it is the 43rd most populous state, but its small size makes it the 2nd most densely populated. Providence is its capital and largest city – indeed it is the state’s only large city. Rhode Island’s five counties in Rhode Island serve as geographic markers and divisions of the state court system; they have no governmental function. Local government in Rhode Island resides in its cities and towns, as it does in neighboring Connecticut. All land area in Rhode Island is occupied by cities or towns; there is no unincorporated territory. Some towns include smaller self-governing villages.

Most of Rhode Island has a humid continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. The southern coastal region has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and cool winters. Average monthly temperatures are from the low 20s to the mid-80s.

Industry thrived in Rhode Island during the Industrial Revolution, with textiles leading the way. Today, most of the state’s economy is based on services such as health care and education, although tourism is also important. An environmental leader, Rhode Island has the lowest per capita energy consumption in the nation, and is rated the 5th most energy-efficient state. It is also #1 in broadband access. “Hope” is the state motto.

Rhode Island public records may be found by visiting our directory below of all types, including divorce records, recorded documents, and electronic records.

Ri
Abbreviation RI
Capital Providence
Population 1,056,426 (2016 est.)
Area size 1,214 sq. mi
Demonym Rhode Islander
Primary languages spoken English
Governor Gina Raimondo
Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee
U.S. Senators Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. House Delegation 2 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.

Rhode Island’s first public records law was enacted in 1979, making it the second-to-last state to adopt such a law. The original law exempted all personally identifiable information from disclosure, but it has been amended to establish a balancing test between public and privacy concerns. Agencies can be fined for non-compliance with the law. The Rhode Island Legislature publishes guidelines and a form for making public records requests.

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, 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 Rhode Island Statewide Public Records

Fast access to Rhode Island public record sources at the state level.

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

Other Rhode Island Public Records

Don’t try to test the speed of your horse on a Rhode Island highway; it will get you fined up to $20 or imprisoned up to 10 days. That’s just one of many unusual state laws. Some states have unusual types of public records as well. For example, you can look up Rhode Island licensed day care providers, provisional ballot status, and wetlands permits. More examples of public access records available in the Rhode Island may be found below.

Sources:

Rhode Island - Statewide Public Records Links
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