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General Information About Tennessee Public Records and Laws
In Tennessee public records are available to the general public as well as to businesses who request this information. The state's laws provide individuals with the freedom to know what is happening within its government. This law, called the Tennessee Code Annotated Title 10 Chapter 7, Part 5 provides for a specific outline of the rights individuals have in accessing this information. While federal requirements do supersede the state level information, there are still numerous differences in this law than other states.
What Is a Public Record?
The first consideration is what defines a Tennessee public record. The state notes that information is presented to individuals upon request assuming the information is not private. Government records, including all forms of written and non-written documentation, recordings, -audio and visual, as well as electronically held information may be considered public records. These are also records available only through government bodies and agencies, or their affiliates, rather than from private individuals.
Some information remains private. Non-public records are those that are specifically sealed or otherwise off limits to the viewing by the general public. This information may come from numerous sources. Protections are in place at the federal and state level. Some restrictions include the following.
·         Trade secrets from businesses or schools, or other entities
·         Medical records for individuals
·         Student records for individuals without written consent, including for prospective students
·         Business information for non-public agencies
·         Government information that is sensitive for safety and security
·         Personal information including private phone numbers and addresses of individuals, state officials or law enforcement
In addition to this, a judge can rule that some information become private even if it is not listed above. For example, in the case of a juvenile court record, the information may be sealed. Other cases may be the same.
Obtaining Access to Public Records
In order to gain access to Tennessee public records, individuals must contact the agency that has the responsibility for maintaining this information. To obtain a copy or to view information, the government agency must provide access during normal business hours of operation. In addition, he or she may require written requests for this information.
Public records are accessible by visiting the location of that information in person. In addition, some agencies have placed information on the website associated with it. This may be searchable. Third parties also provide additional information. The following are some of the agencies that maintain public records in the state.
·         The Attorney General's Office provides government, business and corporate information, as well as nonprofit information.
·         Vital statistics are maintained by the Tennessee Department of Health, Office of Vital Records.
·         Criminal records are available through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, TN Open Records Information Services.
·         The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation manages the state's sexual offender registry.
·         The state's archives are available through the Secretary of State, State Library and Archives Division.
Accessing Tennessee public records is not hard to do. However, individuals may not find all information immediately accessible.
Tennessee Public Records
  • Accounting Firm

    500 James Robertson Pky, 2nd Fl, Davy Crockett Twr
    Nashville, TN 37243
    p (615) 741-2550
  • Corporation, LP, Fictitious Name, Assumed Name, LLC Records

    William R Snodgrass Tower
    312 Eighth Ave. N, 6th Fl
    Nashville, TN 37243
    p (615) 741-2286
    f (615) 741-7310
  • Driver Records

    Attn: Driving Records
    PO Box 945
    Nashville, TN 37202
    p (615) 741-3954
    f (615) 253-2093
  • GED Certificates

    GED Records - Davy Crockett Tower
    500 James Robertson Parkway, 11th Fl
    Nashville, TN 37245
    p (615) 741-7054
    f (615) 532-4899
  • Governor

    State Capitol, 1st Floor
    Nashville, TN 37243-0001
    p (615) 741-2001
    f (615) 532-9711
  • Sales Tax Registrations

    Sales Tax Registration
    Andrew Jackson Bldg, 500 Deaderick St
    Nashville, TN 37242-0100
    p (615) 253-0600
    f (615) 253-6299
  • Trademarks/Servicemarks, Trade Names

    Trademarks/Tradenames Division
    312 8th Ave North, 6th Fl
    Nashville, TN 37243-0306
    p (615) 741-0531
    f (615) 741-7310
  • Uniform Commercial Code

    William R Snodgrass Tower
    312 Eighth Ave N, 6th Fl
    Nashville, TN 37243
    p (615) 741-3276
    f (615) 532-2892
  • Vehicle Ownership & Registration

    Taxpayer & Vehicle Services
    44 Vantage Way #160
    Nashville, TN 37243-8050
    p (615) 741-3101
    f (615) 253-4259
  • Vessel Ownership & Registration

    Boating Division
    PO Box 40747
    Nashville, TN 37204
    p (615) 781-6585
    f (615) 741-6649
  • Voter Registration

    Division of Elections
    312 Eighth Avenue North, 9th Fl
    Nashville, TN 37243
    p (615) 741-7956
    f (615) 741-1278
  • Workers' Compensation Records

    Workers Compensation Division
    710 James Robertson Pkwy, 2nd Floor
    Nashville, TN 37243-0661
    p (615) 253-1842
    f (615) 532-1942

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