The state of Kentucky, officially known as the Commonwealth of Kentucky is located in the southeastern interior region of the United States. There are four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth; Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Kentucky. Kentucky is divided into 120 counties and contains 40,409 sq. miles, making it the 37th largest state in size. Kentucky borders seven states with West Virginia lying to the east, Virginia to the southeast, Tennessee to the south, Missouri to the west, Illinois and Indiana to the northwest, and Ohio to the north and northeast. The Ohio River forms Kentucky’s northern border and the Mississippi River forms its western border.
There are five primary regions of Kentucky. One of the major regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky. The Bluegrass Region is commonly divided into two regions, the Inner Bluegrass, the 90 mile area around the city of Lexington, and the Outer Bluegrass, the region that contains most of the northern portion of the state. Kentucky’s nickname “Bluegrass State,” is based on the bluegrass found in many its pastures due to its fertile soil.
Kentucky has a diverse environment and abundant resources. It has more navigable miles of water than any other state, other than Alaska, with approx. 90,000 miles of streams. It also has an expansive park system. There are four distinct weather seasons in Kentucky but it rarely experiences the extreme cold of the northern states, nor the high heat of the Deep South states. Generally, Kentucky has relatively humid, warm rainy summers and moderately cold and snowy winters.
The area known as Kentucky, as of the 16th century, was home to tribes from five different culture groups. Today, there are two state recognized tribes in Kentucky, the Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky and the Ridgetop Shawnee. On December 31, 1776, a region of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains was established as Kentucky County. It was abolished on June 30, 1780, and was divided into three separate counties. Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union on June 1, 1792. Currently, Kentucky has an estimated population of 4,436,947, making it the 26th most populous state. Its total population has grown during every decade since records have been kept. Louisville is the largest city, and including the metropolitan area, it has a population of 1,269,702. The state capital is located in the city of Frankfort, in Franklin County.
Kentucky has historically been known for its excellent farming conditions. It ranks 5th in goat farming, 8th in beef cattle production, and 14th in corn production. Due to the high calcium content of the soil in the Bluegrass Region, Kentucky is a major horse breeding and racing area. It has long been a major center of the tobacco industry, both as a business center and tobacco farming. It ranks 4th in the country for the number of automobiles and trucks assembled. Lastly, ninety-five percent of the world’s supply of bourbon whiskey is produced in Kentucky. The number of barrels of bourbon being aged in Kentucky (more than 5.7 million) exceeds the state’s population.
The variety of available public records for Kentucky can be searched by record type using the list below. The list is sorted by the following categories: property records, vital records, community health and safety records, jobs and employment records, licensing records, criminal and court records, and code and regulation records.
|4,454,189 (2017 est.)
|40,409 sq. mi.
|Primary languages spoken
|Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul
|U.S. House Delegation
|5 Republicans, 1 Democrat
|Time Zone - Eastern Half
- Western Half
|Eastern: UTC -5/-4
Central: UTC -6/-5
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. Public records are those materials prepared, owned, used, possessed, maintained or retained by state and local government agencies that must be open for public inspection unless the records are excluded by any of the 14 exemptions in the Kentucky Open Records Act.
Since there are a multitude of records available, it can be difficult to know how or where to access them. 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 Kentucky Statewide Public Records
Fast access to Kentucky public record sources at the state level.
Additional Kentucky public records links can be found on our Kentucky county and city level pages using the navigation links above.
- Kentucky Land Records and Deeds Directory
- Kentucky Foreclosures and Tax Lien Sales Directory
- Kentucky Assessor and Property Tax Records Directory
- Kentucky GIS and Mapping Directory
- Kentucky Genealogy Records Directory
- Kentucky Birth Records Directory
- Kentucky Death Records Directory
- Kentucky Marriage Records Directory
- Kentucky Divorce Records Directory
Community Health & Safety
- Kentucky Sustainability and Environmental Health Directory
- Kentucky Traffic Cameras and Reports Directory
- Kentucky Crimes and Crime Data Directory
Jobs & Employment
Criminal and Court Records
- Kentucky Warrants Directory
- Kentucky Jail and Inmate Records Directory
- Kentucky Sex Offender Registration Directory
Licensing and Permits
- Kentucky Business Licenses Directory
- Kentucky Contractor Licenses Directory
- Kentucky Professional Licenses Directory
- Kentucky Bar Associations Directory
- Kentucky Permits and Inspections Directory
Codes, Regulations, & Other
Other Kentucky Public Records
Although most states provide similar types of public records, each state will have records specific to its location or government operations. The state of Kentucky’s “Transparency” website provides easy access to government spending records which includes the following searches: Spending Search; Contract Search; Salary Search; and Property Search.
Laws can vary by state. Kentucky has a state law that living baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl or rabbits which have been dyed or colored cannot be offered for sell or exchange under two months of age and in any quantity less than six. Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500.  The next time that you decide to buy your child a pink bunny, you may need to buy six!
|State of Kentucky Home Page
|DEA Most Wanted in Kentucky
View listings and photos of the most wanted persons of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Field Division. This office handles Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. Listing includes name, alleged federal violations, physical description, birth date, last known address and jurisdiction.
|Kentucky Bridge Inspections
Search U.S. Department of Transportation bridge inspection records for West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. Inspection records can be filtered by category including "Not Deficient"; "Structurally Deficient"; and "Functionally Obsolete." Results include name of feature, name of structure, location, year built, daily traffic, status of bridge, rating, and inspection date.
|Kentucky Campaign and Financial Disclosure Search
Search Kentucky Registry of Election Finance Office campaign finance and candidate information by name, contributor or organization including election date, election type, and office sought.
|Kentucky Census Information Summary
View Kentucky statistics for population, ethnicity, housing, geography and businesses from the U.S. Census Bureau.
|Kentucky Clandestine Drug Laboratory Register
View the United States Drug Enforcement Administration's interactive map of locations in Kentucky where law enforcement agencies reported they found chemicals or other items that indicated the presence of either clandestine drug laboratories or dumpsites. Available information includes date of incident and address.
|Kentucky Commercial Real Estate Search
Search Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development database of available commercial real estate and buildings through GIS maps using search criteria such as number of acres, sale or lease, counties, or cities. Building searches can be filtered by square footage, crane availability, rail service, and more.
|Kentucky Corporations Search
Search Kentucky Secretary of State database of corporations by name or organization number. Results include company type, business status, filing date, registered agent, and current officers. Also available online are annual reports and articles of merger.
|Kentucky Court Records and other Resources
View links to Kentucky state and local court records, general Kentucky court information, directory of courts, and online resources for courts in Kentucky.
|Kentucky Notary Search
Search Kentucky Secretary of State Notary Portal for notaries from 1996 to present by name, county or address. Results include notary name, date appointed, county, and online view of notary application.
|Kentucky Obituary Records
Search Kentucky obituary records by name of deceased, date of death or obituary keyword through this paid service. Searches can be filtered by Kentucky cities.
|Kentucky Online Offender Lookup (KOOL)
Search Kentucky current jail inmates by name through the Department of Corrections. Searches can be filtered by photos and aliases. Results include name, age, physical description, conviction information and parole information.
|Kentucky Open Bids
Search Kentucky Vendor Self Service system for open bids and other vendor services. Users can view solicitations through guest access. Results include name of solicitations, solicitation type, published date, closing date, and status.
|Kentucky Statutes and Constitution
Search Kentucky General Assembly website for revised statutes, state constitution, legislative record, committee meeting minutes, and bills by phrase. Other available links include county maps, news releases, and more.
|Kentucky Trademarks and Service Marks
Search Kentucky Secretary of State trademarks and service marks by description, name or registration number. Database contains only those trademarks and service marks registered with the state of Kentucky and does not list pending applications.
|Kentucky Vehicle Registration
View Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website to renew Kentucky vehicle registrations online including new driver's licenses, commercial driver's licenses, order driving history records, and more.
|Missing Children in Kentucky
Search the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) website for missing children by name, city, date range or physical description. Users can also conduct search for abductors or critically missing children through active AMBER alerts. Available information includes photos, missing posters, missing date, missing from city and state, physical description, vehicle information, if available, and any additional details.
|Public Education Resources of Kentucky
View Kentucky Department of Education information about schools including links to school district web sites. Website links are sorted by "Communities;" "Families and Students;" and Educators with links to school report cards, early childhood education, National Board Certification, and more.
|State Archives of Kentucky
View information about available public records from the Kentucky State Archives including vital records, military records and property records. Website offers sections for Librarians, Archivists, Researchers, State Employees, and Records Management.