PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS
If you are seeking copies of birth, death, or marriage certificates, these are available from the Office of Vital Statistics - 401-421-7740 ext. 701.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws § 38-2-3(d), the City of Providence hereby adopts the following procedure for requesting/obtaining access to public records:
1. A request to inspect and/or copy public records of the City of Providence must be presented orally or in writing to the Public Records Unit at 444 Westminster Street, Suite 220, Providence, RI 02903 or (401) 680-5333 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday). The City of Providence does not ensure a timely response to those requests for records presented to other City departments or officials.
2. Although not required, in order to ensure compliance with the Access to Public Records Act and that you are provided with the public records you seek in an expeditious manner, the City asks that you complete the Public Records Request Form. This form is not required if you are seeking records available pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act or other documents prepared for or readily available to the public.
3. The Access to Public Records Act allows a public body ten (10) business days to respond, unless otherwise extended for good cause in accordance with the provisions of subsection 38-2-3(e).
4. If, after review of your request, the City determines that the requested records are exempt from disclosure for a reason set forth in Rhode Island General Laws § 38-2-2(4)(A) through (Y), the City will provide you with the specific reasons for the denial of your request in writing. In accordance with Rhode Island General Laws § 38-2-8, you may wish to appeal the City's decision to the chief administrative officer of the department that maintains the records you seek. You may also wish to file a complaint with the Department of the Attorney General or the Rhode Island Superior Court.
5. In accordance with Rhode Island General Laws § 38-2-4, the City may charge a fee of fifteen cents ($.15) per page for copies and/or fifteen dollars ($15.00) per hour, after the first hour, for search and/or retrieval of documents. Please advise that for purposes of search and retrieval costs, multiple requests made by you, or your entity, within thirty (30) days to the City of Providence shall be considered one (1) request.
6. The City of Providence is not obligated to produce for inspection or copying records that are not in the possession of the City of Providence. Moreover, the City of Providence is not required to reorganize, consolidate, or compile data that is not maintained by the City of Providence in the form requested.
The City of Providence is committed to providing access to public records in an expeditious and courteous manner consistent with the Access to Public Records Act.
REQUEST TO INSPECT AND/OR COPY PUBLIC RECORDS FORM
To submit an online request for public records please provide the following information. A valid e-mail address and description of records requested are required.