Whether you are trying to get information for a history project or need a birth certificate so you can apply for a passport, whatever the case may be there are tips that can help. If you ever find yourself in this situation it will be important to remember a few things. One of the best tips is to start your search online. For one thing, searching online will almost always be the best way to go about things.
This is certainly more favorable than the other option which is going through mail or in person to find the documents you need. Sometimes this is just what you have to do and either way, chances are you will need to send in a government records request form as well. Whether you can or can’t, in most instances when you are trying to obtain government records you will need to fill out a government records request form. This is basically just a simple, direct letter stating what records you are looking for and which offers your contact information so they know where to send the documentation to.
There are professional forms that you can fill out or you can just use a handwritten note, but a combination of the two will be your best bet. This way you can state clearly what records you are looking for and there will be much less chance of confusion. There is no need to include in your letter a reason for why you need these documents but you can choose to include one if you wish. Under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, as a citizen you have every legal right to view whatever government records you want so this is not a requirement but can help the process go along a lot quicker.
Make a list that states clearly the documents you are in need of. You should get a response back within just a couple of weeks. If you still have not heard back after this you will want to contact them and check to make sure they received your request form to begin with. Make sure that you properly proofread your letter before sending in.
They may be able to transfer your letter to the right agency but this is going to end up causing a lot of delay. The last thing you want is to be waiting patiently for documents to arrive only to find out that you sent your records request form to the wrong place. These are the basic guidelines you need to know if you want to learn how to search government records. Hopefully everything will go smoothly and you will get what you need without any problems.