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Requesting Records: Home

How to request records from the Office of Public Records

The Office of Public Records is mandated by DC Law 6-19 and the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, Title 1, Chapter 15, to review and approve agency records retention schedules; train records officers in implementing the policies, procedures, and guidelines of managing records; collect, store, preserve, conserve and service historical records in the custody of the Archives; collect, store and service temporary records in the custody of the Records Center; and collect, store and service publications in the custody of the Library of Government Information. 

Public Records and Archive Services is managed and administered through the Office of Public Records and Archives.

Service Details: 

Deeds, Land and Property



Historical Documents

Research Building Permits and Architectural Plans

Related Services: 

District of Columbia Archives

Library of Government Information

Public Records Center

Service Contact: 

Office of Public Records, Administrator

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: (202) 671-1105

Contact Fax: (202) 727-6076

Contact TTY: 711

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:15 am to 4:45 pm

Service Location: 

GIS Address: 

1300 Naylor Court, NW

Washington, DC 20001

Office of the Secretary - OS

DC Stars and Bars

Office Hours
Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm

Connect With Us
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 419, Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 727-6306
Fax: (202) 727-3582
TTY: 711
Alternate Number: Notary: (202) 727-3117

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Ask the Secretary of the District of Columbia

Agency Performance


Kimberly A. Bassett

Kimberly A. Bassett

Secretary of the District of Columbia

Requesting Records

Interested in genealogy? Writing a paper on Frederick Douglass’ role as the first African American Recorder of Deeds in Washington, DC? Want to learn more about DC Emancipation Day? All this and much, much more is available at the District of Columbia Archives.

The District of Columbia Archives holds historical and permanently valuable records of the DC Government such as birth and death records, wills, land records and marriage records. Historic records on file include the original wills of Alexander Graham Bell, Francis Scott Key, James Madison, Dolly Madison, Woodrow Wilson, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Frederick Douglass, and the birth certificate for Duke Ellington.

To begin the process, please use one of the forms below to submit your request (Please note: users are limited to 5 records requests per 30 day period)

OPR Resources

Other Types of Requests

Need an Appointment?

Please email us at

Building Permits and Architectural Plans

To request building permits and blue prints or technical drawings, researchers must visit the DC Department of Buildings (DOB), at 1100 4th Street, SW, or submit a request online (note that you are looking for assistance with "building permits and plans" and then put the address of the property in the box for more information). DOB staff will route your request to the DC Archives if appropriate. DC Archives staff will process your request and contact you to schedule an appointment to review or pick up documents.

Trying to find your square and lot number? Visit the Recorder of Deeds' DC Real Property Finder site here

  • To complete your search, enter the address for the location of interest. In the results, the Square will be shown. If you zoom in closer the Lots will be notated by dots.
  • It is recommended that you have the Square and Lot number before contacting the Office of Public Records 

Requesting Vital Records:  

The following documents can only be requested from the Office of Vital Records: 

  • Your Birth Certificate
  • Your child's Birth Certificate
  • Your parent's Birth Certificate 
  • Birth Certificates after 1896 
  • Death Certificates after 1945 

To contact Vital Records please use the below information: 

Office of Vital Records 


899 North Capitol Street, NE Washington, DC 20002
Vital Records: (202) 442-9303


Current Public Records: 

Knowing where to find public records can sometimes be confusing. The Office of Public Records holds historic public records of the Government of the District of Columbia. However, you may be interested in current public records. Please use these links to find that information.

The SCOUT system:

A Collection of Websites Containing Current Public Records:

*Some sites require you to register with AccessDC to view documents. 

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