South Carolina Public Records Key Terms

Use key terms to facilitate your search through South Carolina public records

A typical search through South Carolina public records will yield the standard births, deaths, marriages and divorces documents. You’ll also get access to documents prepared by county and local government offices. Although there are some exceptions, most of these documents are accessible to the public. Whether you’re a marketing professional conducting new research in a quickly populating town or an HR manager confirming the facts in a job applicant’s resume, learning these key terms can help you navigate through South Carolina public records.

Vital records services

The state's vital records services maintains information on the births, deaths, marriages and divorces that took place in South Carolina. Since 1915, South Carolina law required that a certificate be filed for every birth and death. Of all public records searches done in the state, this one is most in demand.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s website. You’ll also learn about some of the standard searches done through these records.

Business filings

One thing to remember as you search public records in South Carolina for business filings is that the accuracy of information in the records can't be verified by the state. That's because the information comes from the business making the filing.

Land records

A land records search will identify historical petitions for land dating back to the 1600's. Any land records pre-dating the 1800's are deposited in the offices of the South Carolina county clerks.

South Carolina Public Records Association

The South Carolina Public Records Association strives to make the public aware of general principles for search through public documents. The Association accomplishes this by offering various educational and training opportunities.

Freedom of Information Act

The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act provides public access to records relating to public policy and the decisions made by South Carolina's public officials. The Act is contained in South Carolina's General Assembly statutes.
South Carolina Legislature’s website.

Records management program

Because maintaining large amounts of records in an orderly fashion can be a challenge, South Carolina has instituted a records management program. The state archivist supervises this program and also helps to set standards and procedures for managing the thousands of new records being added to the system each year.

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