Reference Number: 
CTAS-813

All counties are now required to have a county public records commission, and the register serves as an ex-officio member. The register may appoint a designee to serve on the county public records commission instead of the register personally.  The county public records commission serves an important function in keeping an efficient records management program.  Certain records, after microfilming, may be destroyed or transferred to the state library and archives or some other institution.  T.C.A. § 10-7-104 et seq.  Otherwise, these originals would be required by law to be kept in the office.  The University of Tennessee's County Technical Assistance Service publishes manuals which may be used as guides on the retention and disposition of public records.  The county public records commission can affect all of the county offices, but each officeholder may prevent the transfer or destruction of any record in that office.

Generally, the records of the register's office are to be available for public inspection during regular business hours.  T.C.A. § 10-7-503.  However, certain employee records are confidential.  These records include home telephone and personal cell phone numbers, bank account information, Social Security numbers, residential addresses, driver’s license information (except where driving is a part of the employee’s job), and similar information for the employee’s family and household members.  Where this confidential information is part of a file or document that would otherwise be public information (such as compensation records) the confidential information must be redacted so that the public may still have access to the non-confidential portions of the file or document.  T.C.A. § 10-7-504.