Protecting Your Name in the Property Appraiser’s Public Records – Understanding What Is and Is Not Protected
Florida’s open government laws, Section 119.071, Florida Statutes, provide for public access of records unless specifically exempted by the Florida Legislature.
During 2021, modifications to the information allowed to be exempt under Florida law from Public Records went into effect. These changes occurred primarily due to issues raised by the title insurance and real estate industries, who were having difficulty conducting transactions of protected address properties.
As a result, the Property Appraiser is now only permitted to redact Owner Name and Official Records Book and Page (deed) references related to the protected owner from publicly available records. All other information related to the property (street address, legal description, parcel number, sales data, land and building information, etc...) will still be visible on our website and upon receipt of a public information request, but the owner’s name will not be searchable or viewable. This protection of owner name may be applied to all properties owned by the qualifying property owner within our county.
For qualifying protected name applicants, the only parties that may obtain unredacted records from our office include:
- The property owner,
- An Attorney in good standing with the Florida Bar,
- A title insurance agent or title insurance agency as defined in Section 626.841(1);(2), Florida Statutes.
These records may be obtained by submitting the appropriate completed Release of Information Currently Exempt from Public Records form (no notary required).
For our office to release any exempted information related to a protected name parcel to a person who is not authorized by Florida Statutes to view the information, Section 119.071(4), Florida Statutes, requires a release be signed by the property owner in the presence of a notary. The release must specify the information to be released, the party who is authorized to receive the information and the method of delivery.
- Any recorded transfer of ownership on this property will trigger the removal of this protection.
- Any request pertains only to the property referenced. Please use a separate request form for each additional property.
- This will protect your information within the Property Appraiser’s records and will serve to provide notice to the Tax Collector. To protect your information with any other government agency you must contact that agency DIRECTLY. Other agencies that may maintain potentially confidential information include, but are not limited to:
- the Clerk of Court (727) 464-3010, www.mypinellasclerk.org
- the Supervisor of Elections (727) 464-6788, www.votepinellas.com.