ALA. CODE § 36-12-40 (1975)


Alabama’s Open Records Act, Ala. Code § 36-12-40 (1975), provides that the citizens of Alabama have the right to inspect and copy “public writings” of the State. As a state agency, it is the policy of the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama to promptly provide citizens with public records upon request, subject to their payment of reasonable fees, to applicable laws protecting sensitive information, and to the interest of the general public in having the business of government carried on efficiently and without undue interference.


  • All requests for public documents must be made in writing, using the prescribed form.
  • The public records request form may be found at the following web page: https:// www.dentalboard.org/public/.
  • Email the completed form to public.records@dentalboard.org.
  • Only a citizen of Alabama may make a request to examine records under the Act; requests received from out of state will be denied.
  • The Public Records Coordinator will review the request and make all decisions relating to the documents or information that should or should not be disclosed in response to the request.

Classification of Requests and Response Times

When you submit your public records request, your request will be formally acknowledged within two business days. Your request will be classified as either a "Standard Request" or a "Time-Intensive Request," as follows:

  • Standard Request: A public-records request that seeks one or more specifically and discretely identified public records that we determine will likely take less than eight hours of staff time to process, considering the time needed to identify and retrieve any responsive records and to redact or take other measures to withhold non-public information. A standard request should require no or minimal clarification.
  • Time-Intensive Request: A public-records request that we determine will likely take more than eight hours of staff time to process, considering the time needed to identify and retrieve any responsive records - including because the request is vague or overly broad - and any time needed to redact or take other measures to withhold non-public information.
  • Note: If your request is for public files relating to licensed dentists and/or dental hygienists, a request for public files of more than 10 licensees will be classified as a Time-Intensive Report and will be processed accordingly.

Response Times

  • Standard Requests: We will provide a substantive response either granting or denying a Standard Request within 15 business days. We may extend this response time in 15-business-day increments by providing written notice to you. We will, however, process Standard Requests as expeditiously as possible in light of your time constraints, our workload, and the nature of the request.
  • Time-Intensive Requests: If your request qualifies as a Time-Intensive Request, we will notify you within 15 business days. At that time, we will also provide you an estimate of any likely fees and provide you an opportunity to withdraw the Time-Intensive Request and submit a new request that is not a Time-Intensive Request. If you elect to proceed with the Time-Intensive Request, we will be prepared to provide a substantive response fulfilling or denying the request within 45 business days after your decision to proceed with the Time-Intensive Request. We may extend this 45-business-day period in 45-business-day increments by providing written notice to you.

What is a Public Writing, and What Isn't

Not all documents or records in the possession of the Board are subject to disclosure under the Open Records Act. For example, the Alabama Supreme Court has held that information received by a public officer in confidence, sensitive personnel records, pending criminal investigations, and records the disclosure of which would be detrimental to the best interests of the public are some of the categories of information which generally may be withheld from public review. In addition, pre-decisional documents, and documents reflecting deliberation preceding a final decision or action are generally not covered by the Open Records Act.

It is not possible to provide an exhaustive listing of all of the documents that may or may not be subject to disclosure in all circumstances. As a general rule, however, documents pertaining to investigations conducted by the Board are clearly privileged and confidential, and will not be provided in response to public records requests. A formal administrative complaint, after it is served on the licensee, is a public document. Likewise, final orders issued by the Board relating to licensee discipline (whether issued by consent without a hearing, or after a contested case hearing) are also public documents.

Respect for Individual Privacy

The Public Records Coordinator shall exercise sound professional judgment to disclose public information appropriately in accordance with the Act. The Public Records Coordinator will not disclose personal information which, if disclosed, would expose individuals to a material risk of identity theft, invasions of privacy, or other unlawful acts.

Examples of personal information that will generally be withheld or redacted include: social security numbers; dates of birth; driver license numbers; home addresses; personal telephone numbers; personal e-mail addresses; information pertaining to minors; financial account numbers; and any other information as to which the Public Records Coordinator concludes the public informational value is outweighed by the individual privacy interests involved.

The Public Records Coordinator generally should apply limited redactions to protect personal information rather than withholding documents altogether, unless redaction is not practicable.

Payment of Costs

In all cases, the Public Records Coordinator will require the requesting party to make full payment before receiving any information responsive to the request. Our fee schedule is as follows:

  • All staff time spent locating, retrieving, and preparing records for production will be charged at $20.00 per hour. All requests will be assessed a one-hour minimum charge. Time for legal review or redaction of nonpublic information will not be charged.
  • Standard 8-1/2” x 11” black and white photocopies will be charged at the rate of $0.50 per page. There will be no per-page charge for documents provided electronically.
  • Other necessary and reasonable expenses and/or services, such as a flash drive or other hardware necessary for electronically producing records, oversize, color, or other types of copies, will be billed at our actual cost.

BDEAL-Open Records Request Form

Payment Portal:  Please choose the option for Public Records and put in the licensee name(s). 

Fees/Fines Online (igovsolution.net)

For any questions, please email public.records@dentalboard.org.