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Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records

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Are Virginia Vital Records Open to the Public?

Most Virginia Vital Records are closed records and can only be obtained by eligible applicants. However, birth records become public information 100 years after the date of the event. Similarly, death, marriage and divorce records become public information 25 years after the date of the event. At this point, vital records can be viewed and accessed by interested parties, in compliance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

 

What Information do I need to search for Vital Records Online?

When requesting Vital Records, the requestor will be required to provide information including:

  • Name on the record
  • Date of the event
  • Location of the event
  • Mother’s maiden name (if applicable)
  • Father’s name (if applicable)
  • Relationship to the person on the record

Publicly available vital records are also accessible from some third-party websites.* These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching a specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:

  • The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
  • The assumed location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state name

*Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels.

 

What do I need to Obtain Virginia Vital Records?

Virginia Vital Records are only available to immediate family members of the subject of the record. These are parents, siblings (adult), spouse, and children (adult). Legal entities such as a court-appointed guardian or attorney may also obtain Vital Records in Virginia. The requester of the record will also need to complete an Application for the Certification of a Vital Record form and return to the Office of Vital Records of the State of Virginia Department of Health with the appropriate fees (check or money order) and a photocopy of a state-approved photo ID. Virginia statutes require a fee of $12.00 to be charged for each certification of a vital record or for a search of the files when no certification is made.

 

What is the difference between a Certified Record and an Informational Copy?

A Certified Record is a long-form certified copy that is printed on security paper and contains a raised, embossed seal. Informational copies, also known as Verifications, can be issued for non-family member requests for a Vital Record. These copies cannot be used for identification or legal purposes.

Are Virginia Marriage Records Public Information?

Virginia Marriage Records are closed records, only available to eligible parties. They become public records (and thus, public information) after 25 years have elapsed from the date of the marriage.

 

How do I find Virginia Marriage Records?

The Office of Vital Records maintains Marriage Records from 1853 and issues Certified Marriage Records to eligible individuals on request. Virginia Marriage Records less than 25 years old are only available to eligible persons on request. Records, 25 years and older, can be requested by any member of the public. Requests for Virginia Marriage Records can be made online or by mail. To order by mail, download and complete the Application for the Certification of a Vital Record form. Mail the form with a check/money order for the appropriate fees and a copy of a state-approved photo ID to the:

Office of Vital Records,
P.O. Box 1000
Richmond, VA 23218-1000
Phone: (804) 662-6200

Are Virginia Divorce Records Public Information?

Divorce Records in the state of Virginia are classified as closed records, only accessible to eligible individuals with evidence of eligibility. Divorce Records become public information 25 years after the date the divorce decree was issued.

 

How do I find Virginia Divorce Records?

Divorce Records in Virginia are in the custody of the State Health Department Office of Vital Records. The Office of Vital Records maintains all Vital Records and retains Divorce records from 1918. Only records 25 years and older can be requested by members of the public. Records less than 25 years can only be received by eligible parties. Requests for Divorce Records can be made online or by mail. Mail requests can be made by downloading and completing the Application for the Certification of a Vital Record form and sending it to the:

Office of Vital Records,
P.O. Box 1000
Richmond, VA 23218-1000
Phone: (804) 662-6200

Are Virginia Birth Records Public Information?

As with other Vital Records in the state of Virginia, Birth Records start off as closed records with strict eligibility requirements. Birth Records become public information after 100 years have elapsed from the date of the birth.

 

How do I find Virginia Birth Records?

The Office of Vital Records of the State Health Department maintains birth records for the state of Virginia. It retains records from January 1853 - December 1896 and all records since June 14, 1912. Records, 100 years and older are public information but records less than 100 years can only be received upon request by eligible parties. Requests for Birth Records can be made online or by mail. To make a request by mail, interested parties must download and complete the Application for the Certification of a Vital Record form and return to

Office of Vital Records,
P.O. Box 1000
Richmond, VA 23218-1000
Phone: (804) 662-6200

A check/money order payable to the State Health Department should be included in the application. Any person requesting a Birth Record must submit a photocopy of a valid ID.

Are Virginia Death Records Public Information?

Death Records in Virginia are categorized as Vital Records and Vital Records are typically closed records, which are available only to eligible parties. Like other Vital Records, Death Records become public information in-time. Records are available on request to members of the public if 25 years have passed since the date of the death.

 

How do I find Virginia Death Records?

The Office of Vital Records maintains records of all Deaths in the state of Virginia. The state office has records from January 1853 - December 1896, and since June 14, 1912. If 25 years or more have passed since the date of the death, then such records are available on request to any member of the public. If the record is less than 25 years old, then only eligible persons with evidence of eligibility can request such records. Requests can be made online or by mail. To order by mail, download and complete the Application for the Certification of a Vital Record form. Mail the form with a check/money order for the appropriate fees and a copy of a state-approved photo ID to

Office of Vital Records,
P.O. Box 1000
Richmond, VA 23218-1000
Phone: (804) 662-6200

How do I Find Sealed Vital Records in Virginia?

Typically Vital Records are not sealed when they are filed with the Office of Vital Records in Virginia. As Vital Records are categorized as closed records, they do come with restrictions regarding who can receive the record. In Virginia, this is restricted to immediate family members who are adults, legal representatives, and court-appointed officers. State and federal agencies can also obtain records for official purposes. Vital Records may also be sealed as a result of a court order.

Virginia State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (757) 215-4787

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Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Virginia

Virginia

  • State archives hold over 11,000 cubic feet of records.
  • There are 2 levels of courts – trial and appellate.
  • The Court of Appeals of Virginia hears appeals from decisions of Virginia's circuit courts and the Virginia Worker's Compensation Commission.
  • There are 120 Circuit Courts in Virginia divided among 31 judicial circuits.
  • The highest court in Virginia is the Virginia Supreme Court.

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