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Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Public Records

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Are Virginia Vital Records Open to the Public?

Virginia vital records are closed records until a period of confidentiality elapses. 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. From here on, interested parties can view and access vital records 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 must 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

How Do I 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 it to the Office of Vital Records of the Virginia Department of Health with the appropriate fees (check or money order) 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 a search of the files when no certification is made.

Publicly available vital records are also managed and disseminated by some third-party aggregate sites. These sites are generally not limited by geographical record availability and may serve as a reliable jump-off point when researching specific or multiple records. However, third-party sites are not government-sponsored. As such, record availability may differ from official channels. To find a record using the search engines on third party sites, the requesting party will be required to provide:

  • The location of the record in question including the city, county, or state where the case was filed.
  • The name of someone involved providing it is not a juvenile. 

 

What is the Difference Between a Certified Record and an Informational Copy?

A certified record is a long-form certified copy 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. Individuals cannot use these copies for identification or legal purposes.

Are Virginia Marriage Records Public Information?

Virginia marriage records are closed records but become public records after 25 years have elapsed from the marriage date. Interested persons may obtain public marriage records from after this statutory period of confidentiality elapses.

How Do I Obtain 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. Marriage 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 marriage/divorce 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?

Virginia divorce records become public information 25 years after the date the divorce decree was issued. Thereafter, interested persons may obtain public divorce records in Virginia.

How Do I Obtain 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 old 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 marriage/divorce 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, Virginia birth records start off as closed records with strict eligibility requirements. However, they become public information after 100 years have elapsed from the date of the birth. Interested persons may obtain public birth records after this period of confidentiality elapses.

How Do I Obtain 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. Birth records 100 years and older are public information, but records less than 100 years are only available upon request by eligible parties. Eligible persons can order birth certificate replacements online or by mail. To request by mail, interested parties must download and complete the application for birth record form and return it to

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

Applicants should include a check/money order payable to the State Health Department in the application. In addition, any person requesting a birth record must submit a photocopy of a valid ID.

Are Virginia Death Records Public Information?

Virginia death records are typically closed records until 25 years have passed since the date of the death. Thereafter, anyone may obtain public death records from the record custodian.

How Do I Obtain 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 the public can perform a death certificate search to find it. If the record is less than 25 years old, only eligible persons with evidence of eligibility can request such records. Interested or eligible persons can initiate a death record search by name online or by mail. To order by mail, download and complete the application for death 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 Obtain Sealed Vital Records in Virginia?

Typically vital records are open when filed with the Office of Vital Records in Virginia. However, as vital records are categorized as closed records, they come with restrictions regarding who can receive them. 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.

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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

The Colonial Williamsburg Courthouse is the oldest courthouse in Virginia. Benjamin Waller read the Declaration of Independence at the courthouse in 1776.

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