Virginia Vital Records

Virginia Vital Records

In Virginia, the Office of Vital Records upholds all vital records on a state level. These vital records can include documents relating to the key life events of residents in the state. The milestone events in question can range from births and deaths to marriages, divorces and more. The files that the state keeps on these events can include divorce decrees, divorce certificates and other divorce records, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, marriage certificates. Files are all stored in one central vital record registry to be used later down the line for statistical analysis.

Divorce Records

In Virginia, divorce records are distributed by government officials, but only after the event has been registered officially with the state. When someone from Virginia files for a divorce or an annulment, records of the subsequent event are then stored with all the other state vital files in the aforementioned central registry. These divorce records can range from divorce certificates and divorce decrees to other divorce-related files. It depends on the state in question as to whether the documents can be accessed and copied by the public. Divorce records in Virginia are kept at the relevant county courts. There was a divorce rate of 63 per 1,000 inhabitants in Virginia in 2017. Divorce records cost $12 per copy in the state of Virginia.

Marriage Records

Like divorce records, marriage records are also distributed by government officials in Virginia, but only after the wedding in question is officially registered. While some marriages before 1730 were recorded, only a few have survived through the years. The remaining records from this time can be found in the relevant county. A law requiring county/city clerks to issue marriage licenses and keep a register of marriages means that post 1853 records are much more prevalent and preserved. Existing records are kept at the Virginia Family History Library. There was a marriage rate of 6.8 per 1,000 inhabitants in Virginia in 2017. Marriage records cost $12 per copy in the state of Virginia.

Birth Records

In Virginia, birth records usually refer to the certificates, or a certified copy, issued upon the birth of every single child in the state. Birth records in Virginia are split into two categories, before 1912 and after 1912. Some births were recorded in the state as early as 1853 or before. Some pre-1853 birth records can be found through the relevant church, bible, histories, and genealogical records. Birth records between 1853 and 1896 are more prevalent as the state required counties to record all births. These records can be found at the Virginia Family History Library and Library of Virginia. In 1912, a state-wide registration of births was introduced. From 1912 onwards, records can be found at the Division of Vital Records. There were 99,440 births in Virginia in 2017. Birth records cost $12 per copy in the state of Virginia.

Death Records

Death records usually relate to the copy of information from a person’s death certificate. Death records in Virginia are split into two categories, before 1912 and after 1912. Records before 1912 were collected by the Virginia Family History Library, which includes microfilm copies or original county records. In 1912, a state-wide registration of deaths was introduced, but wasn’t fully complied with until the early 1920s. Records post 1912 are collected by the Virginia Department of Health. There were 67,732 deaths in Virginia in 2017. Death records cost $12 per copy in the state of Virginia.

Why are these records available to the public?

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act was introduced in 1968, with the latest amendments coming in the year 2000. This act allows every person in the state of Virginia to access all public records. Public records held by the state and local government can all be accessed by Virginia residents, as well as copied and analyzed.

To access records:


VDH, Office of Vital Records
P.O. Box 1000
Richmond, VA 23218-1000

General Information Number: (804) 662-6200

Virginia State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (757) 215-4787

Results Include

Full State Record Report:

  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Assets
  • Property Ownership
  • Bankruptcies
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Public Records
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • Relatives & Associates


  • 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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