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Virginia Public Records

Virginia Public RecordsThe state of Virginia boasts a long and colorful history, as the 10th state to join the Union in 1788. The state was considered one of the 13 Original Colonies and played a significant role during the Revolutionary War. During the Civil War, this state joined the Confederacy and Richmond was made the Confederate capital. Today, Virginia is one of the more populated states in the U.S. with a total population of more than eight million, according to estimates made in 2011. Finding information about the millions of people who have called this state home often begins with a Virginia public records search

Public records in Virginia are largely held at a single government office location, the Virginia Department of Health, making searches and retrieval of documents in the state a relatively easy process. For those interested in digging a little deeper into their family history, the Library of Virginia offers documents that date back much earlier and provides additional documentation and photographs that offer a glimpse of Virginia history. This second office is also available to conduct genealogical searches for interested individuals. Before you launch a vital records search in Virginia, there are a few things you need to know:

  • The bulk of vital records for the state are currently held at the Virginia Department of Health.
  • This agency features access to records by mail, in person and online.
  • Applications for vital record requests are available for download through this agency.
  • There are some restrictions to certain Virginia public documents under state law.
  • Additional archives can be located at the Library of Virginia.
  • Eligibility for Virginia Public Records

    Not all Virginia public records are considered open under state law. The state restricts access to certified copies of birth, death, marriage and divorce records for a set period of time. Virginia birth records become public information 100 years after the date of birth, while death, marriage and divorce records are open to the public 50 years after the event.

    Until these time periods have passed, the only people who can request vital records in Virginia include the person or persons on the actual document, immediate family members of those individuals or legal representatives of any of these parties. Any person who is requesting a copy of a Virginia vital record during the closed period must show appropriate identification in order to gain access to the information. The application for vital records does require the applicant to check his relationship to the subject on the document; those who cannot show proper relationship to the individual will not receive requested information.

    Beginning a Virginia Public Records Search

    The majority of vital records in Virginia is held at the Office of Vital Records, which is a part of the Virginia Department of Health. This office has most of the current public records for the state in its collection, including Virginia birth and death records from 1912, marriage records from 1853 and divorce records from 1918. The agency also has a select collection of birth and death records that date between 1853 and 1896 in its archive. These records are accessible in person, at the Office of Vital Records, through the mail or online. The application to submit for copies of documents can be downloaded from the Office of Vital Records website.

    In addition to the multitude of Virginia public records found at this office, there is more archived information available through the Library of Virginia. This office holds many of the VA vital records that are not on file with the Office of Vital Records. However, it should be noted that birth and death records are not available between the years 1896 and 1912, since no laws were in effect at this time to require public agencies to keep such records. Few records prior to 1853 exist either, leaving those in search of documents dating back this far to make educated guesses or search other resources for information, such as newspapers or census records.  

    Virginia Online Public Records

    Conducting a Virginia online public records search is the preferred method of research for many interested archivists and genealogists today. While the Office of Vital Records does not provide access to online public records directly, the agency has partnered with an outside source to offer this service. VitalChek provides online public records to states across the country, including Virginia, allowing researchers to search for information from any location. There is a fee for using the VitalChek service.



     
    State of Virginia Resources & Statistics
    Separator Line

    Population:
    7,089,769

     
    Under 18:
    1,179,826

     
    Over 65:
    909,522

     
    Employed:
    4,015,859

     
    Land in Square Miles:
    39,594.07

     
    Acres of Farms:
    8,829,624

     
    Births:
    104,555

     
    Deaths:
    57,855

     
    Infant Deaths:
    608

     
     
    Murder:
    368

     
    Forcible Rape:
    1,758

     
    Robbery:
    7,737

     
    Assault:
    10,319

     
    Total Violent Crime:
    19,882

     
    Burglary:
    31,993

     
    Larceny \ Theft:
    150,382

     
    Motor Vehicle Theft:
    13,259

     
    Total Property Crime:
    195,634

     
    Virginia Public Records Locations
    Department of Motor Vehicles
    Customer Records Work Center, Rm 514
    PO Box 27412
    Richmond, VA 23269-0001
    Phone:
    804-367-0538

     
    866-368-5463

    Fax:
    804-367-0390










    Attorney General's Office
    900 E Main St
    Richmond, VA 23219
    Phone:
    804-786-2071

    Fax:
    804-786-1991










     
    State Health Department
    Office of Vital Records
    PO Box 1000
    Richmond, VA 23218-1000
    Phone:
    804-662-6200










    State Corporation Commission
    Clerks Office
    PO Box 1197
    Richmond, VA 23218-1197
    Fax:
    804-371-9133










     
    Virginia State Police
    CCRE
    PO Box 85076
    Richmond, VA 23261-5076
    Phone:
    804-674-6750

    Fax:
    804-674-8529










    State Health Department
    Office of Vital Records
    PO Box 1000
    Richmond, VA 23218-1000
    Phone:
    804-662-6200










     
    State Health Department
    Office of Vital Records
    PO Box 1000
    Richmond, VA 23218-1000
    Phone:
    804-662-6200










    Department of Motor Vehicles
    Customer Records Work Center
    PO Box 27412
    Richmond, VA 23269
    Phone:
    804-367-0538

    Fax:
    804-367-0390










     
    Virginia Dept of Education
    GED Services
    PO Box 2120
    Richmond, VA 23218-2120
    Phone:
    804-786-4642

     
    804-371-2334

    Fax:
    804-225-3352










    Governor's Office
    1111 E Broad St
    Capitol Bldg, 3rd Floor
    Richmond, VA 23219
    Phone:
    804-786-2211

    Fax:
    804-371-6351










     
    Virginia Department of Corrections
    Records Unit
    PO Box 26963
    Richmond, VA 23261-6963
    Phone:
    804-674-3131

     
    804-674-3000

    Fax:
    804-674-3598










    Legislative Reference Center
    General Assembly Building, 2nd Floor
    910 Capitol Street
    Richmond, VA 23219
    Fax:
    804-371-0169










     
    State Health Department
    Office of Vital Records
    PO Box 1000
    Richmond, VA 23218-1000
    Phone:
    804-662-6200










    Virginia State Police - Criminal records
    Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry
    PO Box 85076
    Richmond, VA 23261-5076
    Phone:
    804-674-6750

    Fax:
    804-674-8529










     
    The Library of Virginia
    800 E. Broad St
    Richmond, VA 23219-8000
    Fax:
    804-692-3556










    Executive Secretary
    Administrative Office of Courts
    100 N 9th St, 3rd Floor
    Richmond, VA 23219
    Phone:
    804-786-6455

    Fax:
    804-786-4542










     
    UCC Division
    State Corporation Commission
    PO Box 1197
    Richmond, VA 23218-1197
    Phone:
    804-371-9733

    Fax:
    804-371-9133










    Department of Motor Vehicles
    Vehicle Records Work Center
    PO Box 27412
    Richmond, VA 23269
    Phone:
    804-367-0538

    Fax:
    804-367-9705










     
    State Board of Elections
    200 N 9th Street, #101
    Richmond, VA 23219-3485
    Phone:
    804-786-6551

     
    804-864-8901

    Fax:
    804-371-0194










    Workers' Compensation Commission
    1000 DMV Dr
    Richmond, VA 23220
    Phone:
    804-367-8633

     
    877-664-2566

    Fax:
    804-367-9740