Public records in Virginia are administered by a number of different divisions and departments. Some records are maintained at the state level and some at the county level. Generally, though, Virginia’s public records are easy to find and access, many of them are available online.
In Virginia, vital records – including records of birth, death, marriage, and divorce – are administered by the Virginia Department of Health, through its Office of Vital Records. Birth records are not public information until 100 years after the event. Death, marriage, and divorce records are public information 25 years after the event. Only immediate family members can request vital records in Virginia. There are three ways to make the request:
Online – Virginia’s vital records are available online via VitalChek. This is the most expensive option, but its also the most convenient. VitalChek’s Virginia database can be searched here.
By Mail – Certificates can be requested by downloading the Application for Certification of a Vital Record and mailing it to:
Division of Vital Records
P.O. Box 1000
Richmond, VA 23218-1000
In Person – The fastest way to obtain a certified vital record is to visit the Virginia Department of Health in person at 2001 Maywill Street, Richmond, VA 23230.
For more information, visit the website of the Office of Vital Records or call them at (804) 662-6200.
Pursuant to section 19.2-389 of the Virginia Code, there are two ways to obtain criminal histories in Virginia. For individuals, the public, and private companies, use form SP-167. For other entities, use form SP-230. Criminal records are administered by the Virginia State Police, and the forms are available online.
Customers are encouraged to fill out the forms online, but it is possible to print them out and mail them as well. For more information, call the Virginia State Police Administrative Headquarters at (804) 674-2000.
Virginia’s court records are searchable online, but interested parties must first contact their local circuit court clerk to secure a username and password. There is a fee associated with the records search service. A list of Virginia court clerk’s offices, and their contact information, can be found here.
Many public business records are searchable and viewable online via the website of the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission (“SCC”). Indeed, there are two different ways to search online for Virginia business records:
Both websites make available the business entity name and file number, type, date of formation, status, address, and registered agent contact information.
For more information, visit the Entity Search page of the SCC website or call them at (804) 371-9733.
Property information and mapping data is administered at the county level, or at the city level for some large metropolitan areas. The Virginia Association of Counties maintains a list of links to all of the Virginia county websites, here. In a search for property records, the local county office is the best place to start.
Virginia drivers can request their own driving records from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) online, by mail, or in person.
Online – It’s a very simple process, beginning with the requester’s drivers license number or social security number.
By Mail – Fill out and print the information request form. Then send it to:
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
ATTN: Driver Records Work Center
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269
In Person – Go to any DMV customer service center and request the driving record in person. A searchable database of locations can be found here.
For more information, contact the Virginia DMV at (804) 497-7100.