The right to access the public record in the United States of America varies from state to state.
A few states consider access to information as the primary and fundamental right of the general public.
On the other hand, some states think of Records as confidential documents. Therefore, the documents are not considered as open Records.
In this article, you will come to know everything about Virginia Public Records.
Although the Freedom Act bestows the right for people to have access to the documents, the state policies differ in their execution
Virginia is also a state where gaining access may prove a gruesome task if you are unaware of the process.
If you think you can get your hands on your desired record with only a visit to the local library, you are wrong.
The state has a defined process, and you need to know properly about the system to request Records.
What does the law of Virginia Public Records say?
Unlike many other states, a non-resident cannot request the Virginia Public Records as it’s against the state policy.
So if you are a Virginia resident, you can enjoy your right to access the documents of government agencies and all the public Records within the state, including local governments.
However, you cannot make a request online as the state has appointed public Records officers to process the requests. The state of Virginia has a quick response time.
The standard response time is 5 days, and in case of a complicated situation, the state can ask for an extension of additional 7 working days.
There is also no formal appeal process. However, if a problem arises, the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council acts as the intermediary to sort out the situation.
Below is complete information on requesting criminal, Inmate, Court, and Vital Records in all counties in Virginia.
How can I get public Records in Virginia?
Only a few Records are available online in Virginia State.
Many Records require a more formal procedure and can be requested through the mail, email, or by phone to the record-holding department.
The procedure of requesting to access Records of every department is different.
It is always better to know the complete formal process before applying the request for the record. But, all the departments require some basic information such as
- Your name, mailing address, email id, and phone number.
- The document you are requesting with maximum detail about it
- When do you require these documents, and
- How do you want to get Virginia public Records, i.e., online or through the mail?
Virginia Criminal Records
One of the most requested Records is the Criminal Records. There may be several reasons to ask for this particular record.
The most common cause is to make a background check on a person before hiring for a job.
Other than that, a clean Criminal Record is a must for fostering kids and volunteering.
Many people also need to make sure of a person’s clean Criminal Record before finalizing a business deal.
What is in the Virginia Criminal Record?
The Virginia Criminal Records include all the details about a person’s interaction with the law.
In addition, the documents show complete data about arrest Records, convictions, and imprisonment within the state’s four prisons.
These documents are compiled from more than one resource, including local police, State Courts, and prison.
Specifically, the Records provide complete information such as:
- Complete personal details like name, birthday, and other related data
- A mug shot
- full set of fingerprints
- A list of distinguishing features
- The type of offense
Where can I get a Virginia Criminal Record?
As Virginia State has a strict policy regarding Records, you must submit your set of fingerprints to the state police.
You have limited access without fingerprints. You can only get as much as the conviction data only.
For further access to information like arrests and other details, fingerprints are a must.
The process takes around 15-20 days from the time of the request. Also, you have to pay a fee for access to the record.
Virginia Court Records
The Court Records are essential during the hearing of a specific case.
These documents include all the information regarding the case. The data contains copies of all legal actions, depositions, and testimonies.
What is in the Virginia Court Records?
The data can be quite extensive as the Virginia Court Records are embedded into a single file collected from different Courts across the state. These documents include:
- Court minutes
- Case files
- Orders of the Court
- Jury Records and files
- Witness documentation
Where can I get Virginia Court Records?
To request Records from the Court within the state of Virginia, you need to visit the Courthouse in the place where the case took place.
Then, the request is done to the clerk of the court. Traditionally, you fill a written request form and submit it to the related office.
For further details like the locations, phone numbers, and websites for the state’s Courts, you can get help from the Virginia judiciary’s website.
Virginia Inmate Records
The Virginia Department of Corrections oversees the Virginia Inmate Records.
Moreover, the aim to request an Inmate record is mainly for an employment screening after an Inmate’s release.
These records are also used for clearing up legal irregularities after the closure of the case.
The documents include information on sentencing, e offense, the Court where a case was tried, and the location where the Inmate is held.
What’s included in The Virginia Inmate record?
Virginia State Records contain complete personal information and a few particular details about a person’s imprisonment.
However, public access to Inmate Records can only provide the following information:
- Inmate’s name, birthdate, and gender
- A mug shot
- Inmate’s registration number
- Jail transfer detail
- Custody status
Where can I get the Virginia Inmate record?
The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) is responsible for all state prisons, probation, and parole offices.
To access the Inmate’s record in the State of Virginia, you can use the Offender Locator tool on the VADOC’s website.
Moreover, if you lack information, you can find the contact information through the jail’s warden or FOIA Officer.
Virginia Vital Records
The State of Virginia maintains an office to keep a record of important moments of your life.
For example, you can find the record of your or your family’s birthdays, death dates, marriage, and divorce.
What’s needed to get Virginia Vital Records?
To get access to Virginia Vital Records, you need only basic information such as:
- A properly filled application
- Your identity
- Evidence of the relationship for whom you are requesting Records
- Marriage certificate.
Where can I get Virginia Vital Records?
In Virginia, the Thomas Jefferson District health department maintains all the Records related to birth, marriage, and divorce and can provide the related certificates.
You can get certifications and copies of the documentation when requested by immediate family members with valid IDs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a non-citizen apply for Virginia Records?
No. Only state residents can request Records.
What is the fee of Virginia public record?
The state agency charges a reasonable fee. However, the payment cannot exceed the actual cost of access, search, and duplication.
In how many days the department has to respond?
In 5 working days. If a situation arises, the department may request an extension of 10 days.
Amit Gupta is the founder of PublicRecordsSearch.org. Amit has spent half a decade learning about and working in the background screening industry. After completing his high school certification, Amit decided to focus on helping others make informed decisions by creating PublicRecordsSearch.org.