Virginia Public Records

With more than 8.3 million residents who might want to get access to state records, Virginia does make clear provisions for sharing of all its records with the general public.

Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act gives the people of Virginia the ability to access and copy the state’s records. The Act is enacted in the Title 2.2 Chapter 37 of the Code of Virginia was passed in 1969. In 2000, the state of Virginia also constituted a Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council to act as a source of informal and formal to public agencies and individuals. The Law states that any person who resides in the state of Virginia can access public records. Under the Law, you don’t have to disclose the reason for your request, and you can use the records for any purpose once you have obtained them.

Records covered under the Act are all records produced by all “public bodies” in Virginia. These bodies include state universities, and legislative and executive branches.

Virginia Criminal Records

Virginia State Police has the responsibility to administer all background checks in the state of Virginia. Any individual, employer, and licensing agency can request for a Criminal History Search, which is typically a name-based search. Based on the situation, as stated by the statutes, a notarized and signed authorization form might be needed before the Virginia State Police runs a background check.

Arrest records, jail records and inmate records are public records in the state of Virginia. They are therefore available to the public. The information on offenders, services for victims, and the correctional facilities are available on the Virginia Department of Corrections official website. If you would like to locate any offender in the system of Virginia, just search online on the Offender Locator page on the Virginia Department of Corrections official website. The page will require you to provide a First and Last Name of the offender, or an Offender ID.

Virginia Court Records

Any information regarding court records and court systems in the state of Virginia is available on the official website of the administrator of the courts. Both the common law and separate statutes govern the disclosure of court records. You will find pages on the website where you can search for case status as well as information on cases in the general district court, circuit court, Supreme Court, and the court of appeal. Domestic relations and juvenile court cannot be accessed online.

Virginia Vital Records

Virginia Vital Records include divorce, marriage, birth, and death certificates. The Virginia Department of Health and Office of Vital Records are responsible for administering the state’s vital records. You can request for these records in person at the State Office, which is located at 2001 May will Street, Richmond, VA 23230. You can also make a request in person at any functional Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles office. Alternatively, you can request these records by mail. Just download the proper form the return it completed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1000, Richmond, VA, 23218. Attach all the required copies of any documentation.

  • Birth records: Birth records in Virginia are available starting in 1912 to present. These records become public records after 100 years. Before they become public records, they are accessible only to those who are named in the records, immediate family members, legal guardians, or legal representative.
  • Death records: Death records in Virginia are accessible from 1912. These records become public information after 25 years. Before the records become public information, only those who are named in the records, immediate relatives, guardians, or legal representative can request for the information.
  • Marriage records: Marriage records are accessible from 1936 to date. These records become public information after 25 years.
  • Divorce records: Divorce records in Virginia are available starting in 1918 to present. They automatically become public records after 25 years.

By following the right procedure, and adhering to all the rules, you will effortlessly obtain these records. Actually, no one should have a problem accessing records in the state of Virginia.

Virginia State Court System

Understanding how the system of Virginia state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.

Virginia Courts Overview

To make your work easier, start searching for court records in Virginia by simply going to courts by county.

The trial court system of Virginia State consists of Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts, General District Courts, and Circuit Courts.

Circuit Courts

Virginia Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction to handle all cases, but usually handle only the cases that other courts have no jurisdiction over.

Criminal cases that Circuit Courts hear include lesser-included offenses and felonies, and misdemeanors charged by a grand jury indictment in Circuit Courts.

Typical civil cases that Circuit Courts hear include general civil claims with less than $4500 in dispute, exclusive of attorney fees and interest. Virginia Circuit Courts have limited jurisdiction over general civil claims with more than $25,000 in dispute. In addition, Circuit Courts also handle emergency protective orders, the probate of wills, property disputes, adoptions, and divorce cases.

General District Courts

Virginia General District Courts have jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases. Typical criminal cases that General District Courts hear include misdemeanors, preliminary hearings in felony cases, traffic infractions, and ordinance violations.

General District Courts have limited jurisdiction over many general civil claims with less than $4500 in dispute, exclusive of attorney fees and interest. Circuit Courts share jurisdiction with General District Courts over claims with less than $25000 but more than $4500, exclusive of attorney fees and interest.

Each General District Court has a Small Claims Division for handling cases that involve property or money claims of up to $5000. Each General District Court has a Small Claims Division for handling cases involving property or money claims up to $5000.

These courts also handle civil cases with no financial limits, including unlawful entry or detainer, attachment, protective orders, Freedom of Information Act disputes, and the petition of personal property.

They share jurisdiction for adult mental commitment proceedings with Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts. In many Virginia independent cities and counties, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts and General District Courts are usually structured into a “combined” court with one clerk.

Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts

Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts have limited jurisdiction over some criminal cases, juvenile cases,  and most domestic relations cases excluding divorce.

Cases that Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts generally hear include child visitation, child custody, parentage, child support, protective orders, emancipation, mental health cases that involve minors, children in need of supervision, termination of parental rights, child abuse and neglect, judicial consent for a child to mental procedures, and certain juvenile offenses like traffic offenses.

Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts can also handle certain types of criminal offenses involving harm to a child or involving family members.

The Official Website of Virginia County

Virginia Beach City of Virginia Beach
Norfolk City of Norfolk, Virginia – Official Website
Chesapeake City of Chesapeake, Virginia
Richmond City of Richmond, Virginia
Newport News Newport News, VA – Official Website Visit the official home page of Newport News, Virginia. Find free events, conduct business online and view our open data for your research needs.
Alexandria City of Alexandria, VA The official government Web site of the City of Alexandria.
Hampton Hampton, VA – Official Website
Roanoke Roanoke, VA | Official Website
Portsmouth Portsmouth, VA | Official Website
Suffolk Suffolk, VA | Official Website
Lynchburg City of Lynchburg, Virginia |
Harrisonburg Harrisonburg City Public Schools
Charlottesville City of Charlottesville
Danville Danville, VA – Official Website
Manassas Manassas, VA – Official Site | Official Website
Fairfax County Fairfax County Homepage | Fairfax County Fairfax County, Virginia – Fairfax County Government, Virginia
Prince William County Prince William County Government
Loudoun County Loudoun County, VA – Official Website Welcome to the official Loudoun County, Virginia government website.
Chesterfield County Chesterfield County, VA | Official Website
Henrico County Henrico County, Virginia
Arlington County Official Website of Arlington County Virginia Government Arlington County Virginia official government homepage and website.
Stafford County Stafford County, VA – Official Website
Spotsylvania County Welcome to Spotsylvania County, VA
Hanover County Hanover County, VA | Official Website
Albemarle County Albemarle County, Virginia – Official Web Site
Roanoke County Roanoke County, VA – Official Website Official Home Page for Roanoke County Virginia, Community Strategic Plan
Montgomery County Montgomery County
Augusta County Augusta County, VA
James City County James City County, VA | Official Website
Fauquier County Fauquier County, VA
Rockingham County Rockingham County, VA – Official Website
York County York County, VA | Official Website
Pittsylvania County Pittsylvania County, VA – Official Website
Frederick County Frederick County
Henry County Henry County Virginia
Washington County Washington County – It’s where you want to be
Campbell Countyt Campbell County, VA | Official Website
Franklin County Franklin County
Culpeper County Culpeper County
Tazewell County Government – Tazewell County, Virginia
Wise County Welcome to Wise County, Virginia!   –  “The Safest Place On Earth”
Halifax County Halifax County
Pulaski County Pulaski County Virginia
Shenandoah County Shenandoah County Virginia
Gloucester County Gloucester County, VA | Official Website
Accomack County Accomack County
Smyth County Smyth County
Prince George County Welcome to Prince George County, VA
Mecklenburg County Mecklenburg County, Virginia Mecklenburg County, Virginia – Home
Amherst County Amherst County, Virginia The official website of Amherst County, Virginia

Virginia Arrests and Inmate Search

Albemarle County, VA Official Website Albermarle County Jail
Archonix XJail Public Amherst County Inmate Search
Detention Facility – Sheriff Arlington Correctional Facility
Augusta County Inmate Search Augusta County Inmate Search
Archonix XJail Public Bedford County Correctional Center
Campbell County Adult Detention Campbell County Inmate Roster
culpepersheriff | Jail Culpeper County Jail
Gloucester County Jail | Gloucester County, VA Gloucester County Jail
Halifax County Adult Detention Halifax County Jail Inmate Search
Pamunkey Regional Jail | Hanover County, VA Hanover County Inmate Tracker
Henrico County Inmate Search Henrico County Inmate Search
Loudoun County Detention Center View state and congressional polling locations in the Sterling District.
Lynchburg Adult Detention Center Lynchburg Inmate Lookup
Jail Booking Logs – Montgomery County Virginia Montgomery County Jail Bookings
Inmate Lookup – Norfolk Sheriff’s Office Norfolk County Inmate Search
Eastern Shore Regional Jail – Northampton County, Virginia Northampton County Jail
The Rappahannock Regional Jail Rappahannock County Jail Inmate List
Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Richmond County Inmate Inquiry
Jail Division | Roanoke County, VA – Official Website Roanoke County Jail Division
Virginia Beach County Inmate Lookup Tool Virginia Beach County Jail
Commonwealth of Virginia – Department of Corrections – Offenders, Offender Locator Virginia Department of Corrections
Virginia State Police – CJIS Criminal Record Checks Virginia State Police Criminal Record Check
Virginia Judicial System Case Search Case Status and Information
Virginia State Police Virginia Sex Offender Registry