Your Comprehensive Guide to Virginia Public Records

Virginia Public Records

Public records in Virginia consist of documents, information, and data maintained by state and local government agencies, accessible to the public under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This Act, outlined in the Code of Virginia § 2.2-3700 to § 2.2-3714, ensures the public's right to access most government records, with specific exemptions for privacy and security. Interested individuals can access the Virginia Freedom of Information Act to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Virginia FOIA.

Are Virginia Records Public?

Yes, records in Virginia are public. The Virginia Freedom of Information Act mandates that most records held by state and local government entities are accessible for public inspection and copying. However, there are exceptions to protect sensitive information. More information on this law and public records can be found at the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.

What do Virginia Public Records Include?

Virginia public records include a variety of documents and information:

How to Find Public Records in Virginia

To find public records in Virginia, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the Record Type: Determine the specific type of record you need, such as a birth certificate or a property record.
  2. Locate the Responsible Agency: Different records are maintained by different agencies. For instance, vital records are available through the Department of Health.
  3. Submit a Records Request: Each agency has a process for requesting records, typically available online, in person, or by mail.
  4. Follow the Agency's Guidelines: Comply with the agency's specific requirements, including completing forms and providing necessary identification.
  5. Pay Any Required Fees: Some records may involve fees for processing or copying.
  6. Wait for Processing: There may be a waiting period before the records are available.

For further assistance, the Library of Virginia offers additional resources and information.

Lookup Public Records in Virginia

Key departments in Virginia related to Public Records include:

All Public Records Categories