Virginia Public Records

The Virginia version of the freedom of information act, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Virginia Code § 2.2-3700 et seq. guarantees Virginia citizens and media representatives access to public records held by public bodies, officials, and employees. It defines public records as any writing or recording, regardless of type, which is prepared by, owned by, or in possession of a public body, official, or employee, in the transaction of public business. In Virginia, all public records exempt for those exempted under the stature are presumed open. Virginia citizens can inspect or receive copies of public records, to be informed of the charges in advance, and to have those requests answered in a timely manner.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Virginia

More About Virginia

One of the thirteen original colonies, Virginia remains an important part of the United States. The 35th-largest state by area, it is the 12th largest state by population, with a population estimated at over 8,400,000 in 2017. It has been the home to more U.S. Presidents than any other state. Virginia’s proximity to the nation’s capital makes it a very important location in terms of all types of government communities. Many communities in Virginia are bedroom communities for the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and others contain important military bases or government offices. It should come as no surprise that the population of Virginia is very fluid and that it has many residents that are not Virginia natives. If you are looking for the background of a person currently in Virginia, keep in mind that Virginia background check information will be limited to their time within the state.


Public Records in VA

Like most states, Virginia does not maintain a master database for its state public records. However, as with other states, it is embracing the trend to moving its court filings online. Therefore, you may be able to access court records for both civil and criminal cases at a state-wide level. In addition, you may be able to find property records and vital statistics by searching a combination of state-level and county-level offices and databases.

Property Records

Virginia’s property records are maintained at a local or county basis, rather than a state basis. There are three broad types of property records for property in Virginia: land records, which is a generic term that can include original grants from the colony or the state; property records, which include deeds, mortgages, and liens; and property tax records which often contain descriptions of the land, ownership information, and current tax information.

Land Records

The Virginia Judicial System provides an online database for users to search land records for specific, authorized purposes. This part of the state court records system allows users to access information stored in various Circuit Court Clerk’s Offices throughout the state. While the records are current as of the date listed, they may not contain a complete listing of all of the records in that particular office.

Property Tax Records

Virginia counties are each responsible for collecting their own taxes and maintaining their own property tax records. This is the responsibility of the county tax assessor and property tax records can be found at the local county assessors’ offices.

Deed Records

In Virginia, deeds are filed with the Circuit Court of the county in which the property is located. You may find that information at the local Circuit Court Clerk’s office, or, if you are not searching for very recent information, in the state’s online database, which allows users to access information stored in various Circuit Court Clerk’s Offices throughout the state.


VA Vital Records

The Virginia Department of Health is responsible for collecting, maintaining, and making available to the public vital statistics for the state. In Virginia, vital statistics include:

Birth Records

In Virginia, you can order a birth certificate online, through the Office of Vital Statistics, or through the local Vital Records Office. To obtain a birth certificate, you may be asked to show identification to prove a relationship.

Death Records

In Virginia, you can order a death certificate online, through the Office of Vital Statistics, or through the local Vital Records Office. To obtain a death certificate for a death that occurred more than 40 years ago, you need to look for genealogical records rather than vital statistics.

Marriage Records

In Virginia, you may request marriage records and civil union records through the Office of Vital Statistics or the local Vital Records Office.

Divorce Records

Many of Virginia’s legal filings are available online at the Virginia Court’s website, but if you are unable to find records online, you can go to the Clerk of the Court that granted the divorce.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States


Learn about Virginia criminal records or read about public records in another state from the list below: