Vermont Public Records

Vermont uses a combination of laws to ensure access to public information: the Vermont Open Meetings Law and the Vermont Public Records Law. When combined, these laws effectively provide access to public information in the state of Vermont.

The first of the laws is the Vermont Open Meetings Law. This law details public access to meetings of public bodies. Violations of the law can result in a $500 penalty. The law is found in Vermont Statute Title I, Chapter 5.310 § 271 et. al. Some types of meetings are specifically exempted from the law’s requirements, including: on-site inspections, employee matters, disciplinary records for public employees and students, contract negotiations, and meetings whose contents could threaten public safety if they were revealed.

The Vermont Public Records Law ensures public access to documents that are produced or acquired in the course of public agency business, regardless of the physical form of those documents. Any person can request public records. They do not have to provide a statement of purpose and the use of those documents is not restricted. The Open Records Law is found in Vermont Statute Title 1, Chapter 5.315. The law specifically lists 20 exemptions including criminal investigation records, personnel files, and tax documents.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Vermont

More About Vermont

Vermont is located in the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Maine, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Canada. It is the 45th largest state with the 49th largest population, meaning that it not only has a small population, but also that it has a low population density.

Vermont’s economic activity is stronger than one would assume for such a sparsely populated state. Its biggest businesses are government, real estate, durable goods manufacturing, and healthcare. Vermont does not really have the type of businesses that attract a large number of people from other states for the job market, so its population does not fluctuate like you might find in some other states. However, its relatively small size and the fact that it is surrounded by other states and a foreign country, mean that there is a lot of movement in and out of Vermont. If you are running a background check on someone in the state, you may want to check nearby states, as well.


Public Records in VT

Vermont has an online portal where people can request state records. At this portal, you can locate civil court case information, Act 250 permit applications, business name availability, DMV and motor vehicle records, registered investment professionals, lender licensees, criminal conviction reports, online library catalogs, police reports and public records, professional license databases, secretary of state databases, the Vermont Sex Offender Registry, the state’s online directory, UCC database, unclaimed property database, Vermont Medical Board, Vermont Town Payments, Vital Records, and Transportation Assets.

Property Records

Generally speaking, each state has three types of property records: land records, deed records, and property tax records. These records may go by slightly different names and may describe the same parcel of land, but each record type serves a different purpose. Land records document the conveyance of a parcel of land from a government to the first individual land owner. Deed records record conveyances from one private land owner to another as well as encumbrances on property. Property tax records record the amount of tax due on a property, whether taxes have been paid, the tax rate on property, the owner’s name, and often a general description of the property.

Land Records

You can find state deeds and leases at the Vermont Secretary of State. Early Vermont land grants can be found in the New Hampshire Land Grants.

Property Tax Records

The Vermont Department of Taxes is not responsible for handling local property tax records in the State of Vermont. Instead, property taxes are handled at the municipal level. To inquire about property tax records, you need to contact the municipality in which the property is located.

Deed Records

In Vermont, deed records are kept at the local level. This means that each municipality (city or town) is responsible for maintaining its own real property records. These are usually maintained by the town clerk or city a clerk, a position that might also be known as a recorder. In some areas of Vermont, land falls outside of a municipality; in those instances, the county records the property.


Vermont Vital Records

The Vermont Department of Health handles vital statistics for the state. What is considered a vital statistic varies state-by-state. In Vermont, vital statistics include eight types of records: births, deaths, marriages, divorces, civil unions, dissolutions, fetal deaths, and abortions.

Birth Records

You can order a certified copy of a birth record from the state of Vermont. Fill out the order form, send it with a $10 fee per copy to the Vermont Department of Health. You can pay by check or money order. You can also call them at 800-439-5008 or contact them via email at VitalRecords@vermont.gov.

Death Records

In Vermont, death records can be filed by a medical professional or by the funeral director. The record of death is filed in an Electronic Death Registration System and then filed by town clerks. You can order a death record from the state by mail, on the phone, or via fax. It is $10 per copy for a certified copy of a death certificate.

Marriage Records

In Vermont, you order marriage records from the Vermont Department of Health. The fee for these records is $10 per copy and they can be ordered by mail, by email, or over the phone. However, Vermont was the first U.S. State to recognize civil unions and, up until 2009, same-sex marriage was not available in the state. If you are looking for information in a civil union in Vermont, you must order it through the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration.

Divorce Records

The Vermont Department of Health can issue divorce or dissolution records. What is interesting about Vermont is that, if a couple was married in Vermont but is unable to file for a divorce or dissolution in their home state, Vermont will hear the divorce. There is no explanation provided for this, but it probably relates to Vermont being a leader in same-sex marriage and the fact that some early same-sex couples who sought a divorce or dissolution were unable to get one in their states of residence.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States


Learn about Vermont criminal records, VT Property Records, or read about public records in another state from the list below: