Using Virginia Public Records

Access public records to screen job applicants

Hiring a new employee is one of the most common reasons for using Virginia public records. A small business may prefer to take advantage of the free information available online instead of hiring another company to perform this service.

Finding an employee with the right job qualifications is only part of the hiring process. Background checks should be essential because the employer can be held responsible for an employee’s actions on the job. Virginia public court records can help identify individuals that could be a poor choice due to their credit or criminal history. Employers must also specifically check people who will be working with children or the elderly for any history of abuse.

There are three types of public records of particular interest when performing background checks:

  1. Credit reports that show current lines of credit, payment histories and declarations of bankruptcy.
  2. Virginia state public records that show past convictions, births or divorces. These may also be useful in determining criminal history, residency requirements and alimony payments.
  3. Registered sex offender lists. Virginia requires convicted sex offenders to be kept on a list for a specified period after their conviction.

Use public records in Virginia to get general information on individuals


A Virginia record can include information on births, deaths and divorces. Many cities and counties in Virginia have websites with this information that is freely available to the general public.

Use Virginia criminal records to get information on an individual's history


Law enforcement agencies keep criminal records which may be publicly available. Laws vary widely by state as to the specific information you will be able to obtain. Some government agencies may also charge fees.

Use criminal records in Virginia to conduct background checks


There are many sites dedicated to performing background checks for prospective employees. These checks can also include Social Security number verification, education verification and reference checks.

  • You will first need to obtain some basic information on the individual for whom you are seeking public records. Virginia job applicants will need to provide this information on the application form or on a separate form for the background check. Individuals must also grant permission for a background check in most cases. There are laws that limit how third-party employment screening companies can use the information found in a background check.

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