Virginia General Assembly
United States of America

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and its contractor, Ancestry.com, published an online index of vital records in June 2015 that, with few exceptions, contains information for nearly every Virginian. The index, taken from public and nonpublic vital records, includes full names, dates and places of birth; marriage dates, places, and spouses; divorce dates, places and parties to the divorces.

In 2012, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law requiring VDH to contract with a private company to create an online index of vital records. In addition, the period for marriage, divorce, annulment, and death vital records to become public was reduced from 50 to 25 years; birth records remain nonpublic for 100 years.

As Virginia marriage, divorce and death vital records become public, scanned images of the original documents are then published. Examples: marriage certificates contain the full names of both spouses’ parents including the mother’s maiden name. Divorce records show the filing party and grounds for the divorce.

Virginians, as well as anyone born, married, or divorced in Virginia, face a loss of privacy and an increased risk of identity theft.

We, the undersigned, call on the the Virginia General Assembly to enact legislation to immediately remove nonpublic information from the online index of vital records and to reconsider the period for vital records to be made public.

The Virginia - Remove Nonpublic Information from Vital Records Online Index petition to Virginia General Assembly was written by Charles Hague and is in the category Government at GoPetition.