How to Find Virginia Birth Records
Statewide registration of births began in 1912 in Virginia.
Next Step: When did the birth occur?
Births before 1853
Before 1853, no births were recorded by the county or state. You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place.
|Records that give birth information:|
Births from 1853 thru 1911
In 1853, Virginia passed a law requiring counties to record births, although not all counties complied or continued to record them on a consistent basis. Birth registers during the Civil War period (1861-1865) are incomplete. From 1896-1911, births were not recorded. Delayed birth registrations for the years 1896-1912 exist. If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for birth information in other records.
For births that exist during the time period, try the following databases.
|Includes Index Only|
|Virginia Births, 1853-1917||FamilySearch - Free; most counties go to 1896|
|At FamilySearch Centers/Libraries:|
||Virginia Births, 1853-1896||Ancestry Library edition - free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center|
|Use Your Ancestry subscription:|
||Virginia Births, 1853-1896||Ancestry subscription version - $, to sign up for a subscription; Obtain a subscription to Ancestry|
|Can't find your ancestor in the online index?||Tips for searching online indexes|
|No birth record for your ancestor?||Other records with birth information|
Obtain the Record
Delayed birth records for the years 1869-1912 are available for a fee at the Virginia Division of Vital Records (PDF file).
There are no restrictions on these records.
Births after 1911
Statewide registration of births began in 1912 in Virginia. Currently, there are no online indexes to Virginia births from 1912 to the present.
Obtain the Certificate
Restrictions for persons born within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the birth certificate for those born within the last 100 years, you must be:
- The person on the certificate
- The parent or grandparent of the person on the certificate
- The spouse of the person on the certificate
- The child of the person on the certificate
- The sibling of the person on the certificate
- The legal guardian of the person on the certificate
- Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
- NOTE: A copy of the birth certificate cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 100 years have passed from the date of the birth.
If you do not want to order the birth record, there are other records with birth information you can search.