West Virginia Public Records
The West Virginia Freedom of Information Act, found in Chapter 29B, Article 1 of the West Virginia Code of Laws, states that every person has a right to inspect or copy any public record of a public body in the state, except as otherwise expressly provided. A public record is classified as writing containing information relating to the conduct of the business of the public. Examples include cards, papers, books, photographs, maps, and recordings.
Exceptions to publicly available information include trade secrets, information of a personal nature, test questions & scoring keys, investigation files, records relating to undeveloped archaeological sites, and emergency scenario plans & security measures.
Look below to find popular and useful statewide databases. Look to the side margin for tools that enable you to access other resources, such as city and county databases.
- Court System - The West Virginia court system has four levels. At the first level are the Municipal Courts, which are responsible only for city ordinance violations. At the second level are Magistrate Courts, which handle misdemeanors and civil cases of $5,000 or less. Also on this level are Family Courts, responsible for matters regarding children, parents, and spouses. Third are the Circuit Courts, the trial courts of general jurisdiction that handle civil cases over $300, misdemeanors, and felonies. At the top is the Supreme Court of Appeals, a single court that handles all appeals from lower courts. West Virginia Court Records
- Criminal Records - Felony cases are the responsibility of the Circuit Courts. The Magistrate Courts or the Circuit Courts may handle misdemeanors. For information about ordering official searches and doing online research, go to our West Virginia Criminal Records page.
- Vital Records - Birth, death, marriage & divorce certificates are provided by: Vital Registration, West Virginia Division of Health, 350 Capitol St, Rm 165, Charleston, WV 25301-3701, (304) 558-2931, Info: (304) 558-2931, Fax: (304) 558-1051. West Virginia has restrictions on who can order vital records. For details, see our Vital Records page. Also there you'll find statewide historical birth records; birth record databases from available counties; the Social Security Death Index for West Virginia; historical statewide death indexes; death, cemetery, and obituary records from available counties; historical statewide marriages; and marriage databases from available counties.
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|Companies and Corporations |
Search business organizations in WV. Includes business trusts, corporations, LLCs, LLPs, Professional LLPs, trademark holders, limited partnerships, general partnerships, and non-profits.
|Court of Claims |
Use this service of the West Virginia Legislature to search the West Virginia Court of Claims Decisions by keyword.
|Court Rules |
West Virginia Judiciary court rules, including: Supreme Court, Circuit Court, Family Court, and Magistrate Court Proceedings; Rules Governing Lawyers and Judges; and Miscellaneous rules.
|Criminal Records Pay Site|
Search Systems Premium database of West Virginia criminal records statewide. Includes: misdemeanor and felony records from the 31 circuit courts; Department of Corrections inmates; and West Virginia registered offenders.
Children and adults listed as missing by the West Virginia State Police. Provides name, date of birth, photo, and a pdf poster alert.
|Property, Deeds, Mortgages Pay Site|
Search digitalcourthouse for property records, tax assessments, or recorded documents such as deeds, mortgages, liens, lis pendens, judgments, amendments, etc.) in West Virginia by book and page. This is a subscription service that requires registration a one month, 6 month, or one year fee.
|State Register |
Browse articles from The State Register, published weekly to help citizens keep up-to-date on the meetings, rule making and other official actions of state government agencies, boards and commissions.
|Unclaimed Property |
Search for West Virginia Unclaimed Property, ie: financial assets that have not been claimed or have not had any owner-generated activity for a long time. Search by last name or company name.
|Uniform Commercial Code |
Uniform Commercial Code filings from the West Virginia Secretary of State. Results provided are filing number, file date, type of document (e.g. UCC-1), secured party, and status. Document copies may be ordered online.
Check this West Virginia Secretary of State service by name and date of birth to see the status of a voter registration.
More Public Records
West Virginia Government state agencies from A to Z.
|Birth Records |
Use this West Virginia Division of Culture and History service to search for birth records in selected counties between 1816 and 1931.
|Campaign Finance Reports - Federal |
Click on "View Federal Candidate Finance Reports" to search this West Virginia Secretary of State service for Federal Campaign Finance Reports.
|Campaign PAC Finance Reports |
Search West Virginia Political Action Committee and Party Executive Committee Finance Reports by Committee Name and by total amount spent.
Search West Virginia Codes by section, article and chapter or browse the West Virginia Code by chapter or title.
|Community Resources |
Search by service and/or county for community resources such as addiction counseling, employment services, health care, housing, mental and behavioral health services, transportation, education, and churches.
Browse the West Virginia Constitution by article.
|Court Forms |
West Virginia Judiciary court forms, including family court and magistrate court forms, personal safety, guardianship, conservator, expungement, mental hygiene, and translator forms.
|Court of Appeals | U.S. Fourth Circuit Records Pay Site|
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals PACER database. Search for case records and obtain dockets and document copies. Access requires PACER registration and a small fee per search. Covers West Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, and North Carolina.
|Death Records |
Use this West Virginia Division of Culture and History service to search for death records in selected counties between 1853 and 1970.
|Deaths Records 1853-1970 |
Search over 1.4 million West Virginia state and county death records filed between 1885 and 1930.
|Early Childhood Resource Lending Library |
Search the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services Early Childhood Resource Lending Library for available books, brochures, videotapes, workbooks, etc. for early childhood resource materials available to early childhood personnel and parents
|Employee Salaries |
Provided by the West Virginia State Auditor. Search by name, agency, and year to view state employee salaries. Requires sign-up with Vista.
|Eviction Records | Tenant Screening Pay Site|
Search Systems Eviction Records. Search statewide in West Virginia for eviction records by tenant name (individual or business) for just $5 per search. Narrow results by city for common name searches.
|Find People |
Easy to use, find people in West Virginia instantly! Find addresses and phone numbers. Free summary of names. Fee for detailed reports.
|Genealogy Surname Exchange |
Use this West Virginia Archives and History database to search for surnames and researchers who are interested in surname information exchanges.
|Immunization & Vaccination Records |
Health Care Providers may enroll and use this West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources service to search for patient Immunization & Vaccination Records.
Browse the West Virginia Legislature by year for Bill Status, or perform Bill Text Search.
|Licenses | Professional, Medical & Business |
Find and verify professional and business licenses in West Virginia with these free databases. Search for attorneys, CPAs, physicians, contractors, realtors, insurance companies, and more.
|Liquor Stores |
Search by license type, county, DBA, and/or license number for West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration licensed retail and non-retail establishments. Requires registration and password.
|Marriage Records |
Use this West Virginia Division of Culture and History service to search for marriage records in selected counties between 1856 and 1970.
|Marriages 1853-1970 |
Search over 1.5 million West Virginia marriages recorded between 1853 and 1970.
|Military - Veterans |
Use this West Virginia Division of Culture and History "Memory Project" service to search for Veterans records by name, war, county, and/or keyword.
|Prescriptions for Seniors - WV |
Use this Partnership for Prescription Assistance service to search for prescription drug programs for seniors in West Virginia.
|Service of Process |
Search this West Virginia Secretary of State database for Service of Process information (summons & complaints, subpoenas, etc.) by civil action number, county, or defendant name.
|State Rules |
Search West Virginia State Rules by title/series, agency, rule name or full text.
|Tax Refunds |
Search for your West Virginia State Tax Department tax refund status.
|Toxic Release Inventory |
Use this West Virginia service to search the toxic release inventory database by chemical, SIC code, zip code, facility name, or browse the alphabetical facility listing.
Search for a West Virginia vacation facility or an event by calendar or key word.