Vermont Public Records
The term "public records" refers to all government records available for public inspection. This includes a wide range of documents, including court records, arrest records, vital records, and more.
The Vermont Public Records Act (1 V.S.A. Sec. 315-320) establishes a right of access to public records held by state and local government agencies. The law requires that all public records be made available upon request unless they are exempt from disclosure under the law.
How to Find Vermont Public Records
The best way to find Vermont public records is to start with the Vermont State Archives. The archives hold various historical documents, including court records, vital records, maps, and more.
There is a fee for copies of most public records, and you will need to submit a request in writing, in person, or by phone. You can find more information about how to request public records from the Vermont State Archives here.
The Vermont Judiciary also maintains a website where you can search for court cases and access court records online.
In addition, many local government agencies make their public records available online.
Are Vermont Public Records Available Online?
While most Vermont public records are available online, some may not be. If you cannot find the records you are looking for online, you may need to submit a request in person or by mail.
Third-party websites can also facilitate your search for Vermont public records. These websites are not affiliated with the government, but they may have access to some public records.
What Records are Available in Vermont?
Like most states, Vermont has a wide variety of public records available to the general public. This includes court records, arrest records, vital records, and more.
Anyone can request and view public records, and no statement or reason is needed.
The Vermont Public Records Law states that agencies such as privatized entities, public universities, and the legislative branch are required to make their records available to the public.
There is no timeframe specified in which records must be disclosed, so agencies can take as long as they need to process requests. Meanwhile, request denials must be issued within two days but can sometimes be extended to ten days.
What Records are Non-Public in Vermont?
The following records are exempt from disclosure under the Vermont Public Records Act:
- Ongoing criminal investigative records
- Trade secrets
- Personal records of public employees
- Medical records
- Student records
- Records subject to attorney-client privilege
Types of Public Records Available in Vermont
The following is a list of common types of public records available in Vermont:
Vermont Public Criminal Records
You can find the following information in a criminal record request:
- Date of birth
- Physical description
- Sentencing information
Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Vermont :
Arrest Records and Warrants
Arrest records and warrants help conduct a background check.
The Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC) is Vermont's central repository for criminal records. You can request arrest records and warrants from the VCIC by mail, fax, or in person.
Each county's Office of the County Clerk also records arrest warrants. The information below is what you can find in a Vermont arrest record:
- The defendant's name
- The defendant's date of birth
- The date of issuance
- The court and county of issue
- The judge's signature
- The alleged offense
- A written order for arrest
Inmate and Jail Records
If you are looking for someone currently incarcerated in a Vermont jail, you can find this information in the Vermont Department of Corrections.
You may contact the Department of Corrections to request inmate records by mail, phone, or in person.
Jails and Prisons in Vermont :
Vermont Background Checks
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs the use of background checks in Vermont.
The FCRA regulates how background checks can be used and require that employers follow specific procedures.
States have different laws regarding background checks, and Vermont is no exception.
In Vermont, employers can conduct background checks on job applicants and employees. However, there are some restrictions in place.
You can find out more about the FCRA and its regulations here.
How to find Sex Offenders in Vermont
Sex offenders in Vermont must register with the Vermont Sex Offender Registry, which the Vermont Department of Public Safety maintains.
The Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC) has a central repository for sex offender records in Vermont. You can access the documents online by searching for the offender's name or address.
Vermont Public Vital Records
Vermont requires that vital records, such as birth and death certificates, be kept by the town or city clerk in the municipality where the event occurred.
To obtain a copy of a vital record, you must submit a request form on the state's Vital Records Request Service site. You can order as many copies as you need.
Each copy costs $12, and you can pay by credit card or money order.
Birth records from 1760 to 2008 are available on FamilySearch or Ancestry.com. The Town Clerk or the Health Department also has these records.
Death records include fetal deaths and abortions, which can be requested from the Department of Health and the Town Clerk.
Marriage Records from 2013 or earlier can be obtained from the State Archives Records Administration, while marriages and civil unions from 2014 and later can be obtained from the Department of Health.
Divorce records are available from the clerk at the Superior Court in the county where the divorce was granted.
Vermont Court Records
Vermont, unlike other states, has a central repository for court records: the Vermont Judiciary.
The website of the Vermont judiciary offers a searchable database of court cases and hearing information. Registration is not needed to search but features like accessing elevated court records might require it.
You can also go to the county courthouse where the case was tried to obtain court records. However, some counties might have their records stored off-site or only available through the court clerk.
State Court System in Vermont
The state court system in Vermont is divided into two levels:
- Appellate Court
- Trial Court (also known as the Superior Court)
Vermont is divided into 14 counties, each of which has its own Superior Court. The cases tried in these courts are criminal, civil, environmental, family, and probate.
Meanwhile, appellate courts review decisions made by trial courts and determine whether they were completed correctly. The appellate court in Vermont is the Vermont Supreme Court.
Courts in Vermont :
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) maintains driving records in Vermont.
You can request your driving record from the DMV with corresponding fees. There is no online portal requesting driving records, so you need to set an appointment at the Montpelier office.
You can also request someone else's driving record if you have a legitimate need for it, such as in the case of employment. The request must be made in writing and signed by the person whose record is requested.
Civil Driving Infractions
A driving record history in Vermont will list any civil traffic offenses you have committed in the last three years. These include speeding, seatbelt violations, and more.
The following civil driving infractions can be found on your record:
- Seatbelt violations
- Cell phone use while driving
- Improper passing
- Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Reasonable and prudent operation
Vermont License Plate Lookup
The DMV issues two types of license plates in Vermont:
- Validation sticker
- Registration card
You can't conduct a Vermont license plate lookup online and will need to contact the DMV for assistance. You may also schedule an appointment with the DMV to run your license plate lookup in person.
Vermont Property and Asset Records Online
Vermont property records are managed by each municipality's town or city assessor's office.
These records are public, and you can view them online, in person, or request copies from the assessor's office.
You can visit the Vermont Treasurer's Office website for unclaimed properties and search their database.
Important Government Agencies in Vermont
Here are the essential government agencies to help you find public records in Vermont.
- Secretary of State
- State Governor
- Vermont Legislature
- Supreme Court
- Department of Justice
- District of Vermont
- Health Statistics & Vital Records
- Department of Health
- Identification Division - Vermont Bureau of Criminal Investigation
- Court of Claims
- Treasurer’s Office
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Department of Corrections
Counties in Vermont
- Grand Isle
Other Records in Vermont
List of Content
- How to Find Vermont Public Records
- What Records are Available in Vermont?
- Types of Public Records Available in Vermont
- Important Government Agencies in Vermont
- Other Records