RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Health is warning Virginians not to use any third-party services to get vital records.

The State Health Commissioner warned against residents to pay any fee for vital records application forms, which have and always will be free.

Residents should know that the application forms are free, but there are fees for searches. All should be sure that any required payment goes directly to the Office of Vital Records.

The VDH Office of Vital Records has received several complaints from customers who have mistakenly ordered and paid for vital records application forms from third party websites. These online services have no affiliation with the VDH Office of Vital Records or any state government entity.

The unaffiliated websites are also charging consumers unnecessary and inflated fees for vital records, and this trend appears to be a nationwide problem. 

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“The Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records and the DMV are always available to provide low or no cost resources to all Virginians.  Use of an unauthorized, outside entity is costly and completely unnecessary,” said Dr. M. Norman Oliver, State Health Commissioner.  “When Googling information, please make sure to only use official VDH and DMV websites.” 

Official information and application forms are available at any Vital Records office in Virginia and the VDH website.  The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is also an official resource for vital records information.

Before proceeding with any download or transaction, VDH advises Virginians to make sure www.vdh.virginia.gov is in the address bar.