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Virginians have new access point for some vital records

During or following a divorce process, there might be reason for one or more individuals to seek new copies of certain vital records. The shuffle of paperwork could mean that valuable records, including birth, marriage, death, and divorce certificates, were lost. One spouse might hold such records hostage following a contentious divorce, making it more difficult for the other spouse to get on with necessary business.

While these types of records have always been available through the Division of Vital Records through the Virginia Department of Health, a partnership between the VDH and the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state makes it easier for records to be accessed.

Beginning in March 2014, the DMV began providing copies of birth certificates to qualified applicants. The process to obtain the certificate through the DMV was the same as obtaining it through the VDH, but applicants didn't have to wait on the more lengthy mailing and processing times. They could submit an application and documentation, pay a fee, and receive the document from the DMV.

Because the pilot program was so successful, the partnership is expanding to cover death, marriage and divorce certificates. The fee for receiving a vital record through the DMV is $14, making it both convenient and affordable for most people.

While the partnership between the VDH and DMV doesn't do anything to make divorce easier, it can make it easier to obtain records following a divorce when needed. During a divorce, working with an experienced attorney to protect your rights and needs helps reduce the stress associated with dealing with decisions and documents related to the process.

Source: Fauquier.com, "Va. DMV sites issue death, marriage, divorce certificates," Oct. 22, 2015

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