September 28, 2023, 9:00 pm
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General Information About West Virginia Public Records and Laws
In West Virginia, public records remain readily available to those who need this information. The West Virginia Freedom of Information Act governs these laws. It can be found in Chapter 29B Article 1 of the state's code of laws. This information provides specific information in relation to what public records are maintained, as well as how individuals can access the information when it becomes necessary to do so.
What Are Public Records in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, public records laws define these types of records as any type of document, recording, video, photo or other information printed or otherwise in possession of a government agency. The information may be created by, obtained by, given to or otherwise in the possession of the government entity or its associates. Individuals who wish to access this information can do so by making a formal request to the appropriate agency that holds this information.
The available records include items such as the following.
·         Vital statistics including birth records, death records, burial or cemetery records as well as marriage licenses and divorce decrees
·         Property records including the transfer of the property through sale, tax liens on the property or other information regarding the ownership or management of this real estate
·         Court records, including civil and criminal court records, to the level of which the information is not an invasion of privacy laws or otherwise restricted
·         Government records including the policies, rules, methods and meetings held by public officers in a court of law or otherwise not otherwise limited
Individuals who wish to obtain this information for numerous reasons, including to learn about family history or to learn about the criminal records about a prospective employer, the laws require that individuals obtain this information in the fastest method possible, due to the limitations in place. Agencies that hold this information must be available during normal business hours to provide this information.
Obtaining Public Records
In West Virginia, public records are available for individuals who wish to obtain it, without restriction. However, individuals may have to submit a written request for the information, depending on the type of information required. In some cases, it is possible to find this information through a records search online, but it may also be available through a third party provider.
The following are some of the agencies in the state that have this type of information available to the public. This is not an exhaustive list, though.
·         For drivers records and accident report information through the Department of Public Safety, Traffic Records Section.
·         For business and organization information, where applicable under law, the Attorney General's Office is available.
·         For vital statistics and records, the Bureau for Public Health is the best source for information.
·         Criminal records searches are conducted at state police agencies as well as through the State Police Department, Criminal Records Section.
West Virginia public records are available, but may take some time to become tangible, depending on the type of record.
West Virginia Public Records

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