West Virginia Background Checks and Public Records

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The State of West Virginia

West Virginia, also known as the Mountain State, is located in the eastern part of the US, in the Appalachian Mountains. It’s considered to be part of the Mid-Atlantic States, bordered by Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

West Virginia is only the 41st largest state, making it only the 38th most populated state. The state’s economy has traditionally been dependent on mining and logging. Aside from its natural resources, the state boasts various technological advancements which greatly contribute to its consistent economic growth and diversification. While less populated, be sure to also check neighboring states when acquiring public records or conducting background checks in West Virginia.

Counties in West Virginia

BarbourGrant LoganNicholasSummers
BrookeHardyMason PochahontasUpshur

Where To Get Public Records In West Virginia

The Supervisor of Public Records acts as records custodian. But public records in West Virginia are still managed by a variety of different government agencies.

Vital records, for instance, are kept at the Vital Registration Office managed by the West Virginia Department of Health. They keep records of important life events like birth, marriage, divorce, and death.

For criminal history records, you must coordinate with the West Virginia State Police. They provide reports of an individual’s interaction with any law enforcement agency, including arrests, convictions, and incarcerations.

The Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority is responsible for inmate records. These records provide complete details about a case, including charges, sentence, custody status, and expected release from incarceration.

Should you also need court records; you may reach out to the Judiciary Administrative Office of the Courts. These records contain all documents related to civil/criminal court cases.

Property records are also considered public records in West Virginia. Land grants or land records can be found on the Library of Virginia’s West Virginia Records Page or in the West Virginia State Archives. Deed records and private conveyances are kept by the county recorder where the property is located. Property tax records can be acquired by navigating to West Virginia’s State Property Tax website.

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records in West Virginia

The West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act and the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act are the state’s Freedom of Information laws. These state laws govern public meetings and access to public records. The state designates records custodian, the Supervisor of Public Records.

In West Virginia, you won’t need to be a resident to access its public records. Plus, you can easily acquire public records regardless of any personal/business reasons. Including enrollment services or completing human resource requirements.

While you can request in person, online, or via phone call, it’s recommended that you do so in writing. As per the office of the Attorney General, making your request in writing would “avoid misunderstandings regarding the timing and scope of the request and to ensure the information sought is stated with reasonable specificity.”

Agencies are required to respond to requests within 5 business days. Although there are no official appeals process, you may coordinate with the Supervisor of Public records should your request be denied.

There are nominal fees charged for the reproduction of records. Should you need a faster and more convenient way of accessing records, you can try a reliable and efficient third-party people search engine.

West Virginia Background Check Reports

The West Virginia State Police Criminal Identification Bureau used to personally conduct criminal background checks within the state. In the hopes to provide easier and faster services, they’ve partnered up with a fingerprinting service provider, Identogo. Note, however, that you may also opt to use third-party sites offering background check services for a hassle-free experience.

To start a search, you’ll need fingerprint cards. Along with a completely filled out Statement of Criminal Record Form and a $37.25 fee payment.

Though a background search is commonly requested for pre-employment purposes, some people use it to screen tenants, license holders, adoptive parents, and more. Like in most states, background checks required by most employers and government offices must be thorough and in-depth.

Regardless of the reason and type, these searches adhere to federal laws. Such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). West Virginia may not be a ban-the-box state at the moment. However, there are additional state laws to ensure fairness, accuracy, and safety.

West Virginia Official Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About West Virginia Background Checks

How far back can a background check go in West Virginia?

Unlike other states who strictly follow the 7-year or 10-year rules, West Virginia background check results could show offenses from more than 7 years. Or until the governing statute of limitations has expired, whichever is longer.

How do I get my criminal record in West Virginia?

Criminal records are managed by the Criminal Identification Bureau under the West Virginia State Police. You may request other people’s or your own personal records by navigating to their partner’s website, Indentogo.

How do I get a quick background check?

West Virginia has also gone digital in storing and releasing public records, making access easier and faster. For a quick background check, you may use Indentogo, the state’s official partner. Alternatively, you could use other reliable third-party search engines like Kiwi Searches. We offer the same information gathered from official criminal record databases and sex offender registries.