Facsnet.org Logo

Vermont Public Records

“Public records” are defined as any government documents open for public review. This category encompasses various records like those from courts, police, and essential life events.

Under the Vermont Public Records Act (1 V.S.A. Sec. 315-320), the public has a designated right to access records kept by state and local government entities. The act mandates that these records be accessible when requested, except for those specifically excluded from disclosure by the law.

How to request Vermont Public Records?

The simplest method to obtain a public record is to reach out directly to the state or city agency responsible. 

Table of Contents

Requesting public records in Vermont typically involves a few key steps:

Where to find Public Records in Vermont

Depending on the type of record you are seeking, there are numerous options for where you can find public records in Vermont.

Vital Records (Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce):

You can request these records from the Vermont Department of Health's Vital Records Section. They offer an online service for requesting certified copies of birth, death, marriage, divorce, civil union, and civil union dissolution certificates​​​​​​​​. Visit Vermont Department of Health's Vital Records for more information.

Property Records:

These are managed by each municipality's town or city assessor's office in Vermont. You can view them online, in person, or request copies from the assessor's office. For unclaimed properties, the Vermont Treasurer's Office website provides a searchable database​​. Check the Vermont Public Records Online for more details.

Business Records:

The Secretary of State of Vermont provides access to various business records. Many of these records are searchable and available online through their Business Search portal​​. Visit Vermont Secretary of State's Business Records for more information.

Court Records:

To request copies of court records, you need to fill out the "Request for Access to Court Record" form and send it to the court where the case was filed. The form can be found in the Forms section on the Vermont Judiciary website​​. Visit Vermont Judiciary's Request for Access to Court Records for the form and additional details.

Driving Records:

Individuals may request their driving records by submitting a Record Request Form (form #VG-116) and the appropriate fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This can be done by scheduling an appointment at their Montpelier office​​. Visit Vermont DMV's Driving Records Requests for the form and further instructions.

Professional Licenses

The Vermont Office of Professional Regulation, under the Secretary of State, handles professional licensing. They provide a comprehensive list of various professions regulated and the procedure to apply for licenses​​​​. Visit Vermont Secretary of State - Office of Professional Regulation for more information.

Vermont State Archives:

The Vermont Historical Society and the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration hold a collection of statewide historical records. Many of these records, including the state government's permanent records, are available digitally​​​​. To access these records, you can visit Vermont State Archives and Records Administration.

Are Vermont Public Records Available Online?

Many Vermont public records can be accessed online, but not all of them. If the records you’re seeking aren’t available online, you might have to place a request in person or send one via mail.

Additionally, there are third-party websites that can assist in locating Vermont public records. While these sites are independent of the government, they sometimes have access to public records.

State Public Records Law

The Vermont Public Records Act (1 V.S.A. Sec. 315-320) governs the public’s access to state public records in Vermont. Except for certain exceptions and limitations, the Act aims to promote transparency and hold government bodies accountable by allowing individuals the right to access public records. Here are some key aspects of the Vermont Public Records Act:

Which records are public in Vermont?

Which Records are Not Public in Vermont?

In Vermont, certain records are exempt from public disclosure under the Vermont Public Records Act. These non-public records include:

Vermont Background Checks

Vermont background checks are procedures used to verify the personal and professional history of an individual. These checks are often conducted for employment, housing, or other purposes where an individual’s history is relevant. In Vermont, a background check report can include various types of information:

What Can Be Included In a Background Check Report?

Criminal Records

This is a common element in background checks. It includes information about an individual's criminal record, such as arrests, convictions, sentences, and any history of incarceration.

Employment History

Verification of past employment, including positions held, duration of employment, and reasons for leaving, can be part of a background check. Some checks might also look into the individual's work performance and professional conduct.

Education Verification

This includes confirming academic qualifications claimed by the individual, such as degrees, diplomas, and certifications from educational institutions.

Credit History

For certain positions, particularly those involving financial responsibilities, a credit history check might be conducted. This includes credit scores, debt levels, payment history, bankruptcies, and other financial information.

Driving Records

If driving is a part of the job, employers might check an individual’s driving record for any traffic violations, accidents, license suspensions, or DUI convictions.

Civil Records

This covers information on any involvement in civil litigation, such as being a party to a lawsuit, and can include details about civil judgments, liens, or bankruptcies.

Sex Offender Registry

Checks whether the individual is listed on state or national sex offender registries.

Professional Licenses

Verification of any professional licenses the individual holds, ensuring they are valid and in good standing.

Reference Checks

Contacting personal or professional references to learn more about the individual’s character, abilities, and past behavior.

Social Media and Internet History

Some background checks may include a review of the individual’s presence and activity on social media or other online platforms.

Vermont Court Records

Overview of the Vermont court system and its Structure

The Vermont court system is structured to handle a wide range of legal matters, including civil, criminal, family, and probate cases. Its structure is as follows:

  • Vermont Supreme Court: At the top of the Vermont court system is the Supreme Court, which is the state’s highest court. It has appellate jurisdiction, meaning it reviews decisions made by lower courts. The Supreme Court addresses legal issues of state law and ensures uniformity in interpreting the law. It typically does not conduct trials but rather reviews records of lower courts and attorneys’ arguments.
  • Vermont Superior Court: This is the state’s trial court system and has general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases. The Superior Court is divided into units that specialize in different types of cases:
    • Civil Division: Handles civil cases, such as disputes between individuals and/or organizations.
    • Criminal Division: Deals with cases involving violations of criminal law.
    • Family Division: Addresses matters such as divorce, child custody, and juvenile cases.
    • Probate Division: Manages cases related to wills, estates, guardianships, and adoptions.
    • Environmental Division: Specifically deals with environmental law cases.
  • Judicial Bureau: This court handles violations of state laws and municipal ordinances, including traffic violations, environmental fines, and other civil penalties.
  • Magistrates: They are judicial officers who handle certain types of cases, such as small claims (civil disputes involving limited monetary amounts), family support, and child support enforcement.

The Vermont court system is designed to ensure access to justice for all citizens, with each level of the system catering to specific legal needs. It operates under the principles of fairness, transparency, and efficiency to uphold the rule of law and provide a venue for resolving disputes and administering justice.

Types of Vermont Court Records

Civil Court Records​

Criminal Court Records

Family Court Records​

Probate Court Records​

Environmental Court Records

Small Claims Court Records

Restrictions, Limitations, and Confidentiality

In Vermont, while many court records are public and accessible, there are several restrictions, limitations, and confidentiality rules that apply to safeguard privacy and security. These include:

  • Personal Privacy: Records containing sensitive personal information, such as Social Security numbers, financial information, and details about minors, are often redacted or kept confidential to protect individual privacy.
  • Juvenile Records: Records involving juvenile offenders or juvenile proceedings are typically confidential. Access to these records is usually limited to the parties involved in the case and their legal representatives.
  • Family Law Cases: Certain aspects of family law cases, like divorce or child custody matters, may have parts of their records sealed or restricted to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, especially children.
  • Mental Health Records: Records pertaining to mental health assessments, treatments, or commitments are generally confidential due to the sensitive nature of the information.
  • Victim Information: Information that could identify victims of crimes, especially in cases of sexual assault or domestic violence, is often kept confidential.
  • Law Enforcement and Investigations: Information that might compromise ongoing investigations or reveal law enforcement strategies or informants may be sealed or restricted.
  • Sealed Records: Some cases or parts of cases may be sealed by a judge’s order. Sealed records are not accessible to the public.
  • Grand Jury Proceedings: Proceedings and records of grand juries are confidential and are not disclosed to the public.
  • Adoption Records: Records related to adoption cases are typically sealed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, especially the adopted child and the birth parents.
  • Probate Matters: While most probate records are public, certain documents, like those detailing the mental capacity of individuals, may be confidential.
  • Restrictions by Law or Court Order: Certain records may be restricted or confidential as per specific Vermont statutes or by direct court order.

What do these records contain

Vermont Public Vital Records

Marriage and Divorce Records: Marriage and divorce records in Vermont are important public documents that chronicle the legal status of these significant life events. These records, which include details such as the date and location of marriages and the specifics of divorce proceedings, are maintained by the Vermont Department of Health and the town clerks in the respective towns where the events occurred. Individuals seeking marriage or divorce records can request them through the Vermont Department of Health. For more details and to request these records, you can visit the Vermont Department of Health’s Vital Records Section.

Birth and Death Records: Birth and death records in Vermont are also categorized as vital records, providing official documentation of these fundamental life events. Birth records contain information such as the date and place of birth, and the parents’ names, while death records include details like the date, location, and cause of death. These records are accessible through the Vermont Department of Health or the town clerk’s office in the town where the birth or death occurred. To access these records or for more information, you can visit the Vermont Department of Health’s Vital Records Section.

Vermont Public Criminal Records

Definition and Types of criminal records in Vermont

Vermont criminal records, also known as rap sheets, are official documents detailing an individual’s criminal history within the state. These records are compiled from various sources, including law enforcement agencies, courts, and corrections departments. Here’s what Vermont criminal records typically contain:

  • Personal Identification: Basic information about the individual, such as their name, date of birth, physical descriptions (height, weight, eye and hair color), and fingerprints.
  • Arrest Records: Details of any arrests, including the date, location, the law enforcement agency involved, and the charges at the time of arrest.
  • Charges and Convictions: Information about charges filed against the individual, the outcome of those charges (such as convictions, acquittals, or dismissals), and details of the court where the case was adjudicated.
  • Sentencing Information: If convicted, the record includes sentencing details such as the type and length of the sentence, whether it was a prison or probation sentence, and any associated fines or penalties.
  • Incarceration Records: Details of any jail or prison time served, including the facility where the individual was held, the duration of incarceration, and the release date.
  • Probation or Parole Details: If applicable, information on probation or parole, including the terms, duration, and any violations or revocations.
  • Warrants: Information about any outstanding warrants.

These records are used for various purposes, including background checks for employment, housing, and licensing, as well as by law enforcement and the courts for criminal justice purposes. It’s important to note that access to detailed criminal records may be restricted under Vermont law to protect privacy and for security reasons. The Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC) manages these records, and they can be requested for legitimate purposes. For more information or to request criminal records, you can visit the Vermont Crime Information Center.

Police Records and Reports

Police records and reports in Vermont consist of detailed accounts of incidents, investigations, and responses by law enforcement agencies across the state. These records often include incident reports, arrest reports, accident reports, and other law enforcement documents. Members of the public can request access to police records and reports, subject to certain privacy and security restrictions, from the specific law enforcement agency involved in the incident. For more information or to request these records, individuals should contact the local police department or visit the Vermont State Police website at Vermont State Police.

Booking Records and Reports

Booking records and reports in Vermont provide information on individuals who have been arrested and booked by law enforcement agencies. These records typically include the individual's personal details, the charges for which they were arrested, and booking photographs. These records are maintained by the law enforcement agency that made the arrest, and to access them, one should contact the respective police department or sheriff's office in Vermont.

DUI Records

DUI records in Vermont document cases where individuals have been arrested and convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These records include details about the arrest, court proceedings, convictions, and any resulting penalties or sentences. The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles maintains DUI records, and they can be requested for legitimate purposes, such as court proceedings or background checks. To request DUI records, visit the Vermont DMV website.

Felony and Misdemeanor Records

Felony and misdemeanor records in Vermont detail criminal convictions at these levels of offenses. Felonies are more serious crimes, while misdemeanors are lesser offenses, and the records include information about the charge, trial, and sentence. These records can be obtained from the Vermont Criminal Information Center, which maintains statewide criminal history records. For accessing these records, visit the Vermont Crime Information Center website.

Parole Records

Parole records in Vermont contain information about individuals who have been released from prison under parole supervision. These records detail the terms of parole, the parolee's compliance, and any violations or revocations. The Vermont Department of Corrections manages parole records, and for access or more information, one should contact the Department of Corrections or visit their website at Vermont Department of Corrections.

Probation Records

Probation records in Vermont track individuals who have been sentenced to probation instead of, or in addition to, prison time. These records include information about the probation terms, the individual's compliance, and any violations. The Vermont Department of Corrections maintains probation records, and to request these records or for more information, visit the Vermont Department of Corrections website.

Warrant Search

A warrant search in Vermont allows individuals to check for outstanding warrants issued by courts in the state. Warrants are typically issued for failure to appear in court or for other legal obligations. To conduct a warrant search or for more information, individuals should contact the Vermont Criminal Information Center or visit their website at Vermont Crime Information Center.

Inmate And Jail Records

Inmate and jail records in Vermont provide information about individuals who are currently or were previously incarcerated in state or local correctional facilities. These records include details like inmate personal information, incarceration dates, and the location of the facility. The Vermont Department of Corrections maintains these records, and they can be accessed through the Department's website at Vermont Department of Corrections.

What you can find

In Vermont, inmate and jail records contain detailed information about individuals who are currently or have previously been incarcerated in state or local correctional facilities. These records typically include:

  • Personal Identification: Information such as the inmate’s name, date of birth, physical characteristics (height, weight, hair and eye color), and sometimes a photograph.
  • Incarceration Details: Data regarding the inmate’s incarceration, including the date of incarceration, the location of the facility where they are or were held, and the assigned inmate number.
  • Criminal Charges: Details of the charges for which the inmate was convicted, including the nature of the offense and the case number associated with the criminal proceedings.
  • Sentence Information: Information about the sentence imposed, such as the length of the sentence, the date of sentencing, and any parole or probation details.
  • Conduct and Behavior: Records of the inmate’s behavior while incarcerated, including any disciplinary actions or commendations.
  • Release Date: The scheduled release date, if applicable, or information about the inmate’s release if they have already been discharged.
  • Bail/Bond Information: Details on bail or bond amounts and conditions, if applicable.

These records are maintained by the Vermont Department of Corrections and are accessible for various purposes, including background checks, legal proceedings, and for individuals seeking information about family members or friends who are or were incarcerated. For accessing these records or for more information, you can visit the Vermont Department of Corrections website.

How to Perform an Inmate Search in Vermont

Performing an inmate search in Vermont is a straightforward process, allowing individuals to locate information about current or past inmates within the state’s correctional system. Here’s how to do it:

  • Visit the Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC) Website: The DOC maintains a comprehensive database of inmates. Their website is the primary resource for conducting an inmate search.
  • Use the Inmate Locator Tool: The Vermont DOC website typically provides an inmate locator or search tool. This feature allows you to search for inmates using specific criteria, such as the inmate’s name, date of birth, or inmate ID number.
  • Enter the Search Criteria: Input the known details about the inmate. The more specific the information (like the full name or exact date of birth), the more accurate the search results will be.
  • Review the Search Results: The search will yield a list of inmates matching the criteria entered. This list can include details such as the inmate’s full name, date of birth, inmate ID, facility where they are housed, and possibly their photograph.
  • Access Additional Information: By selecting an individual from the search results, you can often access more detailed information about that inmate, including their incarceration history, charges, sentence length, and projected release date.
  • Contact the Facility for More Information: If you need more detailed information or if the search tool does not provide the required details, you can contact the correctional facility where the inmate is or was housed. Contact details for each facility are usually available on the Vermont DOC website.
  • Data Privacy and Restrictions: Be aware that while basic information about inmates is publicly accessible, certain sensitive details may be restricted to protect privacy and security.

For performing an inmate search in Vermont, you can visit the Vermont Department of Corrections website. This website is the most reliable and up-to-date source for inmate information in the state.

Can I look up mugshots in Vermont?

In Vermont, the availability of mugshots to the public can vary based on several factors, including the nature of the crime, the status of the investigation, and privacy laws. Generally, mugshots are considered part of an individual’s arrest record and are typically held by the law enforcement agency that made the arrest. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Public Records Law: Under Vermont’s public records law, mugshots may be available as they are often considered public records. However, the release of these records can be subject to limitations, especially if it pertains to an ongoing investigation or a minor.
  • Requesting Mugshots: To obtain a mugshot, you would generally need to make a request to the law enforcement agency that processed the arrest. This can often be done in writing or through a formal records request process.
  • Online Databases: Some law enforcement agencies or third-party websites may offer online databases where mugshots can be searched. However, the availability and comprehensiveness of these databases can vary.
  • Privacy Considerations: There are ethical and privacy concerns surrounding the public dissemination of mugshots, especially in cases where individuals have not been convicted. Some jurisdictions are reevaluating the availability of mugshots to balance public interest with individual privacy rights.

Vermont Arrest Records

Vermont arrest records are official documents that detail the apprehension or detention of an individual by law enforcement authorities in Vermont.

What Do These Records Contain:

These records are a part of public criminal records and typically contain the following information:

  • Personal Identification: Basic details about the individual who was arrested, such as their name, date of birth, physical description (height, weight, hair and eye color), and sometimes a photograph (mugshot).
  • Arrest Details: Information about the arrest, including the date, time, and location where the arrest occurred, and the law enforcement agency that made the arrest.
  • Charges: Specific details about the charges that led to the arrest. This includes the nature of the alleged offense, any relevant statutes or laws, and the severity of the charges (such as misdemeanor or felony).
  • Booking Information: Data recorded during the booking process, such as fingerprints, photographs, and a summary of the incident.
  • Bail/Bond Information: Details about any bail or bond posted for the release of the individual, including the amount and conditions of release.
  • Case Information: Basic information about any court case related to the arrest, including the case number and court jurisdiction.
  • Custody Status: Information on whether the individual was released or remains in custody, and if so, details about their detention location.

For accessing arrest records, you can contact the arresting law enforcement agency or visit the Vermont Crime Information Center.

Vermont Property and Asset Records Online

Finding Vermont property and asset records online involves accessing various public databases managed by state and local government entities. For property records, such as information about property ownership, valuation, and taxes, you can typically visit the websites of the town or city assessor’s offices where the property is located. Many municipalities in Vermont have online databases where you can search for property records using the address, owner’s name, or parcel ID. Additionally, the Vermont Secretary of State’s office provides access to some property and asset records, particularly those related to business properties and assets.

Unclaimed Properties in Vermont

For unclaimed properties, the Vermont State Treasurer’s Office operates a dedicated database. Unclaimed property can include things like forgotten bank accounts, uncashed checks, or unclaimed dividends. To search for unclaimed property in Vermont, you can visit the Vermont State Treasurer’s website, where a searchable database allows you to look for unclaimed assets by entering a name or business name. If you find property that you believe belongs to you, the website provides instructions on how to claim it, which typically involves providing proof of identity and ownership. The process is designed to return these assets to their rightful owners, and there is usually no charge for reclaiming property.

Driving Records

To find driving records in Vermont, you need to request them from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). These records, also known as motor vehicle records, include your driving history, traffic violations, accidents, and license status. You can request your driving record online through the Vermont DMV website, by mail, or in person at a DMV office. When requesting, you’ll need to provide identification and may be required to pay a fee for the record. For more information or to request your driving record, visit the Vermont DMV website.

Civil Driving Infractions

In Vermont, civil driving infractions are non-criminal violations of traffic laws that are typically less serious than criminal offenses like DUIs. These infractions include a range of traffic-related offenses:

  • Speeding: Driving over the posted speed limit.
  • Seat Belt Violations: Failing to wear a seatbelt or ensuring that passengers are properly restrained.
  • Traffic Signal and Sign Violations: Failing to obey traffic lights, stop signs, yield signs, and other traffic control devices.
  • Illegal Turns or Lane Changes: Making turns where prohibited, failing to signal when changing lanes, or unsafe lane changes.
  • Parking Violations: Illegally parking in restricted zones, such as handicapped spaces without proper authorization, or in no-parking areas.
  • Cell Phone Use or Texting While Driving: Using a handheld mobile device for calls or texting while driving, which is prohibited in Vermont.

Vermont White Pages - Find People, Addresses, and Other Non-Official Information

Address Search ​

An address search in Vermont allows you to find specific information about a property, including its owner, property value, and tax history. This can be particularly useful for real estate transactions, property investment, or general research. Most address searches in Vermont can be conducted online through county or city assessor’s websites, where you can enter the address to access public records associated with it. Additionally, the Vermont Secretary of State’s office provides resources for accessing various public records that can be searched by address.

People Search​

A people search in Vermont is a way to find information about individuals, such as contact details, public records, and social media profiles. This can be done through various online public record databases and people search engines that aggregate data from multiple sources. People search services can be useful for finding lost contacts, conducting background checks, or verifying identities. However, it’s important to use this information responsibly and be aware of privacy laws and regulations when conducting a people search.

Can I Search By a Phone Number and Identify The Owner?

Yes, in Vermont, as in many places, it’s possible to search by a phone number to identify the owner. This process is commonly referred to as a reverse phone lookup. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Online Reverse Phone Lookup Services: There are numerous online services and websites where you can enter a phone number to retrieve information about the owner. These services can provide details such as the owner’s name, address, and possibly other public record information.
  • Caller ID and Phone Apps: Many smartphones and caller ID services automatically identify the caller’s name or business when you receive a call, although this depends on the availability of the information.
  • Privacy Concerns: While reverse phone lookups can be useful, they also raise privacy issues. In some cases, individuals choose to keep their phone number and associated information private or unlisted.
  • Accuracy of Information: The accuracy of the information obtained through reverse phone lookups can vary depending on the source of the data and whether the phone number is listed, unlisted, or a mobile number.

It’s important to use this capability responsibly and ethically, respecting privacy and legal boundaries. Additionally, be cautious of services that promise extensive personal information or charge exorbitant fees, as they may not be reliable or trustworthy.

License Plate Lookup in Vermont

Conducting a license plate lookup in Vermont to obtain information about a vehicle or its owner is subject to strict privacy laws and regulations. Here’s how you can go about it:

  • Contact Law Enforcement: If you have a valid legal reason, such as being involved in a hit-and-run or witnessing a crime, you can report the license plate number to law enforcement. They can use this information in their investigation.
  • Involved in an Accident: If you’re involved in a vehicle accident and need information about the other vehicle, you should report the incident to the police. The police report should include details about the other vehicle obtained through its license plate number.
  • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): While the Vermont DMV maintains records associated with license plates, they generally do not provide owner information to the public due to privacy laws. Access to such information is typically restricted to law enforcement and other authorized entities.
  • Third-Party Services: There are online services that claim to offer license plate lookups. However, be cautious as these services may not provide accurate information, and in many cases, they cannot legally access current owner details due to privacy restrictions.

It’s important to understand that personal information associated with a license plate, such as the vehicle owner’s name, address, or phone number, is protected by privacy laws, including the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). Unauthorized access to this information or using it for illicit purposes can have legal consequences. Always use such information responsibly and for legitimate purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who and why can request public records?

In Vermont, public records can be requested by any member of the public, including residents, non-residents, and members of the media.

Are there fees associated with requesting public records?

Yes, fees may be charged for copying and, in some cases, for staff time spent on fulfilling a public records request in Vermont, though the actual cost may vary.

Are public records Free to access?

While accessing public records in Vermont is generally free, there may be fees for copying or extensive staff time involved in fulfilling the request.

What is the response time for public records requests?

Vermont law stipulates a response time of three business days for public records requests, but this can vary based on the complexity and size of the request.

Can my request be rejected?

Yes, your request for public records in Vermont can be rejected if the records are exempt under law, such as documents related to personal privacy, security, or ongoing investigations.


Scroll to Top