Vermont Court Records
Are Criminal Records Public In Vermont?
The Vermont Public Records Act, 1 VSA §§ 315–320, grants the public the right to request to inspect or copy public records from government agencies. Also, under Chapter 117, Title 20 of Vermont’s Statutes, any Vermont citizen can request criminal records unless they have been classified as confidential, as long as they sign the user’s agreement and comply with the requirements. The statute also covers requests for third party records as well as personal records.
Title 20 makes provision for crime researchers to obtain free access to bulk criminal records from the relevant agencies as long as the name and identifying data are removed from the records. Crime researchers may find this quite useful in finding a great deal of information while still ensuring no invasion of privacy.
Note that expunged criminal records or records that have been prohibited from public access in line with a state or federal law will not be available for inspection or copying. Juvenile records are deemed confidential in Vermont except in cases where a charge of delinquency is transferred for criminal prosecution under Title 33, Chapter 52 of the Vermont Juvenile Proceedings Statute and Rules.
What Is Included In A Criminal Record In Vermont?
Criminal records, which may also be referred to as “rap sheets” are official documents detailing an individual’s criminal activities. It includes information such as arrest details, parameters of indictment, dispositions, and conviction data. Criminal records in Vermont are gathered from all government levels, ranging from local to state level and includes records from the courts and state-run correctional facilities.
Criminal records in Vermont contain information such as:
- The full name and other known aliases of the subject
- Biographical information such as date of birth, height, weight, race/ethnicity, gender, and social security number
- Mugshots and a full set of fingerprints
- Past and present indictments
- Arrest records and pending arrest warrants
- Conviction and inmate information
- Jail information
A Vermont Criminal record does not include:
- Motor vehicle offenses such as DLS, C&N, DWI, and vehicular homicide arraigned before September 1, 1995
- Charges that were arraigned in the Family Court, the Traffic Ticket Bureau or the Municipal Ordinance Bureau
- Out-of-state charges
How To Look Up My Criminal Records In Vermont?
The Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC),, a division of the Department of Public Safety, serves as the central repository of criminal records in the state. Criminal records collated by the VCIC is submitted from the various law enforcement agencies in the state and the Vermont Judiciary. Criminal records maintained by the VCIC are identity-based, meaning that when information is added to a subject’s record, an identity verification occurs before associating the information with the record.
The VCIC is open Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. In-person requests received after 3:30 p.m. may not be processed until the next business day. Requestors must provide a government-issued photo ID on appearance. In-person requests for complete criminal history, a certified or notarized copy must provide two forms of identification in any of these two combinations; two forms of identification from the Primary List, or one form of identification from the Primary List and one from the Secondary List. The VCIC does not accept two forms of identification from the Secondary List.
The VCIC Primary List of identification include:
- A valid driver’s license issued by a state or possession of the United States containing a photograph and other identification data such as name, gender, date of birth, height, eye color, or address
- A valid non-driver ID license issued by a state or possession of the United States containing a photograph and other identification data such as name, gender, date of birth, height, eye color, or address
- A valid government ID card or Passport issued by a municipality, county, state, or possession of the United States including the federal government of the United States and the federal government of Canada, provided it contains a photograph and other identification data such as name, gender, date of birth, height, eye color, or address
The VCIC Secondary List of identification include:
- Valid credit card with signature
- Check Cashing Card with signature
- Valid ID issued by a school located in a state of possession of the United States provided it bears the name and signature of the applicant
- Valid document or card which contains the requestor’s name and signature and is satisfactory to staff
Written requests to the VCIC for a complete personal Vermont criminal record check must include both the Request for Personal Criminal Record Check form and the Notary form available in the Personal Criminal Record Check Application Packet. The Notary form must be signed by the requestor and record subject and must be notarized with a raised seal affixed. The application must include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE).
Mail completed forms, SASE, and a cashier’s check or money order made out to the Department of Public Safety for $30 to:
Criminal Records Section
Vermont Crime Information Center
45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671–1300
Note that VCIC makes a distinction between criminal history reports and criminal conviction reports. A criminal history report provides information on all arrests and dispositions. It reveals pending, acquitted, and dismissed charges while a criminal conviction report only provides conviction information that has been submitted by the court. Criminal history information is only made available to the record’s subject while a criminal conviction report is available to the public. Criminal history reports can be viewed by the record’s subject at no charge. However, it costs $30 each to obtain a printed copy. Vermont criminal history reports can only be obtained by appearing in person at the VCIC in Waterbury.
Criminal conviction reports cost $30. The fee is payable by bank check, cash, or money order for in-person requests. An online request also costs $30 and is payable by credit card. To obtain a criminal conviction report on anyone, the requestor will be required to provide the name and date of birth of the subject. Conviction reports may also be requested via US Mail or by appearing in person at the VCIC office in Waterbury.
Persons required to perform a fingerprint-based criminal report may get fingerprinting done at one of Vermont’s authorized Identification Centers. Identification Centers are law enforcement agencies that have been particularly trained in taking fingerprints. There are 15 Identification Centers in Vermont. Note that the VCIC does not provide fingerprinting services to individuals. Additional fees apply to get fingerprint done at any of the identification centers. It normally takes five to seven business days for requestors to receive responses on criminal records from the VCIC.
For more information on obtaining criminal records from the VCIC, contact the Center at (808) 241–5320.
How Can I Get My Criminal Records For Free In Vermont?
The VCIC makes no provisions for obtaining a criminal record for free. Personal criminal records can only be obtained at a nominal fee of $30. However, the Center provides a waiver for qualified entities running a vulnerable populations program that may want to obtain criminal conviction information on potential or current employees. Vermont defines a qualified entity as an individual, governmental agency, organization, or business, whether public or private, for-profit, non-profit, or voluntary whose employees, contractors, or volunteers provide care or care placement services for vulnerable populations. The vulnerable population includes children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities.
The information released to vulnerable populations’ program entities includes all criminal convictions from Vermont District Courts and all serious motor vehicle convictions that happened after September 1, 2015. Juvenile convictions, arrests that did not result in convictions, and pending charges are not reported in the information accessible to these entities.
Registered entities are given an authorization code which must be included on each Record Request Form to the VCIC to benefit from the waiver of the standard $30 processing fee. Submit completed forms to the VCIC office in Waterbury. Responses may take five to seven working days to return via email. Criminal conviction information is not reported over the telephone or faxed.
How To Search Criminal Records Online In Vermont?
The Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC) provides an online portal known as the Vermont Criminal Conviction Record Internet Services (VCCRIS),, where individuals may request public criminal conviction reports. However, VCCRIS only provides uncertified criminal records. Each request costs $30 and is payable by credit card. Note that the fee is non-refundable and will be charged even if a check on the portal returns a “record not found” result.
VCCRIS results are returned instantaneously and give the users an ability to view, save, and print a criminal conviction record immediately. To search criminal conviction records, users must provide the name and date of birth of the person for whom a criminal conviction record is required.
Any criminal conviction record obtained via the VCCRIS portal may be verified through the Vermont Crime Information Center at no cost by entering the validation code through the Vermont DPS Online Validation Service.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that the person resides in or was accused in
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How To Get My Criminal Records Expunged In Vermont?
Under the Vermont Expungement Statutes § 7601, persons with convictions may qualify to have their criminal records expunged or sealed. A Vermont expungement order will completely destroy all records of any arrest, charge, or conviction maintained in any criminal records database. An expunged record is not accessible to both the public and law enforcement agencies.
A conviction record sealed under Vermont’s statutes is not available to the public but is still maintained in the databases held by the courts and law enforcement agencies. Note that federal convictions cannot be expunged except in deferred sentences related to first-time drug offenses. Persons eligible for expunction or sealing may file a petition with the criminal court in the county in which conviction occurred. Petitions may be made to seal all or part of their criminal records.
A person may qualify for expungement of a criminal conviction record in Vermont if:
- The petitioner was convicted of an eligible offense or eligible offenses stemming from the same incident.
- The petitioner was convicted of a crime for which the underlying conduct is no designated as a criminal offense by Vermont laws.
- The petitioner was convicted of an offense related to operating under the influence of alcohol or any harmful substance. (The statute of limitations on this offense is ten years).
- The petitioner was convicted of burglary under 13 VSA §1201(a), was aged 25 years or younger, and did not carry a dangerous or deadly weapon when the offense was committed. (The statute of limitations on this offense is fifteen years).
- The petitioner has no pending criminal case.
Vermont eligible offenses for expunctions include all misdemeanor offenses except:
- Domestic assault
- Prohibited conduct
- Reckless endangerment
- Violation of an abuse prevention order
- Abuse, unlawful restraint, neglect, sexual abuse, or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult
- “Predicate offense.”
- An attempt to commit any of the above-listed misdemeanor offenses
- Vermont only permit expungement for felonies crimes of unlawful mischief, grand larceny, burglary (except for burglary into an occupied residence)
- Offenses related to the possession of marijuana, cocaine, LSD, heroin, depressant, stimulant, narcotic drugs, methamphetamine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, hallucinogenic drugs, and ecstasy
- Violation of 18 VSA §4230-§4235
- Any offense for which the Governor has granted an individual an unconditional pardon
Vermont courts will consider a petition for expunction in cases where the petitioner has not been convicted of another crime since the conviction if:
- It finds that the expunction of the record serves the interest of justice.
- The petitioner has fully paid all court-ordered restitution.
- At least five years have elapsed since the petitioner completed the terms of the sentence for the conviction.
Vermont courts will consider a petition for expunction in cases where the petitioner has been convicted of another crime stemming from a new occurrence since the petitioner was convicted of the qualifying crime if:
- All court-ordered restitution has been paid.
- The petitioner has not been found guilty of a misdemeanor in the past five years.
- Ten years have passed since the petitioner completed the terms and conditions of the sentence for the conviction.
- The petitioner has not been convicted of a felony stemming from a new incident since the eligible conviction.
- After considering the nature of the subsequent offense, the court determines that an expunction will serve the interest of justice.
In situations where a petitioner is filing for an expungement of records that did not lead to convictions, this may be granted if the court determines it serves the interest of justice. For persons arrested or cited after June 30, 2018, sealings and expungements typically happen without having to file formal petitions.
Note, in Vermont, if the State Attorney agrees with a petitioner that the criminal record should be expunged or sealed, the two parties must file a Stipulation to Expunge or Seal Criminal History Record form. Otherwise, use the Petition to Expunge or Seal Criminal History Record form. The forms may also be obtained from the courts in any Vermont county.
Persons filing a petition to seal a conviction of a violation of 23 VSA § 1201(a) are required to pay a $90 filing fee. Individuals unable to pay the fee may complete and file the Application to Waive Filing Fees (also known as an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis) along with the original petition at the criminal court of conviction. Review the Vermont court fee waiver guidelines to verify eligibility. No fees are required for filing other petitions.
The clerk of court will provide the prosecutor in the expungement case with a copy of the petition. If the prosecutor agrees, the petition may be granted without a hearing and an expunction order issued by the court. Otherwise, the court will schedule the matter for a hearing which the petitioner is mandated to attend. If the petition is denied, the petitioner is usually prohibited from re-filing for at least two years unless authorized by the court.
How To Get My Criminal Records Sealed In Vermont?
There are many similarities between sealing and expungement, both in eligibility criteria, privileges, and the petitioning process. The difference is that an expunged record related to a criminal conviction is physically destroyed, while a sealed record is only restricted from public view. The record still exists and may be accessed by local law enforcement agencies. Under both conditions, the individual receives a court certificate stating that all records of arrest, conviction, and sentence have been annulled.
The court will consider a sealing request if the petitioner has not been convicted of another crime, and the qualifying crime was committed after reaching the age of 19.
Who Can See My Expunged/sealed Criminal Records In Vermont?
Neither the public nor criminal agencies can access expunged records in Vermont as an expungement mandates the physical destruction of any records held in the government database. However, despite being restricted from public view, sealed records are still maintained and may be used by the courts and criminal agencies in subsequent cases.
Still, Vermont law requires that any person who has had criminal records sealed or expunged must:
- Be treated as though they were never charged or convicted of the offense.
- Not be required to answer questions about the expunged/sealed criminal history record in employment or license application.
- Be given a certificate from the court annulling the record of conviction.
The court and law enforcement agencies are mandated to respond, “No record exists” when they receive any inquiry about a record that has been expunged or sealed.