• Records & Documents

    The Information Management Section responds to requests for closed disciplinary case files, license transcripts (history of a license), and lists of regulants. All requests are processed in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and DPOR's Release of Information Policy. Reporters visit our Media Inquiries page. 


    Requests may be e-mailed to the Information Management Section at PublicRecords@dpor.virginia.gov or faxed to (866) 254-0312. FOIA responses are mailed within five workdays of receipt of the request (however, a seven work day extension may be required for large information requests).


    In accordance with administration guidelines for executive branch agencies, DPOR distributes copies of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (COIA) and Virginia Freedom of Information Act to its employees annually via electronic mail. Distribution each July ensures that state employees understand current state law governing conflicts of interest and release of information. 

  • Frequently Asked Questions about Public Records

    Where can I find Board meeting minutes?

    The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall provides access to every board's meeting schedule, agendas, and past meeting minutes.

    Why does DPOR charge fees to obtain public records?

    The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) is a non-general fund agency, meaning it is not supported by any tax dollars. DPOR is funded solely by fees and assessments paid by regulants. As a self-funded state agency, revenue from FOIA requests is credited to DPOR to offset the data preparation, materials mailing, and miscellaneous administrative costs associated with providing public records. Assessing reasonable charges for public records allows DPOR to maintain lower licensing and renewal fees for all regulants. Whenever feasible, however, DPOR provides requested documents in electronic format at no charge.

    To learn more about state law governing charges for public records, you may review the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

    Why does DPOR list addresses for regulants?

    The name and address of every individual and business licensed by DPOR are available for public disclosure. Use of a mailing address as an identification factor allows for verification of license status. Such verification is essential for meeting DPOR’s public protection responsibilities.

    For example, while dozens of individuals named “John Doe” may hold valid licenses, using an address allows verification of the specific license for “John Doe on Main Street in Richmond.”

    Every regulant’s Virginia-issued professional license number, name, license issue date, license expiration date, license classification (i.e., broker, salesperson), license status, and address of record are identification factors subject to public disclosure.

    How does DPOR protect personal information from disclosure?

    Department policy and state law prohibit general disclosure of social security numbers, bank or credit account numbers, and any other information that may cause harm or injury to an individual or business.

    To learn more about state law governing privacy protection, you may review the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act.

    How can I find out about complaints filed against a regulant?

    DPOR confirms the existence of open disciplinary cases only after an investigation has determined that sufficient evidence exists to establish probable cause of a violation. These open disciplinary cases are identified on the DPOR website using the "License Lookup" feature. However, no specific information concerning an individual or business under investigation by DPOR or under review by a regulatory board may be released until the case is closed.

    State law exempts information about open disciplinary investigations and files from mandatory public disclosure. Members of the public may review official records and obtain copies after a complaint investigation is closed. [Code of Virginia § 54.1-108]. 

    Closed complaints involving allegations of criminal activity are subject to disclosure, except when the release is likely to jeopardize an ongoing investigation or the safety of an individual, cause a suspect to flee or evade detection, or result in the destruction of evidence.

    Closed Disciplinary Files

    Disciplinary actions associated with closed cases (orders entered since April 1, 2002) are available online using License Lookup.

    Copies of closed disciplinary files are available for public review and disclosure. Closed files involving allegations of criminal activity are also subject to disclosure, except when the release is likely to jeopardize an ongoing investigation or the safety of an individual, cause a suspect to flee or evade detection, or result in the destruction of evidence.

    State law exempts information about open cases from mandatory public disclosure. Members of the public may review official records and obtain copies after a regulatory investigation is closed. [Code of Virginia § 54.1-108]


    Requests for closed files should be sent to the Information Management Section:

    Whenever feasible, DPOR provides closed files in electronic format at no charge. Otherwise, reasonable charges may be assessed by DPOR for research and photocopying ($0.25 per page for documents exceeding 40 pages).

    FOIA Rights & Responsibilities

    Your FOIA Rights | DPOR's FOIA Responsibilities | Costs | Common Exemptions 

    The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located § 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials, and public employees.

    A public record is any writing or recording-–regardless of whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording, or any other format--that is prepared or owned by, or in the possession of, a public body or its officers, employees, or agents in the transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open, and may only be withheld if a specific, statutory exemption applies.

    The policy of FOIA states that the purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. In furthering this policy, FOIA requires that the law be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld must be interpreted narrowly.

    Your FOIA Rights

    • You have the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both. 
    • You have the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
    • If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA.
      • Alternatively, you may contact the FOIA Council for a non-binding advisory opinion.

    Making a Request for Records from DPOR

    • You may request records by U.S. Mail, fax, e-mail, in person, or over the phone. FOIA does not require that your request be in writing, nor do you need to specifically state that you are requesting records under FOIA.
      • From a practical perspective, it may be helpful to both you and the person receiving your request to put your request in writing. This allows you to create a record of your request. It also gives us a clear statement of what records you are requesting, so that there is no misunderstanding over a verbal request. However, DPOR cannot refuse to respond to your FOIA request if you choose not to put it in writing.
       
    • Your request must identify the records you are seeking with "reasonable specificity." This is a common-sense standard. It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records that you are requesting. Instead, it requires that you be specific enough so that we can identify and locate the records that you are seeking.
    • Your request must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA gives you a right to inspect or copy records. It does not apply to a situation where you are asking general questions about the work of DPOR or its regulatory boards, nor does it require DPOR to create a record that does not exist.
    • You may choose to receive electronic records in any format used by DPOR in the regular course of business. 
      • For example, if you are requesting records maintained in an Excel database, you may elect to receive those records electronically, via e-mail, or on a computer disk, or to receive a printed copy of those records.
       
    • If DPOR has questions about your request, please cooperate with staff's efforts to clarify the type of records that you are seeking, or to attempt to reach a reasonable agreement about a response to a large request. Making a FOIA request is not an adversarial process, but we may need to discuss your request with you to ensure we understand what records you are seeking.

    To request records from DPOR, you may direct your request to: Lexie Borkey, Records & FOIA Manager. She can be reached at: Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation | Perimeter Center, Suite 400 | 9960 Mayland Drive | Richmond, VA 23233 | Phone: 804-367-8583 | FAX: 866-254-0312 | Emailpublicrecords@dpor.virginia.gov. You may also contact Ms. Borkey with questions you have concerning requesting records from DPOR.

    In addition, the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by e-mail at FOIAcouncil@dls.virginia.gov, or by phone at (804) 225-3056 or [toll-free] 1-866-448-4100.

    DPOR's FOIA Responsibilities

    The Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation’s Responsibilities in Responding to Your Request 

    • DPOR must respond to your request within five working days of receiving it. "Day One" is considered the day after your request is received. The five-day period does not include weekends or holidays.
    • The reason behind your request for public records from DPOR is irrelevant, and you do not have to state why you want the records before we respond to your request. FOIA does, however, allow DPOR to require you to provide your name and legal address. 

    FOIA requires that DPOR make one of the following responses to your request within the five-day period:

    1. We provide you with the records that you have requested in their entirety.
    2. We withhold all of the records that you have requested, because all of the records are subject to a specific statutory exemption. If all of the records are being withheld, DPOR must send you a response in writing. That written response must identify the volume and subject matter of the records being withheld and the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows us to withhold the records.
    3. We provide some of the records that you have requested, but withhold other records. DPOR cannot withhold an entire record if only a portion of it is subject to an exemption. In that instance, we may redact the portion of the record that may be withheld, and must provide you with the remainder of the record. DPOR must also send you a written response stating the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows portions of the requested records to be withheld. 
    4. We inform you in writing that the requested records cannot be found or do not exist (we do not have the records you want). However, if we know that another public body has the requested records, DPOR must include contact information for the other public body in our response to you.
    5. If it is practically impossible for DPOR to respond to your request within the five-day period, we must state this in writing, explaining the conditions that make the response impossible. This written response will allow us seven additional working days, giving us a total of 12 working days to respond to your request.

    If you make a request for a very large number of records, and DPOR determines that we cannot provide the records to you within 12 days without disrupting our other organizational responsibilities, we may petition the court for additional time to respond to your request. However, FOIA requires that we make a reasonable effort to reach an agreement with you concerning the production of the records before we go to court to ask for more time. 

    Costs

    A public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records. No public body shall impose any extraneous, intermediary, or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining records or transacting the general business of the public body. Any duplicating fee charged by a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication. All charges for the supplying of requested records shall be estimated in advance at the request of the citizen as set forth in subsection F of § 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia

    • You may have to pay for the records that you request from DPOR. FOIA allows us to charge for the actual costs of responding to FOIA requests. This would include items like staff time spent searching for the requested records, copying costs, or any other costs directly related to supplying the requested records. It cannot include general overhead costs.
    • If DPOR estimates that it will cost more than $200 to respond to your request, we may require you to pay a deposit, not to exceed the amount of the estimate, before proceeding with your request. If so, the five days that we have to respond to your request does not include the time between when we ask for a deposit and when you respond.
    • You may request that we estimate in advance the charges for supplying the records that you have requested. This will allow you to know about any costs upfront, or give you the opportunity to modify your request in an attempt to lower the estimated costs.
    • If you owe us money from a previous FOIA request that has remained unpaid for more than 30 days, DPOR may require payment of the past-due bill before responding to your new FOIA request.

    Commonly Used Exemptions

    The Code of Virginia allows any public body to withhold certain records from public disclosure. DPOR commonly withholds records subject to the following exemptions:

    Policy Regarding the Use of Exemptions

    The Release of Information Policy (#100-04) applies to all of DPOR and its boards and explains how and when we will invoke statutory exemptions to withhold records.
     

    Regulant Lists

    Every regulant’s Virginia-issued professional license number, name, license issue date, license expiration date, license classification (i.e., broker, salesperson), license status, and address of record are identification factors subject to public disclosure.

    DPOR policy and state law prohibit general disclosure of social security numbers, bank or credit account numbers, and any other information that may cause harm or injury to an individual or business.

    To obtain a list of regulants by license type (i.e., all licensed contractors), email PublicRecords@dpor.virginia.gov or fax a request to (866) 254-0312. Regulant lists are provided free of charge in electronic format.

    Fees for Records

    Reasonable charges will be assessed by DPOR for photocopying and research. Whenever feasible, the Information Management Section will provide requested documents in electronic format at no charge. Otherwise, the following fees may apply:

    Closed Complaint Files

    Photocopies $0.25 per page for documents exceeding 40 pages

    License Transcripts

    $40.00