Virginia Record Sealing & Expungement Blog

How to verify a conviction has been sealed with Virginia’s new “Expungement Law”

Last updated: March 27, 2024

Ensuring Your Conviction Has Been Sealed: A Guide to Virginia’s New Record Sealing Law


Virginia’s new record sealing law, effective July 1, 2025, is a landmark change in how criminal convictions are handled, providing Virginians with a chance to move forward without the shadow of past mistakes. But, once your criminal conviction is sealed, how will you know if your record check will come back clean when you apply for a job?

Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.15 provides that 1) business screening services must register with the Virginia State Police 2) business screening services must provide your record verifying your criminal conviction has been sealed free of charge and 3) allow you to dispute a conviction that is not sealed.

The Legal Framework

Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.15 states, “A business screening service shall promptly delete the record” if it knows a criminal history record or a traffic history record has been sealed. This provision underscores the law’s commitment to ensuring that business screening services protect your rights once a conviction is sealed.

Business screening services are the companies that employers use to conduct background checks. They are companies like Checkr, Paycom, Authenticate, Accurate, and Verifirst.

Steps to Verify Your Conviction Has Been Sealed

Step 1: Obtain and Understand Your Sealing Order

Upon the sealing of your record, you will receive an official Order from the Circuit Court. This document is your proof that the courts recognize your conviction as sealed. As Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.15 specifies, “The orders of sealing shall be used for the sole purpose of deleting criminal history records that have been sealed”.

Step 2: Verify with the Virginia Department of State Police

The Virginia State Police play a vital role in the sealing process. They are tasked with “requir[ing] that the business screening service seeking access to the information identify themselves, certify the purposes for which the information is sought, and certify that the information will be used for no other purpose”. Confirming that they have your sealing order on file is an essential step in the verification process.

Step 3: Request Your Records from Registered Business Screening Services

Registered business screening services are required to “implement procedures for individuals to submit a request to obtain their own criminal history record and traffic history record information”. Requesting your records from these services allows you to verify that your sealed conviction is not present, ensuring compliance with the law.

  1. Initiating a Request: Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.15 mandates that business screening services to provide your information without charge.
  2. Reviewing the Service’s Response: Ensure that your sealed record does not appear in the information provided. The presence of a sealed conviction indicates a failure to comply with “the business screening service shall promptly delete the record”.

Step 4: What if your Conviction still appears on the background check?

If a business screening service has not deleted your sealed record, the law provides clear steps for resolution:

  1. Dispute the Record: “If the completeness or accuracy of a criminal history record or traffic history record…is disputed by the individual who is the subject of the record, the business screening service shall, without charge, investigate the disputed record” This clause empowers you to correct errors.
  2. Document Your Efforts: Keeping thorough records of all correspondence and actions taken is crucial, as it will support your case should further action be necessary.
  3. Legal Recourse: The statute imposes penalties for non-compliance, stating, “A business screening service that violates this section is liable to the person…for a penalty of $1,000 or actual damages caused by the violation, whichever is greater, plus costs and reasonable attorney fees”.


Verifying that your conviction has been sealed according to Virginia’s new record sealing law is a critical step in taking advantage of this opportunity for a fresh start. By following the outlined steps and understanding your rights under Virginia Code Section 19.2-392.15, you can ensure your sealed record is treated correctly, protecting your future opportunities.


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