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Virginia Resources

This State Guide provides an in-depth look at sources of law in Virginia.

Regulations

Administrative law in Virginia is governed by the Administrative Process Act, Va. Code Ann. § 2.2 et seq. Administrative law consists of the regulations and decisions made by Virginia agencies, whether executive or independent. Basic procedure includes publication of proposed and final regulations in the Virginia Register of Regulations, and publication of final regulations by topic in the Virginia Administrative Code.

The process of promulgating a regulation is clearly explained in the Legislative Information Service web site:

"An agency wishing to adopt, amend, or repeal regulations must first publish [the proposed regulation] in the Virginia Register a notice of intended regulatory action. . . [the agency then accepts] public comments for a minimum of 60 days . . . The Governor reviews the proposed regulation to determine if it is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and if it is clearly written and easily understandable . . . When final action is taken, the agency again publishes the text of the regulation as adopted, highlighting all changes made to the proposed regulation and explaining any substantial changes made since publication of the proposal. A 30-day final adoption period begins upon final publication in the Virginia Register . . . A regulation becomes effective at the conclusion of the 30-day final adoption period, or at any other later date specified by the promulgating agency . . ."

For a more detailed description, including exceptions and special rules, check Regulatory Process in Virginia (Va. Register of Regulations).

Virginia Administrative Code

The Virginia Administrative Code (Va. Admin. Code) is the official source for promulgated rules and regulations currently in effect. It is organized by subject in 24 titles. Each regulation entry in the Virginia Administrative Code includes the text of the regulation and historical notes with information about its proposed and final entry in the Virginia Register, amendment information, and annotations to statutory law, case law and secondary sources. The Administrative Code also publishes Executive Orders, meeting and hearing schedules, and general information about agencies.

Databases

State Website

Print Regulations

Virginia Administrative Code (Va. Admin. Code)
  • Print is updated twice a year with an Annual Supplement located in the front of each volume. Also in the print edition, there is a General Index as well as indexes at the back of each title. There is a conversion table which translates Virginia Register of Regulations (Va. Reg. Regs.) provisions.
  • Law Library Call Number: State 1st Floor KFV2435 1992 .A22: Currently updated at Law Library.

Virginia Register

The Virginia Register of Regulations (Va. Reg. Regs.) includes proposed and final rules and regulations. Regulations in the Virginia Register are published by status (proposed or final), and by Virginia Administrative Code title. A history of the Virginia Register is provided by the Virginia Code Commission.

Databases

State Website

Print Register

Virginia Register of Regulations (LexisNexis) (Va. Reg. Regs.)

More on Regulations in General

State registers and regulation tracking are offered by Lexis, found in its Administrative Codes & Regulations with coverage varying by state. Please note that for some states, Lexis no longer updates the register and offers administrative agency rulemaking activity such as proposal, notice and comment, hearing, emergency and permanent promulgation, and withdrawal only through its Regulation Tracking service. Coverage of the service is generally from 1990 to current.

In Westlaw, search historical regulations (coverage varies per state), proposed & adopted regulations - current (covers 2 most recent years & currently proposed and newly adopted regulations), proposed and adopted regulations - all (to search the state's entire register with coverage starting from 2006) and regulation tracking. All links can be found on the state's Regulations page.

In Bloomberg Law, proposed, final, emergency, temporary, and interim rules, plus regulatory notices can be found under Rulemaking within the State Laws & Regulation collection.

The American Association of Law Libraries' Online Legal Information Resources notes the official status of each state's primary law publications found on government websites, including regulations.