Virginia Advance Health Care Directive Registry

In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation to allow the creation of a secure online registry of advance medical directives.  This registry is now available at

This Registry allows Virginia residents to store copies of their health care related legal documents in a central electronic space so that these documents can be found quickly by their doctors, hospitals, family members, emergency responders and anyone else that is authorized by the resident.  This electronic Registry makes it easier for people to distribute the information that is held in the paper legal documents that are otherwise stored in safe deposit boxes, home safes, home fire-proof boxes, or in a drawer in the home.

These health care related legal documents generally include an Advance Medical Directive, a Power of Attorney for Medical Purposes, a HIPAA release and an authorization for anatomical gifts.

There is no charge for the use of this Registry by Virginia residents.

The Online Registry website is a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Health, UNIVAL,Inc  and Microsoft Corporation to provide a secure environment using a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and a password needed to access your documents.  Once you have registered, you will receive an identification card containing the information that can be used by professionals to access your documents when needed.  When you sign up for this service, you can also enter the email addresses of those you want to have access to your documents and the system will notify them about the Registry so they will know how to access your documents when they are needed.

According to information on the site, all registered users will need to renew their Advance Directives on an annual basis and the system will send you a reminder.  If the user does not renew their documents within 6 months of being notified, their documents will be moved to an archive system and held there for 5 years.

We always encourage our clients to provide paper copies of their Medical Directives to their doctors, hospitals and to the person that is named as their Health Care Power of Attorney.  This online Registry is another way to ensure that your Medical Directives will be accessible by those that need to know your wishes.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at

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