Virginia Decoded is a private, non-governmental, non-partisan implementation of The State Decoded, an open source project that provides a platform to display state-level legal information in a friendly, accessible, modern fashion. Virginia is the first state to deploy the software.

Beta Testing

Some parts of Virginia Decoded are in beta, which is to say that the site is under active development, with known shortcomings. It is the site where new features of The State Decoded are first implemented, so it gets new features first...but that can also mean it gets mistakes first. While every effort is made to ensure that the data provided on Virginia Decoded is accurate and up-to-date, it would be gravely unwise to rely on it for any matter of importance. Always verify laws against an official source.

Data Sources

The information that makes up Virginia Decoded comes entirely from public sources. All of the sections of the code are straight from the Virginia Code Commission, who provides XML of the Code (via Lexis Nexis). Legislative data is from Richmond Sunlight. Court decisions are from CourtListener. Embedded definitions are extracted from the Code of Virginia. Throughout the site, links are provided to original data sources, whenever possible.


The site has a RESTful, JSON-based API. Register for an API key and read the documentation for details.


Virginia Decoded wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of the many dozens of people who participated in private alpha and beta testing of the site over the course of a year and a half, beginning in 2010. Specific thanks must be extended to John Athayde, James Alcorn, Josh Baugher, Clarissa Berry, Mark Blacknell, Jane Chaffin, Aneesh Chopra, Jeff Cornejo, Hawkins Dale, Lucy Dalglish, Max Fenton, Larry Gross, Alex Gulotta, Jay Landis, John Loy, Tom Moncure, Vivian Paige, David Poole, Megan Rhyne, and the good people of the Virginia Code Commission. This platform on which this site is based, The State Decoded, was expanded to function beyond Virginia thanks to a generous grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


This is not an official copy of the Code of Virginia. It is in no way authorized by the State of Virginia. No information that is found on Virginia Decoded constitutes legal advice on any subject matter. Do not take action (or fail to take action) on a legal matter without consulting proper legal counsel. The contents of this website are provided as-is, with no warranty of any kind, including merchantability, non-infringement, or fitness for a particular purpose. This website is not your lawyer, and neither am I.