Virginia Recording Law Summary:
Is Virginia a One Party Consent State?
Virginia recording law stipulates that it is a one-party consent state. In Virginia, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record or share use communications, whether they are wire, oral or electronic, without the consent of at least one person taking part in the communication. This means that in Virginia, you are legally allowed to record a conversation if you are a contributor, or with prior consent from one of the involved parties. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-62 (West 2012).
You may not record or share conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of at least one party.
However, law does make an exception in cases where the person or people communicating are doing so in an environment where they should not be under the expectation of privacy. Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-61.
If you are a third-party and require consent from the parties taking part in the conversation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that you may gain consent to make a recording by:
- Getting verbal or written consent prior to the recording being made.
- A verbal notification being played before the conversation begins. (For example: “This phone call is being recorded for quality control purposes…”).
- An audible beep tone being repeated at steady intervals during the duration of the conversation.
Virginia Video Recording Laws
It is against the law to knowingly and intentionally create in any way, any videographic or still image of a nonconsenting person under circumstances which that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy if:
- That person is in a state of full or partial nudity in a restroom, dressing room, locker room, hotel room, motel room, tanning bed, tanning booth, bedroom or other location for the purpose of exposing that person’s intimate parts.
- The imaging device is used to record under a person’s clothing for the purpose of capturing that person’s intimate parts or undergarments when such parts or undergarments are concealed from public view.
Va. Code Ann. § 18.2‐386.1(A)
Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-62: Recording a conversation in violation of Virginia law is considered a felony.
Va. Code Ann. § 18.2‐386.1(C): Violating Virginia’s video recording laws is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $2500, or both.
Va. Code Ann. § 18.2‐386.1(D): Violation of the state’s video recording laws involving a victim under 18 years of age is a Class 6 felony punishable by imprisonment of 1-5 years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine not exceeding $2,500, either or both.