Restoration of Rights Process
- An individual is eligible to have his/her rights restored by the Governor if he/she has been convicted of a felony and is no longer incarcerated or under active supervision (including supervised probation or parole)
- Individuals who would like to have their civil rights restored are encouraged to contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth (SOC) through the website.
- In addition, the SOC’s office works with the Department of Corrections and other state agencies to proactively identify individuals who may meet the Governor’s standards for restoration.
- Individuals who request restoration of their rights and individuals who are identified as potentially eligible by the office, will be thoroughly reviewed by the SOC, including checking their records with Virginia State Police, DOC, State Compensation Board, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Criminal Justice Service, and Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to ensure the individual meets the Governor’s standards for restoration of rights.
- In addition to confirming completion of incarceration and supervised release, the SOC considers factors such as active warrants, pre-trial hold, and other concerns that may be flagged by law enforcement. Individuals in these circumstances or any with concerns about the accuracy of information analyzed from law enforcement will be held from our streamlined consideration process for further review.
- Upon the Governor’s approval, SOC will issue and mail personalized restoration orders to individuals.
Are your rights restored?
Anyone convicted of a felony in Virginia automatically loses their civil rights - the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for office, become a notary public and carry a firearm. The Constitution of Virginia gives the Governor the sole discretion to restore civil rights, not including firearm rights. Individuals seeking restoration of their civil rights are encouraged to contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.